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My holiday wish came true. Oprah got fat again.

Is that mean? Well, hang on. Sometimes I am fat and sometimes I am not. Most Americans live in the not fat-fat-not fat zone with me.

I know the reasons why I get fat: eating and drinking and sitting around. And I know what makes me thin: going hungry and forcing myself to do boring things over and over and over. Naturally enough, I spend a little more time fat than not fat, each year. But you want to know something? I don't care.

If you take how much I don't care about my weight, and quadruple that, and then multiply that by a hundred--that is how much I don't care about Oprah Winfrey's weight. And I like her. I have always liked her. I have even worried about her, and I have wished her well and I have wished she would come to my town for a visit. But I don't care what size dress Oprah wears, and I don't care how much she weighs.

Considering how little I care about Oprah's weight, I sure hear a lot about it in a timely manner. For example, I know the instant she discovers a new miracle diet. This year it was acai berries. Haven't heard of them? Nobody has, until Oprah says they flush all the toxins out of you. By toxins, she means: fat. That's right. You can drink a berry tea and forget about exercise. Forget about how much money celebrities spend on spa treatments and surgery to "supplement" their diets. No, the key is the acai berry. As long as you drink that juice, you're going to flush out all the fat that is hiding in every nook and cranny of your long-suffering body. You're going to be taut, tan, even tall.

Acai berry! Acai berry! Shouted the Facebook ads. Every time I navigated to another page, the acai fucking berries followed. Pop-up: Look at the abs I got from acai!

I tried answering the drop-down menu questions: why I dislike this ad. Uh. Irrelevant. Because I don't diet. Boring. Ditto. Misleading. Because I don't believe you for a second. Offensive. Because why do you want me to lose weight, anyway? You don't even know me.

But now Oprah has thrown herself on the broken diet sofa to weep inconsolably: "I am embarrassed. I am mad at myself."

Let me be the first, or more likely the four millionth, to say, Oprah: I don't friggin' care. I like you, and I don't care what size you are. Two? Great. Twenty? Great.

If only my unconditional love were requited, Oprah. Alas, I see you do not love me as I am when I am fat. I see it in the way you insist that I join you every time you decide to mercilessly pummel your poor body into a new shape. I see it in the dozens of ads on which your name appears: Oprah. Lose weight. Acai.

Why can't you stick with one diet and exercise program, Oprah? And why do you make me watch each new regimen as you contort your personal life and relationships to accommodate it? Is it not easier to shovel ourselves into dresses two sizes too small? Is it not easier still for a woman of wealth such as yours, to simply buy a bigger dress until the donuts wear off? Or do what the simple folk do, Oprah: Let out the seams! Let out the seams!

There is something still wrong, in the heart of all that self-actualization and fresh starting, isn't there? Perhaps something innately human, that will not go away, regardless of the power of the flush.

So, Oprah, let me say: Welcome back to my size. Welcome to being a person. Please stop asking me to go on a diet with you, or run around outside in bad weather. Please stop giving those self-hating interviews, and learn to love me as fat as I am. Then you might, just might, learn to love yourself a little bit, too.

Originally posted to HickAtLarge on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 11:02 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Really, if she is happier with herself (10+ / 0-)

    when she is a few pounds lighter and exercises on a regular basis, that's up to her.  I see all those ads too, they're all over the web, but I don't think any of them are coming from her.  She has always said that her weight loss came from cutting out refined sugar and flour and exercising.  And if she is annoyed with herself that she has been slacking off, and if she doesn't like the way she looks right now and wants to get back to the way she looked 6 months or whatever ago, there's nothing wrong with that.

  •  did Oprah ever love you (12+ / 0-)

    At any time? How would she even know who you are?

    She's a celebrity with a TV show, who tells housewives which books they should be reading. Sometimes she picks good ones, sometimes terrible ones. But that's about the size of her relationship with her audience.

    Love? That's just so....personal.

    I'm not sure I'd know what to do with Oprah's love, assuming she could offer it to me over the teevee screen. Assuming it didn't tank her ratings to offer it to me. Assuming, as I said, she even knew who I am.

    And you know what? Deep down, I'm glad she hasn't tried. I'm glad.

  •  Great diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bleeding blue, limpidglass, S C B

    Been thinking something of the same myself.

    It´s fine to have a sound diet/healthy lifestyle, moderate weight.

    But all this up & downs, I am not sure is healthy. Maybe she (and we) should relax a bit.

