'I lost a piece of myself when my baby died' - Operation Transformation leader Marie
A mum-of-two who started comfort eating after she lost her newborn baby was one of the team leaders in last night's opening episode of RTE's Operation Transformation.
Hairdresser Marie Grace (32), of Pallasgreen, Limerick, lost her daughter on November 18, 2014, just a few days after she was born prematurely.
"I suppose I lost a piece of myself when I lost her," she said.
It was then that Marie began piling on the pounds.
"I could have three or four bags of Tayto in the day. I could have three or four bars of chocolate. More often than not I mightn't even eat a lunch and I'd wait then until the takeaways opened and I'd go and I'd get a takeaway."
She said that she went from being a person who was very interested in fashion and style to hating going shopping for clothes.
Marie also stopped socialising as she got increasingly conscious about her weight, isolating herself further.
"I feel awful no matter what I put on me," she said.
"At 32 years of age, I've very few friends, I've completely lost my life outside this house."
Marie, whose starting weight is 14st 1lb, is hoping to lose 4lb this week.
Also in the show is Clondalkin man Sean Daly (25), who said he struggled for years with his sexuality before coming out at the age of 20.
He said that it was "the best thing I've ever done" and he thought that he'd lose the weight afterwards but "nothing changed".
"I know in my heart of hearts I'll be dead by 30 if I don't do something about my weight."
He said that if he failed to get on the weight-loss programme, he was going to get a gastric band instead as he was so fed up with being over-weight.
His starting weight is 24st 3lb and he is hoping to lose 6lb a week.
Last night's third leader was cafe owner Yvonne Keenan-Ross (48), of Carlingford, Co Louth.
Her husband Stephen was diagnosed with cancer five years ago and the whole family have struggled with his recovery.
Now that he's on the mend, Yvonne said she wants to concentrate on her own health.
The mum-of-two, a retail manager, started putting on weight during eight years of IVF treatment and has now developed arthritis.
"I have pains in my knees and I have pains in my ankles and I know that's all weight related," she said.
"I'm too heavy for my body to be carrying me around comfortably."
Her starting weight is 16st 10lb and she is on track to lose 3lb this week.
The show, which is hosted by Kathryn Thomas, is now in its 10th year.
Three more team leaders will be introduced to the public in the second episode of the programme airing tonight.
The show will run for a total of eight weeks. The finale will feature the traditional 5km park run in the Phoenix Park.