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Oprah’s Best Life Week Kicks off with Bob Greene

If you didn’t get a chance to watch the premiere of Oprah’s 2009 season, as well as her Best Life Week, you missed 30 minutes of the most candid we’ve probably ever seen the daytime diva. For a half-hour she put it all out there, talked about how her weight began to climb in February 2007 all the way through her reveal last month that her weight was topping 240 pounds… again. She expressed anger with herself for letting the weight climb back again, saying “I can’t believe I’m still talking about weight!”

oprah cher tina

Oprah reluctantly sings "Proud Mary" with Cher and Tina. (Oprah.com)

Oprah really connected with her viewers by discussing in detail the personal anguish and feelings she’s experienced during the past two years, and said she “feels like anybody else – when you wake up and your clothes don’t fit.” One of the first real turning points for her was the episode last year with Cher and Tina Turner. She was worried about standing on stage with 61- and 68-year-old women and at 53 she’d be the older woman, because of her health and size. She explained she did not want to go on stage and perform “Proud Mary” with her friends, instead she wanted to hide herself.

And hide herself she did. She showed all of her O Magazine covers from 2008 and explained that the year of head-shot covers was intentional as she didn’t want to show her body. Not being one for excuses, Oprah says when the weight started sneaking back on, she was also experiencing a bout with severe insomnia. Four doctors misdiagnosed what she credits her viewing audience with identifying – a thyroid condition. She says it’s cured now, but the condition that slowed her metabolism and caused her doctor to tell her to “embrace hunger” was something Oprah and Bob Greene both admit she used as a crutch and a target for blame. She now accepts that she didn’t have the healthiest relationship with food, using it to patch an emotional void.

“I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching, and that was a great disappointment,” admitted Oprah. So to make it right, she decided to start with herself. She discovered that she’d removed herself from her to-do list, and to start living the healthy life she desired again, it had to go back. A meeting with her personal assistant meant she now includes more personal time for Oprah – for eating healthy meals, hitting the gym, or even a manicure.

Oprah shares her meal plan in the Harpo kitchen. (Oprah.com)

Oprah shares her meal plan in the Harpo kitchen. (Oprah.com)

She also advises that you plan meals. Oprah showed a calendar with the meals for each day outlined. It keeps her organized, and less likely to chow through an entire bag of her food vice, organic blue corn tortilla chips. Oprah’s meals might include her Green Drink, Turkey Meatballs that she makes every Sunday, egg whites, tuna, grilled chicken, or steel-cut oatmeal. She also says as much as she dislikes exercise, she now knows for sure it’s a must. She’s found a balance of moderate cardio (work until you can talk, but don’t want to) and resistance training (which she actually enjoys).

Oprah admits that part of her falling off the wagon this time was that she thought she had it, had figured out the key to losing weight and keeping it off. Bob reminded that it requires daily effort. For all her weight ups and downs, Oprah is nearly brought to tears when she declares that she’s grateful for her body, and that the journey is never ending.

January 5th, 2009