Dr Ciara Kelly: September is not the cruellest month
In much the same way that the theme to Glenroe can still strike a depressing chill into our hearts - giving us that sickening sense of the weekend being over, your homework isn't done and there's school to face in the morning. We are also psychologically hard-wired from our childhoods to feel September is a new beginning and a good time to take on fresh challenges.
Years of going up a class every September and 'knuckling down' to school work and putting all that summer nonsense behind us has given us that autumnal sense of purpose whether we like it or not. And, of course, on a more practical note, as many of us are parents now ourselves - our own kids going back to school gives us a little bit more time to ourselves - as we don't have to entertain the little poppets from dawn till dusk. Yes, September is a time of swings and roundabouts.
But it is genuinely also a good time to take on something new. Which is why there's no time like the present to think about getting fit, eating well and losing those extra pounds that you accumulated scoffing sausages in your kitchen that had been barbecued outside - but then you couldn't face standing in the drizzle to eat them.
Operation Transformation is boldly going this week where no Operation Transformation has gone before, in that we are taking on five Irish celebs as our leaders to motivate the nation into getting healthy. And the timing for embracing getting back out there - walking, running, cycling or whatever - is perfect.
One massive advantage that taking on a new healthy regime in September has over January is the weather. It's warmer. It rains less. And even though the evenings are drawing in - it's still brighter than the start of the year - so it's way more pleasant to be out and about in the elements. As our five intrepids, Brenda Donohue, Elaine Crowley, Gerald Kean, Karl Spain and Katherine Lynch are all about to find out.
This Wednesday evening the first Celebrity Operation Transformation show will hit our screens and our celebs will have been on their new healthy regime for a full two weeks when you see them weigh in to face the judgement of the panel of experts. (That doctor wan is the worst.)
One of the criticisms of OpTrans has always been that because it only runs each year in January and February, followers often feel they want something to keep them on track the rest of the time and we've often been asked to do something else during the year. So hopefully this will re-motivate and refocus people to get going again in the run up to Christmas. Oh God, did I really say that?
The Million Pound Challenge is still running too. Where we challenged Ireland to lose one million lbs. in weight in 2016. We've a long way to go to reach our target but log every lb. that you lose on the OT website and that could all change.
Operation Transformation is nothing without its followers and the leaders - especially this lot - really need your support as it's much harder than it looks to be under the scrutiny of the nation or even to stand on that weighing scales. And every series we've ever done has turned around the lives of some people who've never looked back. This time that could be you.
Remember, nothing changes if nothing changes and every journey starts with a first step. September is a great time to start. Even if it's more known as the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, this September could be all about the sweats and fruit salads.