ONE of the Operation Transformation leaders has taken his quest for fitness to a new level -- by recruiting the help of man's best friend.
Greg Starr (36) surprised his seven-year-old son Eoghan last week when he brought home a new pooch, seven-month-old Juno.
Juno who is a labrador-beagle cross, is a bundle of energy and has given the former Air Corps worker extra reason to get fit again.
"I have a responsibility to make sure he is getting exercise as well as myself so it will give me extra incentive to get out and about," Greg told the Herald. "Juno loves exercise and he is a ball of energy so it is a great excuse to get the family down to the park at the weekend and run around with him."
The new arrival at the Starr home was located in the Cara Dog Rescue Centre in Laois, which was desperate to find the young dog a new home.
"He was given a new home when he was a small puppy last summer but a child in the family that took him in developed an allergy to dogs so they had to give him back.
"A friend of a friend posted on Facebook that they were looking for a new home for Juno and when I seen it I knew I had to go for it", said Greg.
"My son Eoghan is over the moon and it was a great surprise for him," added the business owner who runs his own motor parts company in Borrisokane, Co Tipperary. And the new addition to the family has made an immediate impact on Greg's weight loss regime.
Greg was delighted to find he had shed 5.5lbs to exceed his target of 5lbs.
Greg was upset last week after illness affected his exercise and diet regime meaning that he did not hit his target weight loss.
"I was a bit disappointed last week, but there were two days where I couldn't exercise or eat properly so I wasn't expecting to hit the target -- these things happen," Greg told the Herald.
"But I was fighting fit this week and Karl (Henry) upped the intensity in his training, so it was great to exceed the weight loss target," he added.
Greg's weigh-in will be broadcast on Operation Transformation from 8.30pm tonight on RTE 1 alongside Cork leader Deirdre Hosford who was delighted to discover she had reached her weight loss target of 3lbs.
As well as the leaders' weigh-ins, tonight's show will also revisit the home of 12-year-old schoolboy Aaron Walsh who at the age of just 12 was found to weigh 21 stone last month.
In less than one month, Aaron had lost more than 20 pounds and Operation Transformation will check in with the schoolboy and his mum Elaine Walker as he continues his weight loss battle.