Operation Transformation's Lorraine O’Neill“I think I have a mind block about pushing myself in exercise.”

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Most hairdressers have heard it all before, but Ray D’Arcy managed to surprise Lorraine O’Neill today when he told her that the Cavan word “foosie” was in the Collins English Dictionary. For real. Well, it’s on probation, but it’s there. The salon owner and Operation Transformation 2020 leader let the word drop a few times in her chat with Ray before he hit her with the “official” definition:

“Small dessert or sweets available near to hand at any time.”

Lorraine told Ray she was less happy about the effect too many foosies were having on her appearance. Ray put it to her that she doesn’t have a great self-image. Lorraine agreed. She says her body shape changed completely after she had her second child, Jodie:

“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate myself, I just don’t like how I look. I hate the mirror.”

One of the biggest inspirations to Lorraine is the memory of her younger sister Róisín. The mum of two died aged only 36 of adenocarcinoma. She was the youngest girl in the family and it hit them hard:

“Róisín dying was a huge thing, I come from a family of six. You know, where we’d all kill each other one day, we love each other deeply. We had a very normal upbringing. We had good days and bad, but nothing bad ever happened to us.”

Lorraine told Ray that Róisín would have been delighted to watch her big sister on Operation Transformation 2020:

“She’d love that I was in the show, she’d love that I was helping myself as well. But she’d love that I was on The Late Late Show. She’d love that I was here with you. She loved your show. She’d love the whole craic that comes along with it.”

At 46, Lorraine is “the mammy of the group”. Ray revealed today that Lorraine is the first person in OT history to have lost no weight at this point. Lorraine is still processing the information:

“I’m OK now about it, but I was very annoyed with myself. I’ve that feeling that I’m letting people down, like anybody that’s following me, I feel like I’m letting them down.”

Lorraine says an exercise session with Karl revealed what might be holding her back:

“I suppose more of my thing was knowing how much I can push myself. I think I have a mind block about pushing myself in exercise.”

Lorraine joked with Ray about her ambition to go back to looking 30 in four years’ time when she hits the 50 mark. But looks aside, she hopes she can make some lasting change:

“I just want to feel happy in myself and I want to have more energy for the girls.”

Even with no weight loss as yet, Lorraine is a big fan of the food plans on OT and feels better for it already. She says the recipes are really easy to put together and she’s going to keep at it:

“Do you know what, it’s as quick as fast food!”

You can hear more about Lorraine’s fundraising activities for cystic fybrosis facilities and the joys of the hairdressing business in the full interview with Ray D’Arcy here.

Operation Transformation 2020 is on Wednesday nights on RTÉ One at 9.35. You can access recipes, food and fitness plans and follow the leaders online at www.rte.ie/ot.

Ruth Kennedy

© The Listener 2020

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