What I Learned About Myself After Watching Oprah & Ayanla


I caught an episode of Oprah the other day!


Okay so it wasn’t the real Oprah Winfrey Show we remember but it was indeed Oprah doing one of her special episodes on the OWN Network and I was really excited to watch!

Do you ever watch Oprah’s friend Ayanla? She has a show called Ayanla: Fix My Life.

I usually watch Ayanla On Demand which isn’t often because I rarely take the time to sit down and watch television but when I do, it’s all sorts of relaxing and therapeutic.

After watching Oprah, I also watched an episode of Ayanla which really touched me. I can’t stop thinking about it.

It was about a woman, over 650 pounds, who HAD NOT LEFT HER BED IN OVER FIVE YEARS.

That’s right, her bed. Seriously. She did everything from her bed. EVERYTHING if you know what I mean.

I cannot even comprehend being trapped in my bed all day and all night for one day, let alone five years but once you watch the show, you get a glimpse into her life and her reasons.

She became stuck. Both physically and emotionally.

Her weight had trapped her and she kept ignoring it. She had people bring her food thus enabling her completely unhealthy lifestyle.

This woman couldn’t even get out of the house if she wanted to; they needed to call in a construction crew to cut the wall in her bedroom open (because she couldn’t fit through door) when she was ready to leave her home, face her demons and seek help.

Ayanla was there to assist her in being honest with herself in order to see what her weight was doing to her. Not just to her physical health but her emotional health too, not forgetting to address what it has done to those around her.

And while I cannot imagine for the life of me being trapped by the size of my own body and not seeing the outdoors for over five years, I can almost see how such a situation can evolve, spiraling out of control and just, well, happening.

I have never been overweight like that (I was chubby for a few years as a kid but that’s nothing in comparison) but I can relate to getting stuck in another way in my life.

I was stuck for a few years while my marriage was crumbling.

The seasons would change around me but internally I was on pause.

I was a stay at home mom raising my son, doing the class mom/play date thing, fully engaged in Play Doh and Bob The Builder but when my married life suddenly fell into a state of complete confusion, shambles, upside down and terrible — I kept it mostly to myself.

I told two close friends and my cousin (not even my parents) because not talking about it in a sense made it seem like the really bad stuff wasn’t truly happening.

I pretended (and hoped) that it would all be fine.

Looking back, I cannot even believe it. I can’t believe how completely frozen I was in my life which clearly needed some changing–some movement– yet I remained stuck and unable to budge mainly because I would not allow myself to budge.

That’s what happens right? Only when we look back can we see what was taking place and/or what we should have done?

Sometimes now though, I can’t even relate to that whole time period as my own past. Has that happened to you?

Even if you aren’t divorced, even if you aren’t 600 pounds and trapped in your room, maybe something else has happened in your life where you look back and wonder how did you let it happen and how come you no longer relate to it as your own?

I know Amanda has felt this way about her eating disorder past. She knows it happened but it doesn’t even feel like it is her past anymore, it’s like it belonged to someone else.

That’s sort of how I feel about my divorce. I no longer feel those same feelings towards my divorce, I don’t relate to the feelings I felt during those years but I decided what I do feel sometimes, is for the feelings I once had.

feelings from my past

I feel more for the girl I once was and what I went through internally than for the actual divorce.

In fact, writing this and reading my own words can bring tears to my eyes but those tears are not for the divorce itself, it’s for what I went through <–am I making sense?

The tears are okay with me. In fact, they are a good thing. They are honest. They are acknowledging. They show life.

I don’t ever want to find myself stuck in any sort of situation in my life again.

Easier said than done of course but if we stay honest with ourselves and completely present in our day-to-day lives, we can figure out how to keep growing from our past experiences to keep moving forward, even when it seems really hard to do.

Avoid being stuck by being honest with yourself and growing from your past experiences #divorce #oprah #ayanla Click To Tweet


I know you watched Oprah (didn’t everyone?!) but do you ever watch Ayanla?

Were you ever in the audience for the Oprah Winfrey Show? I wasn’t but always wanted to be! I did get to see the outside of Harpo Studios if that counts!

Have you ever been “stuck”?










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  1. says

    I don’t I’ve ever been quite so stuck as the situations you are describing, but I have been stuck in a fear-of-foods-making-me-sick situation. Even when I was healthy. It took Alex (my boyfriend at the time) semi-confronting me as well as my own out-of-body experience (long story) to realize what I was doing to myself and that I wasn’t living because of my fears.
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  2. says

    This is such a true and honest post, so thank you for sharing! I’ve use to love catching episodes of Oprah and I may have seen a similar episode either on Oprah or a different talk show. It’s definitely an unimaginable situation to be in. It’s inspiring to see that you are able to recognize that you were stuck in a period of your life and move forward. A beautiful read this morning!
    Taca @ A Side Of Dessert recently posted…Pasta & Popcorn!My Profile

    • says

      Thank you…And yes, I keep seeing different variations of that Ayanla episode and I watch the show, My 600 lb life when I can catch it. It’s unbelievable but happens more often than we realize.

