Oprah Winfrey says that after years of allowing her self-image to be influenced by her weight, she’s finally arrived at a place of equilibrium and self-acceptance. The former talk show host recently lost 42 lbs by following the Weight Watchers program, but says that her newfound happiness is less due to a number on a scale and more to a change in perspective.
Winfrey, 62, appeared on the cover of Weight Watchers magazine for its January/February issue. She said while she now prioritizes her “well-being and fitness,” she’s no longer preoccupied with numbers the way she was in the past. Instead, she’s focused on living a full life.
“When the weight started to come off, I needed to get clear on my intention. I could lose weight to fit a dress size, or attend an event, or to make other people like me. But I couldn’t keep it off for those reasons. I always put the weight back on. This time I changed the intention to, ‘I want to be the healthiest I can be – physically, emotionally, spiritually.’ So the process and purpose of losing shifted for me,” Winfrey told Weight Watchers. “It was easier, because my intention was clearer.”
Winfrey joined Weight Watchers during the summer of 2015 and is currently a spokeswoman – and stakeholder – for the program. She’s also long been an icon for women frustrated by the fact that plus-size women are rarely seen ascending to the nation’s highest echelons of power and influence. To hear her continue to speak candidly about her weight, and to learn that she’s at peace with her body regardless of pounds gained or lost, should not be underestimated in its impact. Winfrey is so influential that her weight loss has economic implications, too – it’s been widely reported that whenever Oprah loses weight, Weight Watchers stock goes up.
“Before, when I was 150 pounds, I’d imagine getting up to 200 lbs., and think, ‘Oh my God.’ But now I think, ‘I never thought that at 200 lbs. I could look in the mirror and love my body, love myself, not chide and minimize myself for being 200 lbs.’ At 200 lbs., I was OK. I have never, ever, ever been at that point. And then at 190 lbs., I was OK. If I don’t lose another pound right now, I’m still OK,” Winfrey said. “The fullness of life, the fullness of being, the self-acceptance — I’d never done that before. I’d always beaten myself up because I was tied to a number.”