Fine Gael’s youngest TD Noel Rock dropped three stone recently after taking on a new health regime.
The Dublin politician said he piled on two stone when he was elected to Dail Eireann.
He said that the job often entails 80-hour weeks and evenings pints to network with acquaintances, which contributed to the weight gain.
“I was turning 30 and things were only going in one direction. I knew that if I didn’t take action to address it there and then that I never would,” said.
“I started gaining weight from the time I was elected in February 2016. I put on two stone very fast. The real manifestation of that is how you look in print and on TV and there is nowhere to hide the gain when you wear a suit every day. People don’t want to see an obese or overweight politician.”
“I am working upwards of 80 hours a week. My working hours are weird and my diet was terrible. The lifestyle is about meeting people and networking too, so pints in the evening is part of the job. All told, it adds up very quickly,” he continued.
“I found that being overweight can affect performance. You feel bad and lethargic and you run out of energy faster.”
The politician, who once beat his boss An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in a 10km running race, joked that he might want to watch out again soon.
“I ran the Dublin Night Run 15 seconds faster than Leo two years ago. He’s a lot fitter now, but so am I. I ran the same event in 52:09 minutes a few weeks ago, breaking the hour for the first time, so Leo might have some work to do to catch up with me now,” quipped Noel.
Rock now does spinning classes in FLYEfit in Drumcondra, and goes to the gym at least five days a week.
“Spinning is great and I enjoy the process. I used to train by running but I had a tendency to overrun which led to injury, which stopped me from making progress. Spinning is better all round and the classes keep me motivated.”
“I plan for seven days a week and if I go the gym five days out of the seven then that is a result. There is always something to throw you off schedule, like the other day when Radio 1 rang with an invite to do the Sean O’Rourke Show. I missed my morning routine but I made up for that with an evening gym session,” he continued.
He added: “Some people want to know how I lost the weight. I always tell those who ask that I’m not a martyr for it. I took the decision to be more active and to make exercise part of my routine. It balances out all the other stuff. If I can do it so can anyone else. The thing is to start,” he added.