Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The difference between Oprah Winfrey and me

Oprah Winfrey is the richest woman in America.  She is strong, powerful, driven, capable, intelligent and resourceful.  She’s truly helped thousands of people around the world.
I am a pleasure-seeker with no willpower what so ever. I can’t organise. I can’t prioritize. I am seriously useless with numbers, details and focus.  I can’t really figure out how to help anyone.
I will never be rich and famous.
Yet I can do something Oprah cannot.  I can stay in-shape.
This is why (I think):
I’m not as rich as Oprah so mostly I don’t let other people cook for me.  Most days, I don’t let chefs in restaurants cook for me, or men in deli’s prepare my sandwiches, or the food scientists in factories make my dinner.  I seldom get take-out.  It’s too expensive.
I am not nearly as clever as Oprah. I have a type of dyslexia that makes me number-blind. So I can’t weigh things or count points or calories. I need things very, very simple.
So I do portion control for idiots - for breakfast I have one of those tiny sachets of whole grain porridge oats. For lunch, I grab a little tin of tuna and a slice of bread and usually borrow someone’s mayo at work.
I don’t have Oprah’s willpower. I don’t even try.  So I make life easy for myself by not having dried mango or Ben and Jerry’s Fish Food or homemade fudge in the house.  (If it finds its way into my house, I do not rest until it is all eaten up.)
Because I am not building schools for girls in South Africa or TV networks in the US, I have more time on my hands. So I can go to the gym often or run or dance or cycle more or less, whenever I want (and not just at five in the morning because waking up that early doesn’t feel pleasant to me)
Sadly, I don’t have Oprah’s social life.  I am not invited to parties catered by celebrity chefs and I am not tempted by mojitos, red wine, sushi and tiny cakes.   I would go and go crazy day and night.
Lastly, I know when it comes to my weight, there is nothing I can delegate, nothing I can buy in and nothing I am entitled too.
My ambitions are small. I am content to tend my family, spend time with my friends and work a bit.
I know how lucky I am to have a roof that doesn’t leak, running water, flushing toilets, and all the vaccinations and medications available in the 21st century.  I am grateful to live in the Digital Age and in a country not at war. I am grateful that the sky is blue today and for my time on our planet right now.  
I realize not everyone gets to be Oprah Winfrey. But no-one else gets to be me either.  
I made this for supper last night:
I baked cod fillets, with lots of butter, lemon juice and salt. I wrapped it in tinfoil smeared with butter and put it in the oven at 200 degrees for half an hour.
I chopped up and fried a carrot, an eggplant, three celery sticks and one zucchini in sunflower oil. Then I threw in loads of chopped parsley, sunflower seeds, Aromat and soy sauce.
I also served noodles. It was delicious.  It was enough.


  1. Good point. I too am not Oprah, nor Londonmom, but I agree calm control of what I eat and feed my family is key to their wellbeing.

  2. Great post, Janine. I love your sense of humor. Wouldn't we all like to be Oprah and escape the humdrum errands. Love the useful recipes. And you're right that we have to appreciate what we have!