Speaking about her involvement in RTÉ’s health and lifestyle programme, Operation Transformation, Fine Gael’s Senator Nicky McFadden said the show presents her with an opportunity, not only to turn her unhealthy lifestyle around, but also to highlight the dangers such a way of life, if left unchecked, may pose.
“I am really energised about taking part in this season’s Operation Transformation as my family history dictates that I either do something about my lifestyle choices now or I may not be lucky enough to live to regret it later,” said the Senator.
“As a member of the Oireachtas my lifestyle is extremely erratic with long days and late nights resulting in grabbing snacks on the run, eating late into the night, and getting little or no exercise during mid-week.
“Sadly, my own mother died from heart-related problems at 59, as did her mother before her and I am adamant not to let the same thing happen to me. For my part, I have high blood pressure which I take medication to control, and feel that if I was in slightly better shape it would go a long way to enhancing my quality of life and ultimately my longevity.
“My dad also suffered a stroke 10 years ago, so my family history is screaming at me to take stock of how things are now if I want to live to the ripe old age which I do.”
Senator McFadden feels the programme offers not just an opportunity for her to transform bad habits and get healthy, but also to highlight the serious problems of obesity in Ireland and how much obesity-related illness costs the Exchequer every year.
“There are a number of TDs and Senators involved in this season’s programme and I am hoping that the camaraderie of us all collectively attempting to change our lifestyles will be a great motivating factor in spurring us on - a bit like attending Weight Watchers meetings.
“I think it is appropriate that the Oireachtas takes a lead in all areas of maintaining good health and that we should give good example where we can. The Dáil restaurant recently introduced a ‘modifying menu’ providing healthy option alternatives, which I was delighted to see as every effort to make the road ahead that bit easier will be welcomed by me, and, no doubt, by my colleagues.
“We start on January 5 for eight weeks, with, I am glad to report, a group weigh-in on a Tuesday morning, making the dread factor just ever so slightly more bearable.”