STAYING ON COURSE Kiltimagh’s Mary Diamond has continued her healthy living lifestyle after finishing as an Operation Transformation leader in 2018.
“I’M up at 7am every morning, get myself ready and get my son Gary ready until his bus leaves at 8.30am. I go down to my montessori that is just around the back of the house and I’m down there until 12.30pm.
I’ll then have a bit of lunch and head to Claremorris for a run before I come back and get the dinner organised, do my bits and bobs, paperwork, bring my other son, Paul to kickboxing or whatever Gary might have on.
Work is always busy because you’re working at the pace of the children and I’ve 18 with me. This year has been a great year. I have a profoundly deaf child with us and we’re all learning Irish sign language and it’s going down a bomb and I’m loving it. We’re very enthused and engaged in that and trying to look at doing new things around that to raise awareness and promote Irish sign language.
I set up my montessori over 20 years ago as there was none in the area at the time. I was thinking it would benefit Gary, who has Down’s Syndrome, and had my training done but I never used it, so that’s how I got here.
It’s a year since I appeared on Operation Transformation and I’m still working hard on keeping my weight down. It’s all healthy eating in this house, but we still have our breakouts! Gary is on board now and on a day like today we’d hit the gym, so it’s very much about keeping on track and keeping fit. Eating healthy is a big part of my life since this time last year.
The show was absolutely fantastic, it changed my whole attitude and mindset and I really can’t stress enough how important exercise is to your wellbeing. I wasn’t nervous about going on the show, more anxious about coming out in the lycra! But once that was over I got on well.
On February 10 I’m going back up with the rest of the leaders from last year for the challenge with the new leaders and I’m excited about that.
Maintaining the transformation
When the show ended I was terrified I would go back to my old ways because every diet I ever done before always led up to a focus point like a six week diet and that was it. But I didn’t this time. Christmas was probably the toughest time, because where chocolate is concerned I still have no willpower so I just keep it out of the house. But at Christmas it’s coming in faster than it’s going out so I found it difficult, but got back on track and into routine after.
My whole mentality has changed now. Before I was like, ‘boohoo, I can’t go somewhere because I’m tied down’ or whatever, but now I think, ‘what can I do that will be of benefit to me and Gary, so that he can come with me’. The gym has worked fine, so long may it last!
I’m involved in the Kiltimagh Operation Transformation and when you hear of all the clubs around the country, it’s wonderful the work they are doing. But Kiltimagh is so dedicated and it’s great to come from where I come from and see how onboard everyone is and how hard they work to lose those pounds.
There’s been a total culture change to being healthy now with so many options for exercise in the evening time, like yoga, dancing, walking, all these different things.
Claremorris park is lovely for running and has a great atmosphere. Anyone who is looking to start running or walking, park runs are the way to go. It’s a great way of getting someone out and about and starting off.
I really want to thank my family, friends and the community of Kiltimagh because I felt so supported during the Operation Transformation. There was nowhere along the line where I felt, ‘Oh God, why am I doing this?’ or why did I say something on telly I shouldn’t have said. They really supported me.
I would just love to think that I would help or inspire someone else that loves chocolate as much as I do, to say, ‘look, I need to get out there and lose a bit of weight’.
It will come together. I swear it will!”
In conversation with Ger Flanagan
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I would continue to do what I’m doing because I love my job (but I would throw in lots of fabulous holidays). I would love to do something with children around drama and choreography too, and would probably pursue something in that line.
Tell us something about yourself we don’t know?
I used to have a big dark panda birthmark around my eye as a child.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?
I’m in no way adventurous with food.
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
Florence and Thailand. Oh, and the top of Croagh Patrick on a sunny day.
What makes you angry?
People not meaning what they say or not following through with promises/plans.
Your first hero?
Name three things that are always in your fridge?
Milk, eggs and still water ( I will never be too hungry or thirsty with these in my fridge).
What makes you nervous?
New situations always make me nervous at first, even though I know it’s good to come out of one’s comfort zone and I settle down soon enough.
Favourite TV show?
I will have to say Operation Transformation. I also love history programmes too.
Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?
Timothy Shriver at The Special Olympics European Games in Poland.
Favourite holiday destination
Anywhere that is hot, has historical places of interest to visit and theme parks near by.
What do you miss most about being a kid?
What is your most prized possession?
My sons (Gary, Robbie, Paul), obviously. But I have kept the first gift that each of them bought for me by themselves.
Best advice you ever got?
“You have to take care of yourself first, before you can take care of anyone or anything else” or “You can’t drink from an empty cup.”