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The Best Life Week with Bob Greene - Show Recap


Original Air Date:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Falling Off the Wagon - The Oprah Interview

The first episode of the Best Life Week featured a candid interview with Oprah in Santa Barbara where she discussed her thoughts and feelings about falling off the healthy weight wagon.

Oprah began by describing the show when the reality of her weight gain hit home - filming with Cher and Tina Turner in Vegas in May of 2008. Oprah asked herself, "how in the world did I let this happen?" She recalled feeling embarrassed and wanting to hide herself on the stage.

Falling Off the Wagon - Losing the Battle:

Oprah shared, "all of the money, fame, glamour, attention and success...none of it means anything if you can't control your own being - if you can't fit into your clothes. The fat won, you didn't win." Feeling mad for the weight gain, Oprah expressed her frustration with the fact that she is still talking about weight after so many years; that the lessons didn't stick.

At 53 Oprah explained that she started noticing issues with her health - trouble sleeping, heart palpitations, and night sweating. After seeing 4 doctors, Oprah had been told to stay away from salt and was taking heart and blood pressure medications.

Oprah's Thyroid and Cover Girl:

It took emails from viewers suggesting Oprah had a problem with her thyroid for her to address the problem with her doctors - who hadn't checked for a condition. The solution to Oprah's problem was for her to learn to embrace hunger because her metabolism was no longer working.

Oprah finally addressed her weight gain on the January cover of O Magazine where she posed with herself from 4 years before where she weighed 160 pounds. At 200 pounds, Oprah shared that she wasn't comfortable as the cover girl of her own magazine, so for the last year she had posed for mostly face shots because of anxiety over her body.

Bob Greene's Thoughts:

Bob Greene was also included in the interview where he started by saying that if you have a problem with weight in your life, you "don't wake up one day and say I've beaten it," - you have to manage the problem every day.

Oprah continued by expressing her weight gain was the proof that her life has been out of balance - too much work and not enough down time to relax.

Bob brought up how the rules of weight change as we age - it's no longer as easy to lose at 50 as it was at 30. He stated that Oprah also used her thyroid condition as an excuse to give up. Oprah shared that she felt defeated because the fat won.

Battling Depression:

Oprah described a walk with Bob where he mentioned that something was off with her, that she may be experiencing mild depression. When Bob shared the memory of the walk, he remembered how distracted Oprah seemed; like she was losing her zest for life. He told of being alarmed to see his friend going through a difficult time.

Bob continued to explain that it appears that Oprah never learned how to be happy as a child, but that she learned how to survive; something she carried into adulthood and now has to address. Using food as means for comfort avoids the question of what do you really need to be fulfilled in life?

Hope and Goals:

2009 is Oprah's year to have more joy and balance, saying that she feels very hopeful for the never ending journey to take better care of herself, have reverence and honor for herself, have harmony and appreciation in life and to really love herself.

With a goal not to be thin, but to be healthy, fit and strong Oprah aims to embrace the body that she has. She shared a statement from Marianne Williamson who said, "your overweight self does not stand before you craving food, it's craving love." Realizing that when you love yourself enough you take care of yourself, it's time to put yourself back on the priority list.

Oprah's First Steps:

Oprah walked viewers through Harpo Studios to show how she is starting to get things back on track. A visit with her assistant showed how Oprah had taken herself off her to-do list and was starting by putting herself back on - by scheduling time to work out or relax.

A trip to the Harpo kitchen revealed Oprah's meal plan for the week where she repeats a handful of favorite recipes and enjoys a green drink for breakfast. Oprah's meal plan and recipes are available for viewers on Oprah.com.

Finally, in the gym Oprah shared that while she doesn't like to work out, she knows it's the key to maintaining a healthy weight.

Love in 2009:

"How much love can you give yourself in 2009?" Oprah posed the question to viewers as she answered that we all need to give ourselves as much love and support as we give to others.

Taking weight loss to a deeper level, Oprah and Bob discussed the question, "What am I really hungry for?" - which is about balance and what means for you. What are you missing in your life that is causing you to seek pleasure in food?

Carnie Wilson:

Singer Carnie Wilson struggled with her weight throughout her life, reaching more than 300 pounds at one time. Wanting to help others going through a similar struggle, Carnie chose to have her gastric bypass surgery broadcast on the internet in 1999. After losing more than 150 pounds, Carnie appeared on Oprah in November of 2000. Since then, cameras still follow Carnie to track her weight loss and gain. After getting married, having a daughter and dealing with the stress of life, Carnie's weight rose to 220 pounds in 2008. Via satellite, Carnie appeared on the show to discuss her weight loss success.

In the past 6 months, Carnie has been able to get her weight to a healthy 168 pounds and announced that she is pregnant with her second child. Sharing how she is in a more balanced place now, she described how she lost herself. While she deeply loves her husband, daughter, friends, family and fans, she struggled with loving herself and making that care a priority.

Making herself a priority meant asking herself what she really wanted which was to be healthy. Carnie explained that she knows she will never have perfection, but she does deserve to feel healthy

Key Questions:

Bob Greene presented viewers with the 4 key questions to ask yourself before you start your healthy weight journey:

  • Why are you overweight?
  • What are you really hungry for?
  • Why have you been unable to maintain weight loss in the past?
  • Why do you want to lose weight?
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