Alison Hammond opens up on childhood trauma that she believes started her weight battle

Alison Hammond
(Image credit: Getty)

Alison Hammond has opened up on the childhood trauma that she believes started her weight battle.

Alison Hammond has revealed the childhood trauma she experienced when she was aged eight that she believes sparked a life-long battle with her weight.

The bubbly This Morning presenter, who hosts Friday shows alongside Dermot O'Leary, has opened up on her decision to get a gastric band to help with her weight loss after Hollywood actor Matt Damon had to help her get up from a broken chair during a TV interview.

But it's not this embarrassing ordeal that subconsciously started Alison's unhealthy relationship with food - it was her actions of her father Clifford that she claims have led her to overeat.

In extracts from her new book, You've Got to Laugh, published by The Sun, Alison details the Sunday lunch she struggled to eat but felt obliged to clear her plate to avoid any consequences of leaving food uneaten.

'Mum’s great cooking came into its own when she made her Sunday roast, but this Sunday I reached a point when I’d had enough to eat.

“I’ve finished, Mum. I don’t want any more,” I said, even though there was still food on my plate.

“All right, then,” Mum said.

She explained, My dad looked up. “Eat the rest of your dinner,” he said sternly. I shook my head. “I’ve finished. I don’t want any more.”

“Eat your dinner, now.”

His eyes bored into me and then he started taking his belt off.'

Alison Hammond

'My eight-year-old self did a quick calculation: If my dad beat me with his belt, my mum would try to protect me and he would overpower her. “I’m going to have to eat this food,” I thought.'

'To keep the peace, and out of self-preservation, I ate every last bit of my dinner,' Alison confessed.

Alison shed two stone by taking part on ITV's Sugar Free Farm and stunned fans with her weightloss.

But fast-forward to a couple of years ago, and a chance conversation with a therapist, who made a connection between Alison's size and that Sunday when she was eight.

Alison revealed, 'When I explained what had happened, he suggested I’ve carried that moment through my life ever since. I went away and thought about what he’d said.

It made a lot of sense. I never leave anything on my plate, and that’s maybe one reason why I’m a big girl.

That Sunday lunch left a psychological imprint: I finished my food to protect myself and something about that experience set up a lasting link in my brain between eating and self-preservation.

Once you make a connection like that, you should be able to do something about it, and I think I’ve let it go . . . up to a point.'

Alison's father passed away in 2020, and at the time she paid tribute to him, sharing a throwback snap of her dad and captioned it, 'This is my real Dad Clifford Hammond who passed away last week in Jamaica 🇯🇲. I’m saddened that I won’t be able to make his funeral and saddened that he wasn’t part of my life as much as I would have liked but I still have a sense of loss and emptiness. Sleep well Daddy , love leaves a memory no one can steal . RIP'

Alison Hammond and Aljaz

Alison, who recently admitted she offered to become surrogate for This Morning co-star Sharon Marshall, even took the drastic steps of having a gastric band but after two years and losing little weight, despite undergoing a transformation, she asked doctors to reverse it.

In lockdown Alison was diagnosed pre-diabetic due to her high blood sugar levels, and that her weight battle was partly due to her metabolism.

“Alison, it’s actually not your fault that you can’t lose weight,” he said. “Your metabolism is different from most other people’s.”

It was such a relief to hear him say those words. “Really? That’s what I’ve been thinking,” I said.

I’m getting to a point where I would consider weight-loss surgery, but I’m still looking at my different options and wondering which direction is best for me.

I’ve got a good life, but I also want to live longer and feel healthy.'

Alison's book, which is out on 14th October, details more of her upbringing and covers some of her most memorable celebrity interviews.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)