Deirdre: I've never felt this way in my life
AS the sixth series of Operation Transformation comes to its climax this week, the national campaign has proven to be another success with this series' five leaders collectively losing over 11½ stone.
All five leaders successfully reached above and beyond their goals with Cork's leader, Deirdre Hosford, now weighing 24lbs lighter and feeling very much happier, healthier and fitter.
Deirdre's transformation was evident to all when she completed the 5km Fun Run in Tramore Valley Park last Saturday in just 37 minutes.
"Saturday really cemented it for me. I didn't believe I could do it so I was shocked that I ran the whole way. I told my friends I'd be an hour so they missed me crossing the finish line." said Deirdre.
But the transformation didn't end there.
On Sunday night, Deirdre led her fellow leaders down the catwalk to show the full extent of the changes it has wrought in her.
In a skintight dress and sporting a completely different hairstyle, Deirdre wowed her family and friends with her glamour and confidence.
Deirdre said: "It was amazing, just brilliant and very different for me. I've never felt like that before in my life."
There have been many highlights for Deirdre in the past eight weeks and a few difficulties also but, overall, the experience has changed her life for the better.
Waking up this week with no cameras rolling and not having to don the lycra has felt 'surreal' for the Whitechapel mum of two.
"It's strange, to say the least. I woke up this morning and I didn't have to be anywhere so I'm just getting back to normal but I'm back in training already," said Deirdre.
Deirdre and her fellow leaders met with last year's leaders on Sunday and was surprised to learn that the support didn't end when the cameras stopped rolling.
And for Deirdre, it doesn't end here, either, as she has signed up for a 10km charity run in Kildare in May with Dr. Eddie and her fellow leaders.
She has also been invited to model in Bandon next month, give a talk in UCC and participate in a fun run in Mallow.
Deirdre feels very privileged that she was picked as a leader as she says it completely changed her life and gave her a different perspective on exercise.
There is no doubt that Deirdre's transformation, which inspired so many, is a permanent one.