Celebrity talk show host Oprah Winfrey revealed that she takes weight-loss medication as part of her fitness regimen, explaining how she has battled body-shaming and body image issues in all the decades that she has been in the public eye.
“I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing,” the global influencer, who will turn 70 next month, told People magazine, choosing not to share the name of the drug.
“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.”
A turning point in her weight-loss journey was a knee surgery in 2021 after which she starting making stricter efforts to maintain a healthier lifestyle.
Although Winfrey did not reveal the drug she takes, she said that her approach to using pharmaceutical aids came in July during a taped panel conversation with weight loss experts and clinicians. “I had the biggest aha along with many people in that audience,” Winfrey said, adding that she had been blaming herself for being overweight without realising that she had a predisposition “that no amount of willpower is going to control”.
Overall, Oprah Winfrey said that her weight loss and fitness progress have allowed her to lead a “more vital and vibrant life”. “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,” she added.
Notably, Winfrey’s revelation comes amid a time when there has been a buzz around weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy. The medication reportedly regulates hunger signals and allows people to feel full while eating less. However, experts have noted that the drug also has side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea and constipation.