By Brendan Grehan
THE HAPPY Pear twins may have to keep an eye on Mark Fearon if he ever decides to bring some of his soups to a wider audience. Mark raves about his cauliflower soup and for him it’s one of the building blocks for his remarkable weight loss over the last seven months.
Last September, the former tighthead prop set himself the goal of losing 10 stone in one year. To date he has knocked off seven stone and he is showing no signs of stopping.
The former JCT and SCT winner now lives in Firhouse with his partner Orla and their daughter Fiadh (two) and son Declan Óg (four months). Last September he tipped the scales at 26.8 stone and he decided enough was enough.
It wasn’t Mark’s first attempt at shedding the pounds but this time he is committed to keeping the weight off. He is a big fellow and in a former life he had aspirations towards becoming a professional rugby player.
A shoulder injury while playing for DUFC (Trinity College Rugby) put paid to that and he gave up the oval ball and set off for Australia.
“I spent two years in Australia and lived in Perth. I spent a lot of time everywhere. New Zealand was my next port of call. I took up smoking and was very good at it. It was the first time since Willow Park that I wasn’t in a team environment in relation to exercise.”
“I got good at smoking, good at drinking and good at eating. My weight yo-yo’ed up and down. I decided to do something about it and I was selected as a sub for Operation Transformation in 2010. I’m good at being a sub.
The late Gerry Ryan was presenting the show back then and Mark got on well with the late DJ.
“I think he saw a lot of me in him. He was quite a big guy. We seemed to have a lot in common and we got on well. Operation Transformation put me in touch with the HSE who gave me a programme. I was 27 and a half and I lost six stone.”
“Once I lost the weight, I was kind of happy and I went back to my old ways and the weight all came back over time.
Mark then tried a number of weight-loss options including Weightwatchers and Motivation Weight Loss Clinics but he decided to contact Dr Eva Orsmond who he had first met on Operation Transformation.
“I tried them all. They all work and they all don’t work. Diet is the key. It’s the most important part of the equation. People go on about exercise. Exercise is great for your head and you feel great but diet is more important”.
Last Summer Mark wasn’t feeling the best about his weight. As a father of one with another on the way, he wanted to be there for his partner and his children.
“I felt like sh*t. I wasn’t happy. I had to something. So on September 7, I set myself a goal of losing 10 stone in a year.”
He knew he couldn’t do it on his own and along with his partner he has the assistance of two former ‘Rock men from the class of 1996, Keith Murphy and Richie Woods.
“We have a Whatsapp group and I would usually talk to the lads once a day. I couldn’t do it without them.”
Mark’s diet is now vastly different from the bad old days.
“I would have some unsuitable high-sugar cereal for breakfast and a big deli roll with lashings of butter, coleslaw or egg mayonnaise and probably a few potato wedges.”
“I would have good food for dinner but portion control was my big problem. There were a lot of takeways too and chocolate and ice cream.
Now he has porridge for breakfast, homemade soup with crackers and salad for lunch. Dinner consists of seven different low-calorie meals with plenty of variety.
His weight loss has slowed down in the last while.
“I was losing five or six pounds a week. Now it’s one or two pounds. I want to lose 10 stone in 12 months. If I end up doing it in 13 months, who cares?”
He says has more energy now for his business, Tipperary Crystal Chandeliers, of which he is CEO and for his family.
“I have lots more energy for my work. For the first few weeks of Covid I was doing nothing but the online side of our business has now really taken off. I see it now being 50% of our business from now on. Pre-Covid it was only 5%.”
If you are interested in a Tipperary Crystal Chandelier, you can order from the website www.tipperarycrystal.com or book an appointment for a viewing at Tipperary Crystal’s showroom at their showrooms in Churchtown.
You can follow Mark’s weight loss journey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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