Oprah Winfrey, Stanford University, Dr. Bongeka Zuma

Emotional TV Special Reveals Oprah Winfrey’s Struggles With Weight

Winfrey recalled how she blamed herself for her weight and starved herself for five moths before she revealed her wagon of fat in 1988.

Fans saw Oprah Winfrey reflect on her long-standing struggles with self-perception and weight during her TV special, An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution.

According to Today.com, the March 18 special, revealed how weight-loss medications like Wegovy and Zepbound are transforming the lives of individuals grappling with obesity, a journey Winfrey herself has experienced.

“There is now a sense of hope, No. 1, and No. 2, you no longer blame yourself,” Winfrey explained. “When I tell you how many times I have blamed myself because you think, ‘I’m smart enough to figure this out,’ and then to hear all along, it’s you fighting your brain.”

Winfrey recounted her past attempts at extreme measures, recalling how she “starved” herself for five months before unveiling the infamous wagon of fat on her talk show in 1988. “After losing 67 pounds on [a] liquid diet, the very next day, I started to gain it back,” she shared.

However, Winfrey acknowledged her newfound understanding of the shame and stigma surrounding obesity, expressing her determination to challenge these societal burdens.

“All these years, I thought all of the people who never had to diet were just using their willpower, and they were, for some reason, stronger than me,” she admitted.

In December, the media mogul reflected on her expectations ahead of the ABC prime-time premiere.

“I just want people to be liberated and know that, for so many people in this country who are suffering from weight and obesity, it’s really not your fault—it’s your brain,” she said. “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,” Winfrey shared.

Coinciding with her decision to step down from the WeightWatchers board of directors, Winfrey announced her TV special as well as admitting to using weight-loss medication.

“The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief…I now use it as I feel I need it.”

Just months prior, Winfrey faced backlash after referring to Ozempic as “an easy way out” for losing weight, a stance she has since reevaluated through her personal journey and newfound perspectives.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity is a medical condition impacting a substantial 42% of the U.S. population, inextricably linked to a myriad of health complications, ranging from cerebrovascular events and cardiac arrest to elevated blood pressure, respiratory distress, sleep disorders, and an elevated mortality risk.

An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution is available to stream on Hulu.