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My double life as a dad who's hooked on junk food

DUBLIN dad Killian Byrne hopes his participation in Operation Transformation' will help him overcome his 'Jekyll and Hyde' attitude to food.

The 39-year-old became emotional in the first episode of this year's series as he explained that he led a double life -- that of a health conscious dad-of-two, and that of a junk food addict when he is on his own.

Changing lifestyle is vital for Killian as his father, who was diagnosed with Diabetes II, died when he was 54 following a stroke and two heart attacks.

Killian told the Herald: "From my point of view, it's fairly obvious that if you exercise, and if you eat healthy food, you're on the right track but what I'm looking forward to the most (in the series) is the psychological part of it.

"I work hard on making sure my children have a healthy lifestyle -- I pack their lunch.

"But when they go to bed, I'm still drinking fizzy drinks, eating chocolates...


"There's a sort of Jekyll and Hyde thing happening. I want to know why I can't apply the same rules for myself."

Killian, who lives in Rathfarnham with his wife Maureen and their children, said his mum Hilda was particularly pleased with his decision to tackle his weight.

"I lost my dad when I was 15 and I'm now getting closer to his age but I'm already heavier than he was, so my mum is thrilled that I'm doing something about it.

Killian's starting weight was revealed last night to be 19st 4.5lbs for his 5ft 10ins build. He not only hopes to lose weight but also to run the marathon this year from start to finish.

His whole family have already expressed their support for his endeavour and children Keith (6) and Katie (4) will be watching the programme with him.

"It's past their bedtime but we'll make an exception," he said. "They know the importance of losing weight, they know that having a big belly is not a good thing.

"To them, it's more about being able to spend more time together, to play.

"Katie wants me to dance as much as possible and from Keith's point of view, it's about going for more bike rides or walks in the park."

Killian reached 20st last year and decided to start losing weight on his own but after an initial success, he faced setbacks.

"I lost 2st or so but then I injured myself playing tag rugby and ended up on crutches for seven weeks," he said.

"I put all the weight back on -- it was very frustrating to be honest, to see all this work coming to nothing.

"This time, with everyone's support on the programme, I hope to keep it off."