Oprah Essay on 'Disappointing' Weight Gain to Appear in O Magazine

Oprah Winfrey has admitted the obvious, that she has "fallen off the wagon" again in her lifelong fight against weight gain and that she has given up on being thin.

The country's most famous yo-yo dieter confesses in a brutally honest essay that she has ballooned to more than 200 pounds.

"I'm mad at myself. ... I'm embarrassed," she wrote. "I can't believe 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?'"

A picture of Oprah Winfrey.
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She says that instead of trying to lose weight, her goal is to be strong, healthy and fit.

The essay, which will appear in the January issue of O Magazine, chronicles her struggle with an out-of-balance thyroid and how the condition gave her a "fear of working out."

Winfrey had slimmed down to 160 pounds in 2006, but in O confession, she said she has eaten her way to another 40 pounds.

"Yes, you're adding correctly; that means the dreaded 2-0-0," Winfrey wrote.

"I was so frustrated I started eating whatever I wanted," Winfrey confides. "That's never good."

Winfrey isn't content with just writing about her weight gain. She will talk about it too, a lot.

Her hefty new size will be the main topic of the Jan. 5 episode of her show. Winfrey will also discuss her weight on her XM satellite radio station's "The Gayle King Show" on Jan. 5. And she will host interactive live Web casts at Oprah.com the week of Jan. 12 to 16 every night at 9 p.m. ET.

America's favorite talk show host has famously struggled with weight gain from her earliest days on television.

In 1988, she wore a slim pair of Calvin Klein jeans as she wheeled a wagon loaded with fat onto her set to show the 67 pounds that she lost then. "I had literally starved myself for four months -- not a morsel of food," Winfrey recalled in 2005. "Two hours after that show, I started eating to celebrate -- of course, within two days those jeans no longer fit!"

She regained all of that weight within two years and claimed she would never diet again.

Winfrey has shared her struggles on her show in the past 20 years. She finished a Marine Corp marathon but then topped the scales at 237 pounds.

Of her latest dietary flop, she wrote, "I definitely wasn't setting an example. I was talking the talk, but I wasn't walking the walk. And that was very disappointing to me."

With weeks before President-elect Barack Obama's historic presidency begins, Oprah said she's still wondering what she'll be wearing to the inaugural ball.

"I had a dress on the vision board, but I'm not sure that's going to fit," she said. "So I have to work on something else."

Oprah isn't the only voluptuous celebrity who has given up on the idea of being slim, but is continuing to do some form of dieting.

Queen Latifah signed on as a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig earlier this year. But she said she had no plans to shrink her plus-size image. Instead, Latifah said she would be satisfied to lose just 5 to 10 percent of her body fat but expected to cut down on her chances of disease and living a healthier life.

Former supermodel Tyra Banks is hardly in the same class as Winfrey and Latifah but she admitted on her show that she has packed on 30 pounds since her catwalk days ended. And she's not embarrassed about it at all, she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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