Oprah’s trying to control my life

From weight loss to decluttering, she says she knows it all

If Oprah had any inkling of how completely her efforts to better my life have failed, she would quit trying.

During her TV show’s successful 25-year run, I watched as many episodes as my responsibilities permitted, until she engaged ‘experts’ like Dr. Phil. Gradually I tired of his know-it-all advice for moms, and cures for every form of marital or social dysfunction, to the point where sometimes I accurately predicted what he’d recommend to correct the situation.

Since she began her O Magazine some 12 years ago, I’ve been a subscriber, sharing each issue with my daughter and granddaughters to make better use of the magazine’s high cost. I don’t know which articles they look forward to. I skim past fashions with $380 coats, $90 blouses and knee-high $600 boots with stilt heels; wines (off limits for anyone on blood thinners, and breathes there a senior who isn’t on warfarin?); and recipes for party fare or flare.

I favour Suze Orman’s financial advice, Martha Beck’s lively pieces on personal relations, and essays by or feature articles about women who have overcome hardships or survived health threats. They stand out as individuals whose life stories have much to teach as they entertain.

Yet issue after issue Oprah’s enthusiasm for improving my life never wavers. Take her May 2011 article, “O’s Guide to Aging Beautifully.” I long ago accepted my fading youthfulness – so long as I am able to safely care for myself; indulge pastimes such as playing piano and walking my dogs; and don’t drool in public, I can overlook my Sharpei forehead wrinkles.

Keeping my weight in check has been a lifelong battle, as it was for Oprah until she pitched her pilates mat three years ago and loosened her corset strings. But has that deterred Oprah or her editorial team? They never even hiccuped. In January 2011, her index listed “Weight Loss Made Simple: The Only Tip You’ll Ever Need.” Like any dieter, I hoped for an effortless tip. What she doled out was old, tried and true advice – get moving.

When she wasn’t advising me on body image or health, she was tackling my home.

Throughout 2010, she tried to wear down my defences with one article after another. Her first try, in June, was “De-Clutter Your Life,” perhaps thinking that too much ‘stuff’ was impeding my transformation. While she still had me off balance from that onslaught, in the same issue she followed up with “The Secret of Happiness.” Regularly every three months or so, she prints another decluttering article, perhaps for a different room.

In September 2010, she offered me choices, “106 Inspiring Ways to Change Things Up.” Obviously she didn’t realize I avoid heights. One attempt to judge the weather looking through my kitchen window would have made that clear. Only a ladder reaches to the top of my window. I no longer do ladders.

Her October 2011 issue outlined “Nine Ways to Change Old Patterns and Spark New Breakthroughs.” Did it move me? Can’t say it did.

June 2012 her magazine dug deeper with “Seven Steps to Creating the Life You Really Want.” That article has one major flaw: I must first contemplate what it is I really want. Now I’m no monk. I rarely contemplate and if I do, it’s usually to weigh the likely steps to accomplish a task beyond my trained capabilities.

Though I’ve long since ceased selecting magazines with articles to improve my looks, behaviour, relationships, or housekeeping skills, I’ll continue subscribing to O Magazine, one of the few geared for my age bracket since More folded. Oprah, I’m sure, will be back with more self-help suggestions.

 

 

Just Posted

Former resident wins filmmaking award

Veronika Kurz will be able to make her film with $15,000 cash and in-kind services, up to $100,000

Terrace River Kings win CIHL regular season

The boys held a strong enough lead in points to claim the banner after a 15-2 win Saturday

Terrace residents discuss poverty at provincial engagement meeting

80 people were there as well as the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Shames Mountain named one of the world’s Top 10 ski resorts

The UK magazine listed Shames alongside Whistler and hills in Italy, Japan and Austria

Who wants to live here?

Northwest governments partner on marketing plan to attract workforce, residents

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

B.C. Liberal hopefuls begin final leadership push

Five MLAs, one outsider pitch policies to party members

Vancouver Island marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Aphria’s annual production forecast increases to 230,000 kgs

UPDATED: ‘Young, innocent’ teen hit during Vancouver shootout dies

15-year-old Coquitlam boy was in a car driving by the scene

Ontario man charged with selling Canadian’s usernames and passwords

Ontario man ran site that peddled billions of pieces of personal data: RCMP

Video: B.C. documentary features Okanagan ice climbing

First documentary for Penticton filmmaker captures elusive Okanagan ice climbing

David Emerson quits lumber talks as legal action begins

Former federal minister served as B.C. softwood trade point man

Singer of the Cranberries dead at 46

Her publicist says Dolores O’Riordan died suddenly Monday in London. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available.

Most Read