By Portarlington psychologist and Operation Transformation expert Dr Eddie Murphy
It was an amazing emotional finale, but first was the 5k on Saturday in the Phoenix Park. Unlike any other run, it's not a race or for charity, just for you.
I teamed up with Marie who was first home, she felt the support of her little Michaela helping her. She was followed by Sean, Mairead and Yvonne. We then waited as an extraordinary feat of courage played out. Just over the 60mins, Chris crossed the finish, showing an indomitable spirit, commitment and a belief to overcome his physical limitation. Awe inspiring.
From 14st 1lb to 12st 10lbs, total loss 1st 5lbs.
For Marie it was much more than numbers. She is now a non-smoker, the greatest gift to her children. When I first met Marie she was stuck, isolated and grief stricken. Walking done the catwalk to Queens ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ was a woman who trusted the nation with her profound loss. We went to those necessary sad places that were avoided and Marie found renewal.
From 16st 4.5lb to 14st 12lbs, total loss 1st 6.5lbs. Mairead pushed through with a super finish. I watched her complete the fire challenges most weeks and it was there that I saw her humour, grit and determination. She loves challenges and learned to set small continuous goals to ensure she keeps challenged. She is an excellent role model for young girls who gave up exercise.
From 17st 11.5lb to 15st 8.5lbs, total loss 2st 3lbs.
Chris looked like James Bond in the studio, suave and sophisticated in his suit. He has taught us that there are no excuses, none. He struggled to understand how he could inspire anybody. I think he gets it now, he has inspired a nation. On his previous pathway Chris was heading towards immobility and a wheelchair. Now he is active in the lives of his young family.
Yvonne Keenan Ross:
From 16st 10lb to 14st 11lbs, Total loss 1st 13lbs
Yvonne was stunning in her dress on finale night. She strutted down the catwalk. That in itself is an incredible turnaround. When I first met Yvonne she literally limped around from her arthritis. She was stressed, burnt out and overwhelmed, over caring and under self-nourishing. Yvonne taught us all the importance of putting ourselves first. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. Yvonne is now vibrant, healthy and looking forward to living outside her comfort zone because that’s where the magic happens.
From 24st 3lb to 21st 5.5lbs, total loss 2st 11.5 lbs.
What a star, Sean never missed a target and kept us all smiling for eight weeks. Now a non-smoker he ran 5k in 34 minutes. So impressive. Sean was one of the most important leaders in OT history. His struggles around his sexuality and mental health and his openness created much needed national conversations, that I am sure have saved lives. Not only did he lose weight, he inspired a nation of young people to embrace their identites.
It’s all over but it doesn’t stop. Your health and wellbeing are like a garden that needs continual attention and care to flourish.