Somewhere during the last four months of dieting the proper shift happened. It is the shift that I didn’t think would be possible for me. It’s the one I assumed would never happen. Somewhere, at some time, it dawned on me that my eating habits were to change forever. I was never going to go back to my old, pig out on carbs and sugar, ignore breakfast, snack all day, promise myself I’d eat better the next day, eat the cake instead of refuse it. I was going to actually do this, stick to it, follow the rules (mostly) and get down to my target weight and stay there.

I admit, I was nervous about what would happen when I reached my target weight and the Dukan diet moved into the consolidation phase (the phase I am in now). So nervous that it took me a little longer than it should have to shed that last stubborn kilo. I was so confident of the control I had in the cruise phase.

Here are a few things that helped me stay so firmly on track, and helped me change.

1. I traveled quite a bit while I was on the strict, alternating days of pure protein and protein and veg. Some days it was pretty impossible to eat pure protein (when others were providing my meals for me), but I did my best to sort of stick to what I could. I traveled with my oat bran. I sometimes had yogurt in my bag. I chose very carefully when eating out.

2. I shopped properly. I am so lucky to have the best fish shop in Cape Town on my doorstep. I found out who stocked the fat-free, artificially sweetened yogurt I liked and always have a few in the fridge.

3. I took time preparing meals, and discovering great, creative recipes for fish, eggs and veggies. My new, most favourite thing in the world is cauliflower rice (exactly that. Cauliflower that can be used as rice.)

4. I felt what it was like to be almost completely carb and sugar free. It feels fantastic, and once the initial cravings are gone, there is no pull.

5. I discovered Stoney Zero. Yes, I know it is full of bad stuff, but it is my guilty secret.

I can’t swear that I’ll never sit down and eat a whole slab of Lindt Dark with Chilli again. But if I do it’ll be a once off. I like this new me, and I am going to carry on working hard to keep it.