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Oprah Winfrey reveals she starved herself ‘for nearly five months’ in ABC weight loss special

has some choice words for those who critiqued her weight for decades.

“I have to say that I took on the shame that the world gave to me. For 25 years, making fun of my weight was national sport,” Winfrey said on “An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution,” which aired Monday night on ABC.

Winfrey recalled the cover of TV Guide calling her “bumpy, lumpy and downright dumpy” in 1990 and read out headlines over the years that obsessed over her appearance.

“I come to this conversation with the hope that we can start releasing the stigma and the shame and the judgment, to stop shaming other people for being overweight or how they choose to lose – or not lose – weight and, most importantly, to stop shaming ourselves,” the media mogul said.

She added, “In an effort to combat all the shame, I starved myself for nearly five months and then wheeled out that wagon of fat that the internet will never let me forget. And after losing 67 pounds on a liquid diet, the next day, y’all, the very next day I started to gain it back.”

Oprah Winfrey opens upabout exiting Weight Watchers after using weight-loss drug

Oprah Winfrey combines weight-loss medication with hiking, working out and eating ‘a healthy diet’

In the Monday night special, Winfrey spoke with medical experts and guests who have taken weight-loss medications and experienced drastic physical and mental changes (mostly positive, though some negative).

Winfrey, who in December admitted to using weight loss medication, empathized with the guests who shared why they turned to prescription medications such as Ozempic, Mounjaro, Victoza and Wegovy.

Oprah Winfrey hosts a sit-down conversation with Dr. Amanda Velazquez (left) and Dr. W. Scott Butsch (center).

“This is what I got for the first time after I took the medication. All these years, I thought all of the people who never had to diet were just using their willpower, and they were for some reason stronger than me,” Winfrey said. “And now I realize: y’all weren’t even thinking about the food! It’s not that you had the willpower; you weren’t obsessing about it!”

In taking weight-loss medication, the former talk show host revealed “I’m not constantly thinking about what the next meal is gonna be.” She uses it in combination with “hiking 3 to 5 miles a day,” running, weight resistance training and eating a “healthy diet.”

Winfrey got choked up as she spoke with a woman who participated in her “The State of Weight” panel last year and whose relationship with food “completely changed” after starting a weight-loss medication.

“There is now a sense of hope and you no longer blame yourself,” she said. “When I tell you how many times I have blamed myself because you think, ‘I’m smart enough to figure this out,’ and then to hear all along it’s you fighting your brain!”

Winfrey signed off acknowledging medication might not be for everyone.

“For people who feel happy and healthy in celebrating life in a bigger body and don’t want the medications, I say: ‘Bless you.’ And for all the people who believe diet and exercise is the best and only way to lose excess weight, bless you too if that works for you,” she said.

“And for all the people who think that this could be the relief and support and freedom … that you’ve been looking for your whole life, bless you because there is space for all points of view.”

Sharon Osbourne lost too much weighton Ozempic, but she doesn’t regret it. Why her case is uncommon

Oprah Winfrey sets the record straight: Obesity is ‘a disease, not a character flaw’

Throughout the hourlong special, Winfrey emphasized that obesity is “a disease, not a character flaw.”

According to survey results released in 2021, 42% of U.S. adults reported having obesity between 2017 and 2020. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls obesity “a common, serious, and costly chronic disease of adults and children.”

Dr. W. Scott Butsch and Dr. Amanda Velazquez, medical doctors and consultants for drug companies, joined Winfrey to discuss the stigma around obesity and advocate for weight-loss medication.

Butsch, who is the Director of Obesity Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, said it is an “uneducated belief” “that this is just a self-inflicted condition, as if people who have obesity actually want to have obesity. It’s looked at (like) these are weaker people who have no willpower who can’t cut it. And people who are thin can cut it.”

“It’s not a matter of willpower,” he said.

Ozempic was originally approved by the FDA to treat people with Type 2 diabetes who risk serious health consequences without medication. In recent months, there has been a spike in demand for Ozempic, or semaglutide, due to its weight loss benefits, which has led to shortages. Some doctors prescribe Ozempic off-label to treat obesity.

Semaglutide is the generic name for both Wegovy and Ozempic. Wegovy is approved for weight loss, and Ozempic is used to treat people with diabetes. Semaglutide affects the brain by sending signals that reduce hunger and make the patient feel fuller. Side effects can include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and constipation.

The drugs also come with a warning that they may increase the risk of thyroid cancer, acute pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, low blood sugar, kidney injury, damage to the eye’s retina and suicidal thinking or behavior.

The human body has evolved to hold on to any extra pounds, interpreting weight loss as a life-threatening famine. That makes it extremely difficult for most people to lose weight and, especially, to keep it off long-term.

Most people are likely to regain lost weight if they don’t keep taking the drugs for life, and the psychological toll of that rebound could be damaging, psychologists predict.

Why it’s important for celebrities to be open about weight-loss medication use

Obesity increases the risk for about 200 diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, asthma, hypertension, arthritis, sleep apnea and many types of cancer. Substantial weight loss is generally associated with health improvement, but that has not yet been shown with these medications.

Over the past year, weight loss drugs, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, have become a part of our cultural lexicon, as more and more A-listers have slowly started to share their experiences − both positive and negative − with these medications.

Experts told USA TODAY it could be a turning point in how our culture views weight loss medication and continues a healthy trend of transparency when it comes to celebrity body transformations.

“Many celebrities look good naturally, but many also have work done. And when they’re not honest about it, I think they’re being unethical because they’re in the spotlight,” Dr. Daniel Barrett, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, previously told USA TODAY.

“They … have a moral obligation to be transparent about anything they’ve had done that helps them achieve a certain look,” Barrett added.

An investigation:Obesity was long considered a personal failing. Science shows it’s not

How to watch ‘An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution’

The ABC special will be available to stream on Hulu starting Tuesday.

“After the Show: A Weight Loss Revolution,” which shows an audience Q&A portion, will also be on Hulu.

Source Link : https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/tv/2024/03/18/oprah-winfrey-weight-loss-drugs-ozempic-abc-special/73023896007/

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