MOST people would have heard the fable – the one about the ugly duckling that hid itself away and turned out (spoiler alert) to be a swan.
Although Veronica Horgan is more than a number on the dial of her weighing scales, there is no denying the fact that being 17 stone did for a time – quite a long time – feel like being an ugly duckling.
Her first appearance on the Operation Transformation programme that was aired on RTÉ in January was deeply personal and at times difficult to watch because Veronica bared her soul to the nation.
The 25-year old Dunmanway woman stood on the scales at 17 stone and vowed to lose her excess weight and take the opportunity ‘to have a fresh start in life’ that the popular TV programme offered.
All her life, Veronica had a tendency to eat the wrong foods; to eat too large a portion at each sitting; and, like the rest of us, engage in the dreaded habit of comfort eating.
But Operation Transformation – which has commenced its recruitment campaign for 2016 – taught her how to look at food in a healthy way instead of using it as a comfort.
When the eight-week programme ended in February, Veronica had dropped a dress size, shed 2.2 stone, and was given a makeover that made her look like a movie star.
Since then, Veronica, who is still working with the outsourcing company, South Western in Clonakilty, and is still very much ‘loved up’ with her boyfriend Eoghan Houlihan, has lost another 1.8 stone.
‘People ask me what am I doing,’ said Veronica. ‘Well, I joined the gym at The Quality Hotel and go three or four times a week, and do circuit classes and follow a programme that was devised specially for me.
‘I also got myself a weight management coach, Louise O’Leary, who runs Lasting Weightloss in Dunmanway, and she keeps me on track. My diet is a lot more varied now and most of what I eat is homemade.’
With the search on for next year’s contestants, Veronica appealed to readers of The Southern Star who might understand ‘the ugly duckling syndrome’ and fancy their chances of becoming a swan to ‘get in touch with the show and give it their best shot.’