CLARA man Ronan Scully is one of the participants in RTE programme Operation Transformation. He will be keeping Offaly Express readers up to date on his efforts to lose weight and get fit in a weekly column.
"Ronan Scully here. I work for the Charity GOAL and I'm one of the leaders in the RTE programme Operation Transformation for 2011. For the next eight weeks or so with one week already down I will be giving you the lowdown on what I got up to on the show leading up to the Wednesday night viewing of the programme at 8pm on RTE.
"At the minute I am 5ft 9 inches and when I first applied for Operation Transformation I was 16 stone. After my first weigh in for the programme before Christmas I got down to 15 stone 5 lbs and on the first programme on RTE last week I weighed in at 14stone 13.5 lbs.
"The main reason I applied for Operation Transformation was for my family and also for my health which hasn't been great over the last number of years and also the fact that we have a history of heart disease on both sides of my family. My Dad had a quadruple heart by pass nearly 2 years ago, but my grandfather died at 48 from heart failure and my Nana Scully died at 61 from heart disease.
"Recently we lost our Aunt Catherine to health problems also at the age of 61 and I lost my best friend in the world, Donal whom I miss everyday, a few years ago to heart complications as well.
"Myself and my wife Jacqui have two beautiful adopted daughters from Ethiopia. Mia who is four and Sophie who is six months. They are the main reason I applied for the show. I want to be around to see my two angels grow up.
"I have been working for GOAL for the last 18 years or so and at the minute I cover from Donegal to Limerick across to the midlands as GOAL representative on the ground. So I am in the car a lot of the time meeting people for fundraisers, people that want to work abroad and visiting schools and colleges to tell them about the work we do in the developing world.
"I spend a lot of the time in the car and I would normally eat on the go, eating chocolate bars, breakfast sandwiches and high energy drinks and coca cola on the go.
"I used to play football and hurling for Offaly and I was super fit then and won two All Ireland medals and that's one of the reasons I ended up working for GOAL as I volunteered first for a few years as it is seen as the Sports enthusiast charity.
"I worked a lot in the developing world with GOAL in places like Calcutta, Nepal, Angola, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Kenya. But it was when I returned to Ireland to do my current job that I ended up putting on weight.
"As I said when I applied for Operation transformation I was 16 stone and when I played football and hurling for Offaly I fluctuated between 11 and a half stone and twelve stone.
"I am a bit of a workaholic and my wife says that I look after everyone else but I don't take care of myself and I suffer a bit from feeling down and tired at times. I am doing the North Pole marathon in April for GOAL and other charities so Jacqui wants me to get fit and train properly for that and not just leave it to the last minute to get stuck in and not to do myself some damage.
"The first week of Operation Transformation was tough and I am hoping for some good results on my weight on this evening's show (Wednesday, January 12).
"My heart is in my mouth on television and I am still very nervous but getting used to it. Thanks to everyone in Galway and Offaly and around the country who have been so helpful and supportive to me and I hope that anyone that is following me or any of the other four leaders are getting positive results, just do what I am trying to do which is to stick at it no matter how tough it gets. It will be worth it in the long run.
"I am really pleased about how it is going so far. I like all the food recipes that Dr. Eva is giving us at the moment and that I and Jacqui are getting good at mastering them and are enjoying eating them. I haven't had any coca cola or high energy drinks in over a month now and I haven't touched any alcohol over the last while.
"I am also enjoying the daily exercises that Karl is giving me each day and the positive advice and support that Dr. Eddie Murphy is giving me is really helping me to remain positive and focused.
"So far so good but I am still nervous of what is to come. Watch me and the other four leaders on Wednesday night as we face up to our first army challenge and see how we got on during our first week and face into our second week on Operation Transformation.
"Thanks again for all your support and kind wishes. You can follow my diet and fitness regime by signing up online or looking at www.rte.ie/ot