My late night ah ha encounter with Oprah and Tony Robbins

Last night I sought refuge from a tough day of writing and even tougher day of dark thoughts about my future. Somewhere during the day, I looked to God and the universe and asked for guidance to help soothe my future fears.

Let’s face it, deciding to ditch a normal life in favor of one as a writer and actress is not exactly asking for financial freedom. There is no steady paycheck- it’s about working at your craft for little or no money while trying to hold down a day job to pay the bills. In this economy even the day job is no guarantee.

So my day is winding down, my routine of Sunday night shows has finished and I happen to catch the last glance of Oprah’s Next Chapter, this week with Tony Robbins. Darn it, I curse to my self. I really like Tony Robbins and pairing him with Oprah just seems like a dream combination. I checked the television guide and breathed a gracious if not somewhat reluctant sigh of relief – they are showing a rebroadcast from midnight to two a.m.

Is watching Oprah and Tony worth a few hours of missed sleep? Absolutely! Curled up in my jammies with my cats sleeping nearby, I start watching, ignoring the occasional yawn that drifted from my mouth. She is attending a portion of one of his four day seminars, just to see what it is all about.

I already know what it is all about. I was fortunate to attend a mini Tony Robbins seminar, as part of a two day motivational speaker fest in Toronto about eight years ago. Even though he was only on the stage for about four hours, the experience was electric. Now while I have been a fan of motivational speakers for many years, I had never bothered to buy any of his books or programs because they seemed so long. Delving into a Tony Robbins book is a real commitment and it was easier to gravitate to programs that promised quick fix results.

Not even a half hour into the program and my first ah ha moment. Tony asks the audience about the false stories that they tell themselves. Stories that have been repeated for so long in your head that you believe them whether they are true or not.

Ding, ding ding – a bell goes off in my head.

I grabbed my ever handy pen and the closest thing to write on, which happened to be some  recipe cards that are lurking under my coffee table. Furiously, I start scribbling down notes, not unlike my experience at a real seminar. I don’t think, I just write. What are false stories that come to mind? I quickly come up with five, then sit back during the commercial to think about what I have written. Two of them stick out, flashing like a neon sight in the night. Let’s talk about the first today.

Number one – I’m fat because I can’t lose weight.

How fat am I? At my heaviest I was a size 18, today I can wear a size 8 on the bottom and a size 10 on top. Since I was a kid, I have always struggled with my weight. Being an actress surrounded by size 0 and 2, I would still be considered overweight and this is part of my struggle.

For years though, I made excuses. I was big boned, it’s genetics, I’ve tried everything and I am the only person in the whole wide world that can’t lose weight….

I realized last night that I wear my weight like a badge of honor. Every time I try a new diet or exercise program that doesn’t translate to a number on the scale, I throw up my hands triumphantly and proclaim – see, I TOLD YOU IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO LOSE WEIGHT!

The sound of chirping crickets replies. There is no ‘you’, in fact, there is no one around.

Now I look around and say: Who are you talking to?

It is the negative part of me that I am speaking to because no real person around me cares. I look at my family and it’s not genetics because my parents and my brother are thin. I’m not big boned, I’m actually the opposite. If I’m carrying the weight, it’s because of my eating decisions completely. I am an emotional eater and no matter how much I kill myself at the gym, I won’t see a difference if I come home and ruin it all with chocolate or chips.

So now it’s a new day and a new me. I must tell myself a new story.

Thin looks good on me.

Am I there yet? Not quite. But when I do get there, thin will look good on me.

So thank you God and the universe for sending me Oprah and Tony Robbins.

My future fears are a work in progress, fighting the fight one day at a time.

But thank you for your guidance. Both of you continue to do a phenomenal job at showing me and the world the paths of possibility.

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