Wednesday 26 October 2016

Karl Henry's Diary: Opening up and sharing the stories behind the weight gain journey

Operation Transformation

Karl Henry

Published 20/02/2016 | 02:30

Karl Henry. Photo: Ronan Lang/Feature File
Karl Henry. Photo: Ronan Lang/Feature File

There's only one week to go, and I'm delighted to see all our leaders achieving their targets.

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The biggest moment for us this week was getting Mayo leader John Conmy back on track.

John actually has a really competitive background. Years ago, he was a Gaelic player at school and he has that instinct and that drive in him.

I took very much that style of approach in our resistance session this week and I pushed him to get the old competitive John out.

He'd been using the same weights and the water bottles for weeks, so we changed everything. I'd never seen him train like that before, and afterwards you could see he was really motivated by himself. He just needed to realise what he could do.

John also revealed the source of his stress and his problems with Revenue. That kind of stress has a huge impact, and like all Irish men, he bottled it up.

Part of the beauty of getting Dr Eddie Murphy out to talk to him was that John could get it off his chest and begin to focus on himself.

It's very hard to do that when things build up in your head, and if anything it shows the power of speaking to somebody and letting that out. It shows the men of Ireland that they need to talk a bit more.

Limerick leader Clare Scanlan also opened up this week, and the whole country bawled when we saw her.

She's gone through something few people have to go through, but she's ready to change and get her life back together, and thankfully we could help her with that.

You couldn't not be moved by Clare's journey. Some people have compared us to 'The X Factor' and said we rely too much on backstories, but it's nothing to do with that. You have to be able to see why people are there.

People around the country can relate to the leaders and it means more people are getting on board with the plan and more people are getting the results from it.

Westmeath leader Noeleen Lynam got back on track this week. She's very matter-of-fact: she admitted she wasn't working hard enough last week, she knew she had to sort it out and she did.

Our youngest leader Lucy Dillon has finally become the 24-year-old that she had lost sight of. She took the plan by the scruff and has come out looking fresh, vibrant and happy.

Lucy is proof that giving up smoking doesn't have to lead to weight gain. If you give it up and sit on the couch snacking, you will put on weight, but if you replace smoking with something that fills your time, you can lose weight and get your life back.

We saw our leaders return to Niall Moyna at DCU's School of Health and Human Performance, and you can't but be impressed with the transformation. It has to be noted this is all natural, this is all the result of good exercise and good food. In a short time frame, this is what you can achieve.

Today, our leaders will be taking part in the 5k run in the Phoenix Park. But we're not finished yet. We still have a weigh-in left to do, so the leaders have to keep knuckling down. And it's up to me to push them and make sure they're happy with their numbers when it comes to that final weigh-in.

Irish Independent

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