As I discussed in two previous blogs Oprah spent almost 40 minutes at the beginning of April interviewing Star Jones about her journey from 210-220 pounds up to 307 and then back down to approximately 150 or so. Star did all of the weight gain and loss publicly and it caused a lot of controversy for a lot of different reasons.
(Star Jones - DailyCeleb.com - All Rights Reserved)
Because the interview with Oprah was so extensive, I had to break it up into a series of blogs or else one entire blog would have been huge since I tried to capture almost everything Star had to say.
After a discussion about what the beginning of her weight gain and then a discussion about what Barbara Walters had to say about Star and why she lost popularity on The View, Star continued to talk about her weight loss journey.
The Day Of The Gastric Bypass Surgery
Star said "I remember on the day of the surgery. You walk in and you get up on the table yourself. So I was weighed and it is the biggest most industrialized scale you have ever seen. It is as if they are weighing meat or life stock. And I said to myself I swear an oath to god if I make it through this surgery I will never something like this again."
Oprah "so what was the weight for you? You mentioned earlier you were depressed in the year where you seemed your happiest on TV where you were the most popular, getting the most attention...you would go home...eat and that year you gained 75 pounds."
Why Star Ate Herself 75 Pounds Heavier In One Year
Star "I would go home alone. I could be invited to all kinds of things but I'd still go home alone."
Star's Choice Of Al As A Husband
Oprah "let me ask you this, you're dating and marriage to Al was so public. And.. do you think if you were your current thin self you would have made the choice for him?"
Star said "I've never even thought about it. I think I would have. Because I was very happy. What was attractive was still going to be attractive. But I was a different type of women to date. I was your fun, smart, witty, life of the party kind of girl. I was never that you would go "ummmm that's what I'm talking about." I had never had those kinds of experiences. With men."
Oprah "because you've been wearing a size 20 since you were 18."
Star "I had a boyfriend I would have people attracted to me, but it was never with desire. It was never with desire. And it was nice as I changed to experience it."
Gastric Bypass Surgery Before Meeting Her Husband
Oprah "so you had already started to lose weight when you met him." Star "I had the surgery way before I met my husband. It was... And I told him right away. But as I lost weight I changed."
Star "there was less of me to hold. I became more confident...."
Oprah "really confident"
Star "yes, and more secure that I could step out of the shell and not feel like I needed to accept anything. I needed to be my true self. That's where I am now. And I'm learning every single day. There's new stuff to learn every day."
Oprah "so are you different? Who are you in this body? Obviously I understand intellectually, spiritually you are the same person. But your perception of who you are. Is different. And how is that different? When you lose another whole person?"
You Lose Another Whole Person
Star "you lose another whole person. And you try to find your way. At least I have, You try to find out who the authentic you is inside of you and then you accept every single thing. The blemishes and all. I don't try to be perfect,. Like I said to you, I woke up with anxieties this morning and then I got rid of it because I said I'm just going be me. And whatever...."
Oprah "you're doing that very well may I say. You're doing that very well. Really."
Star "Whatever comes out its at least you see is what you see is what you get."
Oprah "Did you have to have more surgery? Star was there when I opened my school in January 2007 along with lots of other wonderful friends and I saw you I think the morning before New Year's Eve. You were on the way to the pool You were wearing this swimsuit and you had this lovely see-through cover-up thing up and I...your legs, your body I could not tell what happened to all that skin?"
Star "now that, you will laugh, had a lot to do with pilates. The first 75 pounds is directly attributable to the surgery. But remember, I had 160 to lose. And the doctor recommended I do pilates or some strart of stretching or yoga class immediately after I recovered. So eight weeks."
Oprah "so you didn't have to cut off a lot of skin?"
Star "no actually the only surgery I've ever had afterwards, I couldn't get rid of the stomach, I'd gotten rid of all the fat but I couldn't get rid of all the skin here so abdomoplasty, tummy tuck, which is commonly referred to as a tummy tuck, that was, because also it's not a healthy thing to have skin hanging here and for vanity sake I had the boobs lifted because they went like pancakes. And that's for vanity sake because nobody needed to have them lifted they make enough bras, bras at Victora Secrets that lift them but I lifted them. And that's it. I have not done anything on the arms. I've not had to do anything on the legs."
Oprah "because you're still young and had some elasticity"
Star "and the skin went right back. After, the first eight weeks after the surgery, Oprah, I was on the pilates machine, for the first time and I couldn't lift my legs. You know they have those pullies. I couldn't lift my legs. There's an exercise that you do called the 100. Where you lift yourself and you're here (she demonstrated with her hands.) I couldn't get through two much less 100."
