Oprah regains weight… again

9th December 2008

Oprah regains weight… again

Breaking news, everyone: Oprah’s gotten fat again. Yawn.

The 54-year-old talk show queen ‘fesses up in the January edition of O magazine to what has been apparent to viewers for some time — she’s gained weight. Oprah, an admitted food addict, says she’s regained 40 pounds in the past two years, bringing her to a current weight of 200 pounds. MSNBC reports:

“I’m mad at myself,” Winfrey writes in an article provided early to The Associated Press by Harpo Productions.

“I’m embarrassed,” she writes. “I can’t believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I’m still talking about my weight. I look at my thinner self and think, ‘How did I let this happen again?”’

“I was so frustrated I started eating whatever I wanted — and that’s never good, writes Winfrey. “…I definitely wasn’t setting an example. I was talking the talk, but I wasn’t walking the walk. And that was very disappointing to me.”

Winfrey also writes that her goal is no longer to be thin; instead, she wants to be strong, healthy and fit. She hopes to get started with her upcoming “Best Life Week,” starting Jan. 5 with an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” during which she is expected to talk candidly about her weight.

Oprah can’t believe she’s still talking about her weight, but I sure can. It wasn’t that long ago the talk show maven went on a liquid diet, “literally starving” herself for four months and inspiring thousands of viewers to do the same. Within just days of eating normal foods again, she was no longer able to slide into those size-10 Calvins. She’s the poster child for unproven, untested, unsuccessful and medically unsound weight-loss plans galore – plans that despite their proven ineffectiveness, continue to motivate viewers to try similar methods because Oprah did it! And yet even with her great wealth, personal chef and trainer and access to healthy foods and fitness resources, Oprah hasn’t been able to sustain a weight loss for any length of time. We don’t need Einstein to tell us that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Considering that more than 49 million viewers tune in to Oprah each week and three quarters of them are female, I truly hope Oprah is sincere in dropping the goal of thindom and instead focusing on becoming more fit, healthy and strong. It’d also be nice if her upcoming segments address, oh, the fact that few people can lose a lot of weight and keep it off and that dieting is part of the reason; how metabolism and bodies change with age; how researchers have isolated at least 250 genetic causes of obesity and that fighting one’s natural size and shape is usually an exercise in futility; how medical conditions like Oprah’s own “out-of-balance thyroid,” PCOS and depression can cause unexplained weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight; how fitness, not fatness is a better marker of health and longevity; the correlations between poverty and obesity; and the rising rates of eating disorders amongst teens, especially those teens who are fat.

Oprah’s already walked the walk. Now it’s time to finally talk the talk.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 9th, 2008 at 2:32 pm and is filed under Arts and Music, Diets, Health, Nutrition & Fitness, Pop Culture. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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  1. 1 On December 9th, 2008, Tiptoe said:

    Rachel, I read about this too. Part of me was surprised, part of me wasn’t. I think it is just sad that she continues to focus on her weight. It’s a reminder that no matter how wealthy you are or how beautiful you are to others, how you feel about yourself is really internally-based.

    I hope as you do that she brings to light some hard-based facts about dieting, genetics, obesity, medical conditions, etc. She has an audience who feeds off whatever she has to say, so maybe she will rise to the occasion versus feed into the culture.

  2. 2 On December 9th, 2008, Gorda said:

    I don’t have great expectations about Oprah “dropping the goal of thindom and instead focusing on becoming more fit, healthy and strong”. With her long history of trying to become unrealistically thin, I fear she will now focus on trying to become unrealistically fit. In her attempts to lose weight, she resorted to personal nutritionists and chefs, liquid diets, cleanses and magic berries; now that we are about to see her take on fitness, I envision personal trainers and a gruelling exercise schedule. It also sounds like she’s doing a mental switch that is only too familiar to women who have spent most of their lives obsessing about their bodies: “I haven’t been successful in losing weight, so I will stop trying; instead, I am going to focus on getting healthier and more active (while secretly hoping that my new, healthier, more active lifestyle will have the side-effect of making me thinner, and chastising myself for my failure if it doesn’t)”.

