A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by WW and asked to share my weight loss success story with a producer via video call! I was so excited already, but when I answered the call I got the surprise of my life…druuuuum roll.. OPRAH Winfrey popped up on my screen!! Wait, WHAAAT??? YES! Let that sink in…OPRAH-WINFREY-CALLED-ME!! She was the one that conducted my interview! She was so genuine, and wonderful, and just so perfectly OPRAH! It was such an incredible experience!! I wrote her this thank you letter explaining why having that conversation with her was SO VERY life changing for me!! Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing if Oprah will ever read this letter because she forgot to give me her personal number before we hung up… BUT…
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Here is my story…
Words cannot express my gratitude and excitement from being able to speak with you the other day. It was truly a dream come true. You have been inspiring me for years, and you were just as charismatic and wonderful as I always imagined that you would be! I always loved your show when it was on, but I really began to connect with you in the beginning of my weight loss journey with WW. When I started I was at my highest weight physically, and struggling at my lowest mentally. You were doing your video chats on Connect, and I enjoyed them so much! Whenever I watched your videos they made me smile, and gave me renewed inspiration to keep going. You helped inspire me not only in weight loss, but it was one of your chats that prompted me to start a gratitude journal! Finding, learning, and growing in gratitude is what changed my life. Chaaaaanged-MY-LIIIIIIIIFE!!!!!! (said in an Oprah voice!)
Quick backstory, I moved from my small town in South Carolina to Honolulu, HI right after college when I was twenty-three years old. I had stars in my eyes, and a new pair of wings to try out! Being a very type A wanderluster, I also had a safety net return ticket back home in six months, but I never used that ticket. I feel in love with Hawaii, and made Honolulu my home! Alas, the only guarantee in life is change and thirteen years, a husband, and three baby boys later, it was time to let go. My husband and I made the decision to move back to South Carolina, and raise our kids close to my family. In six quick months, I shipped our minivan, sent a few priority mail boxes of pictures and other important small things to my parents house, and sold every other possession that we had. When we arrived in SC we had nothing…no really, the airline lost our suitcases and car seats so we literally arrived with nothing.
We eventually got our luggage back, and began to settle into our new normal. It was during all of this transition that I found this picture of myself from high school. I remembered hating the picture back then because I thought my thighs looked massive, and that I had a double chin. But looking at it for a second time in 2016, all I saw was a beautiful young girl with so much life ahead of her. It made me so sad to think that I had wasted basically my entire life hating my body. I promised myself that if I was EVER able to get back down to that weight, I would remember the moment of finding this old picture and seeing my own beauty. I promised myself that I would finally love my body!
Seeing that picture, and making that promise was what prompted me to start WW in November of 2016. By December I had lost ten pounds, and I made my first vision board of all the positive things that I wanted to focus on and bring into my life in 2017! My biggest goal for 2017 was to dig deep and find that beautiful girl again. I was chasing the dream of a second chance at living life in that body. And even though losing ten pounds was still a LONG way away from my goal weight, I knew that it was ten pounds closer than I had been just a month ago! It was happening!! It suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t have to wait until goal weight to love my body. I realized this had been the problem the whole time! So, I started celebrating every victory and appreciating every size down. With each pound lost my confidence grew. By the time I reached my goal weight in August of 2017, I felt unstoppable! Losing seventy-five pounds, and accomplishing a goal that I once thought was impossible was an indescribable feeling!
When 2018 rolled around, I was hanging strong at goal weight, but I wasn’t done. I knew that in order to stay at a healthy weight, I had to maintain a healthy mindset. I wanted to continue to learn, grow, and find balance in my new lifestyle. I made a new vision board, and I put your picture right in the middle! I wasn’t trying to be creepy or anything, it was to remind me of your inspiration to focus on gratitude! My intention for 2018 was to embrace, learn, and grow from my own mental obstacles. I also really wanted to meet you in 2018!! Which, I guess, technically makes the picture a little creepy, but I wanted to tell you how you inspired me in SO many ways to change my life! It seemed like such a ridiculously impossible goal anyway. I mean, you are OPRAH!! But I was still a little disappointed at the end of 2018 when I had not met you yet. I just told myself that 2018 must’ve been a busy year for you! I don’t know, but right under your picture is a quote that says, “Think of a solution that you’d prefer, then ask yourself, What would be even better?” So that is exactly what I did.
When I made my vision board for 2019 I asked myself, “What could possibly be better than meeting Oprah?” Of course I still wanted to meet you, but I decided to up the ante a little. In 2019 instead of meeting you because I wanted to meet YOU, my new and improved dream was that I wanted to shine SO bright that YOU would want to meet ME. I jokingly put my picture over Gayle’s face on my new board (Sorry, Gayle!). I laughed at the picture because my face is even a little, “C’mon Oprah, I know you’re excited to meet me, but keep it together girl!”… Okay so I admit, when I type it out like this, it DOES seem a teensy tiny little bit creepy. Yikes. But don’t worry, I’m the harmless kind of crazy! I just love to laugh, and the whole thing was silly. I did, however, make another promise to myself that if I ACTUALLY did get to meet you, I would never ever doubt that if I can dream it, I can achieve it!!
Three months into 2019, WW called me and asked me if I would be willing to tell my success story on a video interview with a producer. I was over the moon excited, and of course I said “YES!”, but I was really nervous about the interview. My friend and I were joking about how we hoped the WW interviewer would be experienced enough to help pull me out of a hole if I got stuck on a question! Then the call came in, and your face popped up on my screen!! In that very instant my life was changed forever! As soon as I heard “Hi, Jenn!” in your voice, I realized it was happening! All of my hard work physically, mentally, and spiritually in the last few years had led me up to this exact moment. There I was talking to THE Oprah Winfrey on video chat, and SHE had called ME! It was my “Aha moment”. God was showing me with absolute solid proof that he has given me everything I need to be the author of my own life story. NO dream is too big! I’m not gonna lie, it was a REALLY overwhelming moment for me! As a myriad of emotions flooded in, I knew I had to keep it together and enjoy the interview. I giggled to myself as I was comforted with the thought, “Well, at least I know my interviewer is experienced enough!”
You have the most amazing presence, and speaking with you was something that I will never forget! You inspire me to keep reaching higher by continuing to grow daily. I can not wait to see what my future has in store for me. What I know is that if this year starts with a phone call from YOU, Ms. Winfrey, then I am ALL IN!!! So, THANK YOU!! Thank you for all the good that you give to the world, and all of the inspiration and guidance that you have given me over the years. That chat was the most incredible life experience, AND what made it even better was that it all happened a couple of days before my 38th birthday! Getting interviewed by you was the BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!!! I am truly honored and grateful beyond words to have you be a mentor, and such an integral part of my life story! Not only that, but to know that now I am a small little blip in YOUR life story, it’s mind-boggling!! So again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for giving me the spark to CHAAAAAANNNNGGGEE MY LIIIIIIIIFE!!!
And Oprah…GIRL, call me ANYTIME!! A-N-Y-T-I-M-E!!
It was only after I let go of everything that I was able to see the abundance of just simply living in this wonderful world. We all have our own struggles and individual lessons to learn, but my new dream is to one day have someone tell me that my story gave them the spark they needed to change their life!
To see more of the WW commercials and media posts click here https://balancingbananas.com/2019/03/29/people-com-article/