Oprah is laying out the rules for the next 12 weeks to four anxious-looking Harpo staffers. They are about to embark on a total body makeover (in the job description? No, but perhaps an occupational hazard of working for the country's most famous food addict).
The rule about "zero food for three hours before bed—not even a grape or a seed" is creating what you might call a nuh-huh moment.
"Am I on Fear Factor?" asks Oprah's makeup artist, Reggie Wells, looking around as if he showed up at the wrong studio.
Everyone laughs, relaxing a bit.
Oprah has settled on these staffers only after securing their deadbolt commitment—falter, she tells them, and they're out. She will be feeling their pain because she's doing the program with them.
Before taking even one step, you must sign a contract with yourself. Sign and date it. Stick it on your fridge. For Oprah's group, the contract is also a commitment to the team.
Print and sign your own Boot Camp contract now!
You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the contract. Download it here.
The team has to weigh in periodically. On TV. "I want you to own the number," says Oprah. Now this is from a woman who has tried every trick in the book to get one over on the scale. "I'd put alllll my weight on the right foot and lift the left foot a little. That gives you about three pounds. I'd take off my pantyhose, because you can get an ounce per leg." But the truth, she says, is essential if you want to succeed.
"KP," she says, turning to Kathleen Penny, a production manager, "how many times have you tried to lose weight?"
"I'm always thinking about it," Kathleen replies.
"Well that's going to end," Oprah says. "You've got more important things to think about." She stresses that the only way this program will work for good is to approach it not as another diet but as a choice to redefine your life—because as you lose the weight and lift the veil, you will see yourself differently, and others will, too. And you have to be willing to accept what comes with that.
Oprah winds up the prep session. They start tomorrow: 6 a.m. at the gym.
"When we come back in three months," she says with a grin, "there will be a lot more room on the couch."
How'd they do? The results are in!