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Oprah Winfrey: I’m cursed with a fat sentence!

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*** This is a long post describing Oprah’s weight loss challenge and I’d love to hear what readers have to say … be sure to leave me a comment!***

Yesterday, January 5th, 2009, marked the debut of Oprah’s “Your Best Life” series. Yesterday’s show was devoted to Oprah’s confession about gaining 40 lbs.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show because it’s old news that Oprah has had a life long struggle with weight gain and she’s known to be the most famous celebrity yo-yo dieter … she’s tried every diet under the sun and she always seems to gain all the weight back.

It’s true that when she dropped to a healthy 160 lbs in 2005, it seems that Queen Oprah had really beat the battle of the bulge … but of course her December 2008 public confession proved otherwise.

oprah at 200 lbs cover
o_magazine_oprah_160lbs
I sat down in front of my telly with pen and paper and I took copious notes. During the first show of her “Your Best Life” series Bob Greene (Oprah fitness guru) also weighed in on Oprah’s weight gain and he also revealed a lot of very insightful information about Oprah’s state of mind during the time she came to realize that she was putting on weight again.

Since this was a 1 hour show, I’ll use point form to highlight the most important things.

* Oprah has a thyroid problem which means she’ll always have a hunger issue. I consulted the internet to learn more about having a thyroid problem. The first thing that shocked me was the fact that 59 million Americans have a thyroid problem! This means that worldwide the number could easily surpass 100 million people!

* Explaining a thyroid problem in a few words is not easy, but it sums up to the fact that Oprah’s thyroid problem will forever have a serious impact on her weight. I’ve found the following article that highlights the signs of a thyroid problem: Top 10 Signs That You May Have a Thyroid Problem.

* Oprah’s thyroid problem started when she was 53. Her symptoms were sleep issues, heart palpitations and leg swelling.

* Oprah’s weight gain became such an issue she could no longer stand seeing herself in full on the cover of her magazine and her staff worked around her insecurities about her weight by only doing head shots instead of full body shots.

* Oprah describes her feelings around having to shoot photos for the cover shot of her magazine as: “I didn’t feel happy or proud of my body and I had a LOT of anxiety about putting my body on display”.

“Here I am the most visible person on the planet trying not to be seen on the cover of my own magazine”. – Oprah Winfrey

“In 2008, I talked the talk, but I didn’t practice what I preach on my own

show!” — Oprah Winfrey

* Oprah started putting the weight back in February 2007. It started with 5 lbs, then it went to 10 lbs then she realized she was up a dress size and that’s when she started feeling overwhelmed.

* Oprah’s wardrobe consist of clothing in size 10, 12, 14 and elastic wear to quickly and easily adapt to her weight gain or weight loss.

* Because of this thyroid problem, Oprah will have to deal with a weight issue for the rest of her life.

oprah_weight_gain_200_pounds_again

* One of the major reasons why Oprah feels she has gained weight is because she’s been putting herself last on the priority list (a common problem among women).

* Oprah also feels that her sleep issue (she was simply not sleeping and she spent nights looking at the clock tick) has left her exhausted and tired all the time.

* Oprah’s mega-packed schedule has not helped her either … her days are too booked to think of healthy eating. Basically, Queen Oprah is suffering from one of the most common ailments of our time: her life is out of balance!

* Oprah admitted that falling off the wagon is a hard thing to do … especially when you are a public figure.

* Oprah admitted to something that quite shocked me :

“My thyroid problem is like a FAT sentence … so why not eat whatever I want since anything I eat means I’ll gain weight”. — Oprah Winfrey

* Oprah explained with a pained face that she felt completely defeated. I’ll be honest, at that point I really started to feel badly for her because you could read the immense pain on her face. This “weight” thing was like something that won her over and she wasn’t happy about feeling so helpless and almost hopeless.

