'This was definitely a good week for the men'
In part five of his exclusive 'Operation Transformation diary, Karl Henry is proud of the progress of Alan and Mark
We have reached week seven of 'Operation Transform-ation' and the finale is looming. Brendan Courtney met the leaders for their styling session ahead of next week's catwalk show, and they are focussed on looking their best by then, as proved by their results this week.
Four of the leaders met or overachieved their targets, while Louise was only half a pound off her target weight.
This is traditionally a good week in the show. By now the leaders have fully embraced the process and it's wonderful to show them what they are capable of achieving. They are always very shocked by how far they have come in such a short time.
Last year, Mark went to a match in Croke Park and he found it difficult to climb the steps to his seat at the top of the stand. He was shocked by how his lack of fitness was affecting his life. When we went to the stadium this week, he found it easy to do the same climb, and he was carrying a sack weighing 26lbs - the amount he has lost since the show started. It was a proud moment for him.
This week was definitely a good one for the men on the show. Alan played Gaelic games until his early teens, and I was hoping to encourage him to play again, but I didn't expect it to happen so soon. I was delighted to see him take part in training session with his local GAA team. Seven weeks ago, he could barely get out of bed. It was one of the best moments for me in the last couple of series.
Eilish showed just how much she's embraced the 'OT' ethos when she put calorie counts on her café's menu.
I was also really happy to see the way Veronica and Louise celebrated Valentine's Day. Veronica went for a dip in Inchydoney strand, while Louise climbed the Sugarloaf. The two of them used to shy away from exercise, but their attitudes have changed.
I know Louise missed her target this week, but she was only half a pound off, so I'm not concerned. She's one of the lighter leaders so this stage of the show is harder for her.
We're doing the 5km runs with 8,000 members of the public in the Phoenix Park in Dublin and Blarney Castle in Cork today. It's the best part of the show for me. If you can run 5k, I believe that you can change your life. The distance is just enough to be a challenge, but it's enough to deliver all the benefits of exercise. I'll be doing the Dublin run in the Phoenix Park at 10am and I can't wait.
I hate when health professionals complain about the show. It's not a quick fix, we're promoting a healthy lifestyle for the nation - so why are they fighting it?
I knew I was taking a risk encouraging Alan to do the Gaelic training session and I was delighted to see how well he did.
If you're following 'OT' at home, here's how to keep motivated:
* Take out one item of clothing that you couldn't fit into seven weeks ago and leave it in a prominent place.
* Mix up your exercise routine. Our bodies react well to change, and the more you vary your exercise, the better your results will be.
* Think about how you are going to reward yourself next week. If you really want the treat, you'll reach your target.