Tag Archives: Oprah

It’s Not About the Body, Oprah


Dear Oprah,

I want to york.

I think I’m late to the session.

I just saw a Weight Watchers ad where you made some random, unsolicited confession that you’re not looking to get into a pair of jeans or you don’t have a red-carpet dress to fit into. You lost me at “honey chil’.”

You blathered on about how ‘you’ve been there,’ and how it’s important to “do this together.”

And that you want to “make 2016 the year of your best body.”

I’m so done with you.

You’re so lost. And people look




It’s about accepting the body you’re in. It’s about the spirit. It’s about starting from there … But this approach — making it all about the body, is really what is going to keep people failing and coming back and making you richer. If you examine the root of all these issues, and keep the needle on the health & spirit instead of the body, then people would get better and likely stay that way… but now that you’re a Weight Watchers stakeholder… maybe that’s not so lucrative. Keep the people coming back. Again and again… right? Because nothing says healthy liver and kidney and thoracic system like yo-yo dieting and depression from not achieving.

The reason why you are still dealing with a weight issue is because you’ve made this all about the physical.

Since forever, you’ve made your weight ‘situation’ all about the exterior.

You’ve completely missed the point.

You’re setting the wrong stage.

Just like that time you were wearing your new jeans and you hauled a red wagon full of red meat on to stage, you’re still sending the message that the body is what matters most.

You don’t even talk about it being a “temple.”

Where are the affirmations? Where?!

By the way, what does “Join for free — Purchase Required” mean?

Gah. It all makes me want to scream.

Dearest darling, confused, frustrated, distracted and wanting everyone-to-love-you Oprah:

It’s not about the body. It’s about the health. It’s about the spirit

If you believe half the things you spew, the body dies, the spirit lives on. It’s about what’s inside… How many times have you preached that?! 

It’s not about the hips, it’s about the heart.

It’s not about the belly, it’s about the insulin.

It’s not about the bust line, it’s about the pulmonary system.

It’s not about “the points,” it’s about the diastolic and systolic readings.

It’s not about the body, it’s about the life.

Because you talk about “Super Soul Sunday”… I’ll stick with the invisible: the blood pressure, the stress reduction, the diabetes, the insomnia, the heart palpitations, the kidneys, the fears, the inadequacy, the bullying, the abuse, the anxiety, and more which  manifests as our stuffing food / clothes / drugs / booze / risk — whatever the hook — which slowly kills the soul. I think you know what I’m talking about.

When you address the health, when you start talking about drinking more water and eating –anything!– with awareness, and putting your hand over your heart to honor its work, and practicing gratitude, and looking for lessons in life, and transforming stumbling blocks into stepping stones, the health will happen.


When will you wake up and realize that this has teens and mothers and men starving themselves –and dying– for a perfect “body”?

When will you use your powers for good and not to cater to one of the seven deadly sins?

If all we are after is steeped in vanity, we will never succeed.

YOU, of all people, should get that — with the brain trust of philosophical and self-help and spirituality avatars and personalities you have on speed dial — Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, Pema Chodron, Bréne Brown… these people have spouted consistently that it’s not on the outside what matters but what’s on the inside, that the body is a shell, a container of the soul… and here you go, talking about The Best Body.

I gave up watching you years before you stopped your show. I saw through it all and I couldn’t take it anymore.

Now that you own 10% of Weight Watchers, the jig is up. The stock jumped when you announced your purchase, but it has since dropped 24% — it’s now lower than it was almost a month before you bought. Its price jumped like a yoyo. Similar to the numbers on a scale of someone who isn’t clear or is confused about the reason and the goal of anything worth doing, including weight loss, the direction is lost.

If you want to know how to run this campaign, ask a child of a parent who’s struggling with health.

If you had kids, you’d know: all they care about is having a healthy and present parent. The kids don’t care if Mom looks like a runway model (and a lot of them are super unhealthy) or Jack Sprat’s wife (what was her name?). Kids just want a healthy parent. They want Dad to play catch or to give piggy-back rides. That health is far-reaching: emotional, mental, spiritual, physical — once that is addressed, things will start to dovetail.

It’s not about the body. It never was. It’s always been about the health. Don’t lose sight of that. Stay focused. It’s not about the body. Never was. That’s why people still struggle. It’s about the spirit. 

Thank you.


No, DMV. Lie to Me. Oprah Was Wrong. I’m Not Ready…


This came in the mail today:


When is it ever a happy time to hear from DMV?


I have been saying the past few months that I’m 45 (except when I feel desperate enough to cling to 44). I do this to prepare myself for the inevitable crest of the iconic Hill that I am supposed to be going Over.


In Virginia, when you’re 45, you have to get your driver’s license renewed. When I turned 40, I was very excited. I still desperately believed in Oprah then.  I can’t anymore.

I stopped in 2008, I remember the day, I joined a Facebook page called “I Bet This Goat Can Get More Fans Than Oprah.” I think I’m still a fan of that page. Oprah became a caricature of herself — first it was the meat wagon and the skinny jeans, then it was the car giveaways, then it was the roadtrip with Gayle and then it was for me… the ultra slap in the face of being out of touch with her fans: the “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list in which she pimped a $300 Coach leather dog collar. She had 5 dogs at the time. $1500 in collars. She built a school in Africa when Chicago’s are in the crapper… not sayin’ the school in Africa isn’t a good idea, just sayin’ some help in her own backyard woulda been nice too.

But I’m not going to make this about Oprah, she has enough problems and I certainly don’t want her to hear about me bashing her.  If she had a Book Club anymore, my book would definitely not be in it, simply because of this stance, nothing else.  My point (which completely derailed itself) being that I was still YAY!, naïve and OK with turning 40, because Oprah idealized it by saying turning 40 was one her Favorite Things (but she couldn’t hawk an age so it didn’t make the actual list) because she said all the falseness dies away.  Really?  Methinks the lady doth protest too much.  I still know a few false people in their 40s, Op-RAH.

As I said to one of my beloved sisters-in-law, whose birthday is exactly a week before my own, that “40 is the new 30.” And that was exciting then, but if 40 was the new 30 then that could mean that 45 is the new 35 now and that’s… not really gonna do it for me anymore.  I desperately want to go back to 23. CARD ME! I’ll buy booze! Card me! Look at me being irresponsible and immature in the cigarette section… CARD Meeeeeee!

I loved going to the DMV when I hit 40, because of Oprah.  I enjoyed having my picture taken then: I was in excellent shape and had treated myself to a new yoga hoodie which I wore in the shot.  I know this year, DMV doesn’t take a new pic, but they might have to because I smiled in the last photo and smiles aren’t allowed when you drive in Virginia. I do know they want to take other information from me: such as my pulse and my ability to stay awake and also see things with my eyes open.  So I get to get my license renewed by the end of September. These are two months that I am going to savor, desperately.

Thank you.

ps – tomorrow: the follow-up / guest-blogger review of my earlier post about the first page of my novel.