The Wonderful Oprah Winfrey Wows Australia

4th December 2015

Oprah Winfrey is the beating heart and soul of a generation. She is the loving aunt, the wise mentor, and the truthful friend who inspires so many of us to be our best selves. Her voice, so familiar, so warm, is like a memory of unconditional love that awakens the self and unlocks the heart, speaking universal truths and words of wisdom that hit home each time you hear them.

On Wednesday 4/12/15, I had the great fortune of seeing the amazing Oprah Winfrey talking about her life on stage in Melbourne at the Rod Laver Arena for the start of her “An Evening With Oprah” tour.

I didn’t know what to expect, except that I would see one of my life long idols speak, which made me shake with anticipation and excitement. Oprah walked the stage in a stunning coral coloured full length sequin gown for nearly 2.5 hours, talking about her life, inspiring with her words, and bringing people (especially me) to tears.

I was so lucky to have won a free ticket to see Oprah talk, thanks to Weight Watchers Australia. This was the perfect way for them to introduce Oprah as the new face of Weight Watchers, and as their newest major shareholder, so the tickets to see Oprah were offered through a competition, to Weight Watchers members.

I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers on and off over the last 11 years, and following having a baby 8 months ago, I’d rejoined as a member and was now below my pre-baby weight, but still with a long way to go to get to my own personal goal.

Growing up with a difficult and complicated childhood, I’d struggled with my weight and self esteem since I was very young. Oprah was one of the first and few consistently positive people in my life, and she became like a spiritual advisor to me, a voice of conscience and consciousness, without us ever having met. I read some of the authors that she recommended, and discovered many of my own favourites along the way, including her good friend and life coach, Anthony Robbins.

I developed my own spirituality, meeting people who would help to raise my consciousness, and take my life to the next level. But I can’t forget that I wouldn’t be who I am now, if I hadn’t been through what I went through.

Strong Wind Makes Strong Trees

If Oprah hadn’t been on the TV in a very public way, battling her own weight loss demons, I don’t think I would have had anyone at all to mirror my own struggles. Here was this amazing, inspiring plus size woman, who played out her own weight loss issues on stage, yo-yo dieting as I had. When she got a handle of her weight, I bought her book and read it from cover to cover.

Over the years, due to one factor or another, I’d lose weight, but then gain it back, lose it, then gain it, lose, then gain. This has been a life long struggle, but to be honest, if I hadn’t had to battle these demons, I never would have found my place in the plus sized community.  I love being able to help plus size women to rise above the negativity that keeps their self esteem low. I’ve been there, and that’s where my passion comes from. I love being able to help women to find that inner diva, that stunning goddess at any size. I do this through helping people to find the best fashions to work with their shape, and by letting them know they are not alone, that they are loveable, and that their size does not define them. I love to help people to break down the mental and emotional walls that keep them confined, and by giving them a glimpse into their own beauty. I don’t think you need to be a perfect 10 in order to be a perfect 10. Having said this, when you decide to change your body, whether it be because you choose to change what you see in the mirror, or you start to feel physically like you need to take ownership of your body and the direction it’s going in, then asking for help and taking action are crucial.

I have travelled the weightloss route many times. I could write a book about it, as I’m sure millions of other women and men around the world could do, and have done. Weight loss is hard to start, easy to continue when you find your groove, and then hard again as you get to the bumps in the road. Maintaining weight loss has always been the hardest thing for me, as statistics show 95% of people who lose weight, will regain it. Something about the standard ‘diet and exercise’ model is essentially flawed.  Recently I believe that I found the missing link. I think it’s essential to be a part of something, a community of people who support each other through the tough times, to motivate you when you think you’re going to fall, and to help pick you back up when you do. With Weight Watchers, it’s so great that you can either attend a meeting, or join a Facebook support group for Weight Watchers members, where you have access to thousands of other people who can pick you up, and who have your back. As they say, ‘no man is an island.’ We live together, and we help each other. A weight loss journey is never something that you do alone. To win at it, you need to enroll many other people along the way from friends, psychologists, meditation groups, personal trainers, loved ones, etc. And of course, you can be given all the tools to change your life, but if you don’t use them, change is unlikely.

But I digress. When I won the opportunity to see Oprah on stage, one of my dreams came true. Before she cancelled the Oprah Show, in favour of her OWN Network programs (which I LOVE!), I created a vision board. This woman meant so much to me, and I just wanted to make her proud, I wanted to pay it forward, and show her that I was a part of her Angel Network, one of the light workers, doing good wherever I could. Since creating my vision board, about 8 years ago, I’d included ‘be interviewed by Oprah’ but once her show was cancelled, I was unsure how this could happen. When the opportunity to meet her in person had come up (which was 1st prize in the Weight Watchers competition), I was so excited, but when I didn’t win it, I thought it was probably for the best, as I would have just stood there like a bumbling fool, unable to put words together, unable to express my heartfelt gratitude for everything that she’s given me over the years.

So this little written piece that you’ve taken the time to read, is my tribute to the amazing woman. All the things I may never get to say directly to her. The woman is a living angel, and the world is a better place for having her. She inspired me from the TV, from her books, from the stage, and she still inspires me to be the best person I can be, to overcome limiting beliefs, and to strive to live the life that I know deep down that I deserve.

Normally on this website we talk about plus size fashion and styling and stay away from diet related topics. But as an exception, I wanted to include my ode to an amazing plus size role model, and talk a little about my own struggles over the years. I firmly believe that you don’t have to lose weight to live your best life, but if you want to, then there’s nothing wrong with that either. You just have to live the truth that’s inside of you, and block out anything that doesn’t speak to that. For me, I am generally happiest in my skin at around a size 18, so I have a lot of work to do to get there. I am a mum now, and want to set a good example for my daughter in everything I do, which means it’s time to look after myself mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. And like my mentor Oprah, I hope to help many others along the way.

Written by Sharona Radovsky