Before we begin, allow me to answer your questions (that you haven’t yet asked but are wondering about):
- Yes, I was an Oprah fan and waited for this book in anticipation.
- Yes, I bought it the moment it was available (in 1996).
- Yes, I paid full price.
- Yes, I bought the companion journal, which I wrote in for approximately (and unconsecutively) three weeks, which in real time was 9 months, a day here and there. I finally tossed out the thing in early 1999, at which time a stranger found out that “Sher” weighed 200+ pounds with a 33 BMI. Also, she ate Lucky Charms, which was not on her “healthy” eating plan.
- Yes, I believed Oprah had finally figured out – and wrote – The Holy Grail of weight loss.
- Yes, I believed Oprah would keep the weight off.
- Yes, I believed the book would change my life.
- Yes, I lost weight and then gained it back. Plus some. Just like Oprah.
Once upon a time, there was Oprah. She was a regular person, just like you and me. And Princess Diana, who also felt like a regular person. Except neither was actually “like you and me” except in the clunky ol’ human way, which we all share. But I’m getting way deeper than I intended. All I mean is: Some people have some extra at their disposal and we kinda expect them to succeed because of it. So, yeah, I expected Oprah to succeed. And she did… at first. Just like me. Oh God, here we go again. Turns out, she actually IS just like me. Except for the millions of dollars part. But I digress.
Make the Connection by Bob Greene and Oprah Winfrey was THE book to have in 1996. It is heavy… as in, literally. The pages aren’t crappy newsprint. They’re high-end glossies and filled with readable print, illustrations and lush photography.
There are photos of Oprah heavy and slender and really heavy and really slender and back and forth. Funny, there’s a page in my photo album just like that! Not of Oprah, of course. That would be weird. No, I mean… of me! (See paragraph above about us all being alike. Oy!)
There are exercises (physical) and exercises (with a pencil or pen) and recipes and journal writing and yeah, the “Ten Steps to a Better Body – and a Better Life” as touted in the subtitle.
Okay, so…. ?????
I really did love the book… back then. I loved it A L O T. I tried to follow it. I might have had some true (though temporary) success. I honestly don’t remember all the specifics.
But, then… Oprah gained back the weight. I was so disappointed.
Which, as you might guess, reminds me of a story. I’ll keep it short. I think. Hard to say. Anyway.
When I was 15, I was baptized in a swimming pool at a church camp. It was my first foray into fervent Christianity… a thread throughout my life, as I’ve discussed off-and-on.
One of my closest young friends was also a fervent Christian, as was her boyfriend, a youth minister. They were the perfect Christian couple… and I worshipped them. I don’t say that tongue-in-cheek… I can see (with the benefit of hindsight) that it’s what I did. Anyhow, I held them to an incredibly high standard.
One day, she and I were having a private chat when she admitted that they had been partaking in carnal pleasures. Yep! Dey waz doin’ da nasty. I was floored! Disgusted!
My rose-colored glasses were ripped from my rosy, cherub face. I ended up leaving the church… you know, because… hypocrites.
And so it was with Oprah’s book.
I should have known better – in both cases. Humans. They stumble and fall. They get back up. They try again. Over and over again.
This book is good, folks. It really is. And as I thumbed through it today, I realized that… again. I think I might give it another read. How about you?
Originally written by me for this blog on June 19, 2018