Let’s start off from the end, the proposal! We were all in tears particularly me. Tanya was the last leader to come out on the finale.
I was very worried for Tanya, she struggled each week being the centre of attention, and waiting while all the other leaders strutted their stuff. Then it was Tanya’s turn, our lady in red. She looked stunning in her red trouser suit.
As Kathryn delivered another fantastic weight loss the real measures for Tanya were seismic shifts in confidence and empowerment. Then Kathryn said there was one more thing.
I was wondering what it was given that all the highlights of Tanya journey were captured, but then up stepped Mark.
Or should I say while he stepped up suddenly he was down as quick on one knee, ring box in hand.
He didn’t ask that classic line of “will you be buried with my people”, No, but will you marry me? Tanya was overwhelmed, all of us were up on our feet, the greatest ending ever, such a brilliant moment to experience true joy on behalf of Tanya and Mark.
Tanya's starting weight was 14st 11lbs, and went down to 13st 3lbs.
It was our 10th year in Phoenix park. It was cool, sunny and more importantly dry. Shane smashed it at 33.30 minutes very respectable for your first 5km. For a man concerned, he showed great conviction. I was running with Tanya who was lucky to cross the line as her calf developed an injury on route. Barry & Andrea strode out and back with vigour. Lorraine's muscle memory from doing marathons for Cystic Fibrosis kicked in and she romped home with Kathryn. A great day was had by all. My tenth OT 5km, here’s hoping for many more.
Start 29st 4lbs .Finish 25st 11lbs
For the first time ever the barber was brought in to do the haircuts and grooming for the boys. Barry’s was a major undertaking as his beard had grown to Grizzly Adams proportions. What a handsome man shaved up!
He had a spark in his eye as he and Andrea our first couple glowed. Barry identified that his biggest learning was in relation to portion control. When he was playing rugby at a very high level he could eat what he wanted. He sustained a significant rugby injury and then continued to eat the same.
It’s simple Kathryn he said “I ate for two people and I am twice the size of a normal person”.
Barry also identified key triggers to the potentiality of low mood returning.
Start 21st 2lbs Finish 18st 11lbs
While others went for pomp and high fashion, Andrea went for that wilder more freer streak that reflects her radiant individuality.
So it was Doc Martins, pink hair and coolness personified. For Andrea getting a perspective on portion size is key as she announced her new goal to keep on her weight loss journey.
Supported by her excellent work colleagues and looking forward to their new house I can see Andrea succeeding. Why? Because she has a brilliant capacity for focus and an eye for details. Andrea will keep measuring and keep losing weight.
Start 12st 5lbs. Finish 11st 8lbs
Lorraine's pinkish dress - I never said I was an haute couture reporter but have a good eye, it was stunning but not as much as Lorraine’s beautiful radiant smile.
Another tearful moment as Mia daughter embraced her mother. Lorraine was never going to be defined by a weighing scales. She measured her gains by her inner self-confidence, energy levels, soaring self-esteem. She glowed, felt free and was authentic to her real self.
Start 20st 7lbs. Finish 17st 8lbs
Shane looked a new man, not the troubled man that faced me in the circle of truth. Does anyone really come to Operation transformation just to lose weight? More things can keep us back.
Shane said that for the last three years inside he had been a broken man, trying to put up a brave mask just to keep others happy but inside crumbling and enduring dark times and thoughts.
Operation Transformation brought back that smile, a rebalancing away from the distraction of work and provider role to a connected man, one walking with an inner confidence.
A person whose children will have a chance to see their wonderful Dad ‘stay and play’ rather than prioritise other things.
Clodagh, Shane’s wife supported this change in a beautiful warm way. I am confident that Shane will continue his path towards his health goals future surgery. I am sure like previous years we will see Shane again as he is a true OT leader.
So it was a night of many hankies, many tears and I witnessed how in eight weeks massive change can happen.
It offers and opportunity for us all including me to ask; what are our priorities, what would I do if I was not afraid? Can I change, can I be authentic, can I reconnect with myself and others ? Allow these questions to sink in and get outside of your comfort zone because that’s where the magic happens.