HEALTH - Oprah Winfrey has always been honest about her weight.
The talk show queen continues the honesty, saying in the January issue of O magazine out today that she now weighs 200 pounds and has "fallen off the wagon" when it comes to healthy living.
"I'm mad at myself. I'm embarrassed," Oprah writes. "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?"'
Oprah Winfrey, 54, says her recent struggles with an out-of-balance thyroid gave her "a fear of working out." She says she's gained 40 pounds since she weighed 160 pounds in 2006. "Yes, you're adding correctly; that means the dreaded 2-0-0," Winfrey writes. "I was so frustrated I started eating whatever I wanted – and that's never good."
Oprah also writes that her goal is to exercise so she can be strong, healthy and fit. She hopes to get started with her upcoming "Best Life Week" starting Jan. 5 with an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show during which she is expected to talk candidly about her weight.
Oprah famously wheeled a wagon loaded with fat onto the set of her talk show in 1988 to represent a 67-pound weight loss while wearing a pair of size 10 Calvin Klein jeans. She had lost the pounds with a liquid protein diet.
Oprah's weight has yo-yoed to the delight of the tabloid press ever since. She weighed as many as 237 pounds and by late 1990 admitted she had regained most of the 67 pounds, saying "I'll never diet again."
In 1994, she finished the Marine Corps Marathon and by 1996 hired personal trainer Bob Greene, saying her roller-coaster weight saga was over.
But now, 20 years since the Calvin Klein jeans episode, Oprah finds herself tipping the scales again, saying that she has yet to choose a gown for President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural ball next month.
Oprah says she hit rock bottom when she wanted to skip out on an April 26 taping with Cher and Tina Turner in Las Vegas. "I felt like a fat cow," Winfrey writes. "I wanted to disappear." An admitted food addict, Oprah sounds almost apologetic in her article. "I definitely wasn't setting an example," she writes. "I was talking the talk, but I wasn't walking the walk. And that was very disappointing to me."
Oprah's weight and height (5'6½") put her body mass index at 31.8, which is obese according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says people who are obese are "at higher risk for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol."
See also: American Obesity Rates.
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