Push Partners: what not to do in the delivery room

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

Being in labour is tough. VERY tough. I fully understand that it’s hard for the husband/wife/partner/best friend/family member to watch their beloved go through a painful and difficult few hours/days. But your job is to do what she says AT ALL TIMES. It’s a stressful situation that can be fraught with faux pars from the person who is trying to help, so here’s a handy guide on how to get through it with the minimum of shouting – and with all limbs intact.



Complain. If you’ve got a bad leg, sore throat or feel a bit tired now is NOT the time to share. She will be feeling all this times about a million. Sorry, but unless you’re the one pushing a small human out of your nether regions nobody currently cares.

Get dramatic. Even when that baby is crowning, now is not the moment to gasp/panic/start flapping. It may be a fairly unnerving sight but if you are a bit wimpy with the sight of blood then for heaven’s sake stay up the head end and tell her everything is fine (even if it doesn’t look it).

Be a perv. I’ve heard horror stories from Midwife friends about dodgy dads checking out staff derrières when they bend over to write in the notes. If you want to stay on-side this is not the time for window shopping.

Get lost. For goodness sake learn the way to the hospital. When you’re AT the hospital don’t go wondering off aimlessly. It may be a long old business but make sure you remember (or photograph) the ward name/number. The last thing she wants when she is starting to push is an absent birthing partner who can’t find their way back from the café.

Faff. There is nothing worse than someone trying to parallel park whilst you’re in labour. Just get into that hospital and get help. The wrath of a parking attendant will be nothing compared to what you’ll experience if you have any unnecessary delays. (And, whilst we’re on the subject, for goodness sake don’t dare to complain about the parking charges. You may have to take out a second mortgage to afford those tariffs but that’s the last thing you need to be worrying about right now.)

Be a pain. She will have enough pain for now – don’t add to her woes. Loud eating, sniffing, farting, touching or inappropriate conversation will simply not be tolerated. When things really ramp up it’s best not to speak unless spoken to, and definitely don’t engage the midwife in conversations about her love life when things start getting interesting. Be like a helpful, silent worker ant and you can’t go wrong.



Bring stuff. Labour can be long and parts of it are dull (I wrote 3 freelance scripts, watched 2 films and had at least 1 takeaway – even after the contractions became pretty regular). Bring snacks, energy drinks, movies and magazines to pass the time. It might be the last time you get to watch a film for a while!

Swot up. Ignorance is not an excuse. Do some reading beforehand and learn what to expect. This prevents any melodramatic responses (see above), and it will help her to feel slightly better if it all goes wrong and you end up delivering the baby yourself on the bathroom floor. It happens!

Pick your moment. If you DO have to do something as annoying as go for a walk, have a wee or even a nap whilst it’s all kicking off then pick your moment to tell her. Just after a contraction but whilst she is still puffing on the gas & air is a good time – that stuff is so good that if someone had asked me to help hoover the hallway I’d have probably said yes.

Just say yes. If she wants jam on toast at 3am, an Easter egg in November or Taylor Swift on repeat then, for the love of Mike, give the girl what she wants. Agree to everything, tell her she’s amazing and let her do what she wants. If you are the baby’s father you, as the cause of this current predicament, may not be her favourite person right now – but agree to her every whim and she’ll soon forgive you.


You’ll soon know if you’ve over-stepped the mark as you’re likely to receive a barrage of abuse. A friend of mine even gave her partner a right royal rollicking for breathing too loudly. It’s hard to pitch it right but if you keep calm (but not too calm), be on-hand (but not too close) and offer helpful advice (when appropriate) you are sure to be a success. Just remember the four Ps: no panicking, no perving and no photos. And if she accidentally does a small poo (as many apparently do) – you’d be wise to not tell her about it – then you’ll definitely live long enough to meet the new little life being born. Good luck!


My epic parenting fails

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

If you ever want to work with children (whom you’ll be responsible for for a few hours at a time) you’ll probably require training, enhanced CRB checks, and need qualifications of some sort. If you want to HAVE children (whom you’ll be fully responsible for for years and years), well – you can be any old idiot.

