herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Tallaght mum shows off her new figure as fellow contestants strut their stuff at show's grand finale

Dublin mum Rachel Walker is looking fit and tanned after her successful Operation Transformation.

The Tallaght native, who will appear in the diet show's grand finale tonight, has gained confidence after shedding an impressive 1st 7lbs.

She told the Herald that, for the first time in years, she felt "amazing" as she showed off her new figure in a slinky black and purple dress and sexy high heels.

"I really feel like the old Rachel is gone. I don't know where she is gone but she can stay where she is," she said.

"My confidence is up big time; I've never been this confident in my life and, still today, I was shocked by the transformation and new haircut.

"I loved the makeover, I absolutely loved it. I still have the pictures on my camera here and, every so often, I keep going back. We did it phase by phase.

"It was like my wedding day. I felt like I was getting married, I really did -- it was brilliant," Rachel added.

The 36-year-old brunette was so unhappy with her body before joining the RTE programme that she had shied away from family pictures with her husband Karl and children, Daragh (eight), Cillian (four) and Connor (two).

"We're long overdue a family portrait here, so I think the next thing I will do is to try and get one of the lot of us together," she said.

"I put it off ages ago because I hated looking at myself in pictures.

"If I had to put a picture up on the wall of the whole family, I wouldn't have been happy with it. I know now that I would be happy with it," she said.

In total, the five leaders have lost a remarkable 8st 4lbs collectively.

Galway native Ronan Scully had one of the most striking makeovers. The 43-year-old father-of-two started his lifestyle change before everyone in December in the belief that he had to get ahead before the show began.

At the time he was around 16st and is now 13st. His new lifestyle has also been beneficial to his wife Jackie, who is now two dress sizes smaller.

To celebrate their newfound fitness, the five leaders enjoyed a drink in Whelan's and partied all night on Sunday.

"I was dying on [Monday], we had a great time, I think I got back at 3.30am and we had to be in the taxi for 8.15am for a radio interview," Rachel explained.

"I hadn't had a drink since New Year's Day so I definitely enjoyed it but I'm back on the plan now, it's just the beginning."

acampos@herald.ie

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