Why Oprah's weight loss struggle inspired a woman to stop dieting

Jan 27, 2016 at 11:08 p.m. ET
Image: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey has made no secret of her struggle to lose and keep weight off over the years.

But now she's down 26 pounds, thanks to Weight Watchers, according to a new promotional video… and she's eating bread "every single day" because it fits in her plan.

"This is the joy for me," Winfrey said in a new promotional video posted to Twitter. "I love bread. I now just manage it so I don’t deny myself bread... that’s the genius of this program."

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The company's stock soared after the video was posted, earning Winfrey — now a shareholder in the weight-loss company — a reported $12.5 million for just posting a tweet. But all of the money in the world can't guarantee weight loss, as Winfrey has demonstrated — and that's oddly comforting to one writer.

"Oprah is arguably the most accomplished, admired, able person in the world... so, if Oprah can’t do permanent lifelong weight loss, maybe it can’t be done... and that sucks," Caissie St. Onge, a self-proclaimed Oprah fan, wrote on Facebook. "But it is also incredibly freeing if you, like me, have thought about your weight so many times throughout every day of your life that it becomes as maddening and distracting as if you’d stowed a beating tell-tale heart beneath your floorboards."


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It's not always, she argues, a matter of being "lazy" or "unmotivated," because some people, even powerful ones, aren't able to lose or keep weight off — and it's not a matter of failing to try, though many of us tend to blame ourselves for this "failing," even though we put in the work.

"I would pop someone in the chops if they spoke to me the way I speak to myself. And I would bet all of Oprah’s money that Oprah says mean shit to herself too," St. Onge continued.

"I hope Oprah gets what she wants, and maybe [millions of dollars] in one day is the motivator that will finally make it happen for her, once and for all. But I think I’m gonna stop wanting something that I might never get even though I’m very good and very strong and I try very hard all the time," she added of her own decision to end the weight loss game.

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"I'm gonna take a break on all that, at least for a little while. Let me know how it turns out this time, though, Oprah. I’ll love you either way."

It does seem like Oprah is on the right path now — with or without the money — but St. Onge does make a point: There isn't a "one-size-fits-all" approach to weight loss.