Sadly the below list isn’t exhaustive. I’m a classic example of someone with zero experience looking after my own child. Children don’t come with any instructions, but here are some lessons I’ve learned through experiencing a few epic fails along the way…


Footwear fail

Last weekend wasn’t the first time I had rammed the car full of paraphernalia for almost every eventuality – but forgotten my toddler’s shoes. We bounded out of the car after a long drive, ready to walk along a nature trail, when I suddenly remembered. Not to be put off, I cunningly found a hut with ‘lost property’, and a kind staff member let us borrow some spare wellies. Said wellies turned out to be stonking-great things that honked to high heaven. My little boy resembled a deep sea diver – clomping through puddles with rank wellies that were practically the size of mine – and much to the disapproval of posh passing parents who had apparently never forgotten anything before.


Foliage fail

When my boy was a baby I tried to be relaxed about him putting stuff into his mouth. ‘It’s how they learn‘, I was told. Not wanting to be neurotic parent, I didn’t panic too much when he stuck a leaf onto his tongue in the park. Next thing I knew he was choking on it, and my extremely glamorous cousin watched in horror as I banged him on the back (freeing the leaf, hooray) but him them vomiting all over me and my white top. I had to carry him all the way home (about a mile), covered in vomit, and that was the end of his leaf-licking days.


Leaves: they may look innocent but don’t be fooled

Phonetic fail

Learning to talk can be tricky, and sometimes you just can’t say ‘L’. Sadly, this makes the pronunciation of innocent words (like clock) sound pretty rude. I don’t mind this, but sometimes I forget when we are in public. Recently we found ourselves in a busy shop and I, not thinking, pointed out the giant clock on the wall to my little boy. I hadn’t considered the salesman sitting at the desk directly underneath it. “What’s that?” I asked my toddler. He immediately pointed and shouted “clock!” (but without the ‘L’). Safe to say, people stared. Mainly the man sitting underneath the clock, thinking we meant him, so we made yet another swift exit.


Flight fail

Going long-haul with a toddler who had just learned to walk was not a pleasant experience. At all. I thought I was prepared: bringing books, snacks, silent toys and ear plugs for fellow passengers, plus choosing a night flight so that he could sleep. Sadly, he had finally learned to get up and walk alone a few weeks before. Let’s just say that the flight was not only the longest plane journey of my life but it seemed longer than my ACTUAL life has been so far. He did NOT want to sit down, let alone sleep. So I spent the entire time (there and back) hoofing up and down the plane with him trying to tickle people’s toes and sneak into first class. He must get it from his father.


A memento from the cabin crew on the flight from hell.

Fouling fail

We walk a lot, and I try to let him be fairly free to get muddy and play in puddles. However, I don’t think I’ll let him play in a ditch again. What he was happily jumping up and down in, shouting ‘mud!’, actually turned out to be a steaming pile of dog turds that someone had deposited there in the shape of a mole hill. Whipping him out was also a bad idea, as we were then both covered in turd, and had to slop home hoping nobody saw, touched or smelled us.

IMG-20150918-WA0000 (1)

A ditch very close to the one in question



Financial fail

I’m no longer paying for things that I think he will need/like, which actually he doesn’t need/like. I recently forked out a ridiculous amount to let him go on a ride which, after 5 seconds, he wanted to get off of. I ended up squeezing my freezing derrière into the stupid seat just so that I hadn’t totally wasted all my parking money. Parental guilt makes you buy things that you don’t need, and I’m not falling for it any more. I understand now why my dad once announced “if you still want it next year I’ll consider it”. (That said, I’m still waiting for my pony.)


Scary purple dinosaur ride: not all it was cracked up to be.


Faeces fail

I think I must be fairly forgetful. On occasions I have left the house without vital supplies (such as nappies). Once I accidentally grabbed my work bag on the way out, rather than the nappy bag, and was caught short quite a long way from home. With nobody I knew there to borrow a nappy from I resorted to cracking out my work first aid kit and using the saline eye wash, some leaves, a sling and a few bandages to tide us over. This bit of handiwork, which I was quite proud of, drew quite a crowd. Someone even took a photograph. I’m probably on a forum somewhere with ‘world’s worst parent’ emblazoned underneath my sheepish-looking face.


