Tuesday 6 December 2016

'I thought I’d come out and be like Gok Wan!' - How one Operation Transformation hopeful won the nation's heart

Sean's refreshingly candid description of everyday life charmed the audience

Published 18/11/2016 | 10:18

Sean Daly is one of the Operation Transformation hopefuls
Sean Daly is one of the Operation Transformation hopefuls
Participant Sean Daly during the launch of Operation Transformation Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Participant Sean Daly during the launch of Operation Transformation Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

An Operation Transformation hopeful won the heart of the nation yesterday as he described his life-long struggle with weight.

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Sean Daly (25) from Clondalkin, told RTE's Ray D'Arcy Show he now weighs over 23 stone.

And, although he discussed the darker side of being overweight, Sean also had the audience laughing at his candid description of everyday life.

He described how he was hoping things would change when he came out as gay, but still finds it difficult.

“I thought I’d come out and be like Gok Wan!” he told the audience of hopefuls.

“It’s very hard in the gay community to be fat. I’m 25; I should spend half my wages on clothes and be battered by my mam for not paying my rent.

Kathryn Thomas 'and Ray D'Arcy with the Operation Transformation experts and participants at the announcement of the new season of the show. Photo: Gareth Chaney
Kathryn Thomas 'and Ray D'Arcy with the Operation Transformation experts and participants at the announcement of the new season of the show. Photo: Gareth Chaney

"I might get onto to Operation Transformation and be homeless in a week spending all my money on clothes,” he laughed.

The young man said he hates himself for what he has done to himself.

“I am a pig. I hate myself for what I’ve done to myself," he said.

"I hate being overweight. I hate that when I’m on the bus and two stops ahead I’m afraid I’m not going to able to fit to get off.

Participant Sean Daly during the launch of Operation Transformation Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Participant Sean Daly during the launch of Operation Transformation Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

"But I don’t hate who I am,” Sean said at the launch of the tenth series of the show.

“I was always overweight. I heard the others [Operation Transformation contestants] talking about how they struggled for the last ten or twenty years; I don’t know what it’s like not to struggle.”

“I remember being a kid waiting for my brother and sister to not finish their McDonalds so I could eat it – I’d nearly eat them as well,” he laughed.

Sean’s first memory of being overweight was getting ready for his First Holy Communion.

“We went in and I remember the man looking at my mother saying ‘I have to make his suit, he won’t fit in a normal size’ and it was only then that my mother started to notice.”

He said he now feels he is finally ready to make a big change: “I am up for it; I’m ready to do it, I want to taste skinny.”

He finished out his interview with some very wise words: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Sean has been shortlisted along with 17 others to be one of Operation Transformation’s team leaders. The five leaders will be revealed on the Ray D’Arcy show next week.

The show had an average of 465,000 viewers last year, making it one of RTÉ’s most successful programmes.

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