“If I win the morning, I win the day,” Trisha Lewis says – and with a day as busy as hers, a strong start is likely essential. A chef by trade, Trisha’s credentials in the kitchen speak for themselves, but it was her decision to set up an Instagram page to document her journey towards a healthier lifestyle that really changed her life. “It was never set up to become what it is, because I don’t think anyone ever sets up a page thinking they’ll get 220,000 followers – that happens other people, you don’t think it will happen to you,” the Limerick woman says. Trisha actually underestimates herself. At the time of writing, her page – @trishas.transformation – has over 221,000 Instagram followers and counting. “When I first set it up, I set it up for accountability for myself, to keep me on the journey, and thank God it’s worked, because I don’t know if I’d still be here without having that kind of accountability.” In her quest to get healthy, Trisha created a community of ‘transformers’ to help her stick to her new lifestyle, finding comfort in knowing there are other people out there facing similar struggles. Exercise is often top of the list of struggles, but Trisha takes it back to what she knows works for her, be it for work or working out: Win the morning to win the day. On going to the gym, she says: “I just need to get it over and done with straight away [in the morning] before my brain registers what’s happening, and then I feel great.” This reality of not always being motivated to go to the gym is often what other influencers neglect to show on their gleaming social media pages, but Trisha’s account is home to the good and the bad. “The reality is always the most important part for me because there’s no point of me saying ‘Oh my God, I love working out 24/7’ – it’s absolute nonsense.” Although the word ‘influencer’ might illicit eye-rolls from some, Trisha says she likes the term, adding: “If I can influence one person to feel better about themselves, then so be it.” And why wouldn’t she like being an influencer when she clearly knows what she’s doing. There’s a little bit of a tut if you hear the word influencer Since launching Trisha’s Transformation, she’s become a brand ambassador with Aldi, has written two cookbooks, and has recently released her own range of knifes, Sharp by Trisha. Leaning into her prior experience has allowed the 34-year-old to create a space for herself online doing work she loves, and she believes attitudes are changing towards people who make social media their job. “Maybe there’s a little bit of a tut if you hear the word influencer, but I think a lot of people now recognise that there is a lot of hard work that goes into running an Instagram page. “There’s a huge level of entrepreneurship to an influencer brand, because you need to have a mindset that will push you out of the bracket of saying ‘I want to do more for myself’. “I’ve always had that entrepreneurship in me – years ago I said I was going to write cookbooks, I never thought it would happen along the lines that it did, but it was always one of my goals,” she says. On the negative side of what a life on social media can entail, Trisha says: “It’s not always smooth waters, but the benefits outweigh the negatives always. “I think anyone who begrudges anyone in any career isn’t anyone who I focus on, because if you do, that’s all you’ll see. “What you focus on will expand – and I just want to focus on my calorie deficit!” Social food Mixing work with play, Trisha is set to feature at this year’s Taste of Dublin festival, which is being held in the Iveagh Gardens on June 16th-19th, bringing together some of Ireland’s top chefs, suppliers and innovators. Insisting the event is one of the highlights of the summer, Trisha says: “You can be a good cook, or a bad cook, or you mightn’t give a flying fiddlers, but you know the moment – sitting down, you might be having a little drink, eating food with friends – it’s magic. Food is magic.” At the event, Trisha will be donning her chef’s hat, joining the likes of Rory O’Connell, Erica Drum and Derry Clarke in hosting cooking demonstrations throughout the four days, while also manning her Sharp by Trisha stall. But most importantly, she’s looking forward to sampling the delights of fellow Shannonsiders, The Salt Project, as well as Julia’s Lobster Truck, having missed out on the opportunity during her last trip to the Banner county. “It’s just good craic – everyone is in good form, and we’re there celebrating what we can do as a country with food,” she adds. Tickets for the event are available to purchase on the Taste of Dublin website.