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Monday, January 5, 2009

Visiting the church of O


I don't usually subscribe to the church of O -- Oprah that is. I know people who follow her religiously, watching or at least taping her shows every day, reading every books she recommends, taking on every challenge she issues.

But today's show was about Oprah's most recent weight gain, why it happened and what she's gonna do about it. So while I'm not a card-carrying member of the church of O, I am happy to fill a seat (or a seat and a half) when the subject is weight because fat girls know fat girls. And fat girls stick together.

For years, I've thrown money at my fat, hoping some of it would stick and melt away the fat. I'm a repeat offender at Weight Watchers. I've done NutriSystem. I sought out help from a physician and her team of fat fighters. I joined Jazzercize, and for four torturous months last year, got up at 4:30am five days a week to participate in a fitness boot camp. The result? I gained 3 pounds.

Yes, despite all of her money, Oprah's fallen off the wagon. Of course, I haven't managed to even climb aboard yet. So I DVR'd the show and sat down to watch.

She attributed some of her 50 pound weight gain to a thyroid condition. Oh, how often I've wished I had a thyroid issue -- something I could point to as a cause for my excess girth. But in reality, I have a "can't say no to chocolate or sugar or fried foods" issue.

"When you see me gain weight," Oprah said, "it's not about me pigging out. It's always about my life is out of balance. It's about what I am really hungry for."

Amen to that, sister! And if I can figure out what I am really hungry for, I'll be on my way.

Oprah said she felt like the thyroid diagnosis was a "fat" sentence. That she didn't have any choice but to be fat. I think about that too. I've been overweight for so long, I can't envision my body in any other way. But here's the rub -- I don't want to see my body in this way.

I'm not all about being a size 6. I just want an existence where I can walk up the 3 flights of stairs to my office without having to pause to regain breath before opening the door just so I can talk to the administrative assistant. I'd like to be able to eat Mexican food or Italian food or any food without thinking about whether I've taken my Nexium to ward off miserable heart burn. I'd like to walk into a regular store and just buy something off the rack.

Bob Greene "diagnosed" Oprah has having depression. Of course. Despite the jolly fat person persona that is perpetuated by Santa Claus, John Goodman and Al Roker, I'd venture to guess that more overweight people feel depressed more often than jolly.

The queen of daytime talk -- heck, the queen of all things media -- says despite all of her fame and wealth, she never really learned how to be happy. So 2009, O declared through my DVR, is about having more joy, more hopefulness. (I'll even forgive her for the veiled political "hope won" reference.)

And who knew? Oprah and I are of the same mind on that one.

I decided on my own, before Oprah's best life programming ever hit the airwaves, that this is the year that I am not going to live on the surface of life. I'm not going to invest time and energy in things that don't bring me joy or ignite my passion. It's not a resolution really. Just an investment in myself and my family. Whether or not that translates into a healthier body remains to be seen. But I think it will go miles toward a healthier me in general.

This is kind of a diversion from the normal frog fare I ususally serve up here. But if Oprah can go on national TV running on an elliptical, out of breath in a shirt that might have been a bit better one size up, I can expose my thoughts here.


Eternal Lizdom said...

I'm glad she spoke to you because her message didn't ring with me! I wish there had been more focus on other possibilities and not just Oprah's story.

A great book that helped me years and years ago was Dr Phil's weight loss book. The reason it was different was because it helped unlock that hidden layer of why we eat. That was the starting place. I've gotten to where I love me as I am. Inside and out.

It's hard for me to wrap my head around what Oprah said about not ever learning how to be happy because she is the preacher of happy and joy and fulfillment! So that was odd for me. But I do believe that everyone should live their life full of joy and inspiration and purpose.

Stick with it and keep sharing on your journey, Amy! So many of us are along side you!

Joanie said...

The Church of O... LOL I love it! I haven't been a fan for a while. But it's so good to know that rich famous people have weight issues too.

I, too have thrown money at my fat, trying to get it gone. I have so many exercise DVDs, I could open a DVD rental store. I have a shelf of MediFast food (yuck!) I went to Weight Watchers and lost $100. I did Jenny Craig for 9 months, lost 25 lbs and $1800, then gained it all back +5 when I quit going.

I am an addict of comfort food and junk food. I hate to exercise but I feel great when I do. I joined a gym with my friend, but quit going when I got sick and haven't been back in 2 months.

I KNOW what I have to do to lose the weight, but I'm just too dang lazy to do it. There. I said it.

Maybe tomorrow....

Anonymous said...

Amen, Sister. You go get yo' passionate self and light it on fiiiiirrrrre. I'm all about the passion. That is why I am going to get passionate about my laundry right now.

Lori said...

You are one of the most talented, awesome individuals I know. (Now I sound like my father-in-law, talking in superlatives.) I hope the new year brings you the happiness you deserve, Amy.

Shannon @ Gabi's World said...

Okay! I guess I'll let it slide that you watched her this ONE time! LOL!

I can't believe you gained weight after so much hard work at that camp! You sure you didn't loose inches and gain muscle mass? Muscle does weigh more than fat and burns more calories than fat does. Yeah that's my Biggest Loser knowledge speaking... remember when Bob talked about that?

MaryAnn said...

Good for you! Oprah has obviously come up with an undisputable (although lame) reason why she fell off the wagon. Depression is a huge hat rack. While it may be true that she's depressed, I don't believe that is THE reason for weight gain.
I truly believe the reason why I'm fat is that I really like food! Apple pie alamode is to die for; onion rings sometimes really hit the spot and the Hardees employees have my Big Chicken ready for me when I hit the door.
Exercise? Yeah, well, I work 40 hours a week (usually), and do all the stuff a home requires. When I get home at 6, eat something, cause I've tried to cut back all day, start a load of clothes, clean up the kitchen from breakfast, I like to catch the News at 7 (on whatever super smart station started that)and then I'm done for the day. Time to get ready to do it all again.
Amy, love your blogs! Don't always have time to read it. LOL

Joanie said...

I'm watching The Biggest Loser and I'm thinking of you because ofeverything you've said about wanting to be on that show. (it's commercial right now). And I'm watching it WITHOUT a snack! :)

Anonymous said...

I know there are lots of reasons why we over-indulge, but sometimes I don't care about the reason. All I know is that when I'm depressed, a bowl of ice cream cures my depression a lot better than working out!
(it's quicker too!)

Amy said...

@ Liz -- I can see how Oprah can preach it without actually feeling it. She said herself that giving to others makes her happy. So when she's doing that, she's happy. But when she's alone, maybe not.

@Joanie, Mary Ann, LisaB -- Oh I hear you and I concur!