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Oprah Winfrey admits she uses weight loss drug after months of speculation

‘I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself,’ Winfrey says

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Thursday 14 December 2023 07:45 GMT
Related: Oprah Winfrey reveals her portrait at Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery

Oprah Winfrey has admitted to using a weight loss medication after months of speculation.

The 69-year-old billionaire confirmed to People that she uses an unnamed weight loss drug as a tool to manage her weight. She praised the medication for allowing her to live a healthier lifestyle, amid career-spanning scrutiny over her weight.

“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. I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself,” she told the outlet in a cover story published on 13 December.

“It was public sport to make fun of me for 25 years,” the Color Purple star added. “I have been blamed and shamed, and I blamed and shamed myself.”

Winfrey has dealt with many hurtful comments over her appearance for years. Speaking to People, she described one particular moment when she landed on fashion critic Mr Blackwell’s list, where she was dubbed “Dumpy, Frumpy and Downright Lumpy” on the cover of a magazine.

“I didn’t feel angry,” she said of the time. “I felt sad. I felt hurt. I swallowed the shame. I accepted that it was my fault.”

Thanks to the weight-loss drug, along with a new fitness regimen and diet, Winfrey feels better equipped to maintain a healthy weight in the long term. She told People that her weight loss journey had been spurred after she underwent rehabilitation following her 2021 knee surgery.

“After knee surgery, I started hiking and setting new distance goals each week. I could eventually hike three to five miles every day and a 10-mile straight-up hike on weekends,” she said. “I felt stronger, more fit and more alive than I’d felt in years.”

She continued: “I eat my last meal at four o’clock, drink a gallon of water a day, and use the Weight Watchers principles of counting points. I had an awareness of [weight loss] medications, but felt I had to prove I had the willpower to do it. I now no longer feel that way.”

After a July panel conversation with weight loss experts and clinicians, called “The State of Weight” and recorded for Oprah Daily’s “Life You Want” series, Winfrey began to change her tune about using pharmaceutical aids such as Ozempic and Wegovy.

“I had the biggest aha along with many people in that audience,” she recalled of the discussion. “I realised 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 added: “Obesity is a disease. It’s not about willpower - it’s about the brain.”

The former talk show host stressed that the prescription drug she uses isn’t singularly responsible for her weight loss. Rather, Winfrey credited her overall weight loss to her regimen and added that the medication is just one of many tools in her arsenal.

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