Oprah, Weight Watchers, and Bread

Oprah, Weight Watchers, and Bread

Oprah, Weight Watchers, and Bread
Oprah, Weight Watchers and Bread

Oprah, Weight Watchers and Bread

In 2015 Oprah Winfrey became an investor in Weight Watchers.  Contrary to popular belief she owns somewhere around 10 % of the company not the whole company.  As we all know from watching her commercials she is not only a part owner but a participant in the program and has lost weight all while eating bread!  Much like her weight, the value of Weight Watchers stock has been up and down since Oprah became an investor.

Weight Watchers Testimony

About 10 years ago my weight skyrocketed.  I injured my leg and was not able to walk or participate in any type of exercise.  Sadly this all happened just as I was entering middle age and my weight was inching up anyway.  The last thing I needed was an injury that prevented me from moving but that is what happened.  Turned out that when I can’t move I like to eat and eat I did.

Long after my injury healed I was still not moving and still eating.  As happens with so many of us, I woke up one day and said enough!  My sister had been successfully following the Weight Watcher program for about 6 months so I thought I would give it a try and much to my surprise it worked.  I lost the 25 pounds I had put on during my sedentary period and have managed to keep 20 pounds off for 14 years now.  I no longer keep track of all my points but I think about everything I eat.  I think is this healthy and nutritional or is this a cheat food that I can eat today but not tomorrow or the next day.  I also always think: “How much exercise am I going to have to do to work this off”?

Oprah Loves Bread. I Love Bread.

Who doesn’t love bread.  I love bread in all forms.  Living in the south I have to admit I even like plain old white bread as long as it is slathered with pimento cheese or chicken salad.  After all these years of hearing that carbs are killing us and that gluten is poison to our bodies it is refreshing to hear someone admit that they love bread and they eat it every single day.  The fact that Oprah’s bread eating Weight Watchers journey is so popular shows it is not just Oprah and me who love bread but clearly America has just been waiting for someone to tell them that it is OK to eat bread.

The media keeps talking about the Oprah effect on Weight Watchers meaning that everything she touches turns to gold and that may happen with Weight Watchers.  For me the Oprah effect would be having fewer people lecturing me on how unhealthy bread is, a food that I like to point out, has been around for thousands of years in one form or another.  I am also hoping that we can get back to being able to eat a sandwich without feeling guilty even if it is just an open-faced sandwich made using one slice of bread.

The Advantages of the Weight Watchers Program

  • It really is a Community: Whether you follow the online program or attend meetings you come in contact with other people fighting your same battle.
  • No Foods are Forbidden: You can eat any food you like you just can’t eat as much as you may want and you can’t eat all of the foods you like on the same day.  But really, sometimes just a bite or two can be enough.  I learned this with chocolate.  My stomach may be telling me I need to eat the whole chocolate bar but when I stop and think about it, it is really the first bite or two that I find most satisfying.
  • Slow Weight Loss:  Losing 10 pounds in a week would be nice but we all know that is not a reasonable goal and it is not healthy.  Losing a pound or two a week is both healthy and attainable and makes it more likely that we will maintain our weight loss.
  • Portion Control:  Like most Americans many of us who have gained weight have done so because we eat too much, plain and simple.  A bowl of pasta in Italy is maybe two cups of cooked pasta, at most.  In this country a bowl of pasta is often 4 or even 5 cups of cooked pasta.
  • You Learn to Think: Many of us who have problems with our weight participate in mindless eating.  We sit in front of the TV and eat whatever is put in front of us.  That may be okay to do two or three times a year, after all who wants to be eating quinoa at a Super Bowl Party, but it is not okay to do every night of the week.  Binge watching does not mean binge eating.  When you follow Weight Watchers you actually start to think about what you are eating and you know that if you eat it you must write it in your journal.
  • You Need to Exercise:  As long as your doctor says it is okay, you need to exercise.  Yes, we need to get up and get moving to lose weight and keep the weight off.  With all of the gadgets we have these days with apps and timers there is no excuse not to get up every hour and move around.

Weight Watchers Has Some Disadvantages

It is not all positive there are some negatives to the Weight Watchers program:  It can be expensive, you have to get weighed or weigh yourself regularly, counting points can get old fast and sometimes losing only a pound or two a week can be discouraging especially when you have a lot of weight to lose.

Weight Watchers Meetings

One of the reasons Weight Watchers worked for me was the public shaming.  Now many, if not most people, use the online Weight Watchers program but for me attending the meetings and having to get weighed in front of someone were what made it work.  They don’t announce anyone’s weight at a weigh-in but you know when you have had a bad week and you can feel ashamed when the lady behind the counter writes your current weight in your little notebook.   When I lost a few pounds I got a smile and an “atta girl” but when I gained a pound or stayed even I got what I perceived as a glare from the very elderly lady weighing me.  I am sure it was all in my imagination but I never wanted to see her giving me the weight gain “stink eye”.

The meetings are very supportive.  Attendees, those I considered to be my fellow combatants in the battle of the spare tire(s), shared tips that worked, their own challenges, recipes and all kinds of other advance.  It made me feel part of group and let me know I was not alone in this challenge.

Oprah’s Weight Watchers Commercial

I have watched a number of Oprah’s Weight Watchers commercials and each has their own unique message.  One talks about making 2016 the “Year of My Best Body”.  This is something many of us could benefit from although it sounds suspiciously like a New Years resolution and we all know how those go.  In a different commercial Oprah talks about learning to manage her love of bread which is one of the main messages of Weight Watchers.  It is not about deprivation it is about learning to control your cravings and managing your portions.

But to me this is the commercial with the most important message.  In this ad Oprah talks about spreading 1/8 of an avocado on a slice of bread.  1/8 of an avocado!! And here I have been eating 1/2 of an avocado which it turns out is way too much!

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