    I’m sorry to sound cynical and I certaninly would love it if she proved me wrong in my assumptions. I believe one of the best things that could happen to women everywhere would be for Oprah to discover FA and HAES.

  3. 3 On December 9th, 2008, bethiesny said:

    What I found really strange is that Oprah also said that her out-of-balance thyroid made her fearful of exercising. What? I don’t understand that statement at all.

  4. 4 On December 9th, 2008, JupiterPluvius said:

    Here’s a thought, Oprah: why not pour yourself a nice steaming cup of SHUT UP and weigh whatever you weigh. Work on your health, your eating choices, your exercise routine, whatever you like. Live your life. Don’t talk about it. Live it.

  5. 5 On December 9th, 2008, Cute Bruiser said:

    A part of me wonders if Oprah’s focus on her “weight battle” is partly a publicity stunt because she knows that talking about it, bringing attention to it and beating herself up about it is an easy way for many women to relate to her … and that means ratings.

  6. 6 On December 9th, 2008, Rachel said:

    Perhaps, Cute Bruiser. I also think that its a preemptive move on her behalf to try and save as much face as she can, seeing as the tabloids have been reporting on it for a while and it’s now fairly obvious that she’s regained weight.

    I just find it very sad that a woman as talented, strong, accomplished and powerful as Oprah still needs to explain her weight or make it the topic of discussion at all.

  7. 7 On December 9th, 2008, sarah-j said:

    Oh my gosh, when I connected to the internet that story was the first thing I saw on Yahoo and I was just thinking that I would love to read your analysis on it Rachel!

    You are so right, it really is sad that even though she is such a powerful and strong woman, that she is so caught up in the whole weight thing.

    I really wish that she would discover these kinds of blogs or just the different perspective on weight that there is out there. I remember when I didn’t really understand that there was a different way to understand and experience my body than our culture was telling me.

    It’s sad for her and it’s sad because she is such a role model.

  8. 8 On December 9th, 2008, ItsTheWooo said:

    I’ve maintained a weight loss of 160 pounds for 4-5 years. I’ve maintained a relatively consistent way of eating for 6 years.

    It is possible, but only if you understand that insulin controls weight gain and adopting a low carbohydrate diet is the only possible way to permanently control obesity.

    Fruit and potatoes look healthy, but to obese people it’s something like consuming peanuts if you have a peanut allergy, or gluten if you’re celiacs. Obese people do not regulate glucose and insulin normally; obese people must adopt a low carbohydrate diet to be metabolically normal.

    If I did not eat a low carbohydrate diet, I probably would be even fatter than I was 6 years ago (i.e. I would weigh more than 280 pounds at 5’5). Because of this diet I am able to maintain a weight around 120 pounds at all times.

    I’m not saying I’m perfect, I have my food issues and maintenance isn’t easy, but this diet is the difference between something impossible and something that is possible.

  9. 9 On December 9th, 2008, Rachel said:

    ItstheWooo, I’m glad you have found an approach that you feel allows you to better manage your weight and health, but your experiences do not reflect those of every fat person. Not all fat people are carb-addicts and a low-carb or low-glycemic diet won’t result in weight loss for all fat people. Nor do all fat people have endocrine-related medical issues or deficiencies.

    I have also maintained a significant weight loss of more than 100 pounds for five years, in part, by adopting a lower-glycemic and healthier diet. I do think that sustainable weight loss is entirely possible, but I don’t think that dieting, in the commercial sense of the word, will achieve it — as the research on dieting amply shows.

  10. 10 On December 9th, 2008, Chris said:

    What is the definition of “fit”? And “healthy”? And how do they fit in diabetes, heart disease, and blown hip and knee joints? I can almost get on board with the idea that sustained weight loss, for most people is not going to happen, so, hey, just get on with life and try to be as happy as you can under the circumstances. But saying that being fat is not a health problem is where you lose me. And yes, perhaps there is room for disagreement for what the most healthy weight is, but it’s not 200 pounds for someone like Oprah.

