Oprah Winfrey is coming clean about her use of weight loss medication.
After previously refusing to confirm whether she'd been taking medication to aid in her new slimmed-down figure, Winfrey is now admitting that she uses it "as a tool" among other practices.
The former talk show host has long been gossiped about for her weight, and she told People that when she would see those kinds of remarks, "I didn’t feel angry. I felt sad. I felt hurt. I swallowed the shame. I accepted that it was my fault."
She said, "It was public sport to make fun of me for 25 years. I have been blamed and shamed, and I blamed and shamed myself."
Winfrey's weight, she revealed, "occupied five decades of space in my brain, yo-yoing and feeling like why can’t I just conquer this thing, believing willpower was my failing."
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: Oprah Winfrey attends THR Presents Live: The Color Purple at Crosby Hotel on December 11, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images)
It was during a panel discussing weight that she did for her website, Oprah Daily, over the summer when she came to the belief that she shouldn't have been shaming herself so harshly.
During that panel, which was released in September, Winfrey could be heard saying, "When I first started hearing about the weight loss drugs, at the same time, I was going through knee surgery, and I felt, ‘I’ve got to do this on my own.' Because if I take the drug, that’s the easy way out."
"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," she explained to People. "Obesity is a disease. It’s not about willpower — it's about the brain."
After that, her doctor prescribed a medication (she wouldn't name the specific prescription she takes).
"The fact that there's a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for," Winfrey said. "I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself."
Still, the medication isn't the sole reason behind her weight loss. Winfrey said that after rehabilitating from knee surgery in 2021, she started hiking regularly and making other lifestyle changes.
"I eat my last meal at 4 o’clock, drink a gallon of water a day, and use the Weight Watchers principles of counting points," she described, adding that when she began this routine, "I had an awareness of medications, but felt I had to prove I had the willpower to do it. I now no longer feel that way."
She stressed, "It’s everything. I know everybody thought I was on it, but I worked so damn hard. I know that if I’m not also working out and vigilant about all the other things, it doesn’t work for me."
Now, Winfrey weighs 167 pounds — seven pounds shy of her goal weight of 160.
Talking about her new lease on life, she said, "In Hawaii, I live on a mountain, and there’s this big hill — I used to look out the window every morning and say, 'God, one day I want to walk up that mountain.' Last year over Christmas I did it… It felt like redemption."
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