In November 2004, Kirstie opened up about her struggle with weight on The Oprah Show. The next day, she says she quit smoking and decided to change her life.
Determined to drop a few dress sizes, Kirstie became a spokesperson for the Jenny Craig weight loss program. After losing 33 pounds, Kirstie burned her "fat pants." Then, in November 2005, she shared her secret weight loss weapon with Oprah.
During her third appearance on The Oprah Show, Kirstie said something Oprah never thought she'd hear. "Maybe before summer I'll do a Jenny Craig bikini commercial," Kirstie said.
Now, after many months of hard work, Kirstie is ready to reveal her new body for the very first time!
The prospect of wearing a bikini in front of millions motivated Kirstie to work out even harder with her trainers, she says. When the time came to go on stage, Kirstie says she wasn't worried about her body—just her pantyhose!
Kirstie says she searched far and wide for a pair of pantyhose to wear under her bikini. She finally found a pair without a center seam but didn't realize they were "low rise." Backstage before the show, she says she was worried that her hose would slide down. Thankfully, there are no wardrobe malfunctions to report!
The shoppers headed to Nordstrom for a swimsuit shopping spree. Like most women, Kirstie was not looking forward to bathing suit shopping. "[Women] love to shop for bikinis and go to the gynecologist," she jokes.
After combing the racks for a stunning swimsuit, the ladies settled on Kirstie's sexy cranberry bikini.
At age 56, Kirstie now feels comfortable in her own skin. "I don't think women ever feel like we're good enough," she says. "We don't feel like we're thin enough or pretty enough or smart enough or work hard enough ... We all are good enough and we look good enough and we are not our bodies, you know?"
From the outside, the Robertses looked like the perfect close-knit family, but Jill, the youngest of four children, said she always felt like an outsider. Jill had three skinny siblings and a father who reminded her every day that her weight wasn't acceptable to him.
"Does it bother me when we're out in public that Jill's overweight? It does. I'll be honest," said Kirk, Jill's father. "I'm ashamed of her weight, but I love my daughter dearly."
Jill said that her father had no idea how deeply his words hurt her, and she often turned to food for comfort. She shared her feelings for the first time on the show.
"I've wanted my dad to accept me my whole life," Jill says. "He treats me differently than he treats every other person in my family. My whole life he's told me that I'm not pretty and that I'm overweight and that I need to lose weight, and he's just never been nice to me. I feel so much hatred towards my father because of the way he treats me."
Jill says the decision to have the surgery changed her life. "I'm a different person. I'm more outgoing, I'm fun," she says. "For the first time, I love to be me."
Jill says she's no longer angry at her dad. "I realized something that was very powerful for me. I have realized that my dad has always loved me," Jill says. "I was so defensive about everything, and now I can look at it as he was concerned for me and he wanted me to be happy. I truly believe that."
Just because Jill lost weight doesn't mean her problems went away. Jill says she cried every day for three months after her surgery because she missed food. "Food was my life," she says. "Food was my best friend and I miss it."
Jill continues to see a therapist twice a month and also attends gastric bypass support group meetings. "It is a daily battle," she says. "I have said to so many people, it is the hardest thing I have ever done and it is the hardest thing I still do."
Professor Wiesel's Holocaust memoir Night is still on the best-seller's list as an Oprah's Book Club selection. "It's a must-read for every citizen, especially the young," Oprah says.
Night was also the inspiration for Oprah's National High School Essay Contest. Students across America answered this question: Why is Elie Wiesel's book Night relevant today?
Clemantine Wamariya was one of the winning high school students. For her, Night is a chilling reflection of her own life growing up in Rwanda.
Clemantine and her 15-year-old sister, Claire, were left to fend for themselves. They say they hid for 100 terrifying days and then spent six years in refugee camps across Africa, always holding out hope that their parents survived and they would one day be reunited.
Clemantine and Claire moved to America in 2000, and the two sisters continued to search for their parents. One day, through a chance meeting at the home of an acquaintance, Clemantine and Claire got the news that their mother and father were both alive!
In a heartwarming surprise, Clemantine and Claire were reunited with their parents and two siblings they had never met on The Oprah Show. The family spent four days together in Chicago getting reacquainted. Clemantine says they sang and danced all night.
"It was everything that I had wished for for so long. I didn't know that I was going to see them, but I knew that we were going to be together one day," Clemantine says. "And that moment was everything."
"People say you can't change the world. But you can change people," Clemantine says. "And they will say that history repeats itself. No. We'll repeat history."
Clemantine also made a promise to Holocaust survivors. "I felt that I have to promise them that they might be lost in this world, but the story's not going to be lost if I'm alive."
"You make me proud," Oprah says. "You are quite a woman."
She generously cared for her elderly mother and her own three children, plus seven nieces and nephews who would otherwise have gone to foster care. The family lived in a dangerous neighborhood, and three people slept in each bed in the tiny apartment.
After treating the kids to a Toys "R" Us shopping spree, Oprah gave Bernadette a life-changing gift—a brand new house! She also promised to pay for all of the children's college educations. After six months of house hunting, Bernadette found the perfect house, and designer Nate Berkus stepped up to make it look and feel like home.
What's been the biggest change in Bernadette's life since getting the house? "[My kids are] much happier. They can go outside and they can play," Bernadette says. "And my mother, she's well-rested and...we all have our own beds. That was a big change."
Now, the kids are all thriving, Bernadette says. Her oldest son is headed to college in January, and she says the rest of the kids are doing well in school. "They're very at peace now," she says.
She was so surprised by those numbers that she decided to do something "uplifting" for the women in her audience and across the country. Oprah set up her own bra boutique, and dozens of professional fitters helped hundreds of women find the right bras.
After that show, women from all over the country were inspired to find the right fit! "I know that I overflowed in my old bra, and I went from a 38C to a 36D," a viewer named Kristie says. "I'm throwing my bra away!" Now, it's time for you to discover your real cup size!
GAP, Motorola, Apple, Converse and Armani all got their (RED) on so that you can help get medicine to Africa by simply buying a T-shirt or a cell phone. After The Oprah Show featured the GAP's "Inspi(RED)" T-shirts in October 2006, the shirts sold out in a matter of hours!
Your dollars are making a difference. In just three weeks, the (RED) campaign raised enough money for more than 15 million pregnant women in Africa to get treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV to their unborn children.