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Oprah Watch: Oprah as Emotional Wrecking Ball, Ted Haggard Waxes Philosophical and More Raging Hormones

By Ali Trachta in Miscellaneous on Jan 30, 2009 5:30PM

2009_01_30oprahwatch1.jpg Considering Oprah’s weight gain was the impetus for her Best Life Series that kicked off the new year, we weren’t surprised to flip on the TV and find her still talking about the struggle, as she’s done in so many shows over the decades. Monday’s show had an unprecedented focus, however, as it featured about a dozen obese teens who had participated in an experiential program that helped them address the issues underlying their immense size. Through massively tearful exercises led by counselors Yvonne and Rich Dutra St. John, the kids and their parents dug deep to figure out what emotional void each teen actually hungered to fill. The most telling of activities were also the simplest, as both teens and parents shed armor to fill in the blanks: “If you really knew me you’d know____” and “I’m angry that___,” the latter of which often causing an eruption repressed turmoil in each kid. As we lay on the couch watching this in sniffly sobs, we hoped Oprah had some purpose to all this soul searching other than to rip out our hearts and send them through a paper shredder. Luckily she did, as Dr. Oz joined her on Tuesday with a show full of healing antidotes.

Oz and Oprah rounded up the kids the following day to face some difficult realities. Each teen took a biophysical test, which is basically a barometer that exposes what’s really going on inside your body. Not only were many of these kids either diabetic or pre-diabetic, a handful were diagnosed with Fatty Liver Syndrome, including the youngest group member, who is only 11 years old. Even more disturbing was the overall hormone imbalance, with the boys and girls losing their respective high levels of testosterone and estrogen and essentially meeting in the middle. But fear not, Dr. Oz, who we swear was wearing eyeliner this episode, reassured us we can tackle these issues together. Yes we can!

First off he taught us how to read a food label, which we assumed everyone knew by now but apparently these kids had never heard of a serving size. More informative was the segment with David Zinczenko, author of Eat This, Not That!. Get this: we learned that a whole plate of eggs and bacon have fewer calories than a few frozen french toast sticks. Turkey bacon is worse for you than regular bacon. A glazed donut from Dunkin Donuts has like one third the calories of their multigrain bagel with low fat cream cheese! An Arby’s roast beef and cheddar has fewer calories than their turkey and swiss! We kind of love this book. But of course, Oprah drove home the point that diet is only a small step, and that more important for these kids is to identify what they truly hunger for and, well, swallow it.

2009_01_30oprahwatch2.jpg Remember during the spirituality segment of Best Life when Rev. Ed Bacon told us being gay is a gift from God? We thought that was a pleasant surprise, however we were not prepared for the shock that followed the revelations of Ted Haggard. In the initial wake of accusations including homosexual encounters and crystal meth use brought against him by the infamous Mike Jones, Haggard, the world famous Evangelical leader, vehemently denied all wrongdoing. However, after a shit load of prayer and family therapy, Haggard came to the Oprah Show to spit some truth we’ve never heard a Christian leader of his stature ever get near. One would assume Haggard would go the “I had gay sex but it was a bad choice and I’m a sinner” route, but he was actually much more “homosexuality is part of who I am and God still loves me.” Fo rills? From the former king of holy rollers? While Ted didn’t cop to being completely gay or straight, he told us his homosexual urges are not demonic, as he once thought, and he now accepts and embraces them. Furthermore, though he remains married to his wife and at least a practicing hetero, he doesn’t believe that makes him “cured” because, in fact, he was never sick. Wow. While he may not have been waving a rainbow flag, we couldn’t help but feel like perhaps the winds of change really ARE a-blowin’.

2009_01_30oprahwatch3.jpg On Thursday Oprah followed up last week’s hormone replacement therapy debate with a more in depth discussion of bioidentical verses synthetic treatments with guest Suzanne Somers, a self-proclaimed “guinea pig” and outspoken advocate for bio-identical therapy. In a segment filmed in Suzanne’s home, she showed us how she administers her hormones, as well as what else she generally consumes, including 60-some pill supplements per day. When we saw her immense chain of vitamins and minerals lined up on the table, we admit she looked a little like some sort of whackanoodle, hippie dippy pill dealer, but we’re generally into natural remedies so we wanted to hear her out. Guest Dr. Lauren Streicher from Northwestern, not so much. She chastised Somers for misleading women and for promoting substances that aren’t FDA-approved. Thank goodness Oprah brought in pal Dr. Christiane Northrup to mediate. Opinions flew and none of the ladies were looking to cave, however one thing everyone seemed to agree on is that women need to take control of their health, get educated and make informed choices to determine what is right for them. Pretty universal advice.

Friday’s show is a repeat honoring young billionaires of the world. Just in case you weren’t feeling inadequate enough today.