Thursday, December 11, 2008

What are you doing, Oprah?

This week, Oprah Winfrey disclosed that she has ballooned to 200 pounds. She details her troubles in the January issue of "O" magazine, which features an image of her fit, flat-tummied self next to her current curvier self, with the headline, "How did I let this happen again?" And in the magazine article she talks about how she wanted to hide during an "Oprah" episode with Tina Turner and Cher because she felt like "a fat cow."

Alicia: Talk about roller coaster relationships -- Oprah Winfrey really has to come to terms with her weight and what it means about who she is. Seems to me she keeps making the issue more public than it needs to be.

Deirdre: I'm glad you brought that up, because I have mixed feelings about what she's done. On one hand, millions of women -- including me -- can identify with her. This just shows she's human. On the other hand, there is some serious masochism going on.

Alicia: Really. It's not that she does it -- to a degree, she has to address issues like her weight head-on, because she's a celebrity. But, you're right, she does it in such a dramatic and self-deprecating way. Many, many people struggle with their weight. But I don't know if you can solve your problem by beating yourself up so much.

Deirdre: But, A, isn't that usually the first impulse -- to beat yourself up?

Alicia: I suppose that's true. And heaven knows I've kicked myself about stupid things I've done (including a run-in or two with a plate of hot wings). But she just keeps kicking herself in front of so many people -- some supportive, and some just dastardly -- almost setting herself up for failure.

Deirdre: It's interesting you say that, because what's the popular advice when you're trying to lose weight? Tell other people about it, as a way to hold yourself accountable and build a support system.

Alicia: I don't know, I've only seen that work when you tell a small group of people who you know will support your goal, and then you open up to others as you move toward your goal. Otherwise, don't you just get a lot of people asking you how it's going -- putting pressure on you, which stresses you out and drives you back to what you're trying to overcome?

Deirdre: I can tell you from personal experience the answer is "yes." But what I find poignant about this situation is that Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest, most powerful women in the world. And the struggle with food and her weight -- when she could hire any chef, trainer, or plastic surgeon -- is like her Achilles heel. So what hope is there for us peons?

Alicia: That's what I'm saying -- is she setting the example that could help those of us who can't afford to hire an army of experts to help us, let alone pay a monthly gym membership or Weight Watchers fee?

Deirdre: She has inspired millions over the years who have followed her struggle.

Alicia: Maybe you're right. She's showing her humanity. I just hope she can find a way to succeed for the long-term.

Deirdre: Well, I'm heartened by an excerpt I saw from her article: "My goal isn't to be thin. My goal is for my body to be the weight it can hold -- to be strong, and healthy and fit, to be itself ... My goal is to learn to embrace this body and to be grateful every day for what it has given me." That's a far cry from back in the day, when she went on a liquid diet to fit into size 10 jeans that were too small the next day.

Alicia: That whole thing was a circus -- and being healthy is the right goal. I hope we can learn a lot from her this time around.


Gray Newman said...

so she has put on weight.... big deal.

whaddajoke said...

I love my fat and my fat loves me. We're a couple. We can relate.

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what Deirdre says, I'm *disheartened* by Oprah's comments. Why? Because she's been saying this "It's not about being thin but healthy" line for almost 20 years. She's like the boy who cried wolf. You'd think by this time, and at her age, she'd be at a place where she accepted her body for the weight it's (obviously) naturally comfortable at. This reads like a publicity stunt. I'm tired of reading/hearing about her weight "issues." Maybe instead of a personal chef and a personal trainer, a therapist is in order.

Anonymous said...

And this has to do with relationships, how .........

Anonymous said...

I too heard of oprah's numbers with her weight, numbers are not what the weight issues are about or clothes sizes even, some women make numbers, sizes the issue though (or some men as well); a person's height and frame size should be taken into account for the numbers amount; personally when Oprah was so thin as so many women try to be for tv or celebrity cameras, she did not look healthy or good or feminine to me. Oprah is I believe 5'6" or more with a larger frame. A size 5 on a petite small framed woman versus a taller larger framed woman would make all the difference in whether they looked good or not. I see women and hear women talk allot about their smaller sizes and what they in their mind thinks looks good, while other's around them will talk about those women not looking good at all.
My point though and reason for responding to this blog, people are talking about Oprah's weight with opinions and views and suggestions or even smiles and criticisms and this can be positive. The day after I heard about oprah's weight increase I visited my dr for a yearly check up for feminine areas, the dr and I were discussing 'eating out allot' and salt intake with those restaurant prepared foods; and how those two things will add pounds quickly! We both agreed as my doctor says to me as I joked a bit about Oprah's latest announcement on her wieght, "it is good though that Oprah will be addressing and talking about these areas on her show (with the guest experts in these areas) as she tries to stay or get healthy; because it will possibly make other people also be aware of weight and health issues with themselves. As they too try to eat right, exercise, and be healthier with maintaining their weight or losing or even gaining, and they listen and learn or do with following Oprah with her trying to change bad habits and develop or replace with good habits. I have found that constant reminders or practice is needed with good health habits especially in today's world of chemicals in our foods not needed,too much fats or sugars etc.
There is so much to say about these areas of health, exercise, food and eating and weight gain or loss; that could be a whole other BLOG.
Which I will also say, relationships are for sure sometimes influenced with these weight changes whether they are positive or negative with the numbers or sizes; as the motives for our weight and sizes makes all the difference in whether they are for vanity or numbers or for health. Eat healthy to live, not live to eat; or eat healthy and smaller portions and appearances of health shows and happens; hopefully then a better relationship with our self improves other relationships around us!

Anonymous said...

I really think that Oprah's attentio to her weight (again), is all about introducing her next TV segment. The next series of shows starts on January 5 - when weight loss is often at the top of everyone's resolutions to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I thought about that also, as I thought to myself does she really think that no one has noticed her weight gain without her telling us. We can see and most of us don't really care one way or the other, no big deal really, her business what she eats or doesn't eat. I watch or not watch no matter her hair, clothes, weight etc. I have always noticed that oprah is very self conscience of herself though, no matter what she is saying or doing, or weighing and she does talk about herself or what she is going through or doing allot on her show.
I watch her show if she has interesting guests or information, don't watch if it is about her or her favorite things or what she is giving away etc.