Karl Henry - 'Our tough-love approach is working'
In part three of his 'Operation Transformation' diary Karl Henry praises three leaders who beat their targets
Welcome to my Irish Independent 'Operation Transformation' diary. We have reached week five of the two-month process, so the finale is starting to loom. Alan, Eilish, Louise, Mark and Veronica are only too aware of just how well last year's leaders did and they are starting to feel the pressure.
But this was a good week. Three of our leaders over-achieved their targets which is fantastic at this stage.
Once Alan and Louise had admitted that they were weren't working hard enough, it was easy to deal with it. The aim of the show is to push the leaders - and the viewers - out of their comfort zone. This week both Alan and Louise over-achieved their targets.
I don't agree that you can't lose weight because you suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), and Louise has proved that. Aoife had adapted her diet to address PCOS, so now Louise is eating more vegetables and fewer carbs. It's not a one-fits-all regime, but it suits Louise's metabolism. I made it clear to her that she had to exercise harder, and she's finally embraced the entire programme. Louise knew when she was coming to the weigh-in that she had done well this week. She was confident for the first time, and it was brilliant to see it.
Alan had a great week too. He has already lost seven inches from his waistline. But even more impressive than this is the fact that his life skills are developing.
When I went out for an exercise session with him, it was clear that he wasn't working hard enough. He was afraid to get out of his comfort zone, but he did it. He played football for the first time since he was 16, and he's starting to see the possibilities a healthier, fitter future could hold.
Mark is also doing brilliantly. He over-achieved this week and he's building methods to make sure that he can stay fit and healthy once these eight weeks are up.
Eilish is back on track after last week's drinking controversy. She and Ciara are both strong characters and it was good to see them sorting out their relationship.
Although Veronica didn't make her target this week, I'm not concerned. She is working very hard and she had a valid excuse. Every woman watching the show can relate to feeling bloated when they have their period.
However, I was disappointed to see all the fuss about the Lycra outfits the leaders wear during their weigh-in. It has a very real function, it isn't to humiliate them. It enables the viewer to see the change in each leader's body shape over the course of the show. Yes, they are exposed to the nation, but it's been part of 'OT' since the start. Veronica was definitely bloated this week but she still looks fantastic. You can see that she's starting to develop an hour-glass shape, but that visible change wouldn't be obvious if she was wearing a T-shirt.
Biggest disappointment: It's a shame that so many people are lining up to have a go at the show, and ignoring our efforts to get the nation healthier. This is public service broadcasting at its best
Biggest surprise: This is the first time Louise has acted like a real leader. She is really benefiting from the regime, gaining lots of confidence. I pushed her last week and thankfully she reacted well. Along with Eilish and Alan, Louise is showing that our tough-love approach is working.
If you're following 'OT' at home, here's how to keep motivated:
* You've worked hard so far, so you keep yourself motivated with a little reward. For me, it's a new book, but it can be anything from clothes to a spa treatment.
* Add high-tempo music to your workouts.
* Remember to take the talk test during every exercise session.
Don't forget: there's a 10km cycle at 9am today, in each of the locations where our leaders are based. Participation is free, but pre-registration is required.