End is in sight for leaders of Operation Transformation

End is in sight for leaders of Operation Transformation

By Portarlington psychologist and Operation Transformation expert Dr Eddie Murphy

Nearly there. I hope you liked my report from Albert Lea on Bluezones where people live healthier for longer, and how we might adopt some of these principles in Ireland.

The 5k is over and the finale is going out tomorrow and Thursday night. I am very excited to see the leaders in their glad rags. Like Dermot Bannon who admires his project at the big reveal. I am sure Karl, Aoife and Dr Ciara are looking at the health changes and the pounds lost. I reflect on the Leaders inner journeys.


Chris had felt a fraud, that everybody saw him as an inspiration but really he was disengaged and comfort eating. The change is amazing, he is a natural leader. His goal is to play for the Irish Amputee team in October in Turkey in the European Champions. Come on you boys in green. Chris is so solid and his core values are that he ‘will never let you down’, now that’s character.


Mairead faced her critics and with resilience shone through. Aside from losing over 20lbs, she became more relaxed and natural. As a 22 year old taking on the full glare of Operation Transformation, it allowed her to focus on her inner journey towards contentment, and when feeling negative, step back and choose a positive narrative.


Marie's emotional journey is incredible. Some leaders require more psychological input. Stuck in grief, sadness following the loss of her child Michaela. Marie shows that to renew herself she had to go to sad places buts it’s here she found acceptance and renewal. Tears flowing for me now. We see Marie with Feargal and her two girls genuinely happy, engaged, focused and full of fun. Now that’s transformation.


He started out the funny guy who used gags to cover up an internal self hate. Sean won us all over. Over time his smile was not hiding a front but was truly him. He was the learner of the group – learning to cook, learning to shop, learning to run. He is now strong and brave, with some fears about the future, but only 10 weeks ago he was considering gastric band surgery, and once was contemplating suicide. By coming out Sean saved himself, and now has greater freedom and purpose.


When we first met Yvonne her life was clouded, she was stressed, burnt out and exhausted. Steven's cancer pervaded family life and seeped hope. Thankfully he got good results and Yvonne has chosen to mind her health. She limped into the weigh room from arthriti, proving that movement is the best medicine for arthritis. Now here is a cyclist, walker, and singer who has jump started her confidence to again follow her passions.

All of our leaders have gifted us with insights to their pains and joys, reminding us that we can all renew ourselves physically, spiritually and emotionally by living with meaning, passion and engagement. Thank you, Yvonne, Chris, Mairead, Sean, & Maire.