* Everyone has their own weakness when it comes to food. Some people drown their sorrow in ice cream and some people eat boxes of chocolates.  Oprah’s drug of choice used to be potato chips and she’s not replaced that addiction with organic blue corn potato chips … I’m talking about eating one bag of potato chip every single day. I love organic blue corn potato chips. They are my favourites, but I usually eat a small handful with a sandwich. When Oprah revealed she ate and entire bag each day (and I’m sure there is way more that she’s eating, but not revealing) I was truly able to understand the depth of her weight problem.

“Here I was 53, overweight, exhausted, overwhelmed” – Oprah Winfrey

What Bob Greene (Oprah’s fitness coach/guru) had to say about Oprah’s weight gain:

Bob Greene explained how difficult it was for him to watch Oprah go through so many ordeals with her weight gain.

What struck me the most about Bob Greene’s interview are these facts:

* At some point, Bob Greene thought that Oprah might be suffering from low grade depression because she looked like she had lost her zest for life.

* He describes her movements as being slower than usual and there was a dullness about her personality that he had not witnessed before … it was like “she wasn’t there”.

* The biggest shock for me was when Bob Greene said:

“Oprah never learned how to be happy”.

I have to say that not only did my jaw drop, but my face started contorting into those grimaces you make when you are eating something sour. I could simply not understand how one of the richest women on the face of the planet and certainly the most visible and notorious celebrity could not be happy.

Maybe, it’s only me, but I’ve always seen Oprah as someone who had it all: a partner for over two decades, a close relationship with a girlfriend who is more like a sister than a friend, a career she loves, a job that allows her to influence the lives of so many of her viewers, the ability to buy ANYTHING she wants (because she has more money than God), a jewellery collection that constantly makes me cry with envy, beautiful spacious homes (plural, not singular on the homes) and the ability to travel as many times as she wants in a year.

I look at that and I think, I wouldn’t be unhappy if I had all of these blessings. If I’m missing the boat, here, I’d love to hear what readers have to say about Bob Greene’s admission.

Oprah’s 2009 Weight Loss Plan:

Oprah is keeping it really simple and she’s right because it’s the one way to succeed. Here’s her plan:

1) Put herself first on top of the priority list so she doesn’t forget to take care of her body.

2) Find more balance in her life by doing little things like booking “me” time.

3) Having more joy in her life.

4) Return to healthier eating patterns.

5) Going back to cardio training (this is the only way to control your weight).

6) Incorporating weight training again as part of her fitness plan (you know my point of view when it comes to weight training and women … I think it’s simply crucial).

7) Work out every day.

Since Oprah gained quite a lot of weight, her weight loss challenge and struggle will last all year and I’m sure there will be many (MANY) shows devoted to Oprah’s weight loss progress and I’m certain that Dr. Oz will be on the show many times to help viewers keep a health body … even when they are trying to lose weight.

Some great resources from Oprah’s web site:

>>> Here’s a 5 minute video of Oprah taking action towards controlling her weight: Oprah’s weight control plan

>>> Here’s a link that will take you to all the weight loss plans on Oprah’s site (you can also register and get friends to register for
target=”_blank”>Oprah’s ‘Weight Loss Challenge’

>>> This is an interesting article from Bob Green on “The Activity Scale”

>>> Here’s a link to help you start your own “Weight Loss Workbook”

>>> If you’re dealing with weight issues and if you’re looking for support, you can meet other people fitting the weight battle on Oprah’s weight loss message board:

You can read my original post about Oprah’s weigh gain admission: Why has Oprah gained so much weight?

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Posted by eatsmart on January 6, 2009 | Permalink

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14 Responses to “Oprah Winfrey: I’m cursed with a fat sentence!”

  1. Raymond Burton Says:
    January 7th, 2009 at 0:21

    Wow, that’s an in depth post about Oprah. I always wondered why she yo-yo’d so much and I never knew she had a thyroid problem. I always thought it was just a lack of will power and lack of putting her weight at the top of her priorities.

    Did Oprah ever have any abusive males in her history do you know?

  2. Beauty Match Says:
    January 7th, 2009 at 9:39

    Raymond,

    I also found the 1 hour candid interview with Oprah to be a huge eye opener because I also thought it was will power, but I think Oprah has spent her life fighting demons and she’s found comfort in food.

