Saturday 16 December 2017

Karl Henry's diary: 'There's a reason leaders wear lycra'

Fitness expert Karl Henry looks towards long-term success in part four of his 'Operation Transformation' diary

Operation Transformation: Firefighter challenge: From left: Ciara, Eddie, Karl, (front), Kathryn and Aoife
Operation Transformation: Firefighter challenge: From left: Ciara, Eddie, Karl, (front), Kathryn and Aoife
Karl Henry

We have reached week six of the two-month 'Operation Transformation' process so the finale is almost in sight. And our leaders have certainly met that challenge head-on as all of them beat their targets this week.

However, there was one disturbing development. Although Eilish did incredibly well - she lost an amazing 5lbs - she had hurt her ankle and she ignored the professional advice to rest it. I'm worried that she won't be able to participate in the 5km race next Saturday. We've never had a situation where a leader couldn't take part in it. I did speak sternly to her, and I really hope that she reins in her competitive spirit, sticks to working out on the bike and rests her leg as much as possible.

On a much more positive note, we have helped turn Alan's life around, there's no doubt about that. When we first met him, he was 27 stone (171kg). He is just 21 years old. If he had continued like that, he would have hit 30 stone (191kg) and more before his 30th birthday.

But I thought he could turn his life around. It was very tough for him to face up to his demons, but he's now really embracing everything about 'OT'. He's playing football regularly and he is using a tracker to give him daily updates. It's the first time we've used this tool on the show, and it really works as Alan is now hitting 10,000 steps on a normal day and even more when he exercises.

It was great hearing Veronica say she couldn't believe the difference in her body in the last six weeks. You can see how her waist, arms and legs have toned up since she began the regime. It explains why we ask the leaders to wear lycra for the weigh-ins - the viewers can see the difference in Veronica too.

And this week they got to see just how much we experts care about the leaders from Aoife's tears of joy at Louise's results. This is the second consecutive week that Louise has over-achieved her targets, and we were all thrilled for her. We have to push people all the time, we can't be too nice to them, otherwise they won't achieve their goals.

Louise needs support to do her best, and this week you really saw how her father and friends have rallied around her.

At this stage, we're starting to look to the future to work out what each leader needs to stay healthy in the long term, and it's great that Mark and his family are already thinking that way. He has got incredible support from them: the entire family has got healthy together and that is going to be his biggest motivator in the long term.


Biggest disappointment

It was a shame that the experts lost the Fire Brigade challenge, but I am delighted to see how well the leaders are doing.


Biggest surprise

Alan's outlook on life is the complete opposite of what it was 42 days ago. He's now confident, motivated, focused and driven. He has gone from spending all day in bed playing computer games to now wanting to run 5k, which is incredible.

We'll see how he gets on. There is a little surprise for the viewers next week.


What you didn't see at home

Kathryn had to change her clothes four times to get the right outfit for the show, and prevent the lights from strobing.


If you're following 'OT' at home, here's how to keep motivated

Think long term and work out how you're going to keep motivated, so pick an event that you'd like to work towards

The 'Operation Transformation' website stays live all year so if you fall off the wagon, you can start again

Reflect on how well you've done, look at a picture of yourself six weeks ago and pat yourself on the back.

Irish Independent

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