Dr Eddie Murphy: The end is near on this year’s Operation Transformation

Column with Operation Transformation psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy

Dr Eddie Murphy: The end is near on this year’s Operation Transformation

This year’s Operation Transformation experts Aoife Hearne, Karl Henry, Dr Sumi Dunne and Dr Eddie Murphy

It is nearly the end of this year’s Operation Transformation.

Last week, it was our last weigh-in at the Castle in Ballbriggan. The show holds lots of fun moments from here on in; including the 5k run and the grand finale which is filmed in RTÉ’s studios. The stylists and fashionistas are already working with the leaders, and I can promise you that this Wednesday night on RTE One, you be able to see them in all of their deserved finery. I could do with a bit of stylist support myself!

Last week was week seven of the programme — and this is always a bit tricky for some of the leaders. A few of them did not hit the targets set for them.

Stigma Busters

Our Operation Transformation leaders this year are amazing.

I have been the psychologist on Operation Transformation for 10 years. That’s 50 leaders that have put incredible trust in me, and have opened up about their mental wellbeing. That takes bravery.

All these leaders have helped to open up the privacy of the counselling room, and have shown on national television what a counselling session is like.

Essentially it is where two people meet in the context of helpful communication. That’s very powerful. To all the leaders on OT, I say thank you for being stigma busters.

Here’s how our leaders got on during week seven of Operation Transformation

Pamela Swayne. Age: 36. From Youghal, Co Cork. Target: 2lbs. Lost: 0lb

Unlike last week when she hit a 3lb weight loss, having a cold and being premenstrual impacted on the normal bouncy and chirpy Pam. She has such a great, infectious laugh — she lights up all the leaders and is the glue that keeps us all going.

This week Pam’s sister, a runner, was the star for me. She is Pam’s constant support when doing her 5k runs. It’s the same for me as I rarely have the motivation to run on my own. Only for Jean and Mary, I would never get out.

Cathal Gallagher. Age: 48. from: Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. Target: 4lbs. Lost: 5.5lbs

Cathal hit another big weight loss last week. More importantly, last week myself and Cathal did an exercise to identify why Cathal’s weight fluctuated during some times in his life.

Over certain periods, Cathal gained seven stone and lost eight stone, and then repeated the cycle.

What we identified were links associated with stressful life events, accidents, a house fire, and key relationships.

Cathal is a wonderful man and his belief about himself has changed. Where initially he saw himself as worthless, he now believes he is a man who is worthy and loveable.

Siobhán O'Brien. Age: 30. from: Clonsilla, Dublin 15. Target: 2lbs. Lost: 5lbs

Siobhan is hit and miss for the 5k as old injuries have taken their toll. Hopefully, with the help of physiotherapy and the close excellent clinical attention of Dr Sumi, Siobhan will be able to take part in Karl’s favorite event.

Siobhan is an excellent role model for the promotion of physical and mental wellbeing in her school, and across the school community right through Ireland.

Paul Murphy. Age: 41. from: Tubbercurry, Co Sligo. Target: 3lbs. Lost: 2.5lbs

Paul represents one of OT’s biggest turnarounds. For the first time, I saw fun in his life when he went with Sonya to Wineport Lodge for on a hot date.

One of the big problems that he had was what I call the “keeping of a quiet life”.

When you try to please so many at the cost of your own health and happiness, it’s time to make changes,

In general other people don’t change, its only when we change then other people change.

Here are a few of my key messages and learnings for the leaders this year:

Jean, you are OK. This was my message for Jean, Paddy and her family. I didn’t want to or need to pathologise her previous losses, Jean has the depth, resilience and supports to help her thrive.

Cathal’s old wounds. I discovered unresolved PTSD associated with a work-based accident when Cathal was 18 . This was the triggering event where he used food and booze to self-sooth his trauma.

Siobhan, love yourself. Siobhan’s capacity to find a growing place where she can love herself is like a acorn that is growing into a mighty oak.

Paul, choose life over work. If truly there is a key message from OT, it’s about finding your life again and remembering that fun needs to exist.

Pam, move from distraction to focus. When Pam focuses, good things happen. Knowing which state you are in and having this awareness will ensure you stay more focused more often. Results will then follow.

For behind the scenes OT photos and videos, check out my Facebook page Dr Eddie Murphy Psychologist.

Dr Eddie Murphy runs a psychological and counselling service in Portarlington, Co Laois. Call Dr Eddie on 087 1302899.

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