Oprah covers People in a body con dress: ‘I finally made peace with food’

Oprah Winfrey has lost 42 pounds using Weight Watchers and she’s very jazzed about it, as we’ve seen her get about so many new age gurus, pop psychologists, health trends and products. That’s Oprah’s appeal and her Achilles heel – she believes in the things she’s promoting and in turn she sells the crap out of it to her followers. So now Oprah has found Weight Watchers and it’s worked for her, finally helping her shed the weight after she’s yoyoed for decades. She also of course has a very compelling financial reason to lose weight – instead of just getting a typical endorsement deal, Oprah negotiated for a 10% stake in WW which has earned her millions. She’s clever like that, and she covers the new issue of People Magazine, and has a new book out, just in time to attract the New Year’s resolutioners (although Oprah claims to not personally make New Year’s resolutions, funny how that works). Here’s some of what she told People:

For all of her success, there was one challenge Oprah Winfrey had yet to conquer: her struggle with weight.

She was determined to lose 20 lbs. in the summer of 2015, but an ankle injury derailed those hopes. While laid up for a month “eating jalapeño bagels,” she gained 17 lbs. “You are doing some serious eating and not moving,” she says in PEOPLE’s new cover story about that difficult time. “I was in yet another funk about my weight.”

Then one day she received the call that would set her on a new course. Weight Watchers offered her a basic endorsement deal, which she turned down to negotiate purchasing 10 percent of the company.

Now, after 17 months on the program, Winfrey, 62, has lost 42.5 lbs. “And that .5, honey child, counts!” she exults.

“This has been the easiest process that I’ve ever experienced. At no time during meals do I deprive myself,” says Winfrey, who’s down to a size 12.

Oprah gets candid about her years of diet struggles & how she triumphed with Weight Watchers — without giving up bread, chips, or wine! Subscribe now for the superstar’s emotional interview — only in PEOPLE!

In PEOPLE’s new cover story, the media mogul talks about the shame she constantly felt over her weight despite her incredible success in other areas of her life, her struggles over years of yo-yo dieting, and how partner Stedman Graham and best friend Gayle King (who are also on Weight Watchers) are supporting her.

Most importantly, she says her attitude towards eating has become healthier.

“I finally made peace with food,” she says.

[From People]

People has a video with Oprah which you can see on their site where she explains that she gets 30 Weight Watchers points throughout the day and how she balances it so she’s not hungry. She gets really excited about this fish which is “no points!” called barramundi but I checked and that fish has more calories than flounder. Overall though it’s all very sensible, and that’s what I like about Weight Watchers, it’s practical and not gimmicky, and just teaches you how to have have a healthier relationship with food. Weight Watchers works though due to calories, and as I’ve said many times I prefer counting calories as that works for me. I’m happy for Oprah that she seems to have figured this out and that she’s lost weight. I just see Weight Watchers like the other movements and methods Oprah touts – it can be effective but you don’t have to pay for that, and you can get the same results by tailoring it to fit your needs.



photos credit: WENN, People and Getty

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41 Responses to “Oprah covers People in a body con dress: ‘I finally made peace with food’”

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  1. Konspiracytheory says:

    ‘I finally made peace with food…for the billionth time’.

  2. Jenns says:

    I wonder if her trainer(Bob) is still in the picture. I remember he put her on a similar diet years ago, which she swore by, so much so that she put her audience member through a diet boot camp. But then she regained the weight and fat shamed herself on the cover on her magazine.

    Anyway, I know she always referred to Bob as a brother. I wonder what he thinks of all this.

  3. PunkyMomma says:

    I’ve done WW, I did the liquid protein diet (which Oprah also did), and if you count calories and make an effort to be more physically active, you will lose weight. (My experience.)

    I’m so over Oprah and her weight struggles. I admit I envied her when she had her personal nutrionist/chef, Rosie, who basically counted the calories for Oprah. Even then Oprah gained the weight back.

    Maybe it’s not about what she eats, but why she eats. And if she just likes to eat, well, h*ll, just enjoy the fruits of your career and manga! But enough, Oprah.