  11. 11 On December 9th, 2008, ItsTheWooo said:

    Rachel – I agree completely, but the increase in obesity is most likely mediated by the increased consumption of fast foods/sugars/starches. 30 years ago they didn’t have supersized french fries and sugar drinks. 30 years ago people didn’t go to applebees and routinely consume hundreds of carbohydrates in a single meal.
    There are obese people who do not have a glucose/insulin issue underlying their weight gain, but these are not the individuals making up the past 30-40 year increase in obesity.

    Dieting is destined to fail because it implies weight is something you fix by losing it and then carrying on as usual. Weight loss is accomplished when people understand weight management is a chronic, life long thing that you do by changing which foods you do and do not eat for a long period of time (rather than how much you eat for a short period of time).

  12. 12 On December 9th, 2008, JupiterPluvius said:

    Chris, “dieting” does nothing to address health problems. Healthy eating and exercise may, regardless of whether the person choosing to eat and exercise in a way that’s healthy for them is fat or thin or anywhere in between.

    Perhaps if Oprah had been focusing on being healthy, rather than thin, she might be healthier than she is now. My guess is that she’d be a lot healthier mentally and spiritually.

  13. 13 On December 9th, 2008, JupiterPluvius said:

    Note: I am basing my suggestion that Oprah might be happier and healthier without her obsession with thinness on her own words.

  14. 14 On December 9th, 2008, Fangirl said:

    “I started eating whatever I wanted — and that’s never good.”
    Yes, Oprah, that’s a horrible thing to do. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. (/sarcasm)

    Why is it such a crime to eat whatever you want to, as long as it’s reasonable portions?

    I agree with Gorda; this new “fit” Oprah could become just as obsessive and ultimately unhealthy as the “thin” Oprah.

  15. 15 On December 9th, 2008, Frannie1968 said:

    While it is unfortunate that Oprah continues to struggle with her weight and obsession with eating, it is reality. Millions of adults struggle with compulsive eating, as well as a pure “enjoyment of food”. We live in a right-now society. Food advertisements are everywhere. It is possible to have a multitude of foods quickly by delivery or pick-up. A greater variety of foods is available than ever before–healthy as well as those we should enjoy in a limited fashion. It is a constant “bombardment” of food ideas, and it’s difficult to shut them out. When you add this to a predisposition to overeat, it’s a recipe for disaster. I know exactly how Oprah feels. Food is also my addiction and “soother of all ills”. Before I take the first bite, I know exactly how gorging myself will feel at the end of the binge, as well as how uncomfortable the tight pants are afterward. If food has ever been your “drug” (or if you have any other vice that is hard to control–smoking, chewing your fingernails, etc.), cut Oprah some slack! Wish her well in her efforts to be healthy–I know that I will.

  16. 16 On December 9th, 2008, Bree said:

    If you are fat (and remember that fat is different for everyone) and have no major medical problems, physically or mentally, then yes, you are healthy. To others, your size may not give off the appearance of health, but it’s what on the inside that matters. For many, extra body tissue does not cause issues and some people do function better at higher weights.

    Some need to realize exercise and healthier eating doesn’t always lead to weight loss—and it shouldn’t have to.

  17. 17 On December 10th, 2008, Keechypeachy said:

    Oprah may worry about exercising too much due to her thyroid, because if you have thyroid issues, your adrenal glands get very tired coping, and if you over-exercise, you wear them out, and then you can’t convert your thyroid meds into your cells, because that is one of the things your adrenals do for your body (as well as coping with stress and illness), and then you get sicker and tireder and less able to cope with even normal stress. Exercise, especially vigorous exercise, is NOT the answer for everyone. I found this out the hard way. Four years ago I passed my grading for second dan black belt in TKD, now I am practically a basket case. If Oprah was exercising vigorously eight times a week, she was candidate for adrenal exhaustion even WITHOUT thyroid trouble!

