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Posts Tagged ‘Oprah’

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

It’s been so long since I’ve written a Tuesday post, but today I think I have an interesting one for you.  (I hope so, at least).

Yesterday on Oprah, Geneen Roth, author of Women, Food, and God was on answering questions that viewers had after reading her book.  I should say at the outset of this post that I haven’t finished the book yet.  (Mostly because I’ve been reading some excellent fiction, and haven’t wanted to tear myself away from it).  Still, I was interested in the show because I want to stop overeating and feeling the NEED to overeat.

(All of the quotes are my own paraphrasings from watching the show while typing this).

I loved the person who asked if it’s always “something deeper” or if someone can just like food. I’ve felt that way for so long.  I am lucky in that I don’t have any deep emotional or physical trauma in my past that causes me to overeat.  I really do think that food is just something I love and in my family, we celebrate with food.  I know that Oprah always feels that there is some emotional reason why people get to be very overweight, but I have struggled for years to come up with a cause.  I am so glad the person asked this question, because it was one of my own.  Geneen Roth answered that “if you truly love something, you aren’t stuffing your face with food, you aren’t ignoring your body when it’s told you it’s had enough.” The girl responded that she doesn’t know why she overeats, and Oprah said, “that’s exactly what this book is about.  It’s to help you identify why you are filling yourself with food instead of something else.  It will help you figure out what’s missing.”  The girl asked how she identifies what the problem is, and Geneen Roth said to “take one day and only eat until you’ve had ‘enough.’ Stop when you’re satisfied, before you normally would.  Whatever you feel when you still see food on the plate may lead you to understand why you overeat.” I’m going to try this today and see what happens.

Another audience member brought up a really good point about using food to “change the channel.” She said that she often overeats or indulges when she “doesn’t want to be something, like she’s feeling tired or angry at her husband, and doesn’t want to be.”  Instead of getting angry at him or listening to her body and going to bed, she eats something which helps her “change the channel” for the moment.  I think that this happens to me sometimes.  Roth said “what’s so terrible about being tired?”  She said that hell can be defined as “wanting to be somewhere other than where you are or not wanting to be where you are.”  Oprah expanded that the book suggests that we acknowledge the feelings, stay in the moment, and not “bolt” from the experience and work through it  (Oprah said this is the “sacredness”), which is the first step toward ending the obsession with food.

One of the most profound statements came halfway through the show when Oprah quoted from page 53 of the book:

Weight is what happens when you use food to flatten your life. It’s about the fact that you have given up without saying so.  It’s about your belief that it’s not possible to live any other wayAnd you are using food to act that out without ever having to admit to it.”

Wow!  When I heard Oprah utter those words I literally got tears in my eyes.  It hit me hard and it made me realize how much of myself I see in that statement.  Every time I think, “I’ll have this now and then on _________ I’ll get back to it and really start trying to lose weight/eat healthy/work out,” this is exactly what I’m doing to myself.  I’m making it ok to give up because I’m justifying that at some point in the future I’ll start caring more. This little “ah-ha” moment was so powerful to me that it’s beyond words.

There were several other interesting questions and answers on the show, including topics of eating while watching t.v., perfectionism, and “getting back to the core of you,” but I think after taking in the quote above, I spent the rest of the hour-long show just thinking about what it meant to me.  I want to read the book even more now, and although I am loving the fiction I’ve been reading, I’m going to give myself 20-30 minutes a day and spend time reading this book.

Did any of you catch the show?  What are your thoughts?  Have you read the book?  Comments on it?

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On Tuesday Adrianne commented on my post and mentioned a book by Geneen Roth called Women, Food, and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything. She said that reading it might offer some understandings about our relationships with food and what we’re really seeking when we turn to food. I was intrigued to find out more.

The title worried me a bit – I didn’t want to read a book that sounded overly religious in dogma. I have always believed that religion is a private thing, and not something that I’m comfortable being forced upon me. I detest anything that’s too preachy and self-righteous. I was really happy to discover that the book seems more steeped in spirituality than in overtly Christian ideals.

In doing some research I learned that Geneen Roth has been studying compulsive eating and our relationships to food for over 30 years. She lives in Northern California, not far from where I do. She herself has “lost over a thousand pounds” and been terribly overweight and terribly underweight. She sounds like a woman who knows that of which she speaks. And once I read comments about her book like this one from Anne Lamont:

This is a hugely important work, a life-changer, one that will free untold women from the tyranny of fear and hopelessness around their bodies. Beautifully written, a joy to read, rich in both revelation and great humor.”

I knew that I had to buy it and find out for myself what it was all about.

I ordered it and it should arrive before the end of the week. I can’t wait to dive in and see what insights I can glean from its pages. I also found out that Geneen Roth is going to be on Oprah on May 12, which I’m going to make sure to record.

In the mean time, I watched this video, and I was fascinated when she said that “how we eat is how we live.”

