WHEN Clare Scanlan cried on Operation Transformation, I cried. So too did Kathryn Thomas. And the two female experts on the panel.
We cried in sympathy with Clare’s loss of her son, Darra, and the strength of her mothering instincts with Caoímhe and Liam.
That was on Wednesday night, but she also featured in the fireman’s challenge on Thursday, and that had us in floods of tears too.
The other team leaders thought that they’d have to look out for Clare during the life-saving exercise, but it was she who showed leadership and got them through the task.
That quiet, understated strength is in Clare, but it took something like Operation Transformation to make it visible – not to the nation. To her.
‘I would have always considered myself to be strong, but the challenge last week meant I had to zone out and remove my feelings and focus on the task at hand,’ she said.
‘Having said that, I can see a determination in myself that I haven’t seen for a while, I’m becoming more me – the new old me, if that makes any sense, which it does,’ said Clare with laugh.
This week Clare was down 2.5lbs, bringing her weight to 15 stone 11.5lbs, which is great: ‘I am under the 16 stone mark and I don’t ever want to see it again.’
Clare was back in her hometown of Castlefreke in West Cork on Tuesday: ‘I came down to meet my family, friends and neighbours, because they have been so supportive of my Operation Transformation journey.’
Then it was off to Cork to film a segment for the “Today” programme with Maura and Dáithí in which Clare spoke as candidly as she always does – and continued to serve as a leader for the whole of Munster.
Clare is becoming a real celebrity and a great role model for people around the country who are battling with their bulges. She was a very popular guest on the Ray Darcy Show on Radio 1 on Wednesday too.