Meet your UL Transforms leaders
By Niamh Delmer
The students and staff of the University of Limerick are embarking on a fitness adventure. With four members of staff and four student members leading the way, UL is hoping to demonstrate that it is possible to work and study while maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
So who are the courageous leaders involved?
“I certainly feel like one of the Kardashians or some kind of celebrity at this stage. I’m going to be working on tightening my ass to fit into leather trousers.”
This is what UL Transforms, the new fitness initiative introduced by the Student’s Union, is like for Chris McInerney, a staff leader in the programme.
The 53-year-old Politics and Public Administration lecturer has entered the UL Transforms programme with the goals to become more conscious of his eating habits, to have a sustainable exercise routine, and to monitor these efforts more closely in general.
Despite his belief that the programme provides “some degree of an extra conscience and an extra motivation”, Chris has already faced some obstacles at the beginning of his transformation journey. One of these obstacles being pulling a muscle during his first gym session before he had “even started doing the exercise yet”. Even more challenging than this, Chris has had to painfully “resist the temptation to put the Fit Bit on the dog’s tail” in order to rack up that step count without the hard work.
However, Chris admits that he is “a bit overweight, could usefully reduce the fat content in my body and could work on increasing muscle content somewhat” and so, is eager to delve into the seven-week journey ahead of him.
Chris says he aims to achieve three things during UL Transforms.
“I will become more conscious of what I eat and will tell my taste buds to catch themselves on about their need for sugar and sweet! I will also, I hope, become more mindful of how I cook and prepare food.
Green smoothies all the way and the end of the primacy of the frying pan,” he said.
“I will take more exercise but will try to do so in a way that can be sustained, not killing myself for 8 weeks so that the pre and post UL Transform tests look good, but that they could, if tested, continue to look good in 6 months or 12 months’ time.
I will especially focus on building upper body strength and building my stamina for swimming and hill walking,” he went on.
“Finally, I’m going to monitor all of these efforts a bit more closely and conscientiously.
“I promise not to attach the FitBit to the dog in the effort to boost my step count. And, most of all, I’m going to enjoy it and have a bit of fun during the next eight weeks,” he finished.