Oprah Winfrey has admitted that she wrestled with the idea of getting the weight-loss drug Ozempic but refused as she felt it was taking the “easy way out.”
The billionaire who has openly battled her weight for decades recently discussed the controversial Type 2 diabetes drug on her panel, Oprah Daily’s “The Life You Want Class: The State of Weight.”
She discussed the ongoing obesity and weight crisis - which affects 2 billion adults worldwide - with obesity specialists Dr Fatima Cody Stanford and Dr Melanie Jay, psychologist Dr Rachel Goldman, and Sima Sistani, the CEO of WeightWatchers.
At one point during the panel, Winfrey said she had a few thoughts on the latest Hollywood weight loss trend: the FDA-approved prescription medication, Ozempic. The drug, also known by brand names like Wegovy and Mounjaro, consists of semaglutide and tirzepatide. It is prescribed by doctors to transform how the brain addresses appetite and satiation.
“Shouldn’t we all just be more accepting of whatever body you choose to be in? That should be your choice,” Winfrey said to her fellow panellists. “Even when I first started hearing about the weight loss drugs, at the same time I was going through knee surgery, and I felt, ‘I’ve got to do this on my own.’ Because if I take the drug, that’s the easy way out.’”
As someone who was “shamed in the tabloids every week about for 25 years” for “not having the willpower” to work on her weight, Winfrey said it was demoralising to see it become so popular.
Obesity medicine physician, Dr Stanford, responded by saying that because “obesity is a chronic disease,” she doesn’t use the word “willpower” when it comes to her patients’ weight loss journeys.
“It’s hard to see you ostracised in the way that you’ve been. Because this isn’t about willpower. It’s not your fault,” she explained to Winfrey. “It’s how our bodies regulate weight and each of us is different, each of us is unique, not one is superior to another. We’re just different and acting on those differences and treating the differences in the heterogeneity of the population is how we’re going to actually make change in this disease.”
Ever since she revealed that she recovered from double knee surgeries in 2021, Winfrey has remained a staunch health and wellness advocate.
During her “The Life You Want” class focused on gratitude, she shared the health update after one guest’s words about being grateful for every organ and every limb resonated with her.
“I had knee surgery in August, and then I had another knee surgery in November,” she recalled at the time. “When I came home the first time, I literally could not lift my leg. I couldn’t lift my heel off of the bed, and I vowed if I was ever able to get up, walk around, and move again — that I would take advantage of movement, exercise, and of being able to be fully in my body.”
Since her surgeries, she noted that she had taken up regular exercise. “As I was rehabilitating, I started hiking. Every day, I tried to hike more and do more,” she added. “My appreciation for every organ and every limb has expanded exponentially. So, you mentioning that really brought that home to me.”