Hundreds bitten by OT health and fitness bug

EDENDERRY is on a serious get fit and health buzz with hundreds of people coming out to walk nightly with one local contestant participating in Operation Transformation (OT).

EDENDERRY is on a serious get fit and health buzz with hundreds of people coming out to walk nightly with one local contestant participating in Operation Transformation (OT).

41 year old Adrian Brereton is currently one of the five leaders in the RTE programme, aiming to see a slimmer, fitter and healthier nation.

In the first week of the programme, Adrian is being kept busy between filming and exercising as well as chatting to his many well wishers, who have come out en mass to support their local leader.

According to the pet shop owner, he starting walking the other evening and there was about 70 people out walking with him with the number increasing over the last number of nights. “There were about 250 people out with me on the third night,” he enthused.

Adrian beamed that the “whole town of Edenderry has gone mad” with this and he deeply appreciates all the support he’s getting with this. The group start the 6.2km in the town’s square with Adrian at the front of the walkers.

“It helps hugely. Without this, I wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Last week, Adrian weighed in at 18st 11 lbs and was set a target weight for the programme of 16st 13 lbs.

This will be no mean feat to shed two stone over the course of the television programme but the Edenderry contestant is extremely positive about the challenge ahead.

Working to change both his lifestyle and eating habits, the Edenderry man is very happy with the recipes he has been given for each meal.

“I am really happy with them,” he said, adding that he hadn’t eaten salmon in years but thoroughly enjoyed it for dinner this week as part of a strict eating regime.

Adrian continued the walking is great because there’s such a crowd about with him but as well as doing this, the leader has to undertake a dedicated exercise regime every day as part of his weight loss plan.

“You certainly know that you are doing them,” he said. Adrian has also been joined by his wife, who is lending her support and undertaking the health and fitness regime with him.

Adrian has become some what of a local celebrity and people seem determined to lend their support to him. There was even a weekend appearance on the Brendan O’Connor show over the weekend for the Edenderry man.

Adrian watched last week’s show with a huge crowd of his family and friends. However, he reckons that he will “probably watch this week’s one on my own”.

The 41 year old admitted he did have a “bit of a wobbly” before filming for this week’s show but he said the show presenter’s Kathryn Thomas was great and really helped him.

And, it looks like Edenderry can expect to see this leader out and about walking over the coming weeks. “It is great. That is what keeps you going.”

Adrian is the 7th son from a family of eight boys and, when younger, was a competitive swimmer and keen amateur boxer. Indeed his brothers count All-Ireland and European boxing titles among their achievements. He is extremely competitive and once shed five stone to raise money for a local charity, but a trip to the States put paid to his good intentions and, as Adrian himself says, “I haven’t stopped eating since”.

His own father died of a heart attack and Adrian doesn’t want to be the next victim. He is counting on the support of his family and his community as be embarks on his Operation Transformation challenge.

“I am determined to do this,” commented Adrian who vowed that even after the show finishes in approximately 10 weeks, he will continue with the healthy eating and exercise.

OT National Walk in Tullamore

THIS year Operation Transformation is teaming up once again with the Irish Sports Council to organise a number of special nationwide sporting events. The OT National Walk will take place this Saturday, January 14. There are thirty-two walks taking place with at least one in every county so there’s no excuse for missing out.

The Offaly walk is in Tullamore over a 5.4km course and it starts at 11am from Kilbeggan Bridge and heads out past O’Connor Park and the Midland Regional Hospital.

OT leader, Edenderry’s Adrian Brereton will set the pace and show you how to get the best value out of your walk.

Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. And it’s free!

The walks are all Sli na Slainte routes which use signage at kilometre intervals on established walking routes to help walkers identify the distance covered. Slí na Sláinte is designed to encourage people to walk more frequently and to enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.