October 20

Toni Burke – 6 Week Challenge


How I lost a stone on the six week plan!


I’ve struggled with my weight for over 15 years and the last time I can remember being happy with the number on the scales was when I was 22 or 23. But after doing a six week plan with Republic of Fitness that is starting to change. Almost one stone lighter after six weeks and I’m finally in control and on the right path to my fairytale weight. 

I turned 40 during lockdown and all plans for celebration were cancelled. Life as we know it was turned upside down. We had no control over so many things. I was eating and drinking like it was Christmas week, every week. Until I decided I’d had enough of feeling crap. Then I saw a free 21 day trial advertised with ROF and realised there were still parts of my life I could control despite the turmoil of the pandemic.  

I said why not, I’ve nothing to lose and I joined the team. The classes were amazing - high energy, the right kind of positive motivation and available online through Zoom which was the key for me. I didn’t need much space and my kitchen became my new gym. 

I didn’t lose much weight during the trial period but I still wasn’t eating properly. I’m a fussy eater and I don’t like following plans that tell me what to eat. 

For the first time in years I knew I had the power within to shift the weight. I also had the motivation to do so. What was different this time was the time was right for me. My mindset was where it needed to be. The stars were aligned.  

Fitness programmes I had followed in the past hadn’t worked. Not because there was anything wrong with the programme. They were all great. But I didn’t want to change my eating habits and accept that I couldn’t continue eating everything in the fridge or cupboard and achieve the results I wanted to achieve. 

The penny had finally dropped. It only took about 15 years 

I signed up for six more weeks, learned how to eat, in what quantities, and suddenly I was seeing success. No one was telling me what to eat. Instead I was learning how to eat the foods I like. This formula was working. I was no longer afraid of the feeling of hunger. It became my friend, not my enemy because I knew it meant my body was in a calorie deficit, exactly where it needed to be. And over time it got easier and I felt less hungry. 

What I learned was that at my age it’s all about food. Exercise is an important additional extra which tones the body and helps with your mental health. But you have to have your food right to achieve success. Classes, even live online classes, give you the motivation to commit to an exercise regime with like-minded people at specific times during the week. Sunday food prep is essential. Monday weigh-ins keep you on plan over the weekend. You must ensure your nearest and dearest support you in your goals. This is essential. If you have an event or party or road trip coming up, plan ahead. Bring food with you, make sacrifices during the day if you’re eating out at night. Tell people you’re on a plan and they’ll support you in your decisions. An accountability coach is essential in keeping you on track. You will make every excuse under the sun and tell yourself every lie, but an accountability coach will see right through the bull. 

Six weeks later I’m happy, fitter, thinner and ready to embrace this as a way of life rather than a quick fix, flash in the pan remedy. 

“Happiness as a means to success, as opposed to success as a means to happiness.”

I saw this quote in an article about why Dutch parenting produces the happiest children in the world and it struck a cord with me. In Ireland we are always striving for success whatever that means to us individually. We often say I’ll be happy when I’m rich, I’m thin, I get that promotion. But we’re missing a trick. We need to make a conscious decision to be happy now and success will follow. 

Matthew recently asked me what’s my goal. He pushed me to admit to him what my fairytale number is, not the weight I thought I could achieve. We settled on a number and he said now start living that life. Be that person now. Believe you are that number and live the life now you need to live to be that number. Don’t wait until you reach that number to start making that way of life your norm. For me that’s the same as deciding to be happy now as I embark on this journey and success, or that fairytale number will follow. Thank you Matthew for such inspirational advice.


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