03 Oct 2022

KILDARE COLUMN: Meet the Operation Transformation Leaders 2019

TV show

KILDARE COLUMN: Meet the Operation Transformation Leaders 2019

This year's Operation Transformation leaders with show presenter Kathryn Thomas

Oh my God, doesn’t the year roll around so quick. It’s time to look at New Years wishes. I know, let’s get beyond wishes and let’s get to planning.

The beauty about Operation Transformation is that it’s a population-based health initiative that has incredible values in that the experts work within their ethical guidelines and all the activities are free and accessible.

No costly gym memberships — here it’s about putting on a day-glo jacket and joining the masses walking.

Let’s meet the leaders for this year’s Operation Transformation, which starts on RTÉ this Wednesday, January 9, at 9.35pm 

Siobhán O’Brien. Age: 30. Clonsilla, Dublin 15. Weight: 17st 4.5lb 

Siobhan (30) works as a secondary school teacher in Luttrelstown Community College. She grew up in Clonshaugh and is the youngest of three girls in a very close family. 

During the seven years since finishing college, Siobhan’s weight has fluctuated.

Being a teacher and telling kids about healthy living and the importance of activity, Siobhan feels she is being a hypocrite and the children in her school don’t take her seriously. 

Siobhan, despite being an amazing school and community leader, is, I think, a bit lost.

Her mood and confidence are low.

For me, Siobhan’s transformation will shift her low energy and mood to a life of fun, taking risks and opportunities. 

Paul Murphy. Age: 41. Tubbercurry, Co Sligo. Weight: 20st 

Paul (41) is the manager and owner of Murphy’s Hotel in Tubbercurry.

He lives with his wife Sonya (39) and two children Ava (8) and Ethan (1).

The hotel is a family-run business and has been in the Murphy family for 40 years.

Paul and Sonya have been married for a year and have been together for 12 years.

Since getting married and having another child, Paul wants to change his lifestyle and start looking after his health.

Inside Paul there is a little boy locked away. 

A boy who had to take on responsibilities and work. That’s what Paul knows well, his life script is work, work, and work.

He knows it’s unsustainable and as a dad of two young children he doesn’t want history to repeat itself, where his own Dad died when Paul was a child.

Paul’s transformation will be about changing an old script and learning that life happens beyond work. 

Jean Tierney. Age: 33. Bruff, Co Limerick. Weight: 15st 1lb 

Limerick lady Jean (33) lives in Holycross with fiancé Paddy (35). She works as a sales and marketing manager for nightclub House in Limerick.

They got engaged on April Fool’s Day because they are both practical jokers and knew no one would believe them.

On assessment day Jean really stood out. She has a most wonderful, engaging smile.

Jean has faced many losses including the biggest lost, that of her daughter Sloane. There is an energy put into that smile; the daily front.

However, that smile doesn’t match Jean’s inner emotional life. To be balanced, to be transformed, our inner and outer lives need to be in harmony.

My psychological work will support Jean’s goals.

Pamela Swayne. Age: 36. Youghal, Co Cork. Weight: 13st 12.5lb 

Mother of four Pamela (36) lives in Youghal with husband Sean (36) and children Ally (18), Leigh (10), Lilly (7) and Mickie (4).

She works part time in the Amber Petrol Station in Youghal.

Pamela has tried all kinds of diets in the past, but she’s never managed to keep the weight off.

Pamela is also an emotional eater, so when she’s in good form she goes all out with proper family dinners, but if she’s had a bad day she reaches for the easy option.

She loves food and the more convenient the better — chipper, Chinese takeaways, jambons, hotdog lattice, crisps, chocolate... anything that’s hassle free.

Pamela does not want her children to follow in her footsteps.

Pamela is a busy woman with family life. 

She wants to be on the cusp of something new, she wants to redefine herself.

This is all very exciting and using the tools of life coaching, I hope to help Pamela clarify and prioritise her life goals where she aims for a life of pleasure, meaning and engagement. 

Cathal Gallagher. Age: 48. Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal. Weight: 26st 12.5lb 

Cathal (48) works as a paramedic with the ambulance service based in Ballyshannon and lives with his wife Agi (36) and daughter Maja (2).

Cathal has been working with the ambulance service for 20 years now and loves his job.

He has huge passion for helping people and putting the needs of others before his own.

Cathal is a type two diabetic and has high cholesterol, and with his training he knows the damage his weight is doing to his health. He fears he will die in his sleep but wants to be around to see his daughter grow up. 

Operation Transformation for Cathal is life and death stuff. He is the heaviest leader ever to be on the program.

He knows it and we know it.

Cathal lost 12 stone before and put it all back on.

So no lessons were learnt then. Cathal is a giver and ignores his own needs. I think his giving is a distraction. 

He indulges in the fantasy of being a rescuer and being there for others. Cathal needs to learn that you cannot pour from an empty cup.

This really is last chance salon.

Great leaders, I just can’t wait – I invite you to join us. 

The annual 4km Operation Transformation walk will take place at 11am next Saturday, January 12,  from Kildare County Council’s headquarters, Áras Chill Dara, in Naas. All are welcome to this free event.

Dr Eddie Murphy runs a psychological and counselling service in Portarlington, Co Laois. If you are organising a speaker or training for school, community, voluntary, sporting or work groups, call Dr Eddie on 087 1302899 or go to dr.eddie.murphy.psychologist.

SEE ALSO: Second Winning Streak appearance for one Lucky Kildare lady

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