'I've never before got in trouble for having knickers on!' - Triona McCarthy reacts to Karl Henry on Operation Transformation
Triona McCarthy has defended herself after she was accused of wearing Spanx while being measured for the first time on Celebrity Operation Transformation.
The 'Sunday Independent' journalist and broadcaster made a splash on the first episode of the new season of the RTE show on Wednesday night after coach Karl Henry hit out at her during her first weigh-in.
Despite losing three and a half pounds and beating her target by half a pound, Henry said he couldn't "really measure it" during the initial measurements because she was wearing Spanx, adding: "It's crucial when you come on the show to be warts n' all in terms of the fitness element, in terms of weight and in terms of waistline. I think that's something we need to address."
He then said she was "detracting from the issue" after making a joke during the exchange. "You're asked to do something. You didn't do it. You're here for a reason. If I ask you to do something, you need to do it."
However, McCarthy defended her choice of underwear for measurement, saying she wasn't trying to pull a fast one, but wearing the same that she always does, joking: "I've never before got in trouble for having knickers on!"
"If I was wearing my usual Spanx or control underwear, they come down to my knees and under my bust, my back fat is all squashed in, like a wrestling suit. I was wearing high waisted knickers, they weren't Spanx, they were ones I wore while I was pregnant under my dress and I just popped them on," she told Independent.ie.
Each of the leader's measurements were taken offscreen the morning of the weigh-in to measure their progress.
"When Karl measured me, he never said anything. If it was such a big deal, why didn't he say it then? I would have pulled them down," she added.
"After the cameras were switched off, he said, 'Right Triona, I need to measure you properly. Do you want to go into the bathroom?' I said, 'No, I'll roll them down here, they’re not tight knickers. He put the measurement tape around me and actually said, 'Oh you’re in great shape'.
"It made for good tv. I enjoyed the banter. I've had two babies in four years, I’m doing Operation Transformation because I want to get rid of the mum tum. It was mentioned that I was missing an opportunity – I’m not. I got on the weighing scales and I followed the diet."
Nutritionist Aoife Hearne also told Triona she was the "first leader ever to ask me if I could have chocolate", saying, "It did make me question how serious you were about the process".
But Triona - who writes about beauty and fashion for the Sunday Independent Life magazine and who is mother to son Maxi and daughter Mini - said she thought she was doing the right thing by checking first.
"With Aoife and the chocolate, Aoife has told me before she eats chocolate every day and she understands that. Every supermodel or Victoria's Secret Angel I've ever interviewed has told me of the benefit of dark chocolate. I did the right thing, I rang her and she said I could have the dark chocolate," she explained.
But that wasn't the end of chocolate-gate in her home - her partner Will later threw it out.
"I bought it home and had the one square. That night, Will and my mum went bananas at me and Will got rid of the choolate. The next morning, I found it in the bin and I took it out because I hate waste. It was one square of chocolate, not a whole selection box."
Triona's challenges continue this week as she's jetting to New York for Fashion Week alongside the Operation Transformation camera crew.
"I've never gone and not come home at least half a stone heavier," she said. "There's always champagne and meeting friends for dinner an lunch, drinking massive cappucinos. I’m going to all the shows and I’ll be backstage where there's always loads of food and because the models aren’t eating it, I’m the one eating it!"