  4. Chaine says:

    Every time she loses the weight she proclaims she found the solution, she has been doing this about ever six or seven years for the past THIRTY years. Why do people still buy into it? I predict that in 2023 she will tell us paleo diet is the way to go. Or maybe she will start hawking those obnoxious Thrive MLM patches.

  5. trollontheloose says:

    it’s redundant. She said the same thing over and over just with different words. She is an inspiration but after buying shares and being the spokesperson you bet she had to lose some lbs. Pay me $30M per month and yes sure, I will even lose my bones. (by the way I don’t have to lose any lbs. to the contrary i need to gain some so maybe if I am paid say $200,000 I will gain any weight my contract stipulates provided I stay healthy and i hit the gym 4 times a week).

  6. minx says:

    I’m happy for her–she’s a good person–but we’ve heard this so many times from her. Maybe she should just not tell the world over and over about how she has gained or lost weight.

  7. Marie says:

    Isn’t barramundi crazy expensive though?

  8. Lalu says:

    She looks great. She does this all the time. Looks like it will always be a struggle for her.
    Loved her hair in the pic in the orange dress. Gorgeous.

  9. suze says:

    What happened to all her old gurus? Bob the fitness trainer ( remember when she ran a marathon?) Or Rosie the chef?

    Look, it’s nice that she had lost weight since that or her biggest desire, it appears. But I don’t buy the “at peace” part.

  10. MostlyMegan says:

    When Oprah wears geek glasses, you know the moment has passed.

  11. HappyMom says:

    If you don’t figure out why you keep gaining the weight you’re never going to be able to keep it off. Believe me, I know. Of course you can count calories and restrict food-and you can call it points or whatever gimmicky thing you want-and you will lose the weight. There are emotional reasons you overeat-and if you don’t figure out your underlying issues you will repeat this cycle endlessly.

    • Chaine says:

      I agree. She has so many issues from her childhood that are well-known. perhaps she has never found the right people to help her process and cope with them. Her weight loss saga would be so much more meaningful to so many people if she came out and said she had psychotherapy, or went on medication for anxiety or whatever it is that is underlying this. Then again, maybe there is nothing underlying her eating other than an enjoyment of food…

    • GingerCrunch says:

      THIS! All. Day. Long. It’s always seemed like a money grab from her over the YEARS. She’s been the least-successful person at managing her weight, so huge eye roll. Knowing her traumatic childhood, though, makes me compassionate toward her struggle. I wish she’d explore that in-depth as it relates to her weight. But it seems like she’s exhausted all the self-help, new-agey, psychological stuff. Somewhere there’s a huge disconnect. Just my view from over here.

    • msw says:

      You are so right. I’ve lost a lot of weight (30 pounds or more) on both Weight Watchers and Atkins. I lost weight on both plans. I also gained it all back when I resumed eating the way I did before. It doesnt matter what plan you use if you’re still comfort eating, binging, or just not prioritizing a healthful food plan in your daily routine. A low carb, high protein diet is great for me and its led to some lasting weight loss (40 pound loss going on almost three years now), and it’s a pretty satisfying way to eat long term , but if I don’t watch those three things, no eating plan will work for me.

  12. NeoCleo says:

    She looks great as she always does after a foray into weight loss. I hope she can keep it off. I sure can’t seem to. This winter the “black dog” is hard on my heels and I’m really pushed to find ways to stave it off. I wish eating wasn’t one of my go to’s.

  13. S says:

    As someone who has also struggled with weight off and on since puberty, I can attest that once you reach that good place, you sincerely and truly believe that you will never, ever for any reason go back to the “bad” place, that felt so awful and demeaning.

    Does Oprah have a problem with food? Probably. Most American women (of all sizes, mind you) have SOME sort of screwed up relationship with weight, food and/or body image in this day and age. I sure as heck know I do.

