Over the years, Weight Watchers has been going into the toilet, and if you know me or read this blog at all, you know I think that's pretty much where it belongs. But as I said before, Oprah's name carries a lot of weight (no pun intended), and when she bought into Weight Watchers, the stock began going up. I wasn't a fan of that, but hey, this is America, and Oprah can spend her insane amount of money any way she chooses. You go, girl.
Then, Facebook kept bombarding me with the video of Oprah's Weight Watchers commercial. Thankfully, I've been able to scroll right on past it and never listen to it. I honestly didn't want to hear it. If Oprah wants to join WW, that's her decision. I'm not going to condemn her for it, because her body is her own and she (and anyone else) has as much right to diet as I do to not diet. I just chose not to hear it. That is, until I ran across a blog post today that pissed me right the fuck off. Not because the post itself was a problem... I happen to agree with it 100% and it inspired me to write this one. No, because it quoted the opening line of the commercial I have been trying so hard to avoid:
"Inside every overweight woman is a woman she knows she can be."
This is a common idea for a lot of people, that there is someone inside all overweight people. Usually, the thought is that there is a skinnier person trying to get out, like this crap:
Thinking about her statement and how it made me feel allowed me to think about when I was less than the woman I could be. For me, that time was when I was active in my eating disorder. Weight Watchers, for me, was part of that time, as were other diet programs. What many people fail to realize is that each "point" you're given on WW corresponds to a number of calories. I didn't know that while I was on the diet, but I found out later that I had been allowed to eat about 1400-1500 calories per day. It was no wonder that I found myself bingeing in order to compensate, and why eventually, the diet "stopped working". I felt like a failure when in fact, my body was doing what it was supposed to do - stopping me from starving.
I was not the person I could be because I wasn't taking care of myself or my body. I was gaining and losing weight at such rapid and significant rates that I was harming my organs, my liver in particular. I was beating myself up internally for my "failures". I hated how I looked. I lived and died by the scale in my bathroom. Food was my enemy and my eating disorder was my prison. I wasted so much time and energy and money starving myself and hurting myself and treating myself like shit because I bought into the big message that I wasn't good enough because I wasn't thin.
I know who I am now. I am beautiful. I am smart. I am in recovery. I am strong. I am the kind of woman who takes no bullshit, not just from Oprah, but from anyone who tries to hold me back or write me off because of what I look like. I stand up for myself. I have a voice and I express myself. I make myself heard. I am the woman I always knew I could be, and it doesn't have a damn thing to do with the size of my jeans or a number on a scale.
And one day, I hope Oprah feels that way, too.