Oprah Winfrey will announce her weight of 200 pounds in the January issue of “O” magazine. She admits this with embarrassment, having lost and gained so much weight on previous diets. She even proclaimed in 1996 that her battle with weight was over. I want to express the feelings of shame Oprah must have in this admission. She clearly has access to all the resources anyone could hope for. Is that enough? Her struggle underscores the fact that her overweight is not a choice or lack of will power. She has a disease for which there is very successful treatment, but there is no cure. The successful individual understands that she will require long term follow up with a physician, and a commitment to being very active. How active? Probably an hour a day of walking or cardiovascular activity.
Although Oprah’s weight struggle is no doubt a result of a combination of stress (emotional) eating and an over-stressed lifestyle, the reasons for each person’s weight problem varies. A weight loss physician is the best person to evaluate the reasons, and prescribe the appropriate treatment. After attaining a goal weight, regular follow-up is critical to deal with the inevitable small regains.