    But I also know that genetics plays a HUGE part. I don’t say that as excuse; just a fact. I’ve read that weight/body shape is the second-most immutable, inheritable trait after eye color. Does that mean someone with heavy parents can’t be thin? Of course, not! It just means it’s gonna be 100x harder than for those who are more genetically blessed. My husband and I eat the same diet (home-cooked meals, almost no processed food) and live the same lifestyle. If anything, he eats significantly MORE than me — a more substantial lunch, a beer most evenings, dessert more often — but he’s never had to watch or struggle with his weight even slightly. He is amongst those genetically blessed — and, yes, I have said many prayers for our daughter to get that side of the family’s genes — who, until we were together a long time, just didn’t get it. He thought that if a person ate reasonably well (which we do) and lived a non-sedentary lifestyle that included a modicum of exercise (which, again, yes), everyone would look like him. Easy Peasy. Only after watching me over the years has he learned that isn’t necessarily the case.

    Does that mean I stop trying? No. But the reality is I have to eat far fewer calories and work out far harder than the “average” to reach the same results, and those input/output numbers only go down/up, respectively, as I age.

    I make progress, sometimes maintaining a great, healthy weight for years, and then suddenly gain and feel like I’m right back where I started with the long, slow struggle to get back to that place I would have sworn on a thousand bibles and the lives of all those I love, I never would leave again. So, yeah, maybe I do relate to Oprah’s struggle.

    To be clear: I’m making zero excuses for myself, or others, but while I get the we’ve-heard-it-all-before weariness with Oprah’s pronouncements, as someone who has been there, done that and have the many different sized t-shirts to prove it, I still believe this comes from a place of sincerity for her.

    • Lindy says:

      Amen to everything you have said. Every single thing.

      I wish that society in general could have more of the balanced, thoughtful, compassionate, realistic attitude you’ve expressed.

      No excuses for eating badly and not exercising (unless you lack access to healthy foods, which many people living in poverty sadly do). But on the other hand a recognition that genetics do play a role and some people will have to work 2x as hard to achieve half the results.

      More kindness for everyone. An acknowledgement that it’s nearly impossible for women in our culture to escape at least *some* anxiety about food/body image.

      Has Oprah said this a zillion times? Yeah. And for that reason I would never sign on for whatever she’s promoting–just because I know it’s not likely to be the single best solution ever. But I have compassion for her struggles in this arena.

      • S says:

        “some people will have to work twice as hard for half the results” … Love that very accurate and true comment.

        And it can, and should, apply to a lot more than just weight loss. There are all sorts of things that many of us have so much easier (or harder) than others. Thus, the danger of assuming your experience is universal.

        Weirdly, I’d say my weight struggle — what I know to be true for myself in that long, never-ending battle — has given me more empathy for others’ struggling with things I find easy. You know, the idea that if so-and-so does this and that’s their result, doesn’t mean it’s MY result can cover a lot of ground. From grades to addiction to class or racial privilege, it’s wrong to assume that everyone starts from the same place you do.

    • supposedtobeworking says:

      It’s not just genetics @S, but there is a ton of biology that goes into how a person carries and keeps their weight. New research is finding that the diversity of microbes present in your gut seems to have a huge impact on weight/obesity. The more diversity you have, the less weight you are likely to gain, with all things being equal. People who had more than 3 rounds of antibiotics before 7 years old, I think, tended to present as overweight when given the same diet as those who had less antibiotics. There was a documentary on biomes done in Canada, but I can’t remember the name of it. It was a Nature of Things presentation.

    • Izzy says:

      Thank you for these reasoned, thoughtful comments. It has taken me years, but I have finally found a nutritional counselor that is right for me – her approach is fantastic, and while similar to Weight Watchers, which is actually quite sensible, is one-on-one, and she works in my gastroenterologist’s practice. They have a really great understanding of PCOS and how it affects my insulin resistance and weight loss issues, so the food and exercise modification are designed with that in mind. It’s been very effective so far, and a painless adjustment for me. It’s amazing what happens when you take the approach of “treat the whole patient” instead of just saying “just eat less.”

  14. Hfsni says:

    Some ppl pay for the program cause they like the support of others weighing in

  15. Elle says:

    I wish this wasn’t a story with her. She has been one of the most powerful women in media for decades. Isn’t that enough?

