Do you remember the time in 1988 when Oprah Winfrey lost weight, and in her tiny body trapped in some very tight jeans, pulled a wagon full of fat onto the stage of her show?
The fat in the wagon represented the 67 pounds of fat she had dieted off her body. If you weren’t about to barf at the sight of a wagon full of fat, then you were probably pretty amazed. But it’s what happened next that got my attention.
The very next season that skinny little Oprah was nowhere to be found. She had started to gain her weight back. And then more, and more. A testament to how diets don’t work.
Can you imagine how many women went on a diet after her demonstration? Perhaps you were one of them, I know I was.
When she gained the weight back, all of America’s women felt let down. We couldn’t believe that Oprah had started putting her wagon full of fat back on that slim body. How could she do that to us?
Her body was probably freaking out on stage that day having to show itself to world in that way. This isn’t me, this isn’t who I really am, it screamed to each of us. But we couldn’t hear it. We were too mesmerized by the sight of Oprah’s now perfect body.
In the end, her body won and she gained back her weight.
But here’s the thing. Did Oprah change when she lost weight? Maybe for a little while as she focused on giving us recipes and sharing her weight loss tips. But no, the real Oprah didn’t change. When she had gained back her weight, she was still an award-winning daytime television host. She went on to do Super Soul Sundays on her OWN television network and she started her own magazine.
Oprah was on a mission to change the world. Did her body size really matter?
Like Oprah, your gift is not the size of your body. Your gift is that you are alive. It’s not that hard because, well, here you are. This gift of yours does ask that you show up as authentically as you can. Maybe some days you just don’t want to. Fine. Don’t.
But know that we love you for who you are and we don’t care what your body size is.
We want you – all of you.