Monday, December 15, 2008

Oprah's Weight Gain - Why She Should Be Embarrassed

Last week you couldn't surf the Web or look at a paper without seeing the following headline (in one form or another) - Oprah Reveals Shocking Weight Gain.

As someone who is on her own personal weight loss journey, I am inclined to listen to what other people have done . . . what works and what doesn't.

The new issue of her magazine shows her "now" self standing next to her much thinner "then" self. Oprah revealed that she is now tipping the scales at 200lbs, and is embarrassed. She also said that she couldn't believe that after all these years that she is "still talking about her weight."

I wasn't appalled by Oprah's gain but what did make my jaw drop was that she was so outwardly negative about herself to her millions upon millions of readers. Her article reveals that she feels like a "fat cow," and details her struggles with an out-of-balance thyroid, explaining how the condition led to "a fear of working out."

Winfrey weighed 40lbs less just two years ago and in 2005 she went on an extreme liquid protein diet that resulted in a dramatic weight loss. She literally STARVED herself. She's done crazier things in the past. In 1988, she lost 67lbs and she chose to wheel a wagon loaded with fat on her talk show.

Today, I feel ashamed for her and embarrassed for her - not because of her weight gain - but for her lack of self respect. And her public display of it.

As someone who strives to lose weight, I know that one thing will always remain true - this is MY journey. And every time I gain anything back, I don't freak out. I just remind myself that I need to work harder. Freaking out gets me no where.

As for Oprah's comment about how she can't believe this is still part of her dialogue - - - clearly she hasn't learned everything about weight loss. It's a journey for her too. If you ask anyone, ANYONE, that has ever lost weight in the past they'd tell you the same thing. The weight can come back.

Her super stardom does not make her immune to the weight coming back. It does not give her a special pass out of the struggles that some of us face every day. A carrot or chocolate cake. A 30 min workout or another hour of sleep. Her money and everything that comes with it can never make her a size zero. But her self respect, discipline, and motivation can make her healthy again.

While I'm not happy to see Oprah slip, it does remind all of us that we are human - and that "they" are just like us. I do wish her the best of luck in her continued journey. And maybe when she reaches her new, adjusted goal, she can celebrate herself in a different way. No fat wagon. Maybe she can write an article on how loving yourself, no matter what size or shape you come in is the key to life's happiness- and how she FINALLY realized that.

My girlfriends and I often ask each other what we would do if we became millionaires - - - we all say the same thing. Quit work. Devote our time to philanthropic endeavors and get a personal trainer. "If I was rich, I'd always be thin." At times like this, I pause and remind my chickies that money is simply no excuse. Look at Oprah. Let's be thinner and happier and love our selves more now - the millions can come later.


Lost in the Supermarket said...

She's perfectly talented and has achieved material success far beyond the imagination. However, Oprah brings more focus on the weight issue than she needs to. She puts herself on every cover of her magazine and she'll devote entire episodes of her show about her weight. She's falling into the trap that journalists will fall into -- making themselves the story. She doesn't need to define her success by what she sees on the scale, because that is a superficial measure. Oprah should aim for health (controlling blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure) and some of that will lead to natural weightloss without bizarre extremes. Just one man's opinion.

Cari from said...

I couldn't agree with you more - calling herself a fat cow (apparently) is an appalling. Here's what I just don't get about Oprah... after all the spiritual work she's done, she still identifies with her form and she can still allow it to let her forget that she's an amazing Sacred Being worthy of self-love and self-respect no matter her weight.


Thanks for the comments!!! I agree with you both! You'd think that after she's had so many people love her - all of her viewers, all of the people who have been touched by her - that she'd know what she's worth. But it just goes to show you that while the whole world can love you, they can't make you love yourself. Right?