Oprah Winfrey 'embarrassed' at weight gain

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An embarrassed Oprah Winfrey says she's "fallen off the wagon" of healthy living and has ballooned to 200 pounds (90 kilograms).

In January's "O" magazine, Winfrey, 54, details her recent struggles with an out-of-balance thyroid and how the condition made her develop "a fear of working out." She says she's gained 40 pounds (18 kilograms) since 2006, when she weighed 160 pounds (72 kilograms).

"I look at my thinner self and think, 'How did I let this happen again?"' the talk-show queen says in the article provided early to The Associated Press by Harpo Productions.

"I'm embarrassed," she says. "I'm mad at myself."

Winfrey's weight and height put her body mass index at 31.8, which is obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says people who are obese are at higher risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol.

Winfrey says she's abandoned trying to get thin. She just wants to be strong, healthy and fit. She hopes to get started with her upcoming "Best Life Week," starting Jan. 5 with an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" during which she is expected to talk candidly about her weight.

Winfrey famously wheeled a wagon loaded with fat onto the set of her talk show in 1988 to represent a 67-pound (30-kilogram) weight loss while wearing a pair of size 10 Calvin Klein jeans. She had lost the weight with a liquid protein diet.

"When it comes to maintaining my health I didn't just fall off the wagon. I let the wagon fall on me," the chairwoman of Harpo Inc. writes. "I didn't follow my own fundamental rule of taking care of self first."

In 2005, Winfrey said she starved herself for four months to lose weight. Ever since, her weight has yo-yoed. She weighed as much as 237 pounds (108 kilograms) and by late 1990 acknowledged she had regained most of the 67 pounds, saying "I'll never diet again."

In 1993, she hired personal trainer Bob Greene and the next year finished the Marine Corps Marathon. By 1996 she said her roller-coaster weight saga was over.

But now, Winfrey finds herself tipping the scales again, telling AP Television last week that she has yet to choose a gown for President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural ball next month.

"I had a dress on the vision board, but I'm not sure that's gonna fit," Winfrey said. "So I have to work on something else."

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