The end of the diet (and a brand new start)

By Anna Trevelyan cropped-anna-pic-2-e1436354275658.jpg

I’ve done it! 8 weeks on the Diet Chef trial for QVC and I have to say it’s certainly worked. I’ve lost 20lbs in 8 weeks on the plan, which was more than my original goal. After week 1 it was actually really easy; it’s amazing how quickly your body (and your attitude) adjusts.

I volunteered for the trial after my toddler started running up to me and driving his toy car over my stomach, shouting “hill! Hill!” (In case you’re interested, he now runs it over my feet which is a mini victory for me and my mum-tum).

Before I started I wasn’t feeling very ‘me’ at all. If you read my previous blogs, I’d succumbed to the (very fun) lifestyle of going out for regular lunches, eating on the go, drinking more wine than water and eating the wrong things at the wrong times (truly the dieters’ worst enemies).

My main worries were about how I’d cope, eating only meals that were delivered to me in packages. It made me realise how much my life revolved around food: enjoying hearty home-cooked meals together, going out for food, hosting dinner parties and meeting my friends for coffee and cake. For a lot of people not having to cook for two months would be a major plus, but I was worried I’d miss cooking.

I didn’t.

I still cooked (for other people), I still went out (but ate smaller meals) and I still went for coffee (but no cake). No one was offended when I whipped out my own meal whilst over at their house – if anything, it was a talking point about whether Diet Chef worked and how it was going (yes and well, thanks). I also feel like I’ve saved quite a lot of money. The cost of the Diet Chef plan is actually less than what I would normally spend on my own food for eight weeks, and I’ve certainly spent less by cutting out snacks, sugary drinks and puddings.

As a result I feel more comfortable in myself. I can fit into loads of my old (pre-baby) clothes, and I’m looking forward to buying some fabulous new outfits in the sales. The builders  – who seemed to eternally be in our house, and whose biscuits I was unceremoniously scoffing – are now on their way out. I feel more healthy, less tired and more confident. I feel – well – more like me again.

Here is a quick pictorial summary of my last eight weeks:


In short, Diet Chef has changed my life for the better. There is no denying that it just works.

One of the most common questions from my friends and family was “surely you’ll put on weight again once you stop.” I like to think not. The main point of Diet Chef is to teach you portion control and calorie counting. I now know that I generally cannot consume the recommended average 2,000 calories a day as most of my job involves sitting at a desk (and I’m also quite short, which is apparently a thing too). I now know exactly how many calories I should be eating to maintain, or to lose, weight. I now know when I should and shouldn’t be eating, and how much. I have learned that you can eat what you like, but a little of it, and that treats need to be special treats – to be enjoyed once a week at the most.


See, I gave all my biscuits away, and the builders don’t come any more. Not only have a lost 1.5 stone of weight I didn’t need but I’ve also shed most of the building site detritus that constantly littered our house. It’s funny how much things can change in two months. Sorry, builders, but when you return in the summer it’ll be healthy snacks all the way. That biscuit barrel just ain’t big enough for the both of us.

End of week 8 = 1.5 stone lost! That’s about the same as 42 packets of chocolate chip builder cookies!




Driving myself crazy

By Anna Trevelyan cropped-anna-pic-2-e1436354275658.jpg

As train season ticket prices are utterly ludicrous nowadays (£4,800 per year, standing up and squeezed in with a load of equally cross people who seem to enjoy huffing and farting over you) I now drive to and from work. It takes half the time, it costs almost 1/3 less and nobody has to hear me singing.

david cameron train

I don’t expect DC has anyone ‘accidentally’ touching HIM on the train. Hmpf.

It isn’t, however, without its problems. I am writing this blog in the hope that I’m not alone in experiencing such driving issues; now that plenty of well-meaning people who would like to take public transport have also now been priced out of the eco market. (I can console myself with the fact that the only huffing I now have to experience is my own – or, possibly, my local mechanic’s after he hears about this.)

The road is rife with idiots (me included). People behave particularly poorly when driving. Especially on roundabouts. With everything that’s going on around you it’s not always easy to get a good look at the bad driver who cuts you up or blocks your lane by jumping the lights. I recently wound down the window and accidentally called a very senior person at my company a ‘choice’ word on a roundabout and have had to keep a very low profile every since. Tinted windows really shouldn’t be allowed, and I’m just one middle-lane-hogger away from digging out my old Highway Code copy to wave out the sun roof at specific idiots.

Multi tasking. It’s a fact that I will spend most of my commute in traffic. It gets quite boring, so I try and multi-task when I’m in a long jam. However, when trying to attach a large dangly earring the other day the traffic suddenly sped up and I dropped it down the steering column. (I am too embarrassed to get someone to try and fish it out but I do worry that one day I won’t be able to turn left or something due to a sparkly blockage somewhere important.)

Hidden damage. I’m usually quite a careful driver but I dread to think what the underside of my car looks like. I regularly get ‘beached’ on one of the old tree stumps when reversing out of our front driveway. It’s highly embarrassing as it draws quite a crowd, but I have never dared peek underneath at what may be lurking (or missing).

Low bushes should be banned. Not only did I upset my friend’s mum by parking over her (very) low topiary display, I have a suspicion that it may have implanted something into my exhaust, as it has been making a funny noise ever since. Again, not something I am willing to bring up at the local garage as they already think me fairly ridiculous (and we all know that ridiculous people will be charged much more money).

Suspicious smells. Speaking of ridiculous, I have a constant underlying worry that my car has sprung a fuel or oil leak. On the M3 the other day I had to pull over on the hard shoulder as I could smell a really strong fumey whiff. (Hard shoulders, by the way, are disgusting. There were actual poos glittering in the morning light and littered with broken glass. Ugh.)  Upon closer inspection, the car seemed fine. It dawned on me that it was actually my perfume. The moral of this story? Don’t wear too much perfume in the car and DEFINITELY avoid the hard shoulder unless you have a strong stomach.

Blind-spot bind. I now know not to wear scarves in the car, no matter how cold it is. There is a very real risk that you could get your earring caught in your neckwear when checking your blind spot, forcing you to complete the rest of the journey with your head at a very weird angle. You have been warned.

Debris danger. Nowadays I try to keep my car (relatively) clean of detritus. I had a narrow escape once with a Diet Coke can preventing some fairly important braking, plus a bursting balloon in the back once forced me to mount the curb and my brother once “lost” an eel in the car following an eventful fishing trip. Not only do you not want to spend every journey terrified that something might pop up and give you a nip, but it also avoids embarrassment (and unwanted whiffs) when someone else gets in.

Assist the authorities. I used to always keep post-its and pens in my car to note down the car details of absolutely ridiculous drivers (we’re talking maniacs almost knocking over grannies, not innocent topiary destroyers). Sadly my husband and close friends now refuse to assist in this important vigilante act so I am pondering GoPro video headgear like those motorcyclists have. Watch out, local white van man.

Tailgating trauma. I absolutely despise tailgaters. They deserve to have their Christmas cancelled forever. Therefore, I am designing my own rear window sticker:


(It was, originally, ‘stay 2 seconds back or you’ll break your crack!‘ but sadly this injury couldn’t be guaranteed.)

My other plans to deter tailgaters are to exercise my use of the fog light, and to passively-aggressively tilt my window washers to aim at the car behind. (It works, but it does mean the rank bird poo stays firmly on my windscreen until the next rain storm.)

I, for one, cannot wait until driverless cars. It will reduce a whole heap of palava. Please hurry up, Google, and bring them out. My earrings, my boss and my fellow passengers will truly thank you for it.