It’s no secret that media mogul Oprah Winfrey has had many struggles with her weight throughout her life. After going through various shapes and weights over the years, the 65-year-old television personality seems to have finally settled into a healthy weight range.
However, there’s more to her impressive 42-pound weight loss than meets the eye.
Pre-Weight Loss Diagnosis
In a letter addressed to Weight Watchers (now WW) members, Winfrey revealed that she was a diagnosed pre-diabetic before WW. Saying how she hasn’t really shared that fact with many people, the talk show host said it was her blood pressure and blood sugar levels that did her in.
Aside from using the service, Winfrey is also a shareholder in the company. According to sources, she holds more than five million WW shares which is equivalent to an estimated 8% of the company. What more, she’s also become a member of the WW board of directors.
Being prediabetic means that a person has a blood sugar level which is higher than normal but not yet high enough for a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Statistics say that around 84 million Americans actually qualify as prediabetics.
Around 90% of prediabetics don’t know about their condition because they typically don’t show clear symptoms. However, some may experience symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes like extreme thirst.
A Dangerous Condition
The host’s own mother, Vernita Lee, was a diabetic herself whose illness made her dependent on insulin. Thus, it’s not surprising that Winfrey takes her health seriously.
According to the American Medical Association, around two-thirds of prediabetics will develop full-blown diabetes in five years. Fortunately, the condition may be reversed through various positive lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, losing excess weight, eating healthier, and getting more exercise.
The disease comes in two forms: type 1 and type 2. In the case of the former, the sufferer has no ability to produce insulin, a hormone which helps in regulating blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes is a ‘milder’ form of diabetes than type 1 with the body still being able to produce some amount of insulin.
Having high blood sugar levels can cause serious damage to a person’s nerves, kidneys and eyes. What more, diabetes can also lead to other illnesses like heart disease.
Goal: A Healthy Lifestyle
In the end, Winfrey was able to get her numbers back to normal with both her weight and blood pressure being in the healthy range. She thanks WW for ‘changing her life’ and helping her to regain her health.
More importantly, it helped her pay more attention to the numbers that matter the most. Unlike before, she’s no longer trying to get fit just for the sake of wanting to be thin. Finally, she’s now focussed on becoming the best version of herself.