Louise McSharry: "There are businesses out there that want to make you feel s**t about yourself"

Broadcaster says she is ‘very critical’ of the diet industry on this week’s podcast

Radio presenter Louise McSharry.

Radio presenter Louise McSharry.

 

On this week’s podcast, Louise McSharry, presenter of the accompanying radio programme for RTÉ’s Operation Transformation on 2fm, tells Roísín that she is “very critical” of the diet industry.

McSharry also says she will speak up if she is uncomfortable with any aspect of the popular health and fitness TV show.

McSharry says: “I think there are plenty of businesses out there whose sole intention is to make you feel like shit about yourself so you will buy their product and they will make money.”

Speaking on Operation Transformation, the presenter says: “I’ve certainly watched moments over the years that have made me uncomfortable, but I think the show has grown and evolved and they’re committed to a positive message.

“If there was a moment I was uncomfortable with in this series, will I be talking about it on the radio show? Absolutely.”

McSharry is following the health and fitness programme herself, as she might need in vitro fertilisation (IVF) after recent cancer treatment affected her fertility.

McSharry says her doctor told her to “go away and have sex with your husband for a year”, and if that did not work, to get her body mass index (BMI) down significantly before IVF.

Róisín Meets . . . radio presenter Louise McSharry

“It doesn’t really matter if I think BMI is bullshit. My doctor is not going to give me IVF unless I lose weight, and I don’t want to close any doors to motherhood,” she says.

The presenter also reveals that “not being obsessed with the number on the scale” is a recent thing for her, as she does not remember a time before she turned 30 when she did not feel overweight.

Cancer treatment

McSharry says that before her cancer diagnosis she “lost a lot of weight very quickly” and for the first time in her life she “had no interest in food”.

Her appetite returned during her cancer treatment, a good sign that her body was healing.

“Even though the chemo was saving me and the fact that my appetite came back meant that I was getting better, I was annoyed at the chemo and at my appetite for coming back,” she says.

“I needed to get off this rollercoaster. It wasn’t about health or fitness, it was about wearing the right clothes and looking the right way.”

She says she learned to accept her body after realising that being overweight had never stopped her from doing what she wanted to do.

McSharry will be presenting Op Tran with Karl Henry, one of Operation Transformation’s trainers, on RTÉ 2fm on Saturday mornings from 9-11am.

Her memoir, Fat Chance, will be published by Penguin this spring.

To listen to the conversation or to other episodes of the podcast, visit Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher or irishtimes.com.

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