And that’s what happened to newspaper editor, Chantel Erfort, when she embarked on her quest.
Over a year, Erfort shared her progress on Instagram (@editedeating) as she gradually shed 33kg.
She had struggled with food and weight - what with choices of fast food, junk food, vending machines at work and processed foods as snacks or dinner. However, she knew that something had to change and January 2017 was her turning point.
After completing her Master’s degree in Journalism, Erfort decided to get her weight and health in order by applying the principles of newspaper editing to her diet and lifestyle.
“I knew I had picked up weight over the years, and I was struggling to lose it, so I decided to look for something that worked for me. When you sub-edit a news report, you choose the best words to tell the story, cutting out the badly written parts and details that do nothing but add extra ‘weight’. With this strategy in mind, I decided to edit my eating,” said Erfort.
The decision to change led her to Sleekgeek’s 30-day Reboot programme, which is based on the Paleo diet and requires one to cut out sugar, grains, legumes, and dairy. No honey or other sweeteners are allowed either. The programme is strict and requires you to start back at day one if you fall off the wagon.
At the beginning of her weight-loss programme, Erfort weighed 107.4kg.
“That number on the scale was a real wake-up call. How did I get there, I asked myself. I then came up with a goal to lose 20kg by the end of the year.”
The journey was not easy but she had support from her husband, Andre Manuel, and a friend, Brandon Florus, who also embarked on the 30-day Reboot programme with her.
The eating plan was a challenge, but beneficial to their health.
“Two weeks into the programme, I could feel the benefits. My husband and I agreed this was a way of life we could manage.”
By the end of the Reboot, Erfort had lost 7kg.
“This really motivated me to keep going. I often tell people: Nothing motivates you more to lose weight than losing weight - and that was the case with me.”
However, the journey was not without setbacks: she tore the ligament in her right ankle but decided not to let this get in the way. “The physio predicted a three- to six-month recovery period. At the time, I was doing kickboxing and my coach adapted my training to protect the ankle. This involved cutting out skipping and any exercises requiring weight-transfer. This meant much of my kickbox training was static.”
In spite of this, she finally reached her 20kg weight-loss goal for the year, on July 12 - six months earlier than planned. This year she plans on reaching her goal weight of 65kg.
“When I had lost 20kg, I tried not to think about the next 20 that I had to lose. I focused on the next five... then another five. In June, I upped the training regime and I now train every morning before work - as well as weekends.
“I realised that training and eating healthy should be our daily motivators. Now, I look at myself in the mirror with disbelief and happiness. It can be done.”
Erfort has since focused her workouts on functional training and boxing, working with personal trainer Romeo Brand at least two days a week.
“I also want to find fun ways to train and maintain my weight.”
This includes learning to breakdance - and her #boxanywhere initiative taking boxing sessions into public spaces.
Erfort shares her tips:
Have fun - if you don't enjoy your workouts, you won't stick to them.
Learn to be your own cheerleader - you simply cannot depend on other people to motivate you.
If you’re following a diet that excludes certain food groups, don’t focus on what you can’t have - focus on all the things you can eat.
Prepare your meals. There’s nothing worse than coming home hungry and still having to cook. Pack lunch for work every day.
Set achievable goals - these help to keep you on track and ensure that you always know what you’re working toward.