A look back at some of the honest, raw, and inspiring things the media mogul has said about the struggle to lose weight over the years.

By Lindsey Murray
Updated January 28, 2021
Credit: Getty Images

For nearly 30 years, Oprah Winfrey has openly struggled with her weight. From that time she stopped eating solid food for months and lost 67 pounds, to that time she announced she would never diet again. That was five years ago, but now the talk show host turned media empress has announced she's purchased a 10% stake in Weight Watchers.

As part-owner, not only will Winfrey sit on the board, but she will also serve as spokeswoman, chronicling her journey in the program as other famous ladies, including Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson, have done. The hope is that Winfrey's involvement will re-invigorate the company, which has struggled to keep sales up in recent years.

That remains to be seen of course, but if she brings her characteristic warmth and deep understanding of weight and body image troubles to the project, we're willing to say that it just might work. Just take a look at some of the honest, raw, and inspiring things she's said about the struggle to lose weight over the years.

On finding balance

“What I've learned ... is that my weight issue isn't about eating less or working out harder, or even about a malfunctioning thyroid. It's about my life being out of balance, with too much work and not enough play, not enough time to calm down.”

“All those years of diets doomed to fail, I thought weight was the barrier. I told myself I had a weight “problem” — instead of looking at my out-of-balance existence and how I used food to repress the facts. “

On punishing yourself

"I’ve never liked the term 'food addict' and in the past have referred to myself as a 'food addict' casually, but I realized that I really have been one and believe me, I like so many of you, have punished myself for that and I know that I’m not alone and I know that the battle has an ending."

On the real cause of yo-yo dieting

“Anyone that really struggles with a weight issue, it is about what you are really hungry for. It’s not about the food. It’s about using food.”

On doing it for you

“Anybody who is overweight and who’s spouses or friends who are telling you to do it, you know you cannot do this for anybody, but yourself.”

On the REAL goal

"My goal isn't to be thin. My goal is for my body to be the weight it can hold—to be strong and healthy and fit, to be itself. My goal is to learn to embrace this body and to be grateful every day for what it has given me."