Oprah and Lady Gaga kick off ‘Oprah’s 2020 Vision’ tour

“Healthy for me is the new skinny,” Winfrey said. During the tour, Winfrey hopes to motivate audiences to make 2020 their year of wellness and renewal.

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Oprah Winfrey arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Oprah Winfrey arrives at the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar party.

Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Oprah Winfrey may have millions of fans — but sometimes, like so many of us, her own worst critic is right inside her head.

But she doesn’t let that noise get too loud.

“Whenever I have the negative talk self now, I stop it immediately,” Winfrey told USA TODAY. “Like OK, how do I switch this to something more positive. ... My thing is nobody gets ahead beating yourself up.”

Winfrey shared her wellness journey and brought a motivational message on the first stop of the nine-arena tour dubbed “Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus,” in Sunrise, Florida Saturday.

The tour is being presented with WW, formerly Weight Watchers, of which Winfrey is a major shareholder, board member and an adviser. It also stops in St. Paul, Minnesota; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta; Brooklyn, New York; Dallas; San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver.

“This is your day and I’m so excited for those of you who made the decision that this is how you wanted to start the year. Making yourself better,” Winfrey said Saturday calling it a “full day of wellness.”

Winfrey said there were a few different ideas for naming the tour.

“We did talk about Oprah 2020. It has a nice ring to it I thought,” Winfrey said Saturday, one of the few times she mentioned politics. “But then knew for sure that people might get the wrong idea that we’d be talking about something other than wellness.”

Each tour stop has a special guest and Lady Gaga spoke with Winfrey at Saturday’s sold-out event with an audience of around 15,000.

The pop star and actress spoke of her struggles with mental health and pain from fibromyalgia as well as the importance of self-care and committed to help find a solution for the mental health crisis.

“I’m going to get the smartest scientists, doctors, psychiatrists, mathematicians, researches and professors in the same room together,” Gaga said. “We’re going to solve this mental health crisis.”

Other “visionaries” who will sit down with Oprah at the other stops include Tina Fey, Amy Schumer, Michelle Obama, Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez and Gayle King, Winfrey’s best friend, who sat in the audience during Saturday’s event.

Emmy Award-winning choreographer Julianne Hough will be at each event to demonstrate her dance-driven KINRGY fitness program.

Mindy Grossman, WW president and CEO, said in an interview with USA TODAY, that she hopes the tour will reach more than the 100,000 people expected to attend.

“What we really want to do is have it create a ripple effect,” she said. “If you can motivate people and make them take charge of their lives and you can inspire them, they’re going to want to inspire others. That’s what Oprah does. That is her superpower, it is her gift.”

This week, U.S. News & World Report named WW the best commercial diet and best diet for weight loss for the 10th year.

“Our goal is certainly to attract and retain members, but it’s bigger than that,” Grossman said of the tour. “We want to touch a lot of people through our messaging. The tour is just the beginning.”

For Grossman, who became CEO in July 2017, WW has not only helped her maintain a healthy weight, but it’s become a family affair.

Her husband Neil has lost more than 30 pounds and was featured in a WW advertising campaign. Her daughter Lizzy Sirgey has lost 50 pounds after having two babies and has become a WW personal coach.

“If you see the three of us at a dinner, it’s a comedy, but it’s fun,” Grossman said. “Look, if you can’t make something fun and livable, it’s not going to be sustainable. Nobody wants deprivation.”

Oprah on wellness

Winfrey, who has been candid about her weight struggles, said what clicked for her with WW was the daily accountability and that no foods are off limits.

“I never feel deprived. I never feel that I’m wanting for anything,” Winfrey said. “The moment I would go on a no-carb diet I started craving bread.”

Winfrey says this is not just about the number on the scale, it’s about health.

“Healthy for me is the new skinny,” Winfrey said. “You are never going to see me trying to fit into a pair of jeans to suit anybody else again.”

During the tour, Winfrey hopes to motivate audiences to make 2020 their year of wellness and renewal.

“They’re going to leave feeling full. Full of hopeful opportunities and possibilities,” Winfrey said. “I want people to live a life that is as joyful as mine.”

Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus tour

Here are the nine tour stops and each stop’s special guest:

  • Jan. 4: Sunrise, Florida; BB&T Center with Lady Gaga
  • Jan. 11: St. Paul, Minnesota; Xcel Energy Center with Tina Fey
  • Jan. 18: Charlotte, North Carolina; Spectrum Center with Amy Schumer
  • Jan. 25: Atlanta, Georgia; State Farm Arena with Dwayne Johnson
  • Feb. 8: Brooklyn, New York; Barclays Center with Michelle Obama
  • Feb. 15: Dallas, Texas; American Airlines Arena with Tracee Ellis Ross
  • Feb. 22: San Francisco, California; Chase Center with Kate Hudson
  • Feb. 29: Los Angeles, California; The Forum with Jennifer Lopez
  • March 7: Denver, Colorado; Pepsi Center with Gayle King

Read more at usatoday.com

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