About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Start Again in 2010 - Final Update

Friday, 21 May 2010

The week of the 11th of Jan we started our "Start Again in 2010" campaign. We chose two groups of people to focus on. We took 3 Mums who hoped to shift some of their baby weight and 3 smokers who wanted to give up smoking for good. We set them goals and matched them with an expert in the field. After 10 weeks the results spoke for themselves. Our mums had lost a total of 61.5 lbs and our now ex- smokers were feeling healthy and smoke free.

Our two groups did a fantastic job over the 10 weeks of the campaign, eating healthy and exercising in the case of the mums and giving up cigarettes and focusing on the health benefits in the case of our smokers. So, how did they get on once we left them to continue their tasks without the eyes of the nation watching on?!


Billy (William) Salinger, Dublin - He used to smoke about 50/60 a day. Billy had been in and out of hospital with lung problems and suffered from chronic Asthma. He was paired up with Pharmacist Kathy Maher.

How is Billy doing now?

Billy is doing really well; he still hasn't touched a cigarette since he began this process. He is also off the patches and any nicotine replacement devices. It is Billy's own sheer will and desire to stay smoke free which keeps him motivated.

He doesn't suffer from cravings anymore. Beforehand he would still miss the act of holding a cigarette but he does not feel that urge anymore. Even at social events he doesn't feel the need to have a cigarette. He can really smell smoke off people now and he thinks it smells terrible.

Veronica O'Donnell, Co. Tipperary - Veronica used to smoke around 25 a day and more when she was out. She was paired up with EFT Practitioner Norah Sweetman.

How is she doing?

Veronica is doing fantastic and feels great. She actually feels like she never smoked. She still does the tapping but not as much as she used to.

She has no problems when she is out at social events. She said it would have been much harder to stay off them if it bothered her when other people smoked around her but she doesn't mind. Her daughter Rachel's 21st is on the 18th of September and she thinks it should go really well for her. Her cravings have disappeared completely.

Rosie Carroll, Co. Roscommon - She used to smoke between 25 to 30 a day and she was paired up with Hypnotist Joe Duffy

How is she doing?

Rosie is doing great, she has stayed off the cigarettes and is still in touch with her expert Joe. She knows she can give him a call if she has any problems. She has no problem with cravings anymore and is delighted with all the help that the show gave her; she says she could not have done it without the extra push.


Vivienne Goodwin

Vivienne is a busy mum with three kids. She yo-yoed with her weight since her 20's and really wanted to get back in shape. It's her son's communion this year and her goal was to wear a nice outfit on the day. She wanted to change her lifestyle and pass on the health benefits to her family.

How is she doing now?

Vivienne is doing great. She has stuck to the program and since the show she has lost another stone, so that's three stone in total! Her goal was three stone so she is delighted.

Eireann Mannion

Eireann is first time mum to Fiacra. She was very busy with her first child and found it difficult to find the time to exercise. She wanted to lose weight from her stomach and arms in particular.

How is she doing?

Eireann is doing great and has kept the weight off since the show. She trains every week and John took her on after the show and kept training her which she appreciates. Her confidence has improved hugely and she says that John did wonders for her in that area as well.

Caitriona Byrne

Catriona has three children. Her main problem area was her tummy. She feels like she has never shifted the weight after her 1st baby. She tried all the fad diets and quick fixes but they never worked for her.

How is she doing?

Catriona is doing well and eats better than she did before she started the healthy eating program. She finds it difficult to find time to do the home exercises so she gets out for plenty of walks instead. She still keeps in touch with the other girls over Facebook to see how they're getting on.

Additional / Misc' Info:

For information on any of our experts please contact the following:

Norah Sweetman - EFT Practitioner - 086 829 4842 or

Joe Duffy - Hypnotherapist - Cloverhill, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon.

Ph: 094-9860959 or 087 068 4800

Kathy Maher - Pharmacist - Donore Pharmacy, 1 Cuillean Court, Donore, Co.Meath.

Ph: - 041 981 4563 (W) or &

To contact John O'Connell Health and Fitness Coach contact him on:
Call: 086 171 5532
Or go to or