Living Oprah For A Year Is Not Such Good Advice

Chicago-based yoga teacher and performance artist Robyn Okrant had a crazy  idea!

What if she spent the entire year of 2008 doing everything Oprah Winfrey suggested? Live Your Best Life! Would she find happiness? Would she achieve Oprah’s female “ideal” without domestic help and on a yoga instructor’s budget?

It was something no one else had done before. She decided to go for it. – She started a blog, it cost her $5,000  in  out-of-pocket expenses, the process made her sad, put a strain on relationships – but she did get a book deal out of it!

This week, Okrant’s book about the experiment, Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Walk the Walk of the Queen of Talk , is out. The tell-all follows her as she makes do without paper towels, gives herself a makeover, redefines her sex life and adopts a kitten. By the end of 2008, she’d spent almost $5,000 and had committed to 57 ongoing Oprah challenges, as well as countless one-time tasks.

On this week, they ask her….

Following all of Oprah’s advice for a year took you a total of 1,202 focused hours–about 75 full days, excluding sleep. What was it like?

It was incredibly draining, and it made me really sad. It made me sad to think of how many hours I’ve lost–even when I wasn’t doing the project–to blindly following advice and listening to what other people tell me I should be doing to create my own happiness. I wondered how many hours other women have lost in the course of their lives to that.

Ultimately, what did you learn?

I had so many self-realizations about the fact that I am so susceptible to advice–from Oprah, from self-help books, from magazine stands and TV. I learned without a shadow of a doubt that I have to listen to my own voice. I have to create my own definitions for beauty, success and happiness if I am to feel fulfilled. That felt very empowering.




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