  18. 18 On December 10th, 2008, Queasy said:

    Oprah’s only 200 pounds???

  19. 19 On December 10th, 2008, sara said:

    I just wanted to state for the record that a low carb diet is NOT the only way to lose weight effectively regardless whether or not you’re obese. I’m happy for “It’sthewooo” and her success but I disagree that there is ONE route to health and weight loss. This simply isn’t true. I have several formerly obese friends who have been very successful with weight watchers and have kept their weight off for years. I’m not saying it works for everyone or that there is one program that is effective across the board, but I always take issue with the idea that there is one true path in this regard.
    As for Oprah, she has always really annoyed me with her body obsession. Many of us have the same issues/insecurities but I feel that it’s irresponsible to DRAG the entire country with her whenever she decides to start a new program (I feel this way about many things she says/does unrelated to weight as well). That bothers me and it also bothers me that there are so many sheep in this country who blindly follow everything she says because she’s Oprah.

  20. 20 On December 10th, 2008, Janey said:

    Apparently, when Oprah talks about “getting healthy” it’s a euphemism for losing weight. I just saw Gayle King on Good Morning America and she said (paraphrasing) “It’s not about being thin, it’s about being healthy. And forty extra pounds is not healthy.”

  21. 21 On December 10th, 2008, Rachel said:

    You’re absolutely right, Janey. I suspected the same exact thing — by having a specific number goal in mind, it only sets Oprah up to fail in the media when she fails to achieve or achieves it and then regains the weight. Now, she can still claim “success” even if she doesn’t lose weight — which should be the goal, but I doubt Oprah is truly embracing a HAES kind of approach.

    That’s a good point about the thyroid and adrenal deficiencies, Keechypeachy. Plus, I doubt that with a personal trainer, Oprah does joyful movement, that is, exercise done without any expectation of weight loss and solely for the pure fun of it. I’ve written before on how I used to think of exercise as a form of self-torture during my eating disorder days. I developed a kind of mental block against it and it took me some time to rediscover my initial love of the gym.

    Frannie - you’re absolutely right in that so many people struggle with compulsive overeating, emotional eating or binge eating disorder. In fact, it’s estimated that the numbers of people with BED eclipse the numbers of people with both anorexia and bulimia combined. Oprah has said that she’s an “admitted food addict,” but she’s never discussed how she’s managed that, if at all, beyond hiring a personal chef and trainer. If she truly does have psychological issues around eating, it’s probably not something she can overcome herself.

    ItstheWooo - I actually agree with much of what you have to say about the kinds of foods we eat. My own research on the rise of processed food affirms this. I just dislike blanket statements in general, plus, I recognize that there exists a natural diversity of size amongst humans, as well as different propensity levels for weight gain.

  22. 22 On December 10th, 2008, Linda said:

    There seems to be a whole lotta schadenfreude goin’ on across the fatosphere, disguised as concern and pleas to come over to the light. Seriously, the best advice I have heard is for her to stop publicly obessessing over her weight, and just live her life. But then she would have to admit that everything in life is not a willpower/self improvement project to bull your way through, and that in itself would clash with the brand she has established for herself. Beyond that, I don’t know enough about her struggles to say. Who does?

  23. 23 On December 10th, 2008, rowdygirl said:

    I think it’s interesting that the story is “she admits to weight gain”… like we couldn’t all see it ?? huh??
    I used to be a fan of hers until she lost her mind, and then I couldn’t take it anymore. It seems to be she’s setting the stage for ANOTHER book, joint venture, new star, et.c etc. What happened to the cleansing “thing” she was doing a few months ago? She just needs to face the fact that all the money in the world, powerful friends, ridiculous fan adoration and worship aren’t going to make a difference when you want to eat. If you’re a stress eater, or whatever your issue is, it doesn’t matter who you are.

