The new series of Operation Transformation returned to our screens last Wednesday.
Once again I'll be guiding the leaders psychologically and emotionally through their major life changes.
This year is a special one, as for the first time the show will host its first couple, Andrea and Barry Rea. How will a couple hold up under the thorough food plans and exercising? Will there be tension, or will they hold each other up all the more?
And as always there will be the winning mix of highs, lows, personal stories, inspiring triumphs and a band of motivational leaders to get you moving in the New Year, too!
We have a new home, welcomed in the middle of Ireland in Tullamore, Co Offaly. It's all very exciting and as a Midlander it’s great to bring the excitement and wellbeing message of Operation Transformation (OT) from this often overlooked and beautiful region.
It's early days yet for our leaders and it’s going to take me a number of weeks to get “under the hood” and figure out truly what’s going on, saying that my clinical intuition is in overdrive picking up on some early areas of gains for our leaders.
Here are my first insights into each of the five new leaders and what their individual challenges may be.
Aged46 from Cavan. Starting weight 12St 5lbs.
Lorraine is a barber and business women who has lost her way. She is our lightest and older leader. With her partner Terry she has two wonderful children Mia and the energetic toddler Jodie.
She is the classic “Pear Shape”. Lorraine has the oldest metabolic age of 61 which reflects the ratio of muscle/fat in the body.
The aim for Operation Transformation is a 10% weight loss. As a former marathoner who has raised thousands for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland Lorraine will succeed.
She introduced me to a new word a “Foosie” which is a Cavan word for a treat. Too many chocolate treats is Lorraine’s downfall. Lorraine has work to do on her poor body image, I think I will be working in that area!
Aged 29 from Loughrea, Galway. Starting weight 20st 7lbs.
Busy, busy, busy Shane. I can’t keep up! Let me enlighten you.
He is a teacher, a musical theatre director doing shows all over the country and a dad to four children. He is a classic apple shape, like myself where our weight is carried in the abdomen which carries a higher cardiac risk.
He is a classic dashboard diner. I have a massive level of curiosity regarding Shane as anyone watching his life would wonder how he can stretch the laws of physics and make time!
I have great adminaration for Shane the courage he showed stepping out in front of the nation was epic.
Aged 39 from Cork. Starting weight 29St 4lbs
Barry is big in all ways. A chartered physiotherapist, a rugby player and comes in at 6ft 7inches.
Barry is married to Andrea and they are our first OT couple.
Of Barry’s 29 stone odd he has, wait for it, 16 stone 12 lb of muscle. As OT is all about sustainable weight loss and given this amount of muscle which has a higher metabolic rate Aoife has increased his portions.
So as a rule of thumb if you are over 23stone follow Barry’s plan.
Poor Barry's reports back already indicate that he is hungry, I have never heard of an OT leader hungry.
I suppose it’s all about recalibration. I have challenged Barry to give up vaping. Bottom line OT is all about wellness and increasingly the evidence against vaping is emerging.
Andrea Christopher Rea
Aged 31 from Cork. Starting weight 21St 2lbs
Andrea is a senior scientist in a pharmaceutical company.
I think Andrea’s biggest issue is eating similar sized portions to Barry’s.
It’s important that Andrea doesn’t compare her weight loss journey to Barry’s after all men have the advantage of testosterone when it comes to losing weight.
They are a lovely couple, who are six months married and plan to have a child. As I explore driven Andrea I want to understand if she is driven for herself or to please others.
Aged 33, from Cork. Starting weight 14St 11lbs
Tanya is a care worker and mum to four children Abbie aged 16, Rian aged 10, Mark aged 5, and one year old Odhran so she is a busy lady.
I suspect there are confidence and self-esteem issues.
The biggest first hurdle is that Tany is a Coco Cola addict drinking 10-12 cans per day, waking up at night to drink coke, planning her purchases so she never runs short, a slab of 24 cans every 2 days.
This is going to be a such a tough week for Tanya, the withdrawal, and craving.
Even the thought of it from Tanya coming in on the first weight in was over whelming.
Fingers crossed for Tanya, if she cracks this is she well on the way.
Our Leaders are so brave is through their lives that they offer us all, including my insights in making changes that enhances our health and wellbeing.