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shaping up Influencer Trisha Lewis tells how she lost almost 8 stone and is finding happiness after depression battle

"Would I walk down Grafton Street naked? No... but I'd wear a swimsuit"

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Trisha getting ready for a workout

Trisha getting ready for a workout

Trisha in the kitchen

Trisha in the kitchen

Pan-fried hake

Pan-fried hake

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Trisha getting ready for a workout

Trisha Lewis is browsing Aldi's middle aisle when I rudely interrupt her shopping spree to get the skinny on her new book.

If you're not in the know, the Cork wonder woman, better known as @trishastransformation on social media, has shed an astonishing 7st 10lbs and galvanised a whole army of "transformers" to beat the bulge.

Having just released her second book, Trisha's 21-Day Reset, which details how you can start again and again regardless of "failures, setbacks and curveballs", the 33-year-old proves her athleticism because just 60 seconds later she's sitting comfortably in her car and eager as ever to chat.

"I have won the lottery of life," beams the Instagram star as she reflects on her powerful journey towards health and wellness.

"I feel like a regular woman now, simple things like going into the shop and not hitting off someone, not having to overthink normal things is now my favourite thing."

There is no hyperbole in this statement. In 2017, Trisha was entrenched in a bitter battle with depression and weighed 27 stone.

"I felt like I was trapped as a prisoner in my own body," she recalls. "At one point, I had to ring the Samaritans -it was awful. I just couldn't see how I was going to get to the end of the year.

"If weight didn't kill me, the depression would.

"I just didn't see any value in myself, even down to showering - I couldn't do it. I just didn't care enough. I didn't look in the mirror for about two years.

"At my heaviest I was 27st 2lbs and I booked in for a gastric bypass."

Instead of going forward with the procedure, Trisha instead pulled on a pair of black pyjama bottoms and went to the gym. She then decided to document her journey online to hold herself accountable.

This would not be a perfectly polished account - there would be sweat, tears and pure grit. Now there are 200,000 people with her on her journey.

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Trisha's book details her mission to change her life and shed 13 stone (she's over halfway there) with practical tips and healthy recipes.

She adds: "It is a really lonely journey in life. You will often search for before and afters and 'How to lose 13 stone in a year'. I think every time I searched that I asked, 'But how did they do it?'

"I wanted to see the person at 27 stone when they couldn't tie their own shoe laces and when they had sores on their belly.

"It was a very conscious decision that I was going to put up pictures and videos, and write about how I feel and post pictures of exactly what I look like, because what's the point otherwise?

"My Instagram is truly me. I am proud that if I can influence one single person, then that's what it's all about. It's not just about aesthetics, it's about looking inside and healing who you are."

And Trisha is healing.

"I can't talk enough about the power of therapy. I am still working on myself and loving myself," she says.

Ironically, it's a metamorphosis Trisha would not have undergone if it wasn't for a cruel online troll.

"I have a couple of loyal trolls," she tells. "It comes with the territory. I always get the same thing: 'Fat, pig, fraud, ugly, rotten'.

"I said that to myself for years so I am used to it, but I choose to not care. If you think I am a failure that's fine, as long as I don't think that.

"Without trolling I would never have found therapy, so in a way, trolling saved my life.

"An anonymous person said to me, 'You'll never address your binge eating disorder and come out of your obesity'. I thought that person was right.

"I realised that my trigger for binge eating in my first therapy session was loneliness.

"My therapist explained that I have eight sisters and that I was raised into a pack, so I was always with someone and I was never alone. Then my first job was a chef and I was part of a brigade.

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Trisha in the kitchen

Trisha in the kitchen

Trisha in the kitchen

"Lockdown was the first time I was truly alone and I spiralled.

"Am I cured? Absolutely not, but therapy has been so beneficial. There's no shame or embarrassment involved."

The Aldi ambassador, who has since left her role as an executive head chef, also speaks eloquently of compassion and self-love, both of which she believes we all need to embrace after a tough year of social isolation.

"When you think of weight loss, you have these negative feelings and you think you need to put yourself through a gruelling diet," explains Trisha.

"But the truth is everyone gains and loses weights. Empathy and compassion are key, but also calling yourself out is important too when you need a kick up the backside.

"At one point I said, 'I am not going to write this book'. I wanted it to be a tool full of practical advice to help people reset.

"But during the pandemic I gained two stone and I said I wasn't worthy of the book.

"Then I copped myself on and said, 'I am writing the book in the middle of my reset'.

