Oprah Winfrey's slimmed-down frame can be credited to weight loss medication and a holistic approach, the media mogul told People magazine in an interview published Wednesday.
Winfrey said she uses the medication "as a tool" to manage her weight as she sheds pounds, admitting to People in an exclusive interview that she had to overcome her own "shame about it."
"I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing," she said.
"The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for," she continued. "I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself."
Winfrey chose not to share what medication she's on. Recently, Ozempic and Mounjaro have made headlines for helping people achieve slimmer figures. Doctors have been prescribing the Type 2 diabetes medication off-label for shedding pounds. Another drug, Wegovy, has been specifically approved for losing weight.
Winfrey has for decades shared her weight loss journey and struggle to slim down. In a discussion posted in September, she opened up about the idea of using medication to lose weight.
"I felt, 'I got to do this on my own. I got to do this on my own because if I take the drug that's the easy way out,'" she told a panel on Oprah Daily called "The State of Weight."
"I've got to do it the hard way. I've got to keep climbing the mountains. I got to keep suffering, I got to do that because otherwise I somehow cheated myself," she continued.
That conversation was a turning point, she told People.
"I had the biggest 'aha' along with many people in that audience," she said. "I realized I’d been blaming myself all these years for being overweight, and I have a predisposition that no amount of willpower is going to control."
"Obesity is a disease. It’s not about willpower — it’s about the brain," she added.
While weight loss medication has recently helped Oprah, the former talk show host said she has put in a lot of work to shed pounds. She explained to the magazine that she made several lifestyle changes, including drinking a gallon of water of day, having her last meal at 4 p.m. and using the WeightWatchers points system. In March, WeightWatchers acquired the digital health company Sequence, a "weight loss program" that offers its monthly subscribers telehealth consultations with fitness coaching, dietitians, clinicians and, in some cases, access to drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy.
Winfrey is an investor in WeightWatchers and has been on the board since 2015.
Winfrey has also taken a more holistic approach to her weight that includes regular exercise like hiking, which she took up following knee surgery.
"I know everybody thought I was on it, but I worked so damn hard," she said. "I know that if I’m not also working out and vigilant about all the other things, it doesn’t work for me."
Winfrey has always been vocal about the shame and ridicule she's endured about her weight. She said she's close to reaching her goal weight of 160 pounds but instead of paying attention solely on the number on the scale, she's focusing more on the progress she's made over the years.
"In Hawaii, I live on a mountain, and there’s this big hill — I used to look out the window every morning and say, ‘God, one day I want to walk up that mountain.’ Last year over Christmas I did it ... It felt like redemption," she said.