Next phase fail

A little-known parenting fact: children sometimes regress. Just when you think ‘great! They can do that! We don’t need all this stuff any more‘ they’ll go back to how they were. Thinking back, I really shouldn’t have put that highchair away so soon (cue running around in the middle of mealtimes as they are no longer strapped down), or ditching the buggy prematurely because they can now walk (getting stranded miles from home with a toddler who suddenly wants to be carried, plus their truck, a football, a picnic and your own giant handbag isn’t much fun, but it greatly amused the smug BT man fixing something at the end of our road. Shame he wasn’t hanging around on the ‘turd ditch’ day as we could have paid him a visit).


The silver lining of all these fails is that you never make those mistakes again. (Well, almost never. I’m not sure where that nappy bag actually is right now.) Plus you’ll discover a new-found resourcefulness that you never knew you had. It makes me feel like a slightly amnesic Ray Mears, fighting my way through the parenting jungle with only my anti-bac and a few leaves to help me. And of course (so long as no one goes and needs first aid at my work) it all turned out OK in the end.





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.






Shedding the mum-tum (it's been fun)

Sayonara mum-tum: the cheat’s guide to cutting the calories

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

I’m just coming into week 6 of my Diet Chef diet and I’m pleased to say I look and feel better. Friends and family have been kind enough to say I look “nice” (as opposed to looking “well“, which we all know is nice-person-code for “chubby“).  I think I have also lost one of my chins.

I have to say, as a diet, this really is an easy option. They say on the Diet Chef website that you actually don’t HAVE to exercise any more than normal, so, unlike other diets, you’re not dragging your rumbling stomach out of bed to run around the block whist being laughed at by the Postman. Doing an extra few star jumps and long walks though does help to speed up the weight loss, but at least you’re not being forced. (Being forced to exercise immediately makes me want to phone my mum to ask her for a note, or feign a dodgy toe in GCSE-style P.E. escape plans. The horror.)

Now I’m three-quarters of the way through my 8-week plan, I have actually learned a few tips that I thought I’d share:

  1. Give yourself time to adjust. This one is key. When starting any diet it is likely you will be consuming less than you were before. Your meals will be smaller (hopefully), and you will be functioning on fewer calories. Don’t rush into a mad exercise regime the moment you start or it is likely you’ll feel a bit unwell (or want to stop the diet). By day 5 your body will have adjusted, I found, so after that point you can start to exercise more.
  2. Make some cheeky swaps. Instead of wolfing down pasta at dinner time, try cous cous (I’ve grown to really like those tiny kernels of semolina that resemble suspiciously damp play sand) or brown rice. You’ll feel full yet they are less calorific. Jamie Oliver also came up with an ingenious carb swap: cauliflower. Put the cauliflower heads into a blender for a few seconds to grind into a ricey-looking faux carb. Then simply boil or steam for a few minutes. It’s surprisingly tasty yet pretty damn good for you. Apparently you can also cut aubergine finely and bake it, to create a noodle replacement (though after my recent nightmare about zombie eels I’m going to leave this one for a few weeks).
  3. Ditch the large plates. This is an old one but some say feeling full has a lot to do with the size of the plate. I found eating from a bowl or small plate really helps, as it still feels like I am eating a significant meal just like all the other grown-ups around the table.
  4. If you cheat, don’t go over-board. It’s tempting to say “stuff the diet – it’s Friday!” but in real life there is always an excuse. If you go out for dinner, or someone cooks for you, it’s OK to stray occasionally. Just remember how hard you’ve worked and compromise with a small portion of something yummy. You’ll still enjoy the taste and your host won’t be offended (and you can always give the pudding away to your nearest willing volunteer).
  5. Eat with a toddler. This worked well for me. Not only does it incorporate the equivalent of a cardio class (jumping up and down, making a dive for the baby wipes and fighting off balloons that may have been stuck into your face) but they also tend to want what’s on YOUR plate. Sharing your meal with a cheeky toddler certainly does cut down the calories.
  6. Eat LIKE a toddler. Upon observing my little one, he eats small amounts and certainly goes along with the idea of little and often. He takes ages to chew, and rarely fully finishes his portion (after ten minutes he gets bored and runs off to find his truck). When I tried limiting my own portions, not feeling like I had to finish everything in front of me, and hoofing about the house in between courses this certainly helped my weight loss that week. (I skipped the half-sucked rusks and worms from the garden though. Bleugh.)


