Why has Oprah gained so much weight?

Written by Beauty Match. Posted in Anti Aging Lotion, Celebrity Banter on Beauty & Style, Celebrity Beauty Secrets, Diet Tips over 35, Fit over 35

oprah at 200 lbs

On January 5th, 2009 Queen Oprah will launch a new segment called “Your Best Life” and she’ll explore weight, health, spirituality, money and sex. I have no doubt that we’ll be greeted by some of her favourite experts like Dr. Mehmet Oz.

For her weight segment, I’m sure the hot topic du jour is her recent admission that she’s gained a staggering 40 lbs!

In 2005, Oprah weighed a slim 160 lbs, but she’s gained a lot of weight and now she’s going to invite all of America (and the world) go get back on the program after they’ve “fallen off of the wagon” like she has.

Oprah on the cover of O magazine at 160 lbs:


I find it quite revealing when Oprah admitted not to have shown her body on the cover of her famous O magazine for an entire year. She’s admitted to concealing the weight gain by avoiding any full body shots. I have to say that it worked because it never really hit me that she had gained weight until early November 2008. I was watching Oprah’s show with Nicole Kidman where both were sitting on a replicated set of the movie Australia. I remember thinking “something has changed” when Oprah got up to greet Nicole and when they sat, I thought to myself “her lower body looked so much wider than before”. I dismissed the thought since I watch the show very infrequently … I thought it was just me.

Last week, when Oprah started announcing her “Your Best Life” show, she started openly admitting to a recent weight gain and TMZ decided that segment was “news” … that’s when I got confirmation of my suspicions. That said, I had no idea it was a weight gain of 40 lbs.

We’ve all been there … we’ve all gained weight and gone to an event where we had not seen some friends or acquaintances for a long time and you know that look people give you when your body has changed. Now we’re talking about two or three people, imagine having millions upon millions of people noticing your weight gain and talking about it!

Many TV shows who have featured Oprah’s new weight gain have talked about an interesting topic that Oprah has mentioned a number of times on her show: self-sabotage.

In past shows Oprah has admitted to questioning God about “why she was the chosen one … why did she has that much power … why did she has that much success … why she has that much money” … the answer to her recent weight gain might be her way of “having a life that’s not so perfect”.

Oprah’s weight gain might be a little bit more complicated than just will power (although she’s admitted to not exercising regularly and eating “bad” foods). She’s battled in the last year with health issues and she’s also dealing with a thyroid condition that slows down her metabolism and makes weight control a bit more challenging.

It will be interesting to see how Oprah takes her own life experience and turns it around into a discussion platform for her followers who have lost track of their own goals.

I think Oprah’s story is quite revealing because she has access to some of the best personal chefs and personal trainers money can buy.

I also know from Oprah’s own account that she’s been actively calorie-counting to maintain her weight (which I personally don’t believe works at all) and she’s also admitted to completely cutting out white carbs and white starches like potatoes, white bread, white pasta and white rice.

When I hear things like that it always ring a bell of alarm because cutting anything out in such a dramatic way usually means that you will balloon the second you eat a bit of that “forbidden” food. I also always like to go back to my countries of reference – Italy and France. Imagine if both countries cut out bread, pastries, rice, potato dishes, pasta or gnocchi (in Italy)? French and Italian women indulge with moderation in all those foods and they remain thin and slim.

I’ll be watching Oprah’s Best Life Week and I’ll be reporting back my thoughts.

Here’s is an exurb from O magazine of Oprah’s explanation about her weight gain:

“In 1992 I reached my heaviest, 237 pounds. I was 38. Then, four years ago, I made it a goal to lose weight, and I appeared on the January 2005 cover (left) at a toned 160 pounds. I thought I was finished with the weight battle. I was done. I’d conquered it. I was so sure, I was even cocky. I had the nerve to say to friends who were struggling, “All you have to do is work out harder and eat less! Get your 10,000 steps in! None of that starchy stuff!”

Bam! Karma is a bear of a thing.

So here I stand, 40 pounds heavier than I was in 2006. (Yes, you’re adding correctly; that means the dreaded 2-0-0.) I’m mad at myself. I’m embarrassed. 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?”

It happened slowly. In February 2007, at 53, I started to have some health issues. At first I was unable to sleep for days. My legs started swelling. My weight started creeping up, first 5 pounds, then 10 pounds. I was lethargic and irritable. My internal clock seemed totally out of whack. I began having rushing heart palpitations every time I worked out. Okay, I’ve never loved daily exercise, but this was different. I actually developed a fear of working out. I was scared that I would pass out. Or worse. I felt as if I didn’t know my own body anymore.”

Here’s Oprah admitting to her weight gain:

Here’s Oprah “world biggest classroom” aka Your Best List series:

Oprah’s fitness and weight guru Bob Greene – I wonder if he’ll be part of the panel of experts:

More about Bob Greene’s Best Life Program:

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Comments (6)

  • Maudrey


    I’m a big fan of Oprah’s. Through the years, I’ve seen her gain weight, lose some, regain a few pounds… I’ve also followed a lot of her advice about losing weight. For a while, I even did that avoiding the white stuff regimen. I admire her a lot for the struggles she has been through. It’s not easy to lose weight especially when you have the whole world watching you do it. But she has proven in the past that it can be done. And I have no doubt that she can do it again this time. Thanks for this post.


  • RhondaL


    Oprah has been under a lot of stress in the past year. The scandal with the teacher at her school in South Africa was, I believe, huge for her.

    Plus, of all those medications she was on for a while, one or two could have messed with her metabolism.

    Plus, as we all know, menopause doesn’t help, either.


  • Mitch


    Oprah is such a big part of our community here in Chicago and such an inspiration in so many things she does in and with her life. If there is anyone who can turn something like well publicized weight gain and turn it into a positive, not just for themselves but more than likely for millions it’s Oprah.
    My wife and her sister recently went to the Oprah Show and said that while the process actually entails hours of waiting, Oprah was just as gracious and grateful as she comes across to so many.


  • Beauty Match Team


    Maudrey >>> I think 2009 will be an exciting year on the Oprah show because we’ll all learn a lot from Oprahs’ struggle to lose weight. I’ll be watching and reporting on the findings from the show.

    RhondaL >>> I didn’t know Oprah was on a series of medications. Indeed, that would surely have an impact on your metabolism and your ability to break down fat in your body.

    Mitch >>> If anyone can turn falling off the wagon into something incredibly positive … that would be Queen Oprah! I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot from this and I’m sure that experts like Dr. Oz will highlight many great weight loss techniques to help us stay trim and slim in 2009!

    Since Oprah is kicking this off on January 5th, I would assume that Oprah’s 2009 New Year’s resolution is to lose weight!!!

    We’ll all be watching and taking copious notes.

    Thank you to all for your great comments!


  • Suzanne


    I have mixed emotions about Oprah and her admission. I think it’s great she wants to get back to a healthier lifestyle but I also think this idea of being so down on yourself over weight gain is dramatic. After reading about her and this weight gain confession I keep hearing Tori Amos sing, “Why do we crucify ourselves…”

    I think America will love Oprah no matter what size she is.


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