    Love all the people !

    by Mariken on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 11:14:32 PM PST

  •  This sums it all up: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lilypew, bleeding blue

    I know the reasons why I get fat: eating and drinking and sitting around. And I know what makes me thin: going hungry and forcing myself to do boring things over and over and over.

    "Boring things over and over" is right. Listening to the radio or podcasts help.

    Another big problem is finding the time. Not as easy as it sounds.

    Marriage Equality wiki -- everything you need, all in one place!

    by mariva on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 11:18:20 PM PST

    •  We find time for the things we want to do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bleeding blue, bonsai superstar

      so I find it difficult to grasp that we cannot find time for the things we should be doing.  And this bit:

      And I know what makes me thin: going hungry

      is just not true.  Starving is more the problem than the answer.

      •  disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... some people can't stand to feel hungry for a short time at all, feeling hungry and not panicking about it but accepting that we can control how we feel without being self destructive is the answer.

        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 03:25:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wait, why do you disagree? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Starving yourself makes your metabolism slow down and makes it even harder to lose weight. And if you did lose it that way, you'd look like shit anyway because it's just plain unhealthy.

          Eat more protein, and when you eat carbs go for the brown stuff, like whole-wheat bread, etc. I understand being hungry - I could seriously eat from the second I wake up till my head hits the pillow at night and be happy, but after someone explained this to me, I was amazed. I work nights, so I eat lunch at 1 or so and then get home at like 9 or 10 pm. Before I was seriously so hungry I thought I was going to die when I got home, and usually ended up getting takeout or fast food on the way because I couldn't stand waiting to cook.

          One day I had some brown rice and chicken for lunch, came home...and I wasn't even hungry yet. I felt FULL. It is totally possible to never feel hungry and lose weight, and plus it can be a big help on the budget as well (I'm too poor to eat out).

          •  Reread what I wrote, I said "short period of time (0+ / 0-)

            ... not literally starving, but tolerating hunger for a few minutes or hours without then bingeing.   The state of hunger is no reason to then eat too much.  

            I already eat higher protein and fat and lower carbohydrate than a "normal" person, because of how my metabolism works-  this in turn, combined with proper mineral supplements, keeps me from feeling ravenously, out of control hungry most of the time.  This is very different from how I felt on a typical American low fat (disaster for me) diet-  which was ravenous all the time.  I can understand why people who feel that way might in turn get a glitch in that they then get compulsive about food.
            I will never be "thin" as is fashionable because of how I'm built- "sturdy and wide" but at least I'm weight stable and not yo yoing up and down, up and down, this is because I refuse to try to make myself what I'm not- "fashionably thin."

            "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

            by AmericanRiverCanyon on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 10:28:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I care about Oprah's weight and latest diet ... (4+ / 0-)

    ...about as much as I care that The National Examiner is saying Michelle Obama is "ruthless."

    Americans do not like to think of themselves as aggressors, but raw aggression is what took place in Iraq. - John Prados

    by Meteor Blades on Tue Dec 09, 2008 at 11:25:13 PM PST

  •  Uh, I hate to break it to you... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sheddhead, sunbro, DrJeremy

    I know what makes me thin: going hungry and forcing myself to do boring things over and over and over.

    But a statement like that basically proves that you DON'T know what makes you thin.

    If you don't care if you're fat, that's fine, but you're just flat-out wrong here (like many people).

    •  Maybe not the "going hungry" part; (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DrJeremy, BrighidG

      one must simply replace with filling nutrient that are not fattening.  Weight watchers, for example, lets you eat all the fruit you want.

      The "forcing myself to do boring things over and over and over" is not extremely inaccurate.  That's why an iPod with your favorite music or a TV show while exercising often helps.

      Sometimes bargaining with yourself helps, such as giving yourself a cup of coffee every morning before the workout and getting in the habit of doing it every day.  Making it an every day routine, like brushing one's teeth, often helps too.  Human animals can be creatures of habit,  In this case, it can be a good thing.

      To get oneself in the habit of going to the gym every day or 3 or 4 times per week in the beginning, having to meet with a trainer there at the gym for the first two months, can help too.  It gets one into that habit.

      -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

      by sunbro on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 12:00:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Weight Watchers is a scam, too. (4+ / 0-)

        One doesn't need Weight Watchers to eat fruit and vegetables. It's crazy to sign up for a regimen that you can't maintain forever, and for which you have to pay. Nobody can eat or live like that long-term.

