He may not have made it as a leader on the show but Dubliner Darren O’Rourke has started his own Operation Transformation at his workplace.
The dad-of-two made it to the final 20 and hoped to become a leader on the popular weight loss show but when he failed to make the cut, he decided to go for it anyway.
Darren (43) has kept in touch with Alan Mullen, who is a leader on the show, and his workplace Forest Laboratories have really embraced the challenge.
They have started a walking group at lunch times, put on exercise classes after work, brought in more healthy options in the canteen and offer employees the chance to do weigh-ins twice a week.
“I just can’t thank my colleagues enough for really getting behind me on this. Their support has been incredible,” Darren told the Herald.
“I already have more energy and the walks are getting easier. I’ve lost 12lbs in the last two weeks.”
Darren, from Edenmore, weighed 27st 12lbs when he started the challenge and wants to have lost another 2st before he heads on a family holiday to Orlando in June.
“My whole family have really got behind me. My wife Eileen and our sons Dylan (17) and Shane (13) are doing it with me,” he said.
“I don’t have a set goal in mind. I’d like to keep going and lose as much weight as I can but I’d like to be 2st lighter before we go to Florida so I can do all the walking and enjoy the holiday with my family,” he said.
Darren’s colleague Leona (35) has been helping to transform their workplace and admits she’s changed some of her own bad habits as a result.
“I’ve been going on the walks every day and watching what I’m eating. I’ve noticed my appetite has changed since I started eating smaller portions and I don’t crave sweet things in the evenings any more,” she said.
“We’re definitely going to keep this up even after the show is over.”
Darren’s other colleagues, Tim Gleeson, Karen Brown and Colm Gallagher are all impressed with his progress.
“It’s amazing to see how focussed and dedicated Darren is, it’s a complete switch. He has so much more energy and his attitude to food and exercise has totally changed,” Tim said.
Darren has also organised a 5km walk at the Phoenix Park on Sunday at 2pm for anyone who wants to attend.