Hubby and I sometimes joke about how if we won the lottery and became super, amazingly rich, that we could eat everything we wanted and then just get lots of liposuction to make all the fat disappear.
Of course, we know that’s not really a good option. I like to think if I had more money and no job pulling me down, then I could make healthier choices in all aspects of my life and that would help the pounds fall off more easily.
But maybe that’s a silly thing to think too. I mean, there are loads of overweight rich people. Oprah, for example.
Ms Winfrey has famously battled with her weight for most of her life. In 1988, she pulled the “Wagon of fat” on stage during one of her shows. It contained 67 pounds of fat – the equivalent of what she had lost on a strict liquid diet. I was young at the time, but I remember it clearly and it has stuck with me for nearly 30 years.
But, like so many people who lose weight, Oprah put it back on. In fact, she has said that only a few days after the wagon stunt, she could no longer fit in the size 10 jeans she wore on stage that day. Over the years, her weight has gone up and down – it’s a cycle that many of us know well. Even somebody as wealthy as Oprah can’t seem to escape it.
I recently read an article over at Vox called: “I’ve spent years trying to get skinny. Oprah’s Weight Watchers ads convinced me to stop.”
In the article, writer Caissie St. Onge describes her own life-long battle with her weight. It’s a story that I can relate to pretty much completely, including the part about a doctor telling her she was overweight at a very young age.
Oprah recently bought a 10% stake in Weight Watchers – a business move that earned her $70 million in just one day. She is also appearing in a pretty inspiring advert for the weight loss plan.
In the advert, Oprah encourages us to keep trying: “Every time I failed, and every time I tried again, and every time I tried again, has brought me to this most powerful moment. To say: ‘If not now, when?'”
Of course she wants us to keep trying. This time she wants us to try with Weight Watchers and give her even more money.
Ms Onge isn’t falling for it. In her article, she explains that the advert made her realise something: if Oprah can’t do it, maybe it can’t be done.
And it’s certainly a reasonable conclusion. Oprah has money – according to Forbes, she’s worth $3 billion. She has staff. She has several huge houses, which probably include fully equipped gyms and kitchens stocked with vegetables and lean meat. She can hire chefs to prepare healthy meals and personal trainers to get her moving.
If she wanted, she could even hire somebody whose sole job it was to shout angrily at her whenever she thought about chocolate. She could have a whole room full of labrador puppies, where she could go to unwind, instead of binging on a jar of Nutella.
Sorry, I think I got off track there.
My point is, maybe it IS true. If someone with Oprah’s resources can’t lose weight and stay thin, maybe it can’t be done.
But is that really a reason to give up?
Nope. Not at all.
Because, whether or not I ever get into a pair of size 10 jeans myself, I know that I’m trying to make myself a better person. Just like every time I learn something new or practise a skill.
And isn’t consistent self-improvement part of what makes life worth living? If we can’t better ourselves and the world around us, why bother doing anything at all?
Also, I have come to realise that weight-loss isn’t a one-time thing. It’s not something I’ll do for a while and then stop once I get to target. It’s something I’ll be doing for the rest of my life – because if I don’t, the weight will creep back on.
I’ve learned that before the hard way.
There have probably been hundreds of studies over the years about how and why people gain weight after going to all the trouble to lose it. Is it a mental block? Laziness? Food addiction? Some sort of biological anomaly? It’s probably a combination of those and many other factors.
It sucks that there’s no easy answer and that there will never be a day that I’m not concerned about gaining weight. But I’m going to keep aiming for a smaller waistline anyway.
Because I want to be healthy. I want to feel and look good. I want to stick around on this here planet for as long as I can. And I want to be able to go into Next and buy something cute.
The reason Oprah hasn’t been able to keep the weight off? It’s because she’s human and everyone has their own ups and downs of one sort or another. She hasn’t given up yet and neither will I.
(But I’ll be doing it with Slimming World, sorry O.)