    I resent the “fat cow” reference since I’m in the same range that she is (at least where she SAYS she is).. I’m guessing she’s more than 200, but I don’t really care. If you’re gonna be honest, then be honest. It reminds me of the whole Kirstie Alley thing.. yeah, she weighed 200 also, didn’t she???


  24. 24 On December 10th, 2008, susan said:

    I could be reading things into it that weren’t there, but I took her “eating anything I wanted” comment to mean that she was overeating or even bingeing. Perhaps her misery comes not from being fat as much as it does from feeling controlled by food. I’m happier when I’m thinner, but I can never figure out if it’s because I like the way I look more than before or because I’m feeling peaceful about food.

  25. 25 On December 10th, 2008, Judy said:

    Funny, I now weigh 160 pounds at 5’6″ and I look nothing like Oprah’s “thin” picture on the cover of her magazine. Please…that is airbrushing at it’s best and honestly, if you are putting yourself out there as an example for weight loss and “health”, then at least be honest. 200 pounds now..probably not, just skirting the truth yet again. It’s hard enough to feel good about yourself in the midst of all the “skinny” surrounding us ..but at least I know most models are “airbrushed” thin, or drugged thin, or anorexic thin. I’d like Oprah to be honestly thin or fat or healthy..whichever.

  26. 26 On December 10th, 2008, FatNSassy said:

    Cute Bruiser, You are sensible, not cynical. Not only ratings, but $$$. The fact is that weight loss interests have sponsored her shows in the past. Not to mention all her fitness gurus that offer next to worthless advice but have cleaned up!) Corporate America will simply never let weight obsession go, because it is too lucrative for them.

    It is unbelievable to me that there are still folks out there who think 200lbs can’t be healthy. I weigh at least 240 at 5’7″ and never felt better in my life. (at 48). The fact is, there are MILLIONS of moderately fat people (and even very fat people) who will never get premature heart disease, cancer, knee problems or any other “weight related” disease. All the studies ever showed is that if you look at a group of thin people vs. fat people, more fat people will get the diseases. No study has found all fat people get the diseases prematurely, it is just a risk factor. (And I am not even going to go into the flaws in the studies.) I wish the public would do a little research on this issue before they act so incredulous.

  27. 27 On December 11th, 2008, pennylane said:

    I feel for Oprah given that her weight is a constant source of obsession (including endless speculation about how much she weighs TODAY). Eh. I do wonder if a lot of her weight issues including obsessive dieting (and possibly emotional issues tied to overeating) are tied to her overall driven personality that has made her a business juggernaut.

    I think any generalization like 200 pounds can’t be healthy, low-carb is best for everyone, etc. is problematic. I’ve never eaten fast food or a lot of processed food and I have been/am still fat. And I exercise a lot and if I don’t eat enough carbs I get definite cravings. And I’m under 200 but not by that much but I am a regular runner/cyclist/swimmer and I’ve never had injuries or joint problems. You can never know what’s going on in someone else’s body.

  28. 28 On December 11th, 2008, Jackie said:

    food addict = A claim non size positive people like to make towards people who are fat, because they can’t comprehend in their tiny little minds how someone could be fat without eating lots. So they claim that person must be addicted to food, and needs to go off some to loose weight. Explaining to these people that food is not an addiction because unlike other addictions, you need food to live, has no impact on these people who use the term.

  29. 29 On December 11th, 2008, Rachel said:

    Jackie — I know many people with compulsive overeating or binge eating disorders who also classify their disorders as a “food addiction.” Are we to simply dismiss them?

  30. 30 On December 11th, 2008, ann said:

    JupiterPluvius and Linda—you both really made my day! And it’s not just because Linda used “schadenfeude” in a sentence either! You both just made so much sense!!!
    And now I’m gonna pour myself a cup of SHUT UP and take my dog for a walk!
    And Rachel: YOU ROCK!!! I love The F-Word!!!

  31. 31 On December 12th, 2008, The Disordered Times » Blog Archive » Dear Oprah, said:

    [...] read here, here, here and here. Then sign the contract [...]

