BY JACKIE KEOGH
ON Wednesday, the day Operation Transformation was launched on TV, Dunmanway’s Veronica Horgan had a film crew trailing her around her place of employment at SouthWestern in Clonakilty.
‘It was nerve-wracking,’ Veronica told The Southern Star, ‘but I am going to have to get used to film crews and seeing myself on TV at least for the next eight weeks as part of what has become a nationwide campaign for people looking to take a healthy approach to their diet and lifestyle.
‘I have lost weight before but I have never been able to maintain it, so this time,’ Veronica said, ‘I am looking forward to developing healthier eating habits and adopting an exercise regime that I will enjoy.’
The 24-year-old, who originally comes from Italy but left Mazara Del Vallo in Scilly at the age of four to come to live in Dunmanway, weighs 16st 5lbs. ‘Ideally, this time next year I would like to weigh 10st 5lbs but over the course of the next eight weeks I would be hoping to get a good kick-start by losing two stone.’
Veronica, who lives in Clonakilty with her partner Eoghan Houlihan, admits she is nervous about being on television, but is hoping to steady her nerves enough to inspire other people who would like to lose a similar amount of weight.
‘The fact that we have so much support in terms of nutritional advice, as well as instruction in terms of exercise, is an advantage, but I am also greatly encouraged to learn that so many towns and villages, as well as clubs and gyms, are adopting the Operation Transformation diet and exercise regime.
‘If the feedback I am getting in West Cork and in Cork city is anything to go by,’ Veronica said: ‘I will have all the motivation I need to make these lifestyle changes. My family have been a tremendous support, but so too have the people at work, and everyone that I meet.
‘Work has no problem with the film crew being around every day – except Sunday when we do the challenges in Dublin and the Wednesday or Thursday night when we are weighed as part of the TV programme – and there’s even talk of the gang at work getting involved in weekly walks to show their solidarity.’
Veronica told The Southern Star: ‘I have always been heavy. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t overweight, but now is my time to do something about it and hopefully be an inspiration to others to do the same.
‘I realise that being a big girl has a lot to do with how you think. I believe it is how you see yourself rather than how anyone else sees you.’
But I am determined to make the changes in my life that are necessary for my own personal transformation.’