Karl Henry: How to stay motivated in the middle weeks
Operation Transformation - Karl Henry's diary
Published 13/02/2016 | 02:30
The middle weeks are the toughest weeks on the show every single time, and that's because our leaders get fitter, they get stronger - and sometimes they are lulled into a false sense of security.
That's what we saw this week with Westmeath leader Noeleen Lynam, who gained half a pound. She admitted that she wasn't working hard enough, and she seemed tired and demotivated.
It's our job as experts to make sure she knows what she needs to do so she doesn't fall off the wagon.
If you're working hard and you don't see the numbers, it can be extremely disheartening, but it's an important lesson for viewers to learn: if you knuckle down, the results will come.
We've seen that with Limerick leader Clare Scanlan and Meath leader Lucy Dillon already: they go through a phase of taking their foot off the gas, but once they refocus they get right back on track.
We don't want Noeleen to get complacent, so I give her a gentle nudge. She is a trooper, so hopefully she'll take it on board and I won't have to get any firmer than that.
Mayo leader John Conmy has had a frustrating week and gained 1.5lbs. He's self-employed and working incredibly hard, and I don't think he realised just how tough this was going to be.
I think he's struggling to manage that time pressure. The experts are going to rally around him and I am going to help him get the most from his exercise.
Two of our leaders were flying this week. Clare and Lucy both hit their targets and I wasn't surprised that they did. They have learnt that every session has to be their best effort, and it's great to see health coming into a home. Clare's family are a great example of that.
You can really see the benefits for her and her family. It's proof for people watching at home that kids want to get healthy, and it's proof that the parents have to lean in to do that.
Clare is incredibly competitive, and this week we saw her husband Tom getting involved. He's lost over a stone already, and they are really challenging each other. I think a bit of competitive rivalry is good for a relationship. They're well able for it and he's a fantastic support to her.
It was great to have that running session with Lucy, and I gave her some tips to help improve her technique that viewers can follow too.
I was proud to see Lucy go back to playing Gaelic, it's going to be part of her fitness journey after the show is over and it's an excellent way to keep the weight off.
Team sports are great for that, particularly in rural communities where the roads might not be safe and you can't just go out for a run. Being in a group provides a nice community spirit and great fun, so it's healthy time away for yourself.
I loved the "experts v leaders" challenge this week, and I was so proud of how they managed to beat us. It's great to see how far the leaders have come in a short space of time. If we tried that six weeks ago, I can guarantee they wouldn't have managed it as well as they did.
Now it's time for the final push. This is the leaders' last week before the 5K run and the season finale - so the pressure is on.