Thursday, March 02, 2023


Teacher Lorraine Dempsey at the finale of this year’s Operation Transformation


By Elizabeth Lee

“IT’S honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done! It was an amazing experience and I’d advise anyone to do it,” said teacher Lorraine Dempsey about her experience on ***Operation Transformation***, RTÉ lifestyle and health show.

After eight weeks of physical and mental challenges, Lorraine and the four other leaders ended their OT journey last week in a grand finale.

Lorraine looked stunning in her new dress, but she also looked happy and confident, not tired and stressed. As a busy school principal and mother of three, Lorraine had been struggling, trying to keep all the balls up in the air as she juggled the demands made on her by her work and home lives.

Lorraine, originally from Borris but now living in Co Wexford, was prompted to enter the show because of her own health scare as well as her family history. She underwent surgery on her back recently, while her beloved mother Hannah has been treated for cancer. Lorraine was also approaching her 43rd birthday, which was a poignant reminder of how young her dad Jonjo was when he died suddenly at the age of 53.

“My mother getting sick and my father dying so young were the catalysts for me. That was the lightbulb moment for me … I’m replaceable in work, but not at home. I want to be around for my husband, children and family,” Lorraine told ***The Nationalist*** at outset of her OT journey.


Lorraine with her family, Jack, Anthony, Katie and Patrick in Cahore, Co Wexford on New Year’s Day

Now that she’s come through to the other side of ***Operation Transformation*** after eight weeks of training, developing good eating habits and making time for herself and her family, a new Lorraine has emerged. She’s lost a stone and five pounds in weight and seven inches off her waist, and has also developed a capacity to continue with those good lifestyle choices. She also has the support of the OT team of experts for six months.

“Throughout the programme, there’s a massive focus on wellbeing. Now that the cameras have stopped rolling, it’s about putting the tools I’ve learnt into action. There were simple changes that I needed to make and it’s about fitting those into my own life,” explained Lorraine.

“I’ve found myself again. I’ve got a bit of me back. At the end of the day, my job is a job. I’ve learnt that I don’t need to be in charge of everything, things will get done,” concluded Lorraine.




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