    Ranging around between meals: burns a few extra cals

  7. Give chocolate away. Not only does it help hugely with weight-loss, by not having any temptation in the house, but it also makes you one of the most popular people on the street. Hooray!
  8. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. There really are no safe ‘quick fix’ diets that are truly sustainable. It takes work, and it isn’t always easy, but if you stick with it you WILL see results. Don’t compare yourself to that woman at the gym with perfect abs – try to remember that you have lost SOMETHING. Your bingo wings* may not be totally gone but they are smaller than they were before. (*A quick note on bingo wings – I saw Posh Spice waving on TV last week and even SHE had them – so I’m choosing to embrace them and be thankful that my underarms won’t be cold in winter.)

Delicious home-made temptation that didn’t get the better of me: I gave my portion away to my niece (skipping the calorie gain in favour of gaining ‘aunty points’ is a winner)!

As someone probably quite inspirational once said “being fit and healthy isn’t easy, which is what makes it so special“. It isn’t always a walk in the park. Losing weight, too, can become a bit of an obsession – which is why I’ve found Diet Chef so good. It’s all done for you, you barely have to think about it and you really do notice results in as little as a few weeks. I’m hoping this diet will have changed my way of thinking: namely, in relation to portion control, so I’ll be able to carry it on after the hampers have stopped arriving. And, as my other half said, “don’t worry – if it all goes wrong you can just go back on Diet Chef again“. He may seem of little faith but he makes an excellent point.

End of week 5: 7kg lost so far. That’s the equivalent of around 8 boxes of Celebrations!

Shedding the mum-tum (it's been fun)

It’s the simplest of things yet the hardest of things: post-baby dieting dilemmas

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

I think a post-baby diet is the simplest of things in principle yet pretty darn tricky in practicality. You get used to eating a (super-duper early) breakfast, having a snack before lunch to just blinking keep you going and quaffing some of your un-eaten (yet carefully cooked) toddler’s dinner when they ceremoniously reject it in favour of a Peppa Pig yoghurt. You go for coffee (and cake), you get invited to little ones’ parties (with cake) and your cupboards are stuffed full of tea (and cake, in case someone calls round unexpectedly). It’s a calorie minefield with a sugar coating on top.

I’ve just finished week three of my Diet Chef diet and it’s actually going fairly well so far. I have lost 10lbs (just over 5kg) in total as it really is pretty easy. Everything comes delivered, which is great for me. I stick my little one’s dinner on and then pop mine in the microwave for three minutes and Bob’s your uncle. I was peeking enviously at his cheesy pasta dish but – much to my delight – I have a version of that in my hamper! We sometimes have a little tussle over the oatcake snacks even (and if HE eats it is really IS nice)! I’m beginning to think I can’t go wrong, until….

diet chef biscuits

The snacks are so nice that even my little one likes them! (Note to reader: he doesn’t like beef burgers but is occasionally partial to sand pit sand, so maybe just take it from me that they are yummy.)

We have a week off. We decide to go to Wales to stay with friends. No problem, I think, I just pack all my meals with me in advance. I realise at this point I have actually saved lots of money on Diet Chef – I cannot remember the last time I went to the supermarket – and when I last popped to my local Co-Op I spent almost as little as I did when I was a student (though, this time, it was on fresh veg and some bread for the family rather than questionable looking frozen mince and garlic bread). So far so cheap.

Back in Wales, I martyrously* (*if that’s not a word it is now) leave the room as everyone tucks into sticky toffee pudding, and I avert my eyes when they all eat delicious home-made Italian and Korean dishes. BUT – at lunchtime – disaster strikes as we are forced to dine in a restaurant that only serves burgers. And chips. UH-OH. However, it wasn’t as bad as I thought! I simply channeled my inner Diet Chef, worked out my daily calorie allowance and actually gave myself a bit of a break. I swapped dinner for lunch and shared a small burger with a handy nearby (and reasonably willing) child. I had only a few chips, I drank a diet drink, and then I left. Yes, left. I had my previously intended lunch for dinner instead, and all was well in the world again (you can’t, after all, easily ask someone in a restaurant to heat up your own soup for three minutes in their industrial microwave after only ordering a Diet Coke).

