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'I was one of those people who hammered himself in the gym and still ate all the wrong foods'

This week, Celebrity Operation Transformation participant Karl Spain talks about the importance of eating right.

Karl Spain

The ever-popular Operation Transformation returns to RTÉ tonight for a special celebrity series. Each week, one of the participants will write a diary piece for TheJournal.ie about their experiences trying to lose weight. This morning it’s the turn of comedian Karl Spain:

I’VE BEEN A comedian for the past 16 years, touring all over the world and writing for TV shows like Republic of Telly and Des Bishop’s Election Special.

The weight hasn’t really affected my career. Comedy is one industry where the only requirement is to make people laugh. All shapes, sizes, colours and creeds are welcome as long as they provide the giggles.

I decided to lose weight many years ago and did, many times. But, as I’m learning, I was doing things wrong.

When I got the call to join Operation Transformation, I was quite happy about it. It was an easy decision to make. People were asking would I not be embarrassed, but a comedian in an embarrassing situation is good for comedy. That’s where the best stories come from.

Need to eat right

It’s two weeks since I started on the Operation Transformation plan and I’ve found the most important lesson is that you need to eat right.

It seems simple, I know. But I was one of those people who hammered himself in the gym and still ate all the wrong foods and wondered why the weight never came off. You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet.

I’ve found the food and the exercising easy to do. My problem in the past was that when I was busy, I opted for the easy solution.

But as the weeks have gone on I’ve learned new meals I can prepare, that are quick and easy and surprisingly tasty.

Creamy Tomato courgette and prawn pasta

The programme

My willpower hasn’t been tested too much yet as it’s only two weeks in and the half way point on the OT plan for the programme.

Tonight in the supermarket, two separate women stopped me to hug me and wish me well. I had no idea the show was so popular. It hasn’t even been on TV yet, and I’m getting a huge reaction wherever I go.

I’ve set myself no particular target for the show. I see this as an opportunity to make a significant lifestyle change and live a much healthier life from now on. I need to lose a lot of weight.

My target is January; maintain this healthy food plan until then and after that begin the next stage of my life as healthy me, who cooks and exercises and who the old me would hardly recognise.

The show begins 11 years and a day after “Karl Spain Wants A Woman” started. I’m still with my girlfriend Rachel from that show. I certainly feel I get full value for my TV licence!

Karl Spain – Vital stats 

  • Age: 44
  • Height: 5′ 9
  • Occupation: Comedian
  • Starting weight: 19 stone and 4.5 pounds

Celebrity Operation Transformation starts tonight at 9.35pm on RTÉ One. Follow Karl’s food and exercise plan on the Operation Transformation website.  

Read: ‘Don’t give up just because Operation Transformation is over’

Read: Here’s how much weight the Operation Transformation leaders have lost

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