Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oprah Has a Cow: "How did I let this happen again?"

No need to rehash in words Oprah's battle of the bulge. I've got my own war stories with weight, but I am sharing this video and quotes about her supposed "remarkable" confession, that she's hit 200 pounds. We who have TVs and watch her could see that.
The news of her weight gain spread like butter on a hot skillet around the tabloids, gossip blogs and columns. They are treating it with shock! Shock!

... What, we had to wait till Oprah herself admitted it? Girl, we could see you were back on the chips and pie. And it didn't take high-def.

“I’m mad at myself,” Winfrey writes in an article for the January '09 O mag. “I’m embarrassed,” she writes. “I can’t believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I’m still talking about my weight."

We can't believe it either. Because if anyone has a pass on the rule that says women on TV have to be skeletal, it's Oprah Winfrey. Her heft is part of her appeal. It's an oft-quoted statistic that the average American woman is size 12 or larger. O looks to be about a 16-18 at the moment. And nobody's turning her show off because of that. (Elaine Liner at HuffPo)
No, there's nothing remarkable in Oprah's admission. What's remarkable is that a woman at her level of accomplishment and wealth would say that she feels ashamed or embarrassed about gaining 40 pounds. It says that this society still makes women feel like they lose value if they don't look Victoria Secret models, even older women.

Like Oprah, I have gained weight since 2006. I have had the same thyroid condition that Oprah has, but not her money and opportunities. Also, I've been through a divorce and faced other health issues, ones unrelated to weight. Should I also be ashamed?

Fighting depression, I've thought that a healthy attitude is moving forward to work to solve my weight problem while not brooding about my weight or kicking myself. In other words, pee or get off the pot when it comes to weight. I work to take action and if I'm not taking action, I muzzle the complaints on what a horrible person I am to be so fat. Perhaps that's what Oprah's doing now, still ...

How does Oprah's confession help me? I don't have a chef or personal trainer to help keep me in check. And like Oprah, I've never bought into the I can be beautiful and healthy at any size hype. I think you get to a point when you say enough is enough. I suppose Oprah's had enough.

Nevertheless, when I noticed Oprah's weight gain, I concluded that like me, she's burdened with hypothyroidism, and it's also possible she's insulin intolerant, a condition I suspect I have. I also decided that money doesn't buy thinness. It takes an inner psyching to pull off weight and keep it off, and pulling off weight comes more easily when one's genetics and thyroid works for instead of against you. I drew these conclusions, knowing I must still work hard to get myself to a "healthy" weight, and I watched Oprah's hips widen, but it never occurred to me that while I watched her she watched her self esteem fall as her pounds climbed up.

Yes, I do that too, and probably most of American women struggling with weight gain also let their self esteem plummet as the scale number rises, but Oprah has resources at her fingertips to get help whenever she wishes. So, I also considered that her gaining weight was a sign she was finally happy, had really learned to love and accept herself, but I was wrong.

Oprah would probably say taking care of yourself is the best sign of self-love and letting your weight go up, up, and awaaaaay, is not one of the signs of being all right with you. We know that Oprah's heavy with self-enlightenment advice.

Since we've gone down this road with Oprah before, I can't help but feel that she's using her weight struggle to sell magazines and boost ratings. The New Year, after all, is the time when people are most interested in weight loss. Is it possible she'll kill two birds with one stone, draw viewers and take off pounds too.

Despite my suspicions, I decided to track of how she drops weight because if she can do it maybe I can as well. Maybe she'll use her money to unlock the secret of skinniness, and I can use her for not only inspiration but also education. However, today, I saw her ads for the New Year with Dr. Oz and weight loss strategies. I also heard that she'll be hitting the gym for one hour per day. One hour every day of the week?

Wait! I can't do that. I work 10-hour days sometimes. I have obligations to offspring. I don't have a trainer to push me. The more I think on it, the more I think I may turn Oprah off and go my own way with weight loss. She's stressing me out, and you know that stress also triggers weight gain. Do I need Oprah stressing me out with her charts and impractical goals that fit her lifestyle but not mine?

Oprah expects us to learn from her and say, "See! Even Oprah struggles and is embarrassed by her weight too. She's only human like us."

I knew she was human. So, I think what she's really telling me is that when I've avoided events because I've felt fat, I was right to feel that way, that I should feel horrible when I look in the mirror until I'm a size 3, something I've never been. I should be embarrassed about my body and myself.

No, I can guilt myself just fine without Oprah's help. Yeah, yeah. I know. She doesn't call it guilting us out. She calls it motivating the nation. But, it feels like guilt to me.

Here's a bit of video from CNN, Alaina Cho reporting. It's a mini-history in Oprah's pound see-saw.

And here's more video rehashing Oprah's shame.

1 comment:

lilalia said...

I feel for you. I'm going through similar difficulties. I get the feeling that there is something else going on with our bodies that is not being discussed. If I look at the photos of my grandmother and my mother at my age, there I am in the making. Could it be that living a life of being physically active and conscious eating just isn't enough to change the way my body wants to age? I'm wondering if there is something more primal to weight gain or loss than our silly society wants to explore. In any case, sorry, but I am not going to look to Oprah or even your country for diet tips or how to grow old gracefully. That would be like turning to an alcoholic for tips about living life joyously sober.