For those of you with a keen interest in what I did with my January, here is a clip from a spot on CBS in Richmond, Virginia.
Check out Michael on Fox News First in San Antonio, Texas!!
Catch Michael on Fox TV’s Tennessee Mornings! (Channel 17)
There are a couple of crazy things that happen to me when I have the opportunity to travel around the country. Sure, I meet all sorts of people, but that’s not so crazy. Everyone seems to be very much on the same page this time of year. The holidays have ended, the ball has dropped and its time to get back into the swing of things. Everyone is in the middle of his or her Resolution or they are sitting back and joking about all the others who are Resolved. No, that’s not crazy. That is an annual rite of New Year’s. No, the crazy thing when I travel is that I have the opportunity to watch Oprah. See, when I am home, I have business to conduct, but once I get on the road, the day becomes sort of timeless, without a “work time” and “home time”. So TV mid-afternoon works……sort of.
So when I arrived at my hotel yesterday I flipped on the TV just to get a little noise going in an otherwise somewhat uncomfortable little room. And who should be on the telly but Oprah. My relationship with Oprah is somewhat distant: I may not always agree with what she has to say, but I will defend to the death her right to say it. And the number of people that she has been able to help over the past two decades more than impresses me. She has created a fantastic amount of change.
But there she is, in full Oprah soft focus, with little (or, dare I say, no) make up, and she is talking about herself. She is talking completely in the first person about the fact that she has gained 40 pounds and she is miserable. There is nothing uplifting about what she is saying—she is speaking from the pit of despair. And her trainer, Bob, comes on and talks about how, as he was working with her, he saw the life drain from her eyes because she was depressed.
We all know about Oprah’s Battle of the Bulge. She has been up and down and the press is more than willing to keep a running commentary on exactly how large she is at any given time. And she has had a number of victories. I think she succeeded in running the Chicago Marathon a number of years ago. But here is sad Oprah talking about how life has gotten away from her, how she stopped making time for herself, how she kept thinking that she would be able to get back on track until one day the track was so far back in the rearview mirror there was no going back. And that’s when she went to pieces.
So here I am in this Milwaukee pre-war hotel room that seems to have been decorated by yodelers, feeling bad for Oprah. Because what she is going through is the same painful trap that a lot of people go through and it is frustrating and depressing. Its particularly depressing if you have already climbed to the top of the mountain top once only to find that you have rolled all the way back down to the bottom.
The fact of the matter is that all these habits—the weight gain, the poor exercise habits, the inability to create time for oneself—are all repetitions that we can fall into over and over and over again. When we are prone to that sort of behavior, we have got to watch ourselves, and always watch ourselves. My friends who are recovered alcoholics don’t say, “hey, it’s been six months without a drink so I can go back to having the occasional beer.” That doesn’t happen. They understand that it is in their nature to fall back into their old habits. It is part of the disease of alcoholism. When we have weight and health issues (and, yes, I count myself as one of those people. Don’t believe me? I would show you the pictures but I burned them) we have to keep those issues in mind and understand that we are building entirely new lifestyles for ourselves—new habits to replace the old because those old habits were not working.
So going forth and conquering the health, fitness and weight loss resolution is fantastic. But as you continue to move forward, find ways of cementing new habits in place. Find that community or the structure that you can use for support. AND USE IT!
Oprah rebuilt her schedule and her life, with the help of her phalanx of assistants so that she has more time for herself and she doesn’t run herself ragged. But hopefully she realizes that those pitfalls will always exist for her.
So here’s to Oprah—if I only get to see one episode a year, I guess I’m glad it was that one.
Michael will be appearing on the nationally syndicated “The Daily Buzz.”
Michael will be appearing on “Sunday Morning” on ABC. Catch it……or at least Tivo it.