        On the exercise thing, if you don't find something you like to do, there is no way you are going to keep doing it.

        Some people like going to the gym. For the majority who don't, however, it can be as simple as picking up tennis, playing basketball, or riding a bike. But you have to find something that you don't have to do, but get to do.

      •  I'd bargain with myself (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lilypew, sunbro, cachola

        but I'd just come to an impasse and have to spend all my time at arbitration with myself.  

        Sorry, just a little union humor there...

      •  We all can't afford (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sunbro, ShempLugosi

        the gym.

        "There must be more to life than having everything" -Maurice Sendak

        by lilypew on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 03:58:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you don't have to go to the gym. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sunbro, not a cent

          I can't afford it at all - in Osaka even the YMCA costs 1000 bucks just to sign up. I walk everywhere that I can, dance like a jackass in my room to music, or do a little strength training in my room with a couple cheap dumbbells (water bottles can work in a pinch) and bodyweight exercises - squats were a lot less boring to me when I started doing them while watching TV.

          One of the big misconceptions people have is that you have to spend a long-ass time exercising. a couple sets of reps with a heavier weight will affect your body a hell of a lot more than doing 1000 curls with a 1-lb weight.

          You do what little stuff you can, and it adds up. I think a better goal than weight loss is to FEEL better. I may have lost a lot of weight since I started exercising, but that doesn't mean crap compared to how awesome it is to be able to go up a flight of stairs or run across the street when the light is flashing and not feel winded.

      •  I would argue that part, too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sunbro, not a cent

        It's hard to get set in a habit, sure, but there are many many ways to get exercise - if what you do bores you, try something else. :) Also, trainers can be full of shit sometimes, at least if you're a woman.

        I was always a pudgester until I stumbled across the health/fitness section of a big forum I frequent, and saw the transformation thread - hundreds of fat, Mountain Dew-addicted IT nerds that managed to lose their fat and gain muscle mass, and keep it. I read the FAQ threads, and the info there was so different from the other crap I had always heard about weight loss, and it really helped me. Caveat: it goes without saying YMMV, and I don't have any horrid thyroid condition or anything - just a lazy chocoholic American who is too stubborn to do anything severe to her lifestyle :) But in short:

        1. Turn the food pyramid upside down, stop worrying about fat and find out how many calories you need a day. Budget em however you want, but protein is your bestest friend because you'll feel full & satisfied faster, and when it comes to carbs the browner the better (again, you feel full faster, less overeating worries).
        1. Cardio is okay, but strength training is awesome - even for girls (it's the only way to get rid of those flappy-wings we all get under our arms, for one!). Muscle burns fat, and no one wants to look anorexic. Heavier weights fewer times does more for you than light weights many times. This has helped my life so much, I truly think every woman physically capable should do strength training, I look better, feel better, and was strong enough to fight off a sicko who broke into my home recently thanks to it.

        I have consistently been losing about 1lb/week since I started paying attention to these things, and the best part? When I reach my goal, I can eat about 500 calories MORE a day and maintain it. Yaay!

  •  Oprah? (7+ / 0-)

    Who the heck cares bout Oprah? She has coaches, cooks, trainers, makeup artists, wardrobe people, drivers, fluffers, dogwalkers and fanny wipers. That she has gained weight says more about her obsession with herself than the nation's love affair with her. Her book choices are drab, her advice is at odds with reality and she is no different than any other aging celeb with an stressed-out life. It isn't her body that's fat. It's her ego.

  •  TIN FOIL HAT ALERT!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, ShempLugosi

    Oprah's struggles with her weight aren't genuine.  She deliberately gains and loses weight again and again in order to help her fans identify with her more thoroughly and to carve out a niche for herself in an entertainment industry full of thin women.

    Yes, Santa Claus, there is a Virginia. And it went Democratic.

    by Anarchofascist on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 12:03:02 AM PST

    •  I like this theory but (0+ / 0-)

      I really don't buy the whole thing, just part of it.  She deliberately loses the weight but the gain is involuntary because she can't control herself or her appetite.  Several years ago, she told a story about being in a van for an afternoon for some purpose which I now forget, and while in the van, she ate a whole bag of Lay's "fat free" potato chips.  Not the small bag, but the jumbo one.  This comment was made as a throwaway while she told an unrelated story, but it stuck with me as an illustration of her hypocracy on food and fitness.  

