Oprah Winfrey's Weight Loss

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Oprah Winfrey’s Weight Loss: How Did She Manage to Lose 40 Pounds?

Mai K. Sosa

Oprah Winfrey, a cultural icon and media mogul, has long been open about her struggles with weight and her journey toward a healthier lifestyle. Over the years, Oprah’s weight loss has become a source of inspiration for many, as she candidly shares her experiences, challenges, and triumphs with her audience.

The icon’s bodily journey has been documented in the media, on magazine covers, and on episodes of her own eponymous smash talk show, which aired for 25 seasons.

In this article, we delve into Oprah’s transformative journey, exploring the before and after of her weight loss and the impact it has had on her life and the lives of those she continues to inspire.

Why Did Oprah Winfrey Gain Weight?

Oprah Winfrey’s weight fluctuates throughout time. She even admitted to being at her heaviest (108 kg) in 1992. She gained weight since she was going through a difficult emotional time.

Oprah Winfrey's Weight Loss

Oprah had been in disastrous relationships and craved approval from others. So seeking solace in protecting oneself from the world’s censure became her ideal coping method. She gained weight as a result of this.

But by 2005, she had worked hard to get down to a fit and healthy 73 kg. However, due to her thyroid condition and a hectic workload, she found herself back at 90 kg in 2009. It was then that she recognized her issue wasn’t only about weight but also about taking care of herself.

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This understanding prompted her to join the Weight Watchers program in 2015, which resulted in her weight loss.

How Did Oprah Winfrey Lose Weight?

Winfrey, who turns 70 next month, believes she now has a better understanding of how to maintain a healthy weight over time and finally rid herself of shame. Winfrey admits she has added a weight-loss drug to her regimen as part of a comprehensive strategy that includes regular exercise and other lifestyle changes.

Weight variations “occupied five decades of space in my brain, yo-yo-ing and feeling like why can’t I just conquer this thing, believing willpower was my failing,” says Winfrey, whose tenacious rehab following knee surgery in 2021 sparked what has been steady weight loss over the previous two years.

Oprah Winfrey's Weight Loss

“After knee surgery, I began hiking and setting new weekly distance goals.” “Eventually, I’ll be able to hike three to five miles every day, with a 10-mile straight-up hike on weekends,” she says. “I felt stronger, more fit, and more alive than I’d felt in years.”

“I eat my last meal at 4 o’clock, drink a gallon of water a day, and follow the WeightWatchers point-counting principles,” she explains. I was aware of [weight-loss] drugs, but I felt I needed to demonstrate that I had the discipline to use them. That is no longer the case.”

She went on to say, “I was recommending it to people long before I was on it myself.”
The turning point in Winfrey’s approach to using pharmaceutical assistance came in July, during a taped panel discussion with weight reduction experts and clinicians titled The State of Weight, which was part of Oprah Daily’s Life You Want series.

“I had the biggest aha, along with many people in that audience,” she says of the September talk. “I realized I’d been blaming myself all these years for being overweight, and I have a predisposition that no amount of willpower is going to control.”
“Obesity is a disease,” she adds. It’s not a matter of willpower; it’s a matter of the brain.”

Oprah Winfrey says she struggled with thoughts about the Olympics and Wegovy: ‘Taking the drug is the easy way out.’

Winfrey says she “released my shame about it” after reconciling the science and consulting her doctor, who then prescribed a weight-loss drug. “I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yo-ing,” she explains, declining to name the drug.

“The fact that there is a medically approved prescription for losing weight and staying healthy in my lifetime feels like relief, redemption, a gift, rather than something to hide behind and be mocked for.” I’m sick and tired of being shamed by others, especially myself.”

Winfrey is conscious of the attention focused on her physical size, especially as the use of weight loss drugs such as Wegovy, Ozempic, and Mounjaro has grown in popularity. However, she emphasizes that it has not been a one-size-fits-all answer.

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“It’s everything,” she adds of her comprehensive health and exercise regimen. “I know everyone assumed I was on it, but I worked so hard.” I know it doesn’t work for me if I’m not also working out and staying on top of everything else.”

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She started taking the medicine before Thanksgiving. “since I knew I was going to have two full weeks of eating,” she explains, “instead of gaining eight pounds like last year, I gained half a pound… It muffles the sound of the food.”

Despite being seven pounds shy of her desired weight of 160 pounds, Winfrey maintains “It’s not about the number.” Instead, she is satisfied with the development she has made in the two years following her operation. “It was a second shot for me to live a more vital and vibrant life,” she said.

“I live on a mountain in Hawaii, and there’s this gigantic hill – every morning, I’d look out the window and say, ‘God, one day I want to walk up that mountain.’ Last Christmas, I did it… It felt like redemption.”

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