I was thinking about Oprah Winfrey lately and her weight problem (of all things). Everyone I know at one time or another wants to lose weight, including Oprah. The only thing is, Oprah loses her weight on television and loses it often. I was somewhat disgusted when I heard her say she was going to put a photo of her big butt (her words) on the cover of her magazine so she could talk about her weight gain of 40 pounds.
I don’t mean to be unkind, but I feel like I’ve been duped. Maybe I am self-centered but I don’t want to know how she put on the weight, I would like to know why she doesn’t want to keep her weight off. The basic premise is that we make our own decisions and our decisions are based on what we desire—every minute of the day. I think most of you would agree that eating has a lot of perks; food tastes good, it’s comforting and we get to spend time with friends. Satiation is another good reason to overeat — like excessive shopping and buying, food fills us up.
Overeating can also become a habit, like drinking or smoking — we get used to doing it. Okay so how much we eat has little to do with really being hungry.
I mean I admire Oprah, she’s the richest women in the world so I’m going to assume she’s smart. Well, of course
she’s smart, but when I hear her say we’re going to spend the next month analyzing why she gained 40 pounds, I get disgusted. I am more interested in why being overweight is better than not being overweight.
Ms O has a personal trainer, a personal chef and personal everything else but she can’t keep the weight off. What about the rest of us who just stop eating because we prefer to be thin or when our doctor says, "you better lose that weight."
I talk to people all the time who decide it’s better to be thin than fat and they pass on the dessert or the second deep fried egg roll. Like anything else, it takes will power, lots of it, a desire to be healthier and a willingness to keep a promise to yourself. In order to do these things you must matter—matter to yourself. You must want the desired outcome. Maybe the whole conversation is about the mileage Oprah gets talking about the losing and gaining of weight. Maybe it’s not really important, it’s just a good conversation; reminds me of movie stars who go in and out of rehab or from one relationship to the other; it creates a stir and you’re back on top — or at least in the news.
I would be more interested in how she made all her money as opposed to her weight gain or loss.
If it’s about meeting goals and getting what you want, I have some suggestions for Oprah and anyone else. Oh, and I know it's February but it’s never too late to start your New Year’s resolutions!
- Decide that you are important. If you matter you will keep promises that you make. Lots of people will do anything for anyone but when it comes to themselves they find reasons why their goals aren’t important.
- Make your goals personal, make it your own goals. Don’t do it because it’s important to your wife or someone else. Do it because you matter and because you want the end result.
- Write your goals down. Put them somewhere you can see them. Look at them every day. Say your goals out loud to yourself and listen to yourself. Record your goals and play them back to yourself.
- The goals should be measurable. Don’t say you want to "sell more" or "lose weight." The only way you will know if you meet your goals is if you've measured them. It can be pounds lost, sales made, customers waited on. If you can see it and count it you can measure it. If you can measure it you will know if it happens.
- Know where you are starting and where you want to end. If you weigh 180, at least you know where you’re starting. If you want to sell a million dollars it's important to know where you are starting.
- Set a time frame for achieving your goal. When you set a time frame it gives you momentum. Saying you will have it done when you have it done isn’t terribly goal-oriented.
- Reward yourself for small wins. If your goal is 50 pounds, be good to yourself for every 5 pounds you drop. This doesn’t mean a trip to Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts. You’re trying to develop new habits; if you don’t you will go back to your old weight.
- If you are working out, do your thing at the same time every day so it becomes a habit. Don’t think about it– just do it.
- Watch out for self sabotage. Giving yourself "a break" is just an excuse. Don’t give in to the old "I'm tired" or "this doesn’t makes sense" or "I don’t have time" complaints. Keep track of your excuses.
- Get a buddy with the same goal. This is why Weight Watchers works, people with the same goals giving support to each other.
Okay Oprah let’s just get serious, and let’s decide what has more value: leaving the weight off, on, or the actual process of talking about it. Because if you want it off, you just need to head for the treadmill.