  32. 32 On December 14th, 2008, frm said:

    You would think if you were a noted actress, television icon, founder of a school for S. African girls, and one of the richest women in the world you would not have explain how “mad” and “embarassed” you are about weighing 200 lbs in YOUR OWN magazine.

    It tells me that it does not matter how successful you become, how rich you get, or how large your philanthropic endeavors are….you can never be truly worthy of happiness unless your wearing an acceptable pant size.

    I wonder what those girls at her “leadership academy” are thinking? Can you imagine if the founder of your educational institution had nothing better to say to the world after such a remarkable career than how upset she is that she is not thin? It is just sad.

  33. 33 On December 16th, 2008, More on Oprah’s weight gain tell-all » said:

    [...] has been written in the Blogosphere about Oprah’s recent ‘fessing up to her obvious weight (re)gain. But Huffington Post contributor Deborah King’s take on it is [...]

  34. 34 On December 16th, 2008, The Disordered Times » Blog Archive » When its not about the food said:

    [...] has been written in the Blogosphere about Oprah’s recent ‘fessing up to her obvious weight (re)gain. But Huffington Post contributor Deborah King’s take on it is [...]

  35. 35 On December 16th, 2008, Oprah’s Weight as National News? » The Curvy Life said:

    [...] Oprah Regains Weight … Again, The [...]

  36. 36 On December 17th, 2008, Kindsister said:

    I am continually amazed at the ego- centric ways of Ms. Winfrey & how much we hear to love ourselves more,better, etc. She gained weight. again. so?
    I agree with the comments of “FRM”, what message does this send out? What world does she live in?
    What is even more irritating is to turn on the TV & see her “BFF” (pleeeaaase!) Once again, explaining the world, according to Ms. Winfrey.
    Imagine the positive & wonderful & power of that woman & to let it boil down to such a trival issue…tsk, tsk.

  37. 37 On December 18th, 2008, Hadrain said:

    I find nothing wrong with her weight. I do not like the skinny, skelliton looking women now days. I like to know a woman likes her food and enjoys it. I like to know she enjoys life. BUT if Oprah feels bad about it, or has self esteeme issues about it then she should do what she wants about it. Loose weight.. gain weight. Whatever she wants. Its her body and frankly what we like or dislike when it comes to HER BODY is BS. Its what she thinks of herself that matters. It is true that over weight people do not live as long. But under weight is just as bad on your health. if she is healthy and happy, leave her be. if she is healthy and unhappy, she can fix it. BE HAPPY FOR WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE AND FOR WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE. OPRAH YOUR BEAUTIFUL JUST AS YOU ARE!

  38. 38 On December 18th, 2008, Rachel said:

    I agree with you about body autonomy, Hadrain, but you’re wrong that overweight people do not live as long. Multiple studies have shown that moderately overweight people have longer life expectancies than average or underweight folk.

  39. 39 On December 23rd, 2008, Nicole said:

    Recipe: Invel: bioceramic shirt, tights, thigh supporters, bioceramic cards, eye mask. Shiseido: Gymrid (metabolism), Royal Jelly EX (for thyroid/growth hormone balance). With all the above, it is not necessary to exercise, but you can, anyway, if you want to. Once your hormones are balanced, you shouldn’t be eating when you’re stressed out. However, since it is already a habit, try Hoodithin: Hoodia appetite suppressant. It works. Madonna: Try her Japanese “macrobiotic” diet. No more Western food. The only problem is that the above has to be part of your daily life (forever). You can’t have a break. You must maintain your desired weight by using the above products consistently.

  40. 40 On December 23rd, 2008, Rhonda McBride said:

    I’m thinking many of you are missing the point. Does it not occur to you that perhaps, knowing how hard she had to work to lose the weight, just perhaps…she is mad at herself for forsaking that hard work and discipline and gaining weight…just perhaps she’s embarassed because she’s put herself out there as a successful weight loss champion for so many and she slipped…so what…that doesn’t mean she’s embarassed because she doesn’t “look” a certain way…perhaps it means she’s embarassed because she feels she’s let some people down. Think outside the box once in a while.

