Wednesday 28 September 2016

John smashes it and makes target after weeks of disappointment

Karl Henry

Published 06/02/2016 | 02:30

Karl Henry. Photo: Ronan Lang
Karl Henry. Photo: Ronan Lang

We're now into Week 5, which should be one of the hardest weeks in the show, yet all four of our leaders achieved their targets and Mayo leader John Conmy smashed it with a whopping 8lbs.

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John was nervous at the start of the week because he had three weigh-ins where he hadn't met his target.

We've been quite tough on him from the get-go because we know what he can achieve. He's had some very tough comments from the panel, and they're definitely hard to take on the chin, but they are always said with the best of intentions.

After a tough few weeks, John realised that he needed to work on his portion sizes and the timing of his meals, and our nutrition expert Aoife Hearne was on hand to help. Once he nailed the portions, he had a phenomenal weigh-in.

I love weeks like this where you can really see our leaders' bodies beginning to change. We got some criticism again over the leaders' Lycra outfits, but there's no fat-shaming in it whatsoever.

Every week, they get photographed at the weigh-in, and when they compare those photos, the Lycra allows the leaders, the experts and the viewers to see the physical changes.

It was particularly clear with Westmeath leader Noeleen Lynam. Her waistline looked tiny, and it is, but if she was in a T-shirt, you wouldn't be able to see the difference at all.

I had such a fun session with Noeleen this week. I was ready to really push her, but she was dying to work hard, so from my perspective it was easy.

She is relishing the exercise, and it seems that no matter what challenge I set her she just keeps coming back for more. What was great was that we could see Noeleen, who is 51, being fitter than her niece Emma, who is 27. Emma couldn't keep up!

We're missing our Dublin leader Dan Kennedy, but his followers, the O'Brien's Fat Boys Club, are without a doubt the best group we've ever seen on the show. It's brilliant, because you'd never expect to see this group of men, who probably sit in the pub every night, addressing their health and weight as a group.

It's important to get support, and we saw that as well with our youngest leader Lucy Dillon. She's a real family person, and she was missing her dad while he was away. But this week he came back, and you could see the difference at the weigh-in.

Lucy is really beginning to excel now. After taking her foot off the gas and recovering, she has her zest back now and will be working hard towards the 5k.

Meanwhile, Limerick leader Clare Scanlan has discovered dancing as a way to keep fit in the long term, which is a fantastic message to others around Ireland that fitness for life has to be fun! Her husband likes it too, and it's wonderful for a couple to get out and have a night to themselves where they are getting active.

There were tears left, right and centre this week at Clare's weigh-in, as we saw her being such a great mother to her children. It shows that we're not just there to criticise the leaders, we really want the best for them and to help them as much as we can. We get incredibly emotionally involved with these people, because we go through the ups and downs with them. We needed a boost this week and I'm delighted we got it.

Irish Independent

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