For decades, Oprah Winfrey has tried to live her best life on and off camera.
Through 25 seasons of The Oprah Winfrey Show, her self-titled magazine and her own network titled OWN, the TV legend has also provided countless tools to viewers at home on how they can improve their health, relationships, finances and other curve balls.
But through all the fame and success, the talk-show host has bravely opened up about one struggle in her own life she just couldn’t seem to conquer, until now. It’s the battle over weight.
While the Weight Watchers spokesperson recently graced the magazine’s January/February issue where she admitted to losing 42 pounds since joining the program in the summer of 2015, the journey hasn’t always been an easy one.
“Like millions of women, it’s been the battle of my life,” she once shared with viewers. “I’ve shared every step of my journey with you.”
Perhaps one of the most memorable steps was on her daytime talk-show back in November 1988. While stepping out in denim jeans and a black sweater, Oprah brought out 67 pounds of fat on a red wagon to symbolize the weight she had lost.
“What I did was I fasted for—without cheating—for a solid six weeks,” she shared on what would be the highest-rated episode of her show. “I want you to know whatever diet you choose—and this audience is filled with people who’ve had great successes—you can do it with the help of your family doctor and if you can believe in yourself and believe this is the most important thing in your life, you can conquer it because if I did it, you can do it.”
Fast forward one year later and Oprah revealed she had gained part of her weight back.
“In all, I have gained 17 pounds of the 67 pounds I’ve lost this year,” she shared. “It is still a battle I am fighting every waking moment of my life.”
For years, Oprah would use her platform to try out the hottest fitness classes and new diets (Anyone remember the Oprah Potato a Day diet?). She would also explore the psychology of why people eat the way they do and why it’s so hard to lose pounds for good.
Along the way, she experienced a few a-ha moments that have helped her get to the success she is experiencing today.
“I’ve realized during this whole dieting process that I am an addict,” she once shared. “All the fame, all the success doesn’t mean anything if you can’t fit into your clothes. If you can’t fit into your clothes, that means the fat won. You didn’t win.”
Oprah continued in May 2010, “I never liked the term food addict and I have in the past referred to myself as a food addict casually but I realize I have been one and believe me, like so many of you, I have punished myself for that, but I know I am not alone and I know that the battle hasn’t ended.”
Fast-forward to 2017 and the businesswoman has not only found a healthier reality, she has found happiness.
And while she may go weeks without losing one pound, Oprah has found a support system, healthy lifestyle and living more fully can provide amazing results.
“I lost at a steady pace and then went through this whole summer without losing a pound. That was OK because I was so happy with my life. There was no longer a sense of urgency to just lose the pounds; there was now a strong desire to be fully present and savor every meal,” Oprah explained to Weight Watchers. “I focused on what I was eating and appreciating my life. Isn’t that what everyone is looking for?”