  41. 41 On December 23rd, 2008, Rachel said:

    I think most of here do *get* why Oprah is embarrassed and mad at herself, Rhonda. But what Oprah doesn’t quite get is that most dieters are doomed to regain the weight they lost and even more, especially when that weight loss is achieved through unsustainable and unhealthy means like a liquid diet. I can certainly understand why Oprah is embarrassed after projecting herself as a weight loss success story and I’m sure she feels very badly for all the people who looked up to her and are now disappointed and demoralized. Oprah may have more money than god, but she is still human. There is absolutely no need for her to be ashamed or embarrassed for being just like every other human on the planet. And if her weight gain is the result of a food addiction or other emotional entanglement with food as she has claimed in the past, there is even more of a reason not to feel ashamed or embarrassed. Eating disorders and mental illness are nothing to be ashamed about, and they usually take far more than just willpower to overcome.

  42. 42 On December 23rd, 2008, Rhonda said:

    Rachel, you’re still not hearing what I’m saying. You’re still focusing on the educational aspects of how and why some people gain weight (even though I think you’re destined to over-generalize with your constant use of “all” when talking about how “some” might perceive certain things). You should probably get over the “liquid diet”…it was Optifast and it was what? 15 years ago? And to say Oprah may have more money than (g)God? I think you’re more about hearing yourself talk than you are about really getting to a legitimate point. I see you make concrete comments regarding eating disorders and mental illness. Are you an expert on either? Have a great assumptive day.

  43. 43 On December 23rd, 2008, Rachel said:

    I see you make concrete comments regarding eating disorders and mental illness. Are you an expert on either?

    Actually, I am. I’ve not only personally recovered from anorexia and bulimia, my graduate research is on the social history and psychology of food and food-related disorders. I’m in the process now of shopping my book proposal on the subject to agents, one of which who contacted me earlier this year and asked me to write it.

    And if I’m not “hearing” you, it’s because you’re more focused on being defensive and confrontational and proving everyone here wrong than you are in listening to and considering what has already been discussed by readers here whose life experiences abundantly qualify them as “experts” on the subject.

  44. 44 On January 1st, 2009, Lilyan Sherman said:

    I wish Oprah would stop worrying about her weight so much. It is a fact that she is a yo-yo dieter, as most of us are. Forget about the gain, get on with your life, continue to enjoy what you are doing. You are a beautiful, intelligent and very successful woman and should be proud of your accomplishments. Your health will be better if you keep on the few pounds you gained rather than kill yourself to lose it and walk around hungering for the foods you love. Moderation is the answer. I have lost and gained tons of weight and, at this point in my life, I am not going to worry about it any more. I will try my best to be aware and more careful but I will NOT obsess if I gain or lose here and there. I will never be a size 10 but who cares. I look good no matter what my size. I dress for the “occasion”, big or small. Good luck, Oprah! You have it all no matter what the numbers on the scale tell you. Happy and healthy New Year.

  45. 45 On January 3rd, 2009, Patricia said:

