The Leaders

Leader Name

Kayleigh Cullinan

The Voice of Ireland contestant & singer Kayleigh Cullinan has overcome more than her fair share of challenges in her young life.

Kayleigh has struggled with her weight since childhood and was often teased and bullied. After a serious physical attack in 2010 resulted in a detached retina, she underwent 12 painful surgeries leaving her almost completely blind in her right eye. During her recovery Kayleigh, who was just 14 at the time, had to lie face down in a pillow for weeks on end unable to move her eyes.

Having spent the last 3 years working on her new album, which is about to be released, Kayleigh is confident in her talent but she doesn’t just want to sing, she wants to perform!

Food has always been a source of comfort for Kayleigh and she has developed even poorer eating habits since moving out of her parents' home, surviving on convenience food and fizzy drinks.

Kayleigh is an ambassador for the Cycle Against Suicide campaign. Her goal is to complete the entire 1,400KM 14-day cycle next year.

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Leader Name
Leader Name

Gary O’Hanlon

Celebrity Chef Gary O’Hanlon’s life revolves around food; whether he’s impressing the critics on TV3’s The Restaurant or cooking up a storm as Head Chef at Viewmount House, Co. Longford.

Despite being constantly surrounded by food, Gary could go an entire day without eating a proper meal, relying instead to energy drinks, fizzy drinks, jellies, ice-pops, crisps and chocolate to keep him going. His eating habits are out of control.

Growing up Gary was always into sport, particularly Soccer. He ran the Dublin marathon in 2008 and a Triathlon in 2009. Gary misses sport and exercise and would love to get back to a level of fitness to run marathons again.

A devoted father, Gary wants to be able to enjoy running around with his kids for a long time to come. He knows now is the time to put his health first and is ready to give it his all

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Leader Name
Leader Name

Triona McCarthy

Beauty and fashion journalist Triona enjoys the sweeter side of life. Every one of her teeth is sweet, and a lunch of chocolate will always be her favourite option.

Triona has worked in the beauty industry for over 2 decades, writing for the Sunday Independent for the last 15 years. As well as delivering her weekly column and appearing on TV3’s Xposé, Triona is dedicated to entertaining & informing her 25,000 Instagram followers.

While Triona’s default is to put on a happy face, she admits her weight is affecting her confidence. Being in the public eye, there is a lot of pressure to look your best and Triona feels she should be a healthier role model.

Triona’s weight has slowly crept up over the years and she also has high cholesterol. She is tired of playing the role of the ‘fat funny girl’ and is determined to look and feel better but just doesn’t know where to begin.

Having never watched Operation Transformation, Triona isn’t quite sure what she’s let herself in for!

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Leader Name
Leader Name

James Patrice

With over 62K followers on Instagram and his Snaps getting upward of 30,000 views a day, James has become a household name.
His presenting work includes his role as the official Glitter Guru of RTÉ’s Dancing With the Stars’ Facebook Live spin off, ‘Best Foot Forward’ and RTÉ’s backstage reporter for The Rose of Tralee.

Fashion has always been a passion for James. He uses clothing as armour to hide his weight under jackets and planned poses, but would love to be able to throw on a t-shirt and jeans without having to try on his entire wardrobe first to see what best hides his belly.

James has never enjoyed exercise or sport. A number of health issues, including meningitis at the age of 10, have left James feeling he was never in control of his body. He wants to stop procrastinating and putting so much energy into concealing his weight. He’s looking for a healthy balance and hopes Celebrity Operation Transformation will leave him a tummy to match his ‘skinny extremities’!

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Leader Name
Leader Name

Mary Byrne

Singer Mary Byrne captured the nation’s hearts when she blew the X Factor judges away at her Dublin audition for the show in 2010. The former Tesco checkout lady made it all the way to the semi-finals and enjoyed every minute of the experience.
Mary continues to be a presence on the Irish music scene and has just finished working on her new album due for release this Autumn.

Diagnosed with an under-active thyroid during X Factor, Mary has always struggled with her energy levels and with her weight. She suffers from arthritis in her knees, and has been very vocal about her struggles with depression.

Having kicked her smoking habit 4 years ago, she is desperate to finally get control of her health. Mary has always turned to food for comfort and admits that she has a lot to learn when it comes to her culinary skills.

A born performer, Mary wants to still be on the stage at 70. She would love to have more energy to be able to dance on stage, or sit on a lap without breaking it!

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