ATTACHMENT DETAILS What-Do-You-Do-When-Oprah-and-WW-Reach-

What Do You Do When Oprah and WW Reach Out to You?

Folks…this is going to be a long one, and in the end, it does relate to writing – so I hope you’ll stick with me.

I signed up to virtually attend “Making the Shift: A New Way to Think About Weight” with Weight Watchers and Oprah Winfrey. (Coming up Thursday, May 9th at 6 pm ET). When I signed up, there was a link to a Google Survey where you were asked some questions about weight, weight shaming, diet culture, etc.

I filled out the survey.

Because this girl knows all about that.

I won’t go into all the details because, really, it’s perfect for a memoir (which I would never write on this subject, and I’ll explain why in a minute). But here’s some basic facts about me:

  • I was never super thin growing up.
  • There was lots of talk about weight and food, in general, around me throughout my life.
  • I was what some would have considered overweight in high school (Size 12)
  • I went to college and gained weight.
  • Graduated from college at a size 18.
  • Started my career and gained more weight.
  • Met my husband and got married. (Size 26-28)
  • Stayed that weight.
  • Had two children.
  • Tried keto, counting calories, blah, blah, blah on my own.
  • Decided after my second son was born to lose weight on Weight Watchers.
  • Lost 160 pounds, by obsessively counting points and exercising for extreme amounts of time. (Not sustainable at all.)
  • Became a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Trained for triathlons (competing in a Half Ironman) and did running races, from 5Ks to a full marathon.
  • Went to work for Weight Watchers as a leader. (Worried constantly about “making weight” in order to keep my job for Weight Watchers.)
  • I moved and left my job at Weight Watchers because I gained 15 pounds during the move and couldn’t lose them.
  • As I exercised less and stopped fanatically counting points/calories, my weight came back. All of it.
  • Last year, I made a choice for ME (no one else), and went on weight loss medication. I lost 60 pounds.
  • I’m back exercising because I like it. Boxing on my Meta Quest is my fave. It’s fun to punch things.
  • I am still on weight loss medication and haven’t lost a pound since December 2023. I will most likely need to be on this medication for the rest of my life just to maintain the weight I’m at – and I’m still fat.

When I filled out the form for this discussion that Weight Watchers and Oprah (and Rebel Wilson, Tressie McMillan Cottom, Jamie Kern Lima, Katie Sturino, Dr. Rachel Goldman, Amber Riley, Jen Hatmaker, Stephan Guyenet, PhD, Dr. Ania Kastreboff, MD, PhD, and Marisa Meltzer) are having, I didn’t think much about it. Just that they might be looking for talking points for the discussion.

Until I got this.

Now, I shouldn’t have been surprised by this email – after all, a fat woman loses weight on Weight Watchers, goes to work for Weight Watchers, quits Weight Watchers, gains her weight back, goes on weight loss drugs, and loses some weight again.

I’m the poster child for a conversation like this.

So I did my Google search (And yes, it’s legit. This person was/is an Oprah producer – who, according to the email address, is now working for Weight Watchers).

I also went back to see exactly what this discussion was going to look like (realizing I had checked yes, I wouldn’t mind being on camera in the survey—but in all honesty, I thought it was just as part of a Zoom audience—which it would not have been. It would be something a little more face-forward if I’m not mistaken. But let’s hold on to this for the time being!).

And, after a few minutes of hesitating and my husband saying, “But it’s Oprah!” I replied that I was available to talk today, Thursday.

Then I went to bed.

And I thought about it some more.

And some more.

And I didn’t get much sleep last night.

And I woke up this morning to a message in my inbox asking to talk at 11:30 CT.

My reply was this:

I passed on my chance to be part of the discussion with Oprah – Oprah freakin’ Winfrey – for the reason I shared with this producer.

I’ve worked hard for the last few years to no longer need validation that I am a good, smart, caring, funny (you can add whatever positive adjectives you like to this list) person just because the first thing people see when I walk into a room is my size. (This is also why I will never write a memoir that has to do with my weight or body. I’m good now. While my journey to get here MIGHT help someone, everyone’s journey with weight is different and extremely personal and does not necessarily need to be shared.)

And when I initially agreed to talk about it I didn’t realize that validation was once again what I was seeking.

But it was.

That sneaky little son-of-a-bitch had me questioning my weight and my body. AGAIN.

He had snuck back in.

Until I squashed it this morning and declined. (And the producer was totally cool with it! Thank you, Gracious Producer.)

Phew! Feel so much better! Because I don’t need validation about me personally.

I know who I am. I know what I bring to the table. I’m confident and if you don’t like the body I’m in – that’s on you.

Now, here’s where I’m going to loop this all back to writing.

As writers, we seek validation – all the damn time.

But it’s not about ourselves personally.

We seek validation of our writing.

While it can seem really personal, it’s not.

It’s something you created.

It’s not you.

And in order to be a writer, you need to separate the writing from your self. If you don’t, you’re not going to make it as a writer. It’s really that simple.

You won’t be able to handle critiques, feedback, rejection, and all the other ways your writing will be validated—negatively and positively.

This is my reminder to separate your writing from YOU!

They are not one and the same!

See, I told you I would bring it back to writing!

Now, I’m going to go back to manifesting that Oprah will once again want to talk to me…but this time about my future book! (A girl can hope, right?!)

P.S. If any literary agents are reading this, it isn’t my best work – honest. But I needed to get it out there this morning! Send me a message, and I’ll share the good stuff! 😉


    • Tracey Riley

    • 3 months ago

    Love this so much my amazing friend! You are a rock star in a multitude of ways. Oprah would be lucky to talk to you anytime! 👍💕

      • Michele Eicher

      • 3 months ago

      I second that Tracy. You’re so talented and I know your book is going to be exceptional.

    • Jodi Davis

    • 3 months ago

    We put so much emphasis on weight instead of the million other things that are more important. I’m so happy for you that you said no to this for all the right reasons. It takes a lot of self confidence to turn down Oprah!

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