Oprah hit the scene as the talk show host and is most famous for her Oprah Winfrey talkshow which ran for 25 years and turned her brand into a media and business empire.
The 69-year-old media mogul face (and investor) of WW (formally known as Weight Watchers), one of the wealthiest and most famous women in the world, has struggled with her weight for decades and is the queen of yo-yo dieting.
Giving us mere mortals some evidence that all of the resources, best trainers, private chefs, can’t do the work for you and money can’t buy you thinness, well up until now that is!
After Oprah hit the red carpet for the new film The Color Purple world premiere in a super slimline purple dress, her recent weight loss has certainly got people talking. Speculation soon started mounting over Ozempic and weight-loss medication use. In an exclusive interview with People magazine she has gone on to confirm and talk openly about saying that the weight loss medication ‘feels like a gift’
Weight loss drugs, glp-1 medications semaglutide also branded as names such as Ozempic or Wygovy. Seem to be the magic bullet that many of us health coaches have been saying for years just doesn’t exist.
Well, thanks to modern-day science, now it does, and it’s rocked the weight loss world and people are going crazy for it.
What started out as a life-saving drug for diabetics and people with obesity-related eating disorders, (who can can no longer get hold of the stuff) has been sold out due to the demand of the vanity-centric weight loss dwellers.
At what cost?
Not just the financial, cost which can be anywhere up to £1000 a month and require a daily injection, but what about the long-term repercussions and side effects?
What’s the long-term effect on metabolic health?
On mental health?
No one seems to be acknowledging the huge elephant in the room which is the warning label that clearly states, may cause Thyroid cancer!
The thyroid is the driver of metabolism and without it maintaining a healthy bodyweight would be very hard to manage without it.
What happens when you stop taking it?
Is it safe for long term use?
So many questions that are yet unanswered before people in their thousands across the world are taking it.
Of course, the truth is, we don’t yet know. Because it hasn’t been in existence long enough for there to be long-term studies on mass usage.
If you are facing a life of potential heart disease because of weight issues, then maybe the benefits outweigh the risks.
But what about for the regular person who is generally healthy but has some unwanted body weight that they have struggled to get rid of?
People have become so frustrated with their inability to maintain good health and a happy body weight, that they are literally willing to do anything to be able to drop the weight, even if it may come with a side of thyroid cancer later down the line.
I can totally understand that frustration. As someone who suffers with PCOS I know how hard it can be to lose weight when you feel like you are seemingly doing all of the right things and yet nothing is happening.
As someone who is in the public eye like Oprah is driving the growing popularity of the drugs.
But are these weight loss injections really the answer to chronic weight management?
The former talk show host opens up about her journey to taking the weight-loss drug, her weight struggle and her own shame surrounding it all. Yet social media has strong opinions about it.
Especially after in one panel discussion last summer she openly said:
“after hearing about the weight loss drug, I was like no, I have to do this on my own. Because if I take the drug then that’s the easy way out”
Comments on a recent Instagram post from Women Health Magazine with the caption ‘Oprah recently got candid about how she is taking a holistic approach to her health — and is shutting down the body shamers too’
Idk who decided what was holistic here but I think we all agree this is not it!
Being skinny does not mean someone is healthy. The idea that skinny is something women should achieve to live a better life has led to so much negative thinking about our bodies and how we treat them.
I would hope @womenshealthmag would be promoting healthy body image over a weight loss drug that makes you starve yourself and can cause serious health issues in some people.
Oprah has been misleading women on their health journey for 50 years. Oprah has gained and lost so much weight, so many times. Maybe, just maybe we should learn from her mistakes instead of putting her on a pedestal. Do you think a weight loss drug will fix 50 years of disordered eating!?
Oprah’s Weight Loss Journey
Oprah has a habit of yoyo dieting and has probably tried and indeed promoted every crash diet going, so is this latest weight loss going to last this time?
Even with all of her success, all the money, yet the one thing she couldn’t win at was managing her weight. It’s why even as the multi-billionaire that she is, people felt they could relate to her as they faced those same weight loss struggles.