  3. says

    As I was starting to pack last week and going through some of my things I found a bunch of stuff from my middle school/high school/college years. It brought back alot of memories and flashbacks…things I had completely forgotten about or maybe pushed out of my memory. For a couple of days I couldn’t get my mind off of certain situations- but I could see them SO clearly now. There were a few times back then when I was stuck (all with certain degrees of severity, but at the time it felt like my entire world was falling apart). Getting out of those types of situations can definitely help us to learn and grow, if we let the experience teach us something. But sometimes I think we need time to pass in order to really see the situation clearly, if that makes sense.
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  4. says

    I’ve actually never seen an episode of Oprah! My mom and dad never watched it growing up, so I never really got into it. I’m so jealous of everyone who said their lives were changed by watching it!

    I used to feel stuck in relationships- like I would never completely be happy or fully in love..I just thought that’s how everyone felt! I thought I had to stay in my college relationships because I didn’t want to end up alone. Thank goodness I got out of that and ended up meeting my current fiance, who finally showed me how to really love and be in love with someone! Now I’m stuck with him and I couldn’t be happier.
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  5. says

    I am so happy for you that you feel “okay” with your past and your feelings. I have a friend that is just one year out of her divorce from her husband that cheated on her, and I tell her all the time that she is allowed to have bad days and is allowed to be sad. I think it is so important to remind yourself of that!

    I was ‘stuck’ in an abusive relationship. Everyone in my life turned their backs on me because they couldn’t watch me commit to someone that could physically and emotionally beat me up as well as cheat on me, and put me last. I was so blinded and also scared to leave because you get trapped in feeling that you aren’t good enough. It wasn’t until a new friend noticed my bruises and cuts (I was cutting) and said she was picking me up. She didn’t let me refute and she scheduled a time. Unfortunately before that happened, sh*t hit the fan and my Yorkie (my baby) became part of the abuse due to a huge blowout where walls, doors, and ceilings were destroyed which scared her and she ended up breaking her leg. Seeing her be affected (as silly as it sounds to others, since she is a dog…but she was all I had), is what made me draw the line and say ‘no more’.

    I think it is fantastic that you can move forward. You are so positive and now you still have a chance to be happy. It takes a strong woman to make decisions that you made and do what she needs to do! You should be proud!
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  6. says

    I know what you mean about a “stuck” period. I do think these periods wind up being pivitol in our overall growth as people, and often they precede incredible changes. Kind of like the “rock bottom” mentality where it’s do or die. Great thoughts and great topic 🙂
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  7. Lauren says

    I went to two (or three) tapings of Oprah’s show when we lived there. The first time we were taken a bus to see a Denzel Washington movie–then we came back to the studio and he was the guest talking about his movie. Very cool. The other one I remember wasn’t so exciting–it was all about fitting women for Bra’s and Jeans etc. Take it or leave it but still glad I went!

  8. Cara says

    This post means a lot to me. I am recently divorced (last month officially) but there was 1.5 years of will we work on this ever or not. Those were the hardest years/months of my life and I am so glad to be moving on from them and getting myself unstuck. I am a stronger person now and more cognizant of what is going on around me. But i hope to never be stuck again like that. I think I have the skills now to not remain there for so long. Reading your blog helped me through this time period. Thanks for that. 🙂

    • says

      Aw, I am so glad I was able to help. You just made my day : )…I absolutely agree that those uncertain years were the hardest years of my life, even harder than when we decided to finally move forward with the divorce. But yes, we are much stronger from the experience which is something I remind myself every day.

  9. says

    I really miss Oprah… I used to watch her after school back in the day, and I’ve never really found anyone to replace her. I’ve never heard of Ayanla, but then again I don’t have cable… so there’s that.

    I can definitely relate to feeling stuck, though. I remember being in the depths of my ED and not knowing how I got there or how I was supposed to get out. It’s a horrible feeling to have…
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  10. says

    Really, really great post. I relate. And I think any sort of crisis or trauma can freeze up a person and if they don’t ever deal with what’s going on then they don’t move. It’s that fight or flight feeling but then the stress of it all doesn’t subside. It really hurts. Amanda Palmer wrote in her book how emotional pain hurts just as much, if not more than physical pain and it’s so true. Being self aware of all this is how we get healthy and move forward. You are doing such a great job! Your son is one lucky boy.
    Suzy recently posted…Mileage MondayMy Profile

    • says

      So true about emotional pain. So true. I felt that way back then. But learned it’s in our power to make it better and that time really helps so long as you accept what’s up and deal with it!

  11. says

    Lord this bring so many emotions up for me. I too was stuck in a pretty bad relationship and for a long time just went through the motions of life without ever acknowledging that I indeed deserved happiness. Who does that. Well I look back now and am so glad I had the courage to stand up and pursue happiness then let that darkness overcome my life. I laugh at how stupid i was and how hard it was to convince myself I’m actually worth being happy. Now, I come first, relationship or not. I realized I cannot be happy with someone else if I’m not first happy with myself. Baggage has a funny way of teaching us some pretty awesome life lessons.
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    • says

      We can’t laugh at how stupid we were because at the time, it really mattered to us. So often I look back and say, geez I should have known or saw or at least moved on quicker but at the time, our emotions were totally there and they tend to hold us back, you know?