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Why my children can't watch my Transformation

ONE of this year's Operation Transformation leaders has revealed that she won't allow her children to watch the show's first episode.

Dublin native Rachel Walker (36) told the Herald that she was afraid that the RTE series, which starts at 8pm tonight, would distress her young family because of its emotional content.

"In the first episode, viewers are going to see the process of choosing the five leaders, they'll get to know us inside out -- it's kind of up close and personal, and I'm not looking forward to watching it," the mum of three explained.

"You can hear yourself say a few things in the 'circle of truth' that are very private and could touch children.

"My kids [Daragh (8) Cillian (4) and Connor (2)] are young. I explained to them that Mummy is going to be fit and healthy, but I can't let them hear that I was never happy with my body and my weight. They pick up on you being sad and they wouldn't really think about the reason, so I don't want to go into the ins and outs of it.

"Some of the other leaders felt the same way so we made a pact that children wouldn't get to watch the first episode. Afterwards it will be fine for them to follow the show because the challenges will make it funny."

Rachel was reunited with her fellow leaders -- Sinead Heffernan (37) from Enfield, Co Meath, Jayne Glavin (30) from Newbridge, Co Kildare, Emily Piggott (21) from Killarney, Co Kerry and Ronan Scully (43) from Knocknacarra, Galway -- earlier this week for a catch-up.

All five of them were weighed to help set their targets and diet strategies.

Some had avoided Christmas fare to get a head start, Rachel had her own reasons for indulging one last time.

The stay-at-home mum, who lives in Jobstown, Tallaght with her husband Karl, was diagnosed with cervical cancer last June and had a hysterectomy in August.

"My strategy was to enjoy [the festive season] and not think too much about my weight because one way or another it was going to be good. I didn't think I was going to see it this year so I had a ball over Christmas," she said.

"When we got back on Monday, I was weighed and I wasn't too surprised when I got on the scale to hear that I hadn't lost any weight really, but I'm going to put my head down and get fit now."

The 5ft 4in brunette is currently a size 18 at 13st 11lbs. She hopes to reach 12st 6lbs in the next eight weeks and 10st by the end of her lifestyle change.

"I want to be able to bring my children everywhere, to run up the hill with them, play by the beach, that's why I'm doing it," she said.