This post is dedicated to Oprah Winfrey. I've been a big fan of hers for years and was beyond happy when I discovered that she had joined Weight Watchers and purchased 10% of the Company.
Like so many Weight Watchers members, Oprah Winfrey knows how hard it can be to lose weight—and to keep it off. Which is why I'm so excited to welcome her to the Weight Watchers family.
Here is the U.K.'s Weight Watchers advertisement featuring Oprah, which was released via YouTube on Christmas Eve. The one-minute video shows Winfrey explaining why she joined Weight Watchers:
Script: "Inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be. Many times you look in the mirror and you don't even recognize your own self because you got lost—buried—in the weight that you carry. Nothing you've ever been through is wasted, so every time I tried and failed, 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? "I feel that way, and I know million son other people feel that way. Are you ready? Let's do this together."
Weight Watchers Magazine Welcomes Oprah
The current issue (January/February 2016) of Weight Watchers magazine arrived in my mailbox last week. "Come Join Me!" exclaims Oprah on page 4. Here's my recap of her Weight Watchers interview…
WeightWatchers: Was there one moment that triggered you to lose weight?
Oprah: This past summer, I was eating myself into a kind of oblivion. I was finding success on antoerh - probably my 7,000th - no-carb, no-sugar diet. And then I ate something other than meat or a green vegetable. I said to myself, "I should be able to eat whatever I want" As I was in between bites of coconut French toast with bourbon syrup, I thought, "Is this really what I want?" I started to look for a middle ground, a space where I can live in contentment, in peace, in joy with food."
Oh, my goodness! Can you relate? I sure can. That is EXACTLY what I wanted too. That balance where I could enjoy food, without feeling controlled by it. Most of the time I now live in that space. It doesn't come easily. But it is worth the effort. And the times when I'm not in that place are much shorter and less frequent and intense than they one were. I want that for Oprah and everyone caught in the food struggle.
WeightWatchers: After you joined, when did you realize that you could stick with it?
Oprah: For me, that happened when the cravings stopped. But something else clicked: This isn't a diet. And I'm not going to diet anymore because I'm ready to live - not just my best life, but what is the most extraordinary, fullest expression of my being."
For a long time I was confused about what it meant to not be on a diet. I believed "not dieting" meant eating as much as I wanted of whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. It doesn't. Living in indulgence is not the opposite of "not dieting." Living in moderation is!
When you give up dieting forever life gets better! Freeing up the space that used to go into fretting about food to living a better life is awesome.
WeightWatchers: When you doubt yourself, how do you change your mindset?
Oprah: I used my Coach, Lisa, for support, suggestions, and ideas for how to make smarter choices. Every single Coach has found success with Weight Watchers; they know what it's like to be overweight. They have what no other program has: true understanding. It's like there's this army of experts who's ready to help you get to the point where you can only make smarter choices.
I love that about Weight Watchers. Every receptionist, every leader, every coach has walked the walk and has succeeded on the Program. It is what makes WeightWatchers different.
WeightWatchers: You've said you're excited about being part of the Weight Watchers tribe. What is it about the power of a group?
Oprah: There's strength in numbers. The sharing of stories, experiences, ideas, of how we all rise together, I think, is the ultimate connection, the ultimate in building a community of people who have made a decision about being better, being healthier, being the best you an be in your life.
Well said Oprah. I will be forever grateful that I had the courage to walk through the doors to my very first WW meeting decades ago. Then walk back though several more times when I again needed the support. Then finally deciding to never, ever stop.
My Dear Oprah, Welcome to Weight Watchers! Letter
Here's what I would love to say to Oprah...
Welcome to Weight Watchers! I'm so excited that you are now a major part of the WeightWatchers family.
Weight Watchers helped me change my life and the lives of countless others. When you finally take charge of your relationship with food and your weight and learn how to effectively manage it the confidence you gain spills over to every other aspect of your life. It's wonderful. Empowering. Life Changing.
It seems that wherever I go when I mention that I'm a WeightWatchers lifetime member I meet fellow Weight Watchers who are as enthusiastic about the Program as I am. I even recently met an accomplished chef who has developed recipes for them.
My journey as a WeightWatchers member has been long and winding with lots of ups and downs. I wasn't one of those brilliant members who lost the weight and kept it off forever. Oh, no. I'm what you would call a slow learner. It took me nearly two decades for me to finally see the light. After achieving lifetime back in the early 1990s, I finally embraced it as a lifestyle about 6 years ago. I've been successfully maintaining ever since.
Everything I learned along the way was critical to the success I now enjoy. At 52 - right in the midst of menopause - I feel great and am under the goal weight I set back when I was 28. I'm proud, but not arrogant. I feel like I'm finally experiencing food freedom. I don't ever intend to take it for granted. It's a precious gift after decades of struggle.
I love that WeightWatchers provides a framework for healthy balanced weight loss that can be personalized. Every successful Weight Watchers member does things a little differently. There is room for individuality that makes lasting weight loss achievable.
For years I've watched you struggle with your weight in the spotlight. It's hard enough to lose weight without the whole world watching and commenting. So many times I wished I could reach through the television, take you by the hand, and lead you to a Weight Watchers meeting. I realize now that it wouldn't have worked then. I know now that it's only possible to lose weight when you are ready. Nobody else can do it for you.
What I'm most excited about is what I call the Weight Watchers ripple effect. I've seen it time and time again. One of the unintended consequences of WeightWatchers is how it positively affects those around you - your signigicant other, your kids, your friends, your family.
Because of your incredible reach, your involvement and success with Weight Watchers is going to ripple out in a Big Way, improving the health and wellness of countless others. So, Thank you and best of luck. I'm cheering for you.
Martha McKinnon, fellow WeightWatchers lifetime member
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