  •  judging a book by its cover (4+ / 0-)

    I think what's sad about Oprah's coverstory is that she actually judges herself based on what she looks like, and validates the idea that one is worth more if one weighs less. I think most people focus less on health and more on being thin, and stories like hers emphasize what so many of the people in the movies and on TV tell our young people: you are only as valuable as you are attractive. And, WE define attractiveness, NOT YOU.

    I teach high school, and see so many girls who see each day as one more opportunity to win/lose at the fashion show. Their shallowness is reinforced by stories like Oprah's, and by so many other's. If I ever have kids, we won' have a TV. :)

    •  I couldn't agree more (3+ / 0-)

      Especially someone like Oprah, who has accomplished so much, to devalue herself on the basis of her weight.  The fact that she can't accept herself for who she is does not serve her, or her fans well.  

      There should be more than one standard of beauty in this country, and one of them should NOT be the size 0-2 is the ultimate goal.  Unless you're 11 years old, of course.  

  •  My dislike of Oprah has zero to do w/her weight (3+ / 0-)

    She's a cult leader. I don't like the way she's manipulated the best seller list for years and I think she could have built hundreds of small schools in Africa that could have taught thousands and thousands of children to read and write, but instead she built a super-school to teach only 150 girls out of her own vanity and her enormous ego.

    I don't care if she's fat or skinny. I have problems with her regardless.

    •  Her school serves over 450 girls (5+ / 0-)

      She's trying to do something different.  The old ways haven't worked. And who cares if you have a problem with her.  She's given a million times more of her own hard earned money to charity than you have, despite being born & raised in poverty & adversity of every kind.

      •  I don't want to dis Kevanlove, and your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        language is a little tough on Kevanlove, but I agree with you that it's great that Oprah has tried to do what she's tried to do.

      •  That's an assumption (0+ / 0-)

        You have no idea how much I have given for anyone, do you?

        It's not about how much, but how much in relation to how much one earns, isn't it? If I earned $100 a week and gave $90 to charity, I would be giving more than Oprah.

        Besides, this is a dairy about Oprah, so criticism of her is expected.

        Unless you think that praising the great Oprah is what EVERYONE on KOS must do because she supported the same candidate?

        I don't think so.

        •  Nice rationalization (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          calculator, bluecar, typefast

          It's not about how much, but how much in relation to how much one earns, isn't it? If I earned $100 a week and gave $90 to charity, I would be giving more than Oprah.

          Huh?  How is $90 more than $300 million?  It might be a greater percentage of your income, but the percentage doesn't help people, the absoulte number does.  And if you're only earning $100 a week despite being born and raised with a million times more opportunity than Oprah had, then you obviously don't care enough to make the money needed to be a philanthropist.

          •  You are obviously wrong (0+ / 0-)

            So there.

            Yeah, I'll make a billion dollars next year so I can build a school for $40 mil to send 150 children to instead of building 10,000 schools to send 100,000 children to in order to satisfy my massive ego.

            •  It's now 450 girls not 150 (0+ / 0-)

              You get more bang for your buck when you provide an excellent education for the best & the brightest (from the poorest backgrounds) who will be future leaders than when you provide substandard education for the masses.  Her school is modeled after a very successful girls school in America.  Africa's best & brightest deserve the same opportunity.  It sends a message that black African girls are wothy of the very best, gives the brightest students something to strive for & sends the message that Africans are all individual & don't need to be lumped together in lowest common denominator style mass education.

  •  As my 3 year old would say (0+ / 0-)

    When he squeezes the ketchup bottle

    I farted he he he

    A lovely little thinker, But a bugger when he's pissed

    by yuriwho on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 12:56:11 AM PST

  •  Some of the comments here are addressing ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sclminc, mamamedusa

    ... eating, but not eating disorders.  Oprah has an eating disorder, one that i happen to share.  In fact, all the women of my family share it, though they are all thin and i've only been thin a few times in my life.

    One of those times was when i was living off of a single 250 calorie meal per day.  When i "went mad" and had double that, i tried unsuccessfully to purge.  I called my mother, who suggested i roll a paper towel around my finger and try again.  It didn't work, by the way.

    Eating disorders are complex.  Saying we need to eat correctly and move more is certainly true, but it's only half of the truth.

  •  I have to say I was surprised at just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lilypew, ShempLugosi

    how many articles I saw this morning about Oprah's weight. It is really absurd... does anyone really care?

