BY ÁILÍN QUINLAN
VERONICA Horgan is about to undergo the experience of a lifetime, according to former Operation Transformation leader Deirdre Hosford.
The Bandon native, who reduced her weight by four stone as a result of participating in the show has some advice for the 24-year-old Dunmanway woman who was chosen to participate in the show back in November. ‘It’s exciting, it’s great, it’s scary – and part of it is tough. Participants have no idea what is coming their way,’ says Hosford (34), who lives in Whitechurch with her husband and two young children.
‘You go into this thinking you know how it will go and what the outcome will be, but you have no concept of the phenomenal reach of this show. People will come up to you on the street.’
Veronica needs to realise that the show will very quickly become, not just about her, but about her life, her family and her workplace, she says:’Everything gets sucked in. The show is all-encompassing, and it needs to be all-encompassing.’
Weight gain is a complex issue in which there are a lot of factors: ‘Factors such as emotional and environmental factors affect your weight, so you have to address all of them.
Deirdre has some useful tips gleaned from her own experience on the show over January and February of 2013:
1 Veronica must be prepared to listen to the advice she gets:’Listen to the experts – they really do know what they are talking about. These people are all at the top of their fields.
‘You must become a sponge and take on board everything they say – and do your best to implement it.’
2 Start developing a thick skin – and stay away from the internet for the duration of the show, she advises:’Ninety-nine per cent of people will support you, but there will always be that one per cent of people who will try to undermine the show and your experience.
‘There will be negative comments about the show, and about you, your home, and your lifestyle – anything and everything. It would probably be a good idea to stay away from the internet for the duration of the show. You need to be aware of that negative one percent – it can really take you by surprise if you are not prepared.’
3 Stay focused:’Remember your goal, why you sent off that application and the feelings which led you to enter the show.’
4 Talk to family members, friends and everyone who may potentially become involved as a result of your participation in the show.
‘Make sure everyone is comfortable being on camera before you start – this will not be everyone’s cup of tea so discuss it and make sure everyone is aware and prepared.’
5 Enjoy yourself: This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and only a tiny proportion of the population get this opportunity.
‘Make the most of it. Listen, learn and enjoy. It’s a very positive experience overall and Operation Transformation is life-changing if you want it to be.
‘Before the show I was a housewife at home with the children. I am now a personal trainer, working five days a week.’