Fat Profits: Watching Oprah's Weight

Say the name "Oprah" and you think of authenticity, integrity and living your best life. Ms. Winfrey has always advocated for living your best life "now" instead of later. Oprah is trusted. That is why her brand carries weight. So, were you surprised like I was to see her Weight Watchers commercial peddling the fantasy of finding yourself later -- after you lose weight?

Oprah's heartfelt message implies that you are a different person, a better person, underneath your fat. We know that isn't true. Ask any bariatric patient who lost over 100 pounds only to trade their food addiction for a transfer addiction, like alcoholism. Oprah has lost significant amounts of weight before, as well, only to struggle before gaining it back. She knows that a skinny life isn't automatically a better life.

However, it sure sounds good to think about, doesn't it? And, even better, Oprah can be your friend as you venture to this new and better skinny life of your dreams. There is the magic in her commercial's message: "let's do this together." That's right, you were missing when Oprah lost weight before and that was the problem. So, when you join forces with her this time (and pay), then weight loss will be sustainable.

The cynical part of me believes she has only figured out how much you lose by not investing in the $100 billion per year diet industry that is financially dependent on dieting and failing -- over and over again. After all, Oprah invested in Weight Watchers in October. If the investment was truly about health, we could have all been losing weight "together" for the past several months. Instead, Oprah's 'come lose weight with me' message was saved for the new year when millions of Americans make (and spend) on weight loss resolutions. Can you say "cha-ching?"

Then, there is the optimist part of me who considers her track record. That part of me wants to believe that Oprah has figured out the secret to sustainable and healthy weight loss and wants America to be healthier. If that is true, then I have no problem with her being well compensated for that.

When I authored the online course: "The 10 Commandments to Love Your Body - As Is," I knew it was a mindset, not scale set, that makes a woman love her body and life. You like your body when you decide to, not when you decide to lose weight. So, as a body peace coach dedicated to unconditional body acceptance, I cannot support any message that says like yourself after the condition of weight loss (or any other condition) has been met. However, I can accept a supportive community where women come together to make positive health choices while they enjoy and appreciate the body they have. Let's hope that is what occurs while we watch the weight of Oprah's attract women in droves to the new and improved Weight Watchers program.

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