What if your struggle with weight was followed by millions? Every pound you’ve gained or lost, chronicled online and in the tabloids, an obsession with your body that overshadowed everything else you did?
So goes the opening dialogue from Saturday’s Dr. Oz Show. I rarely watch daytime TV; sometimes I’ll watch The View. Though it’s been on since fall, I only recently became aware of this show, and set the DVR to tape the new ones.
Dr. Oz’s intro referred to guest Carnie Wilson’s life. She’s the one who broadcast her gastric bypass surgery live over the Internet 10 years ago, dropped over 100 pounds, and then went up, down and back up the scale. She was seeking help for her food addiction. Interesting, in that she’s also starting a cheesecake business.
Remember Kirstie Alley’s bikini reveal on Oprah? She was a Fat Actress before dropping 70+ pounds and becoming a spokesmodel for Jenny Craig. She’s now gained all that back and then some. In March, Kirstie Alley’s Big Life bows on A&E, chronicling her attempt to drop all the weight. Online is abuzz with her unrealistic goals, tantrums and fake weight-loss updates.
This Sunday, Valentine’s Day, red-headed Ruby returns for season three on the Style Network. She used to be 700 pounds, but was around 500 when she signed up with Style. Now she’s around 350, her reality series making her a “weight-loss superstar.”
And there’s always Oprah—both African-American and everywoman—representing the truth: You can spend millions on doctors, diets, personal chefs, personal trainers and elaborate home gyms and still struggle with obesity.
Question: If Oprah can’t do it, what possible chance do I have?
Answer: I ain’t Oprah.
I rarely watch her show, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t start grinning like an idiot if I met her in person, just like I did the first time: on a press junket about 20 years ago to her then-new Harpo Studios. When we left, each of us received a photo of our name in lights on her marquee. I think she’s fab, a true humanitarian—emphasis on “human.”