  •  Take me as I am or let me go (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have been thinking the same thing. What bothers me about Oprah's recent weight angst is the self-contempt she shows -- which she, of anyone, should know is counterproductive. WHEN are we going to expand the horizons of beauty to include the sweeping curves, the big soft bosom and cushy butt? JEEZ.

    "I'm a great big woman with meat on my bones/
    Every time I shimmy a skinny woman loses her home..."

    I may not be little, and I may not be thin,
    But I'm an awful good mama for the shape I'm in...

  •  until the donuts wear off--I LOVE IT!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Great creative diary!

  •  Who doesn't really want to be (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    calculator, bluecar, typefast, number

    Support President Obama and our troops!

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 06:38:00 AM PST

  •  Complicated issue/Fix the food (0+ / 0-)

    In my opinion, as a weight-challenged individual, political correctness aside, human beings in cultures that have enough food and a reasonably high level of general health are primed to want to look thin. There may be some cultures that prize the Rubenesque look, but I think those are cultures affected by severe famines, or by serious chronic disease that cause people to lose weight.

    Another issue is that obesity is associated with very serious chronic health problems. Curing obesity and the associated health problems could save the country tens of billions of dollars every year -- enough to fund all sorts of great programs.

    On the other hand:

    1. NASTINESS: It's just plain mean when people start talking about obesity as if it were a sign that someone was a bad person, a dork, or an idiot. Controlling obesity with diet might be possible, but it's not that much easier than controlling diabetes with diet. But people talk about fat people in ways that they would never think of talking about diabetic people.
    1. HEALTHY FOOD AT RESTAURANTS: Anyone who has tried to diet, and especially anyone who has tried to diet away from big, progressive cities full of organic food stores, knows that it can be hard to find healthy, attractive food, especially when you're eating out or getting a snack from a vending machine. Instead of "trying to help fat people" by ridiculing them, maybe it would be more productive if celebrities, fitness promoters, nutritionists, etc. hollered at restaurants to make sure that they all offer a choice of a low-fat, low-salt, low-calorie meal and a high-protein, low-carb, low-salt, low-calorie meal.
    1. HEALTHY PACKAGED FOOD: Another problem with trying to manage weight and eat a nutritious diet. Is that the general quality of the food in our supermarkets -- even of the supposedly healthy food -- is atrocious. My guess is that, away from the produce, meat and dairy sections, only 5 percent of the food in a regular supermarket has much nutritional value. If you look at the vitamin percentages on canned vegetables, for example, you realize that most of the canned vegetables are completely worthless. At best, they might give you a little vitamin A. At worst, they give you a huge amount of salt per serving while providing a lower level of vitamins and minerals than a typical So, I think it would be great if the Obama administration would work with food manufacturers to reduce the level of salt and spooky additives in food, limit portion sizes, and find reasonably natural ways to increase the amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids in packaged foods.
    1. CHEMICALS: I'm middle-of-the-road about issues such as food additives and genetic engineering, but I've seen some pretty scary articles lately about how materials such as are plastic food packaging are lacing us with chemicals that throw off our hormones. The additives are having a dramatic effect on the rate of infertility and hermaphroditism in a lot of species, for example. How do we know that these same chemicals aren't contributing to the increase in obesity and related health problems? I think we need to provide generous funding for research on these issues and think really deep thoughts about ways for keeping poorly understood artificial hormones and hormone-altering substances out of our environment and out of our food.
  •  Grass is always greener syndrome x infinity. (0+ / 0-)

    In my opinion, as a weight-challenged individual, political correctness aside, human beings in cultures that have enough food and a reasonably high level of general health are primed to want to look thin. There may be some cultures that prize the Rubenesque look, but I think those are cultures affected by severe famines, or by serious chronic disease that cause people to lose weight.

    My advisor in college once said something that stuck in my head ever since: in pretty much every culture since the beginning of time, whatever look is the hardest to achieve is considered the most beautiful. Besides your examples, back in the day only rich people could afford to sit on their asses and eat, while everyone else was doing hard labor and thus were much thinner. Look how many non-caucasian countries and how much their cosmetics companies make selling skin bleach, hair straighteners, afro perms...

    I think that people should be able to express themselves by looking the way they want to, as long as they aren't hurting themselves in some way (anorexia, morbid obesity, those self-amputee people, the horrifying story I heard today about a Korean ex-pop singer who mutilated herself after trying to use cooking oil as a substitute for silicone injections), but it's sad that we're apparently wired to want what we can't have.

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