My greatest test yet though was still to come. We went on a large family weekend trip away in a lovely country house that was stocked full of nice food, every drink you could possibly imagine and chocolate/biscuit galore. I am happy to say not one biscuit, piece of chocolate or slice of cake passed through my mouth (or anywhere else, just for the record). I ate my own food, heated up in the mansion’s microwave. (It felt all very Downton Abbey until that point, but, on the plus side, I could whip up MY meal in a matter of minutes in an emergency hunger situation.) I did slip up slightly by having a small amount of pulled pork in a bun (my favourite) during one evening meal. However, in the old days when I would have had two, I had just one. With a small amount of home-made coleslaw on the side, rather than a vat of it in its own right. And no pudding. A mini victory for me: I felt like I still enjoyed the food as much as everyone else but I only had a bit of it. Surprisingly, I was even calmer on curry night (curry is my favourite and I was worried I’d never be able to resist the silver boxes of joy)…


My lovely family rather smugly enjoying their take-away curry

diet chef curry

Me feeling saintlier-than-thou and enjoying my MSG-free version!

However, armed with my delicious Diet Chef Tikka Masala (by far my favourite of their meals) I triumphed with my own version, no delivery waiting time or awkward delivery-person-tipping-etiquette required.

I have concluded that this diet is all about a shift in thinking. It’s not about being obsessive, but by making it work for YOU. It has taught me portion control. It has taught me to be more aware. And it has taught me to stick to meal times to eat, rather than willy-nilly (willy-nilly, I now know, is the enemy of all post-baby dieters).

Most of all it has taught me how to curb sensible eating into what it means for me in the real world. After my eight weeks is up and I no longer have the purple packaging to rely on I need to make sure it makes a long-term change to my life. And, by gum (literally – chewing gum is a real savour when the biscuit tin is beckoning) I think I may have cracked it.

End of week 3 = 5kg lost so far. That’s about the same weight as 14 portions of chicken tikka masala!


I’m glad that you were born a boy: a letter to my son

To my Son,

I’m glad that you were born a boy. Even though I was told by countless strangers, who scrutinised my pregnant figure and felt they were allowed to feel my stomach, that you would be a girl. It’s funny how things turn out.

I’m relieved that, at school, you’ll never have to have the first ever sanitary towel bin installed because you started your periods early. It’s nice that that the whole school will never have to know your menstrual cycle. I’m glad that you won’t be called a slut for developing too early, and have to hide your changing figure under baggy clothes.

I’m glad that if you ever have multiple partners you’ll be considered a hero, rather than a four letter slur. I’m glad that, simply by wearing the fashion that you choose, this won’t be considered a come-on by much older men. I hope that you won’t be rated out of ten, that you won’t be referred to as ‘fair game’ and that no-one will criticise your figure after you have had children of your own.

I’m pleased that you won’t have to give up breastfeeding to return to work; that you won’t have to express milk, hiding in toilets and cupboards, as the multi-national company you work for can’t offer you a proper space to do it. I’m glad that you won’t weep as much for missing your little baby as you do for yourself, after being asked by a male boss in an open-plan office why it is that you need somewhere to do that anyway.

I’m glad you won’t face a de-motion at work, after attempting to balance a career and family life by working part-time. I hope you’ll never be told that you won’t receive a promotion unless you choose work, meaning you’ll never see your child.

I’m glad that you’ll be referred to as a ‘silver fox’ as you age, rather than at best a ‘MILF’ and at worst ‘mutton dressed as lamb’. I’m glad that you won’t necessarily be judged by your hemlines, how much make-up you wear or whether your choice of accessories instantly brands you either elegant or trashy. Apparently you won’t ever appear on worst-dressed lists but will instead be called ‘eccentric’.

Statistically, you’ll earn more than your female friends ever will. You’re more likely to become a CEO, a Politician or a Lawyer than they are. You’ll be able to travel alone to places I never could, you’ll be able to drive in countries that I never can, and you probably won’t be laughed at if you ever suggest that you want to become a professional sportsman.

I hope that, if true equality ever does come, it won’t be to the detriment of your gender but the advancement of how your female counterparts are treated.

I’m glad you were born a boy; but I hope, in your lifetime, you’ll never need to understand why.


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