Operation Transformation leader suffers anxiety attack over TV appearance

Marc Gibbs: weight struggle

Operation Transformation leader Marc Gibbs said the pressure of appearing on television for the hit RTÉ series caused him to suffer an anxiety attack last week.

A cameraman arrived at his home in Clane, Co Kildare, at 5.30am last Tuesday and Marc found he had no time to prepare himself.

“I got out of bed to get sorted before the cameraman arrived. I came down the stairs and he was there standing in the garden and the light was on. That was a huge reality check,” he told RTÉ’s John Murray yesterday.

Marc, 44, a father-of-five and a security guard, has always struggled with his weight but the responsibility that goes with being an Operation Transformation leader had him wanting to leave the country.

“I knew he [the cameraman] was coming but it was the reality of the intrusion. I had an anxiety attack. I was sweating and I was scared. I really did not want to do this,” he said.

However, Marc, who now weighs 16st 6lb, after losing 9lb in a week, is determined to press ahead with the challenge.

Marc was delighted with his weight loss. His target set by the programme’s experts had been to lose 5lb.

Another leader weighed during the John Murray Show was Jennifer Bonus, 37, from Douglas, Cork.

Jennifer now weighs 12st three and a half pounds. She lost 6lb in a week, double the weight loss target set by the experts.

Jennifer, who gave up smoking, said she was afraid she had taken on too much.

“I gave up so much last week. I stopped smoking. I didn’t have a drink and I did not eat any takeaways. I do not know how I am actually functioning.”

Jennifer said her daughter Tara, 12, had disposed of all the cigarettes in the house. “She told me that she is very proud of me. I just hope I can keep going.”

Operation Transformation’s seventh series began last Tuesday. The other leaders are Deirdre O’Donovan, 29, Cork; Siobhán McKillen, 36, Clondalkin; Sarah Campbell, 24, Kildare; and Paudie O’Mahoney, 61, Killarney, Co Kerry.

Deirdre, a mother-of-two who works part time in the Mercy Hospital in Cork as a night-time care assistant, said she could not believe how nice food could taste.

“I am learning loads about food. I must have been eating the same things everyday — a takeaway and bread and butter with whatever I could put into it, crisps or ham.”

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