Oprah Winfrey says she “starved” herself for “five months” while discussing weight-loss struggles

Oprah Winfrey Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET
Oprah Winfrey Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET
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Oprah Winfrey is opening up about the ridicule and shame she experienced amid her long-standing weight-loss journey. During her new ABC special, “An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution,” the talk show host reminisced on one particularly painful moment that took place live on her own show.

“In an effort to combat all the shame, I starved myself for nearly five months and then wheeled out that wagon of fat that the internet will never forget,” Winfrey said of the moment which occurred back in 1988. “After losing 67 pounds on [a] liquid diet, the next day, the very next day, I started to gain it back. Feeling the shame of fighting a losing battle with weight, is a story all too familiar.”

Winfrey also said how she was “ridiculed on every late-night talk show for 25 years” and shared some of the nasty headlines that were written about her at the time: “Oprah: Fatter Than Ever” and “Oprah Warned Diet or Die.”

“The thing that’s been the biggest relief for me, and I hope that many of you watching this episode of Shame and Blame, will release the shame for yourself,” she said later in the special. “Because I, as I said at the beginning of this, took on the same for myself and carried it for myself.”

She continued: “And now that I know that I’m just holding my breath underwater, I have been able to release that shame, and it doesn’t matter what anybody says.”