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Star Jones: Addict, Depressed and Honest

05/03/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I've not been a fan of Star Jones, but I am now.

I tuned into Oprah yesterday: "Fat to Thin (and possibly back again) In the Public Eye" (my title; not Oprah's), which featured Valerie Bertinelli, Marie Osmond and Star Jones.

Mercifully, Valerie's and Marie's segments were relatively short, affording them enough time to pump out their low-calorie, no-fat, product-paid sound bites ...

... which brings me to Marie's answer to Oprah's question, "Why did you pick Nutri-systems?" Marie's answer, "Because it is a heart-healthy plan." Like HOLA? Marie!!? How about, "Because they paid me a ton of money?" You're not a volunteer, are you? I'm not saying that the plan is not heart healthy, but please, be honest. Tell the whole truth.

Marie went on to say that she's gotten over the 'need to be skinny.' Like HOLA? Again! Marie is a size 2. Marie, YOU ARE SKINNY. Yes, you are! Perhaps, you've given up being anorexic???

Another Skinny Minnie, Valerie Bertinelli happily announced that she was now 'sane' and could live with/accept 'her muffin tops.' You know, the 'fat' that 'hung' over the back of her bikini bottom. I had to look at the video 3 times before I could figure out what she was talking about. It's not fat. Valerie. Listen up -- it's called flesh. If you put elastic around anything, the flesh bulges.

Yes, Valerie appeared in a bikini; via videotape. A commercial she was shooting for Jenny Craig. A bit disappointing. I thought she's strut her stuff on the show.

Anyway, Valerie said (I'm paraphrasing), "If I could do this; create this body. So can you." HOLA!!! Valerie, not true. Yes, we can create our best selves; and yes, we can exercise and build muscle; and yes, we can connect with our higher selves. And oh YES! Weight loss is a vehicle for reinvention and transformation (which is what I've been preaching for years now)...

...However, Valerie, some of us have intrinsically disproportionate bodies, and no matter how much we exercise, how thin we get, the extra 'pockets' remain. Short of surgery, it ain't going away! I agree in that I tell people, after a lifetime of yo-yo'ing, I permanently removed over 50 pounds, and so can you! But, I do not tell people that you can have the body of Valerie Bertinelli or even me, for that matter, and I'm far from perfect. Whew! (After 50 pounds gone, you think my belly button is tight?)

All we want is to let the 'real us' out; we want AUTHENTIC HAPPINESS. And yes, Star Jones hit on that topic. She let her 'real self' out. She had surgery to tighten her tummy; and she had her breasts lifted. I could see that this was hard for her to say; but yay for the truth!

Star, in an honest and measured way said, "I'm still 300 pounds in my head some days," and she added, "... I was an addict for all practical purposes, that I had never stuck to a real diet, that I'd never stuck to a real exercise program, and that when confronted by my doctor and the doctor said if you don't make changes, you will die. I had no choice." Jones said. "When you hear people say, oh, you took the easy way out, I would have longed for an easy way. It was not an easy way. It was this -- the hardest struggle of my whole entire life and I still struggle."

Star was the only one who spoke of the psychological side of weight loss; the need to be coached through the various stages of weight loss; the need to connect to a new identity. Star, you have a new identity -- or rather you have connected with your 'real self.' You cleared out the layers of shame, self-loathing, and allowed yourself to be honest and vulnerable. That's what helps people. The truth. NOT Hollywood fairy tales.

I caution you, however, as one who has walked the talk and knows 'maintenance' like no other ... you say 'you were an addict.' You still are. Me too. The call of the Cheeto has greatly lessened since I lost my 50 pounds 8 years ago, but there are times that the alien voice takes over. Anytime an alien voice tells you to do something that you do not want to do and you do it, in my book (literally - go buy my book Star!), it is the voice of addiction.

And now to Oprah. Oprah, it seemed to me that you knew in your heart and soul that the Valerie and Marie parts of your show were 'weight loss fluff' meant to please the advertisers. I don't fault you; just making an observation.

Your being, your affect and energy shifted dramatically when talking with Star, because that was a real conversation.

Have more REAL conversations, PLEASE.

Spread the REAL word ... NOT the icing,
Janice
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