Oprah "because?" Star "I was, remember, I was 8 weeks out, so I'd lost maybe 25 pounds. But still 280 something pounds. I was just too big but I wouldn't quit. I did five days a week. I wouldn't quit. I was too heavy to start with the treadmills and all that I knew I wasn't going to stick with that. So I did something that at least encouraged me. And as I did it, I remember my gym pants started to fall off me a little bit and I started to cry. Because I knew it was working."
Oprah said "isn't that a great feeling."
Star "and as I got down to 200 pounds and than started cardio. And I've adding things in. The arms come from tennis and keeping up with some weights and I'm not obsessive. I don't want anyone to think you have to pay a whole lot for a gym membership."
Oprah "Do you still eat bacon?" Star said "I had sausage this morning."
Tabloids Catching Star In An Unflattering Pose In Bathing Suit
Oprah "so I understand you were at the supermarket recently and there was tabloid and you saw youself on it with the bathing suit." Star "oh gosh they can reduce me to tears and I..."
Oprah "but now?" Star "especially now." Oprah "Ok" Star "I've worked so hard and um..." Oprah "because when you were 300 pounds you weren't crying about it." Star "and you know I wore swimsuits and sat out on the beach." Oprah "that's what I could not believe."
Star "but what was I going to do? Stay in the house? It was hot. So I wore a swimsuit down on the beach."
Oprah "that's what I couldn't believe when you were wearing swimsuits when you were 300 pounds."
Star "when I was 300 pounds you couldn't hide anything. There's nothing worse than being 150 pounds and then having a little pocket right here and having the tabloids take a picture of it and put it on the front."
Oprah "so that's still upset you. You saw that picture."
Star "Oh no. I was going to the grocery store and what ticked me off was, I had these vegetables in the cart and mushrooms and I was going to make a fresh dinner and it was so wonderful and I walked up to the checkout and on the front cover is me in an unflattering position. I was bending over and they shot me from the side. And I remember putting that swimsuit on that morning and how happy I felt when I put it on. I remember it like it was yesterday. And could reduce such a wonderful moment to something horrible. And I was so depressed, but I didn't eat. I didn't eat."
Oprah "normally you would have eaten. At another time in the past?"
Star "years and years ago I would have eaten."
Oprah "so when people are saying things about you when you were 280 and 300 pounds. Did that bother you?"
Star "The late night comics? (Leno, Letterman) Crushing. They are. And we pretend it doesn't matter and it hurts. It hurts every single time."
Oprah "so now that you're in this body has does it affect the way you handle yourself? The way you are with men, the way men react to you. The way other people react to you. Obviously people changed the way they reacted to you?"
Star "you know Oprah, when you have gastric bypass, they insist you see a bunch of different doctors. One of which is a therapist. They don't insist you keep up with the therapy, which they probably should. So you only have to see them once to get approved. And I stood there and they said to me, you're not going to have problem following the program, you're don't going to have any problem doing what you're supposed to do, because you made up your mind. Your biggest problem is going to be other people reacting to the new you. And that was the first and only session. They got me right away. And they were right."
Star continued "I had never had a guy oogle me that way. On an airline recently I went into a bathroom to change because I had to give a speech at the other end and wouldn't have time to change and this gentlemen said 'you got into that dress in that bathroom' in an admiring way and I thought to myself that never happened to me before in my life."
Oprah "now this is what's interesting to me. You seem quieter to me."
Star "you don't have to be as loud. I don't have to be as loud, I don't have to be as boisterous, I don't have to be the center of attention."
Oprah "you seem calmer"
Star "I'm healthy. Oprah, I can breathe. I can walk up stairs. The elevator went out in my building and I live on the 10th floor and four years ago I took a hotel room because I couldn't walk up the stair when the elevator went out. When it went out in the last year I walked the stairs. And when I got to the top, it was like the biggest accomplishment."
"To get to the top of some stairs. Oh girl I was breathing hard, to be clear and cussing at the people but I felt so good, I felt so good that I could walk those stars and do I regret not being strong enough to share everything right away? Yesssss. But would I take it back? Nooooooo. Because I'm healthy here today because I did it that way. I got emotionally strong while I got physically strong and now I can sit here and talk to you."
In a span of 40 minutes Star Jones discussed her eating addiction, her shame, her inner demons and her journey. What are your thoughts about this courageous interview? Many do not like Star Jones but you have to give her credit for being willing to share so much of herself on national TV about a very painful and controversial subject.
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