Celebs feel­ing great af­ter TV trans­for­ma­tion

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - DR CIARA KELLY -

SO Celebrity Op­er­a­tion Trans­for­ma­tion has drawn to a close. To be hon­est, very quickly you re­alise there’s no dif­fer­ence be­tween celebrity lead­ers and the lead­ers in the reg­u­lar Jan­uary show. All of them have the same is­sues around their weight — it’s af­fected their con­fi­dence.

Many of them have opted out of im­por­tant so­cial events in their lives be­cause they weren’t feel­ing good about them­selves. They feel dis­em­pow­ered and at a low ebb, usu­ally hav­ing tried and failed, of­ten re­peat­edly, to sort out their health and their weight them­selves.

That’s not to say for a mo­ment that everyone who’s over­weight feels that way — there are peo­ple who are no doubt happy in their own skin at all weights but the peo­ple who come to us want to change and are will­ing to en­gage in a multi-dis­ci­plinary in­ter­ven­tion to do so. And what’s so amaz­ing is just how much change oc­curs in just a few short weeks.

I think it’s the com­bi­na­tion of struc­ture — hav­ing a diet and ex­er­cise plan to fol­low that cre­ates that. Plus the em­pow­er­ment they get from the self-dis­ci­pline needed to over­come OT’S chal­lenges. Ba­si­cally, when you make your­self do stuff you don’t re­ally want to do or

‘The real ef­fects oc­cur when the cam­eras are gone’

you’re afraid to do — it makes you feel stronger and more ca­pa­ble. And then, of course, there’s the sup­port — yes from the ex­perts — but more im­por­tantly from the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and from the wider com­mu­nity on­line and around the coun­try.

The weight loss on the scales feels like a win and the im­proved en­ergy lev­els from get­ting fit­ter and the feel­good fac­tor of fit­ting into clothes that haven’t closed in years all com­bine to give the lead­ers real lift in their mood, their con­fi­dence and their self-be­lief. I’d re­ally hardly be­lieve it my­self if I hadn’t wit­nessed it. The lead­ers tran­si­tion from a place of vul­ner­a­bil­ity to a place of strength. It’s re­ally that sim­ple.

In the se­ries which just ended we saw that. James Pa­trice, a so­cial me­dia in­flu­encer, spoke openly about his is­sues with body im­age at the start of the pro­gramme. He said his body con­fi­dence was about 30pc in the first show — but one month later he said it was at 130pc and he liked this new James and wasn’t go­ing to let him go.

Kayleigh Cul­li­nan, a singer from The Voice, had been so badly bul­lied in her teens that she lost the sight in one eye af­ter an as­sault. She had lived a to­tally seden­tary life. At 21 she weighed nearly 21 stone and used food as a crutch. She’s now lost over a stone in the past month and is tak­ing up horse rid­ing.

Tri­ona Mc­carthy, beauty colum­nist with the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent, is like half the mums in the coun­try — need­ing to shift a stone, fin­ish­ing the kids leftovers and wait­ing for wine o’clock! She now looks fan­tas­tic, has low­ered her choles­terol from very high to nor­mal, and Tri­ona and her young fam­ily have adopted healthy habits that will stand to them for years. Plus she fit­ted into the dream dress she had tucked away in the back of her wardrobe.

Gary O’han­lon might be an amaz­ing celebrity chef but he was get­ting through his high stress days by eat­ing jel­lies and drink­ing Red Bull. He’s now lost well over a stone and is run­ning 5ks and plan­ning a marathon. He has so much more en­ergy now that he’s phys­i­cally fit that the sugar he was liv­ing on just isn’t nec­es­sary any more.

And Mary Byrne, singer ex­traor­di­naire... well if any­thing hers has been the most in­cred­i­ble jour­ney of all. She came on board just four weeks ago limp­ing on two sticks with ter­ri­ble arthri­tis and barely able to pull her­self up from a chair. She’s now walk­ing up­right with no sticks and last week­end she went swim­ming in the sea. She’s gone from of­ten be­ing quite de­pressed, to an­i­mated and happy, and said: “I used to just ex­ist — but now I’m liv­ing”

Those changes don’t just hap­pen for the telly. The real ef­fects on peo­ple’s lives oc­cur when the cam­eras are gone and they keep mak­ing the changes that make them feel good.

Op­er­a­tion Trans­for­ma­tion is look­ing for our next five lead­ers for Jan­uary 2018. If you’re some­one who needs to make a change — why not ap­ply? Any­one can change their life for the bet­ter. Why not start now?

@cia­rakel­ly­doc

Don’t feel at a low ebb — take con­trol with diet and ex­er­cise

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