UL Transforms: Darragh Stephenson - MY FINAL WEEK

Friday, 16th March 2018

Done and dusted. What an amazing but challenging seven weeks that was. The road for recovery basically. I’ve been given a strict checklist that I must follow so here it goes, have tissues on hand.

  1. What have I enjoyed the most? The change in lifestyle. I would have said seven weeks ago this was the part I was dreading the most. An apple instead of a dairy milk, oatcakes instead of crisps, carrot sticks instead of biscuits and water instead of Pepsi. I have actually enjoyed the change; my body feels a hell of a lot better for the change despite now sounding like a boring old fart that enjoys eating bland food for a living. It was not easy I can assure you, I had the withdrawals quite badly. The mood swings were something else; I went back to my teenage self where I hated the world and everyone in it for a solid few days. Now? I’m in a Zhen like state and reassurance myself that my body is a temple too.
  2. Most Challenging: Delegating time management. Sometimes you feel there is literally no time in the day for exercise due to work and college. It can be extremely annoying and deflating. My solution? Getting up an hour earlier every morning and dedicate that to yourself for the gym or a run. I say this as I am writing this blog at 9 in the morning in bed!! But it’s okay for me, aren’t I basically a personal trainer now!!
  3. Feeling benefits? Absolutely no question. I feel and look better as far as I’m concerned. From an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. I have obtained a Calvin Klein photo-shoot such is the results. On a serious note yes I am feeling a lot better, my body shape has definitely changed and there is as much spillage so really good. Mentally I feel more refreshed too. It’s amazing what a few oatcakes can do.
  4. Should the initiative continue? Yes 100%. Some people need a kick in the arse to motivate themselves to make a change so don’t deny potential students for this wonderful opportunity next year. I was a little boy lost and looking for direction and I stumbled upon UL transforms, which has turned me into a fine strapping young man. The programme gives the opportunity to meet fantastic people who are so knowledgeable in their fields. From nutritionists to sport scientists to other students who are their as a support mechanism and a guide which is just fantastic. If the programme was not to continue it would be such a shame as far as I’m concerned. It will be hard for next years leaders to be a dynamic and funny as me but that is a challenge in itself. God I do sound like an ass sometimes when sarcastic.
  5. What will I miss? Not the snapchat videos! Thank Christ they are done. I detested doing them. At least the double chin diminished over the weeks doing them. I’ll miss the celebrity status… Actually I’ll miss being monitored by people, it’s a motivator for me and not having that concerns me slightly that I might jump off the horse not fall off it. So it’s up to all my friends and family to berate me and I surely can’t fall off the wagon then can I?
  6. Future plans: Not to go back to where I was. I was latargic and horrible looking as far as I’m concerned. I let myself go rather far and am battling through the elements to look like a proper “stun Hun” again. I feel I am winning that battle, but it is the war I am targeting. Rome was built in a day and neither was perfection. I’m not perfect yet but I’m damn close. Over confident Darragh is back, tell the world.


Lastly but by most certainly least I would like to mention a few people in my last blog as a sign of gratitude. Firstly to Roberta Harrington and all the people in the Students Union; thank you so much for starting an amazing programme. I was drowning and you threw me a life jacket so I am extremely grateful for that. To Catherine Norton my nutritionist, you hadn’t an easy job trying to convert me and you somehow managed to do that. For that I will recommend you for the Freedom of Limerick City award. To all the lads and ladies and at the reception in the Sports Arena, thank you for all your help and support it means a lot.

To my friends and family who supported me in this, a massive massive thank you. I really appreciated your unwavering support. A special shout out to my mother who did all the food preparation and also gave out to me when necessary.

Imagine that my blogs over. There are a lot of people sad and emotional that this is the end. However, come join me and all the other leaders at the pavilion next Tuesday the 20th for our closing ceremony. If sitting on the fence about whether to go or not, just to inform you that I will be saying a few words and briefly will stand for photos so there’s the added incentive for you all.

This is not the end but yet the start of something beautiful. I’m losing the weight; I’m a happier person. Two out of three on my checklist ticked. The third is slightly more difficult but I’m sure I’ll get there. I’m not going to disclose it; I’ve exposed myself enough in the past seven weeks. I’ll leave it on the cliffhanger.

My book will be in Easons soon, I hope you enjoy it.


Thanks for following me over the last seven weeks; I really hope you enjoyed my journey as much as I did.


Peace out