    Can you imagine Leo DiCaprio doing an interview like this? “Leo, you gained a lot of weight for ‘The Bear and the Cold, Cold Mountain’ were you worried about losing it?”

    If Oprah wrote a book about making money and running an empire now that is a book I would buy!

    • lucy2 says:

      That’s an interesting point – for as successful as she is, the majority of her public persona, especially right now, is about her weight. I’d rather hear about her network or shows she’s producing or other stuff like that.

      That said, she does look good and hopefully this works for her.

  16. Anastasia says:

    This topic of hers just bores me to tears. Ditto Kirstie Alley, but at least she seems to have stopped talking about it.

    Be overweight, be at a comfortable weight, be thin, BE WHATEVER!

    As women we get up in arms when society (e.g., men) makes a big honking deal about our weight, but then so many of us obsess about it constantly, especially celebrities like her, that the topic seems like fair game.

    I’m about 35 pounds overweight. I carry it well. I used to inwardly obsess about it and be depressed about it, but now, in my late 40s, I’m like you know what? I look how I look. And how I look is only one part of me. I’m more than how I look. I feel great, I exercise (I love riding my bike!), I’m very active, but I also love ice cream and tacos a bit too much. Who cares? Big deal! Except for just now, you’ll never hear me talking about it.

    I wish some celebrities would do the same. You rarely ever hear men doing things like this. Accepting their body. Having a better relationship with food. Talking incessantly about their weight.

    • supposedtobeworking says:

      your post reminds me of a quote by Christopher Walken that I love:

      “None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself as an afterthought. Eat the delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.”

  17. MarcelMarcel says:

    Unpopular opinion but I like how Oprah is honest about her ongoing struggle to maintain her weight and the yoyoing that arises from it. For a variety of reasons some people struggle to maintain a weight they are comfortable with. I hope WW has longterm success for her. However it’s comforting to know that even an intelligent business savvy multi millionaire struggles with her weight.

    It’s taken me a year to lose two inches off my waist after I gained weight from my medication and I’m still four inches away from my goal. Which I guess is why I don’t mind her schtick.

  18. Chinoiserie says:

    I don’t know why would you count points and not calories. And I wonder how Weight Watchers is doing these days, they left my country (Finland) since there was not enough people interested anymore. I would think everywhere people would just use calorie counters these days.

  19. Bohemian Martini says:

    So should I throw out my copy of Make the Connection and then throw myself into WW? How about the Rosie cookbook? I guess O lied and didn’t make the connection like we all thought. I’m not buying into to another thing Oprah pushes – I’m done lining her pockets. I’m still pissed she gave Jenny MC a platform (completely unrelated but everytime I hear or see her – first thing I think.) I have a feeling Oprah will just be a healthy middle-ground fattie the rest of her life – and that’s OK.

  20. Wilma says:

    I love her and think she’s beautiful. I wish that she’d see that in herself too, regardless of her weight.

  21. Dolkite says:

    Once again, people will believe anything Oprah says and buy everything she plugs.

  22. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    At least Oprah has tried to lose weight through dieting. Most celebrities with money go with liposuction, stomach stapling, breast reduction surgery, etc. Even though Oprah can easily afford all that, it never looked like she went that route (maybe she was working so much she couldn’t take off for surgery?) The only way to really be healthy is to change lifestyle. But she may simply be genetically disposed to a heavier body.

  23. Racer says:

    I’d like to hear from the men. I’d love to hear about men binge eating or men counting calories. I’d love to hear about how men deal with inner thigh fat or a stomach pooch, double chin, flabby upper arms. Women, love yourself. Any relationship with food that consumes you from sun rise to sun set is unhealthy.

  24. Lama Bean says:

    Unpopular opinion: I’m tired of Oprah. She’s had a great career and I admire her for that. But her false persona is grating to me.

  25. amp122076 says:

    How many times have we seen this movie.

  26. Debutante says:

    Personally, I think she should have waited until she lost another 20 before doing this cover. She still looks big, bigger than a size 12, and she’s been here before. Get down another 20 and then wear a normal dress, not one of these suck u in Herve Leger numbers and maybe some people will believe you , Oprah.