This excerpt from the book is beautiful and moving, and it really excites me about reading the book:

I’ll definitely write a book review once I read the book. If any of you are also interested, please feel free to join me.

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I couldn’t wait to get home today to watch Oprah’s show that I had DVR’d.  I read the magazine article that caused all the fuss, and as I said before, I really don’t know why everyone was so up in arms.

To me, Oprah is incredibly brave for putting her honest, candid emotions out there about how disappointed she was in herself for gaining the weight.  And I think after watching the show it’s clear that she’s really not just disappointed about the weight, but disappointed that she forgot to make herself a priority.  That seemed to be the major theme of the show.  At least, that’s the theme I found drawn to.

I can relate so much to what she said about how she was hungry for balance in her life.  Now, I’m not trying to say that I’m anywhere near as busy as Ms. Winfrey, but I do know a thing or two about giving everything – your entire self – to your job.  So much so that there is NOTHING left for you.  Forget about even thinking about adding another person (significant other) to the mix.

There were so many profound moments for me while watching today’s show.  These are the things that especially struck a chord with me:

  • Make yourself a priority.
  • Your overweight self doesn’t stand before you craving food, it stands before you craving love.
  • Be grateful for THIS body; for what it has done for you and will continue to do for you.
  • This (weight loss and living a healthy life) is a lifelong journey that doesn’t end.
  • Put yourself back on your “to do” list – whether it’s working out, getting a pedicure, or spending time with loved ones, schedule it like you would any other appointment.
  • When you love yourself enough, you take care of yourself.
  • You have to plan – for your life, and for your meals.
  • There is no way you can ever maintain your weight without some regular cardio exercise. (30 min. a day, 6 days/wk).
  • Exercise is the #1 thing to give yourself.
  • There’s something missing, some void, that food is filling.
  • It’s not a weight issue, it’s a LOVE issue.
  • Ask yourself what you really want.
  • 2009 is the year of HOPE.

There are a ton of tools on Oprah’s site, including information about the webcasts Oprah and Bob Greene are going to host, how to make the most of your metabolism, and overcoming hunger, to name a few.  I’ve already signed up for the webcasts because I’m sure there will be quite a few lessons to learn and be inspired by.

Bob Greene posed 5 questions that I found quite thought -provoking:

  1. What are you really hungry for?
  2. Why are you overweight?
  3. Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
  4. What in your life is not working?
  5. Why do you want to lose weight?

I plan to really look at each of these questions to see if I can uncover some ah-ha moments.  Once again, Oprah has inspired me more than I can express.

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6a00d83451d48a69e20105364f0519970b-800wi As you may know, if you don’t live under a rock, Oprah has written an article for her January O magazine in which she tells the world that she’s gained 40 pounds, now weighs 200 pounds, and “can’t believe she let herself get like this.”

So many people in the weight loss blogging community and the mainstream media have decided that they are outraged, appalled, disappointed, and (any other negative word you want to use) at Oprah.

Why?

How does Oprah saying that she’s disappointed in herself affect your body image issues? Why does Oprah saying that feels like a fat cow at 200 pounds mean that she’s saying that YOU are a fat cow if you weigh 200 pounds or more?  Why is it a big deal for her to come out publicly and talk about her weight, again?

I for one am very interested in reading the article in the January issue, and until I do, I don’t plan to judge Oprah about her choices.  Heck, I won’t judge her after I read it either.  I’m actually interested in seeing how Oprah handles this situation on her show on January 5th.  You better believe that I have that episode all set to record on my DVR.

I am not at all offended by any of the comments that I’ve heard from the snippets of the article that have been “leaked.”  I am way over 200 pounds and don’t feel like a fat cow, most days.  I also don’t take offense to Oprah saying she does feel that way.  That’s her, commenting about her own body.  Not mine.  Not YOURS.  I know she didn’t say it to offend me.  Or YOU.  In fact, I think anyone who has been offended or put off by these comments is simply self-centered and self-involved to the point of ridiculousness.  Hey, guess what?  It’s not about you!!  It’s about Oprah and how she feels about herself!  She’s saying that she’s gained the weight, is disappointed in herself for doing so, and wants to do something about it.

I think her coming out and talking about this is great.  I think she’s going to inspire tons of people, myself included, who have lost a lot of weight only to gain it back.  I’m planning on using this as a jumpstart to my own weight loss efforts, which have sort of stalled recently.

Now before you think I’ve been drinking the Oprah Kool-Aid, let me assure you, I am not.  I  get frustrated with Oprah as much as the next person, maybe even more.  I think she is an amazing woman who has done tremendous good for the world.  But I do get frustrated by the amount of power she has.  I think that Oprah may have let that power go to her head a bit.

And you know what?  Maybe by talking openly about her struggle with maintaining her weight loss, Oprah can step off the pedestal we’ve all placed her on and get back to being a real, human person, flaws and all.

I’m rooting for Oprah.  I’m rooting for myself.  And I’m rooting for everyone who is struggling with their weight.  We’re all in this together.

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