Oprah Gets Emotional Over Facing Decades of ‘Shame’ About Her Weight

An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution. (Credit: ABC)

Oprah Winfrey spoke out against fat shaming and the people who for decades have made fun of her weight.

“I took on the shame that the world gave me. For 25 years, making fun of my weight was national sport,” Winfrey said Monday night on ABC’s An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution.

The hour-long special explored the growing popularity of prescription weight loss and diabetes medications — Ozempic, Mounjaro, Victoza and Wegovy — and how they’ve changed lives.

“I come to this conversation with the hope that we can start releasing the stigma and the shame and the judgment, to stop shaming other people for being overweight or how they choose to lose, or not lose, weight and, most importantly, to stop shaming ourselves,” Winfrey explained.

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During broadcast, Winfrey read headlines about her appearance and showed a TV Guide magazine cover from the 1990s that called her “bumpy, lumpy and downright dumpy.”

The former  talk show host said the cover was so hurtful that she turned to a liquid diet and starved herself.

“In an effort to combat all the shame, I starved myself for nearly five months and then wheeled out that wagon of fat that the internet will never let me forget. And after losing 67 pounds on a liquid diet, the next day, y’all, the very next day I started to gain it back,” she said.

In December, Winfrey admitted using an unnamed weight loss medication as a “maintenance tool.”

On the special, she interviewed two leading physicians in the field of weight loss. Dr. W. Scott Butsch, director of Obesity Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, who told the audience obesity is a disease and said “it’s not a matter of willpower.”

While Dr. Amanda Velazquez, director of Obesity Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, admitted people who use prescription medications to shed pounds will likely regain the weight if they don’t keep taking the drugs for the rest of their lives.

Both physicians said they are consultants for drug companies, making the special at times seem like an informercial.

Those taking part in the special admitted the drugs have side effects, including nausea, vomiting and constipation. The medications also come with warnings that they can increase the risk of thyroid cancer.

Throughout the special, Winfrey interviewed women and a teenager who have taken the drugs.

The media mogul got emotional while speaking with a woman she met at her “State of Weight” panel last year. The woman said she’d lost more than 80 pounds from using weight loss medication and her relationship with food “completely changed” —  to the point that she no longer thinks about eating all the time.

Winfrey never named the medication she used, but agreed that the drug changed her relationship with food.

“There is now a sense of hope and you no longer blame yourself,” she said while fighting back tears. “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.”

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