    On Monday, Jan. 5, Oprah’s going to confess to the world how worthless she is since she’s gained weight. CBS is currently running an ad for the upcoming show that has her saying something to the effect that being the richest, most powerful and influential woman in America doesn’t mean anything if she can’t fit into her pants. The context of her message is that no one should listen to her opinions on anything if she can’t maintain the thinnness she desires. Really? So, if she’s given people permission to discount her accomplishments because she’s “too fat” to fit into her pants, does that mean that nobody should value my work because I’m also overweight? Since she’s bashing herself publicly and she’s America’s role model for the best that an American woman can achieve, does that give people the right to judge her negatively based on her weight; and therefore bashing me is fair game too? I was unfortunately at the gym with my skinny female trainer and another female client (size 0) with whom I am partnered, not by choice, but by available time slot. They both groaned when this commercial came on in my presence and said something about, “It’s all about portion control.” OK. I’ll let them believe that. It helps to have been born with skinny genes, but since I was in the minority and I’m the only one with a healthcare and science background, I didn’t say anything about the genetic implications. I did say something to the effect that if she’s having a struggle with weight issues that she needn’t be so public about it because it’s a personal issue and shouldn’t be part of a public discussion up for public comment. I wanted to add that you don’t have to explain your fat issue to fat people because they already know about it and thin people won’t get it, so don’t bother. For God’s sake, it’s not a personal failing, it’s a genetic issue, just like being born with African, Asian or Caucasian features. Where you gain weight (apple vs. pear shape) is genetic. Whether you’re a storer or a spender in terms of calories is genetic! It’s not a character issue! The trainer said something to the effect that women everywhere look up to her and use her as a role model and if she allows herself to gain weight, that her weight gain gives permission to others to gain weight; excess weight is unhealthy, therefore she should lose the weight so others will be inspired to lose weight. The implication was that Oprah deserves the public bashing (and self-flagellation) for her weight gain because it is unhealthy and socially unacceptable and completely under her conrol–this last part couldn’t be further from the truth. Fifty years ago, being a person of color used to be socially unacceptable and unhealthy. It was unhealthy because if you were a person of color you were more likely to live in poverty, get a sub-standard education, eat sub-standard food and have resulting health issues. Oprah’s buddy, Maya Angelou wrote a book about a little African-American girl who wished she had blue eyes and white skin. If she could only be white and have blue eyes, her life would be better. The little girl (in real life) grew up to become an owner of a cosmetic company marketing her wares mostly to white women–and yet, the implication is that she still wasn’t quite good enough because she didn’t have blue eyes. Is Oprah a reincarnation of this little girl? No matter how successful, how much she contributes to society, how much she educates the public on REAL social issues (except for this one weight issue) she’ll never be good enough because she can’t fit into her pants; she can’t have a stick thin figure, her contributions to the world are lacking? If it were 50 years ago and Oprah were as famous as she is today, would she be telling her viewers who were people of color that they should be lightening their skin, dying their hair blonde and wearing blue contacts to fit in? Oprah, you’re good enough, you’re smart enough and gosh darn it, people like you! Nobody cares about the package, it’s what’s inside. It’s who you are as a human being and what you contribute to your fellow human beings, not what you weigh. Sure, try to be healthy but stop judging yourself harshly for the genetics that you inherited and PUHLEEZE stop giving the green light to people who want to criticize me because of my weight. Just because you want to hang your weight issue out to dry doesn’t mean my weight issue is a topic for discussion—-or even judgement by others. Please, Oprah, like was said before, pour youself a hot cup of shut-up on this issue. Stick with the REAL issues of the world. You’re good at that.

  46. 46 On January 5th, 2009, Caroline Hodge said:

    I work as an Oprah Winfrey look alike. While I’m flattered with all the compliments about how much I look like Oprah, I’ve learn that the majority of you do care that Oprah has gain weight, and don’t mind telling me how fat she’s gotten. Not one flattering comment is left at that. It is always followed with (“I’ll bet Oprah wishes she had your body”). Most of the comments above claim to not care that Oprah gained weight. Well, I beg to differ. You do. You tell me everyday.

  47. 47 On January 6th, 2009, Cindy said:

    If O didn’t have a weight problem, we’d all be talking about her lack of male companionship and childlessness. She hides behind the weight for a lack of personal life.

  48. 48 On January 16th, 2009, Joanie said:

    Oprah is the richest woman in America. She can pay people to prepare healthy food for her and schedule her exercise time. She has no excuse for being overweight and unhealthy!

  49. 49 On November 5th, 2010, Unicorns Aren’t Real: An Extended Metaphor « Two Whole Cakes said:

    [...] the squishy open arms of Fat (welcome back, baby!), well, you probably don’t read very many size acceptance blogs. But I’ll break it down for you: Oprah’s regained weight. This [...]

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