An Australian woman claims hypnosis is behind her dramatic weight loss which has allowed her to compete in the World Masters Games.

Joanne Gibson, 63, will compete in the triathlon at the Games and credits self-hypnosis for helping her shed 59kgs - half her body weight.

Her husband died in 2013, and she said that was "the lowest point of my life". She then weighed 117kg.

"When I was at my heaviest... I never knew I'd be competing in anything, let alone in the World Masters Games in New Zealand this year."

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She said she used to eat a lot of takeaways, and her husband's death had led her to a "very, very dark spot".

Joanne Gibson claims hypnosis allowed her to shed half her body weight after she weighed 117kg. Photo / Supplied
Joanne Gibson claims hypnosis allowed her to shed half her body weight after she weighed 117kg. Photo / Supplied

"It was very, very uncomfortable to move around. The biggest health concern when I was at my heaviest was that I was going to get diabetes, I was going to get heart disease, I was going to have a stroke.

"I was about to throw in the towel."

She claims self-hypnosis allowed her to "deal with 60 years of limiting beliefs and emotional baggage".

She trains every day, she said.

"I hit the road, or if the weather prevented me I went to the gym or swam my way to 58kg.

"Self belief is very important to me. Get yourself in the right frame of mind, get your people that are going to help you.

"I know I'm not going to put the weight on again, ever, because I'm such a positive person now."

She has entered the triathlon at the Games, a gruelling event that will see her attempt a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run.

She said crossing the finish line, rather than winning, would be success for her.

"Never in my wildest imagination would I think I'd be doing anything like this, like competing in the World Masters Games.

"I am just excited to be here in Auckland and soak up the atmosphere.

"I've come from leading a sedentary life, living dangerously near the point of no return to a lean mean fitness machine. [It's] an achievement I'm very proud of and a life I will continue to live," she said.

"I'm at one of my happiest times in my life, I love getting out of bed, I love eating healthy foods, I love exercising."

She learnt self-hypnosis after attending an event with hypnotist Mark Stephens.

Stephens said "what is weighing a person down mentally and emotionally" is the "real problem" when dealing with weight loss.