MY recommendation was that she should go into a darkened room for 48 hours – it would be one way of processing the fact that her life for the last eight weeks has been under such close public scrutiny.
But Clare’s not like that: the busy mum of Liam and Caoímhe has too much to do.
Besides the Operation Transformation programme doesn’t officially finish until Sunday, February 21st – an event that will involve a makeover, and a gala show, that will be televised on Wednesday and Thursday, February 24th and 25th.
In week one – at the start of January – Clare, who is from Castlefreke near Clonakilty, weighed 17st exactly, but with the Operation Transformation process nearing completion she is currently 15 stone and 7.5lbs, and is on target to achieve a healthy BMI.
‘I’m not going to put a number on it,’ she said.
‘I am not going to state an overall target. I prefer to do it stone by stone. For now, I am focusing on getting under the 15st mark.
‘And if I just lose a pound a week from here to Christmas I will be doing well.’
Clare’s shape is changing, but other things are changing too. She told The Southern Star: ‘I am feeling happier about myself. It’s hard to describe it, but I feel lighter. I’m realising that I can bring the sadness of Darra’s death along with me in my life – a life that can be full of happiness and hope.’
Even her wardrobe is changing – thanks to the encouragement of her childhood friend, Elaine O’Donovan, who travelled from Skibbereen to Monagea in West Limerick, to help remove all the clothes that have become too big and bulky for Clare’s more streamlined figure.
Since then, Clare has also done a bit of clearing in Darra’s old room.
It signified the start of a grieving process that is moving away from a hurt and private place into one that is more conscious.
‘I realised that his old room had come to represent sadness,’ said Clare.
‘It had become stagnant. By clearing it a bit it, it brought new life back into it, and that’s more respectful to Darra’s memory because he was always so happy and so vibrant.’
The Operation Transformation 5k run will take place in the Phoenix Park on 20th February, for the first time ever you can also run the 5k in over 44 locations nationwide.
Operation Transformation is teaming up with Parkrun - the free weekly timed events that take place every Saturday at 9.30am. For West Cork events, see parkrun.ie