    Yes, Oprah was abused sexually when she was young by several males in her family/environment and she also had a teen pregnancy story.

    It seems that will all her success and money and fame and popularity, Oprah has still not fully healed from those early sad and negative episodes in her life.

  3. FatFighterTV Says:
    January 7th, 2009 at 12:55

    Wow – thanks for the in-depth report! Sounds like she has quite a lot to deal with, huh? I hope she will be okay.

  4. Corinne Edwards Says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 8:26

    A compassionate article about a woman everyone admires.

    It is a great lesson that money and fame do not guarantee us happiness.

    I send her hope and healing. She has done so much for so many.

    It is time for her.

    Thanks for taking the time to put together such an extensive overview.

  5. Maudrey Says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 11:15

    I am a huge fan of Oprah’s. I haven’t seen this show yet since the ones shown where I am are about a few episodes late so I appreciate that you’ve taken the time to discuss it here.

    If it’s true what Bob Greene says, then I feel really sad for Oprah. She has inspired me a lot about different aspects of my life through the years through her show. And it’s disheartening to learn that she may have neglected herself and her own happiness while doing so much for other people.

    I really hope she succeeds with losing the weight she regained. And if she doesn’t, I hope she knows that a lot of people love her – fat and all.

  6. Maria | Never the Same River Twice Says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 12:02

    I admit it – I watched this show! I don’t usually watch Oprah but this one seemed like it would be interesting and it was. I appreciate someone so public sharing their struggles and helping other people understand that changing to a healthier lifestyle is a long-term project!

  7. Nathan from New Orleans Says:
    January 8th, 2009 at 22:15

    The battle of weight loss is a tough one and I certainly can understand as I’m going through it myself and blogging about it. The last time I saw Oprah was when she had a show on shaklee cleaning products and she looked thin. I guess that was a couple of years ago. I’m sure she can lose it again.

  8. Beauty Match Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 0:33

    Corinne,

    Thank you for your comment. I agree … one would think that with all that money Oprah would be happy with her life and wouldn’t need to be an emotional eater.

    Thanks for your comment!

  9. Beauty Match Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 0:35

    Maudrey,

    I was also sadden by that aspect of Oprah’s show because a person at her level seems to have it all to be extremely happy.

    I will be documenting Oprah’s success on this site and on our new site which will launch in a few weeks.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  10. Beauty Match Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 0:36

    Maria,

    I agree, Oprah’s struggle will teach others that you can “fall down” and pick yourself up again!

    Thanks for your comment!

  11. Beauty Match Says:
    January 9th, 2009 at 0:43

    Nathan,

    I think Bob Greene said it well: “weight control is a life long thing for people who have problems”.

    I think the fact that you are making the effort and sharing your journey with others is wonderful!

    Thanks for your comment!

  12. Lorraine Says:
    January 30th, 2009 at 16:52

    I can empathize with Oprah I have to work on being happy from the inside too. Just because you have all these blessings you won’t necessarily be happy. It starts from within. With all the people she talks to and works with I am surprised she hasn’t heard of doing Inner Child/Bonding work or Emotional Freedom Technique or Psych-K. Any one of those or something else could help with her subconcious need to fill herself up with food. She is self nurturing with food and needs to find something more constructive. It’s out there just look up whatever key words like emotional healing subconcious beliefs inner child etc. I am blessed that I find the teachers I need to help me on my healing journey and I want others to be blessed too. May everyone who wants healing find it in a timely manner.

  13. Princess Says:
    September 2nd, 2009 at 23:07

    Oh my.. that’s awesome! Oprah sets the example for all of us struggling with weight issues! Everybody can achieve that slim body. Need to know the secret, right away!

  14. TalkAbouts Says:
    September 7th, 2009 at 3:35

    See?

    Even Oprah ended up to slim down her body thanks to exercise.

    That’s all we need to do, too!

    Sweat it up guys!

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