Weight loss brands would see this and when a new fad diet came around they would approach her to be the face of it.
Oprah has been open about her struggles with Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
Companies see that Oprah struggles to lose weight, pays her a tonne of cash to promote their diet, which works for a moment or two only for her to rebound again and this pattern has been repeated over a number of decades.
Being on a daily talk show meant the audience got to see her weight and body yo-yo up and down over the years. Thanks to Michelle McDanielle for her hilarious historical breakdown in her recent Youtube video, Oprah’s dieting history looks a little something like this:
- 1988 — Loses 67lb on a liquid diet OptiFast and exercise. She says she literally starved herself for 4 months and did not eat a morsel of food and proceeded to show the audience just how much weight was lost by wheeling out the 67 pounds of animal fat. 2 hours after releasing her new slim figure on the show she celebrated with eating food aka known as a major rebound, because who is going to live their life never eating food again? And as someone who has said that she suffers with Binge Eating Disorder (BDE) within two days her super slim Calvin Kleins no longer fit.
- Late 1990’s — She reports that she yoy dieted ever since and gained back all of the 67lb and swore off ever dieting ever again.
- 1996 — She decides to go the more traditional route and hires celebrity trainer Bob Green who helped her implement a fitness routine and started to exercise daily and make improvements to the food that she eats.
- 1998 — She slowly starts gaining weight again and continuis all through the 2000’s
- 2015 — Oprah announces her partnership with Weight Watchers, now rebranded as WW. She lost 42lb and proclaimed she finally made peace with food and of course, talked a lot about losing weight whilst still being able to eat bread.
But did she really finally beat her food addiction with the WW strategy? Well no of course not, because here we are again with yet another groundbreaking tool that will FINALLY be the real answer.
This time it’s with the use of the weight loss injection. Funnily enough, WW have now invested in and can be obtained through part of the WW programme.
Do we see a pattern emerging here?
Oprah uses a product to successfully lose weight. She is financially invested in said product and makes a tonne of money selling toxic dieting culture to the masses.
But here lies the real issue.
No weight loss programme, diet, or form of exercise will ever be the lasting solution if you never treat the underlying causes and lifestyle habits of sustaining lasting health and weight loss.
Oprah has suffered for literally decades, so what is the answer here?
She has talked about her life growing up and the trauma she faced. I’m sure she will have had therapy over the years and being faced with the daily scrutiny over her weight and her body has become a public sport, years of dieting and regaining can be a trauma response in itself.
It’s been well documented that people who are dealing with trauma are more likely to experience eating disorders and so therapy often should be integrated with weight loss strategies. As a public figure, she has gone on to say that her struggle has been never ending and no amount of willpower has ever been enough to help her see the lasting transformation and to support her health.
Whilst I applaud Oprah for being open and honest about how she has lost the weight, but the pessimist in me can’t help but think that is only because she is also financially invested in more people becoming aware and buying into it via WW‘s newest weight loss plan that is designed to be used alongside the weight watchers principles (which are questionable in the first place) but modified to be used with the anti-obesity medications.
She tells People magazine that she is ‘using a holistic approach that includes regular exercise and other lifestyle tweaks as well as the weight loss drug’ after she was struggling with the state of weight last year after recovering from knee surgery.
Again it’s important to state that for anyone taking the drug one of the key components should be including strength training, regular exercise as well as making sure that you are eating enough protein in the diet.
The biggest problem when people lose a lot of weight is that that weight comes from muscle loss and not just body fat. If you want to maintain your goal weight, or more importantly body composition, then having enough muscle on the body is key and will prevent rebounding body size due to a slowing metabolism.
I feel like these injectables can be a supportive way to help people get aligned with their health when it’s medically essential to their life, but I don’t think they are the only answer and I really don’t know if it can be the solution for the long term and staying on it for the rest of your life.
I am probably still a little on the fence, but will always steer towards natural solutions over pharmaceuticals whenever possible.
But I’d love to know what you think, so share your thoughts in the comments