Laois psychologist and Operation Transformation expert Dr Eddie Murphy gives the inside view of the new series.
Five brave celebrities have stepped forward wishing to make their life healthier using the Operation Transformation (OT) process. For me it’s more than the numbers on the scale although this is the physical marker. it’s also about the emotional process.
Mary Byrne, 57
Start Weight 17'13
Mary has a wonderful sense of humour and is a wonderful emotional person. Often people think emotions are a sign of weakness, for me it’s a sign of strength.
Mary openly talks about depression and anxiety struggles. Mary suffers from thyroid disease which she takes medication for and from arthritis. There is great information and support with Arthritis Ireland and one of their key messages is that movement is the best medicine. This is difficult with constant pain.
Mary is an old 57 in my eyes right now, but I have no doubt this will change as she exercises more. Mary is giving access into her life and it turns out she is a bit of a hoarder. This is something I am going to explore more with Mary and try to understand why she hoards then help her. She has an amazing voice.
James Patrice, 28 Starting Weight 19'1
James is a social media blogger and influencer. He is also a very interesting young man, who is quick witted and intelligent.
Going into the weigh in room without a t-shirt was a big deal for James given his struggle with body image due to scoliosis.
Baring all will I think allow James to move rapidly towards acceptance as it’s the opposite of his old strategies; concealment & avoidance. James has a wonderful relationship with his mother but I do think that at present the dynamic means that James doesn’t take on enough adult responsibilities. James hit the nail on the head when he said OT needs to be called Operation Preparation. Yes preparation is the key building block.
Kayleigh Cullinan, 21 Start Weight 20'11
While Kayleigh is the youngest celebrity leader she is also the heaviest leader ever on OT. She has the most to gain and her young age means that with work she can make change faster. She engaged in the most frequent habit I have seen on OT for over a decade, that of skipping breakfast. She experienced fat shaming and bullying at a young age and was physically assaulted which resulted in her losing most of her vision in one eye. In the world of psychology we talk about post trauma growth, i.e. after traumatic experiences what meaning can we take from it, ie I only get one life and I need to embrace it. Now is Kayleigh's opportunity to change and develop the tools to help her and her family. I was shocked to learn that she never did any physical exercise. That’s going to change!
Triona McCarthy, 44 Start Weight 12'6
Triona is a busy mum, beauty and fashion journalist and the challenge will be for Triona to fit her health around her busy lifestyle. Triona is in the ‘overweight’ category trying to lose over a stone. A huge percentage of the population are in this range, including myself, and she will be a leader to this group. Triona has a persona of ‘Party McCarthy’, she is bubbly, vivacious, but over the coming weeks I look forward to seeing her depth and breadth.
Getting you and your family fit for life is serious business that can be done in a fun way. Triona has an affection for chocolate and within one hour was wondering where the chocolate was on the plan! She uses food mainly chocolate as reward/punishment for herself and could be laying down this script for her young children.
Gary O’Hanlon 39yrs Start Weight 15'3
There will be great craic between Gary & Aoife’s recipes! As head chef he is always in control and at times struggles to let go and allowing the support to come in around him. As a dad of two young children, working late at night he was addicted to red bull and crisps. He let himself go and gradually the weight piled on. Now he is at full gusto, the alpha male. However the experts on OT have seen this 'all or nothing' style before and know that slow and steady wins the weight loss race. The challenge then is weight maintenance. So for Gary listening and following are going to be the key challenges. Sparks will fly.
Celebrities or not, they represent the struggles of juggling demands that we all have. I thank them for allowing us to share their journey towards wellness and promote how to make healthy changes.