Last year's Operation Transformation leader Noeleen Lynam has been killing her plan since leaving the show. For 2017 the school teacher set herself a goal to fit into her ultimate "skinny outfit" - a bridesmaid dress from 1996!

Noeleen Lynam
Noeleen, Olive and Carmel

Noeleen told RTÉ LifeStyle: "The summer of 1996 was glorious! It sticks in my memory because it was a scorcher and also because of the wedding of my bestest friend Genevieve to Vincent.

"As I was her chief bridesmaid, the months of June and July were a frenzy of diet plans and exercise. It paid off as when our second last fitting for our fabulous frocks came around, mine had to be taken in! Happy days.

"The sun shone brightly on the day and we all looked AMAZING, even if I do say so myself! And that was the first and last time that I wore that dress. Once the wedding was over, I went back to my old habits. The weight went back up and the dress wouldn't go over my hips.

"The dress was assigned to my 'skinny' wardrobe in the spare room. Every year I cull my clothes. If I haven't worn an item in the past 12 months then it gets given away.....unless it is of deep sentimental value, which this dress is. So once a year it gets taken out of its protective covering, I look at it and sigh for my lost youth and then promptly put it back.

"Recently I delved into the skinny wardrobe for something else. I saw the dress and thought 'Will I risk it?'"

"I was very unsure because I am so so happy with my body as it is now, I didn't want to be disappointed by it still not fitting me. After all who was I kidding. It's been 20 years since I wore it and even then I was the slimmest I had ever been."

"Feck it. I'll risk it!"

"So out it came out of the wrapper and I stepped into it. I got it up as far as my hips.
Wiggle wiggle, up it went!
Next challenge....the zipper.
Swoosh, up it went!
IT FIT!"

Noeleen Lynam

2017 Noeleen in her 1996 dress!

"Okay, so I'm being shallow. But this is the ultimate proof of how far I've come since the start of Operation Transformation. And what's more, it's not a result of starving myself for a few weeks in order to fit into it. It's been a slower but much healthier way and I know I'll still fit into it in the future. 

"Not that I'm ever going to wear it again, but it’s nice to know I could!"

Operation Transformation airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8.30pm on RTÉ One. 

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