"I applied the tools and lost the two stone I put on.

"I feel for people who are riddled with anxiety about seeing colleagues again and they are up a dress size," she continues.

"But in the grand scheme of things they don't go to bed and say, 'So and so is up a stone.'

"Take each day at a time and be selfish. Now is the time to put yourself first.

"We are in this together and the support I receive from people is incredible. I was having lunch recently and a woman walked by and said, 'My God, your hips are as flexible, I'd love to squat as deep as you can' - not even a hello. It made me laugh so much."

Still giggling at the memory, Trisha is effervescence personified and - high-kicking in Lycra - for the first time in her life, it shows.

"Would I walk down naked in the middle of Grafton Street? Probably not, but I am at my most confident I have ever been.

"Of course there are still parts of me I wish weren't there when part of my arms are flapping, but do I care about it? No. Would I wear a swimsuit? Am I happy?

"Yes and yes - and that's huge."

⬤ Trisha's 21-Day Reset is available in all good bookshops now

TRISHA’S MUSHROOM, GARLIC & MOZZARELLA PIZZA

Trisha says: "Now when I say that this is delicious, I'm not joking! The mushrooms should be nice and cooked before you pop them on the pizza. The earthiness of the mushrooms, softness of the mozzarella and sharpness of the passata is a match made in heaven. When you are pan frying the pizza, try to char the base a little bit."

INGREDIENTS Serves 4

100g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

100g 0pc fat natural yogurt

Cracked black pepper

Olive oil

10 button mushrooms, sliced

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

50g passata

125g light mozzarella, thinly sliced

Rocket, to garnish

Chilli flakes, to garnish

INGREDIENTS

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

2. Put the flour and yogurt in a bowl and add lots of cracked black pepper.

3. Mix into a dough, then tip out onto a floured surface and divide into three rounds. Using a rolling pin, roll out each base until it is the size of a dinner plate (or the same size as the base of the frying pan you are going to use).

4. Heat a large frying pan and add some olive oil. Working with one base at a time, fry until golden brown, then flip over and cook until the second side is also golden brown. Set aside.

5. Heat a separate frying pan and add a little olive oil. Add the mushrooms, spring onions and garlic and sauté until softened.

6. Spread each of the bases with passata, then top with the fried mushrooms and the mozzarella. Pop in the oven for 7 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

7. To serve, garnish with rocket leaves and chilli flakes and cut into slices.

⬤Nutritional information: Per serving: Calories 275kcal; Protein 19g Carbohydrates 32g; Fat 8g

PAN-FRIED HAKE WITH BUTTER BEANS, BACON & SPINACH

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Pan-fried hake

Pan-fried hake

Pan-fried hake

Trisha says: "If I had to choose between cod and hake, I would always pick hake. I find that hake has a lot more flavour and a nicer texture. This is a really simple, healthy, nutritious one-pot wonder that's full of protein.

"People are often afraid to cook fish, but it's so easy. I always seal it on a pan and either finish it in the oven or under the grill, as that way you have more control in the cooking."

INGREDIENTS Serves 4

4 tsp olive oil, plus extra for cooking

4 x 18g hake fillets, skin on and deboned

Salt and black pepper

150g smoked bacon lardons

1 red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and diced

2 tsp smoked paprika

2 x 400g tins of butter beans, drained and rinsed

400g spinach (don't worry, it will wilt down)

2 lemons

1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced, to garnish

Fresh chives, to garnish

INGREDIENTS

1. Pre-heat the grill.

2. Heat an ovenproof non-stick frying pan and add a splash of olive oil. Season the hake fillets with salt and pepper, then add to the pan, skin side down. Cook for 1 minute to seal the skin, then place the pan under the grill and cook for 7 minutes, until the fish is cooked from the top all the way down to the bottom. Flip over, then set aside and keep warm.

3. Heat a separate large frying pan and add the bacon lardons (you don't need to add any oil). Fry until the fat has rendered out of the bacon, then add the onion, garlic, chilli and paprika and sauté for 4 minutes, until the bacon crisps.

4. Add 4 teaspoons of olive oil and the butter beans and cook for 2 minutes. Juice one of the lemons, then add the juice to the pan along with the spinach. Pop a lid on top so the spinach wilts faster. Season with salt and black pepper.

5. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Put the hake on a bed of butter beans and garnish with lemon wedges, red chilli and chives.

⬤Nutritional information: Per serving: Calories 516kcal; Protein 53g; Carbohydrates 26g; Fat 22g

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