Oprah Winfrey Exits Weight Watchers Board After Disclosing Weight-Loss Medication Use

Oprah Winfrey announced she's stepping down Weight Watchers' board of directors after nearly 10 years of working with the company.

By Alyssa Morin Feb 29, 2024 6:21 PMTags
Watch: Oprah Winfrey Exits Weight Watchers After Disclosing Weight-Loss Medication Use

Oprah Winfrey is parting ways with Weight Watchers. 

Two months after revealing she uses a weight-loss medication to slim down, the legendary host announced she's leaving the company's board of directors after nearly 10 years of working with them.

"I look forward to continuing to advise and collaborate with WeightWatchers and CEO Sima Sistani in elevating the conversation around recognizing obesity as a chronic condition," Oprah said in a statement Feb. 29, "working to reduce stigma, and advocating for health equity." 

But she is not cutting ties altogether, the 70-year-old will still host Weight Watchers' Weight Health event in May.

"I plan to participate in a number of public forums and events where I will be a vocal advocate in advancing this conversation," Oprah's statement continued. "In addition, I have decided to donate my interest in WeightWatchers to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I have been a long-time supporter of this worthy organization, and I am proud to continue my support."

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Fascinating Facts About Oprah Winfrey

Oprah's exit comes two months after she shared insight into her body transformation.

"I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing," she told People in December, opting not to disclose the weight-loss drug she's on. "The fact that there's a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for."

Leon Bennett/Getty Images

As she put it, "I'm absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself."

The Color Purple producer noted that she hasn't solely relied on the weight-loss medication. 

"After knee surgery, I started hiking and setting new distance goals each week," she said. "I could eventually hike three to five miles every day and a 10-mile straight-up hike on weekends."

In addition to kicking her fitness into high gear, she also switched up her eating habits.

"I eat my last meal at 4 o'clock, drink a gallon of water a day, and use the WeightWatchers principles of counting points," she explained. "I had an awareness of [weight-loss] medications, but felt I had to prove I had the willpower to do it. I now no longer feel that way."

Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Over the years, Oprah has been candid about her weight fluctuations. But now, more than ever, she feels she's in the best shape of her life.

"I felt stronger, more fit and more alive than I'd felt in years," she expressed. "I know everybody thought I was on [Ozempic], but I worked so damn hard. I know that if I'm not also working out and vigilant about all the other things, it doesn't work for me."

She added, "It was a second shot for me to live a more vital and vibrant life."

Oprah isn't the only star to share her weight-loss journey. Keep reading to see all of the celebrities that have been honest about their experience.

Kelly Clarkson

Yep, the talk show host is standing a little taller these days. Informed by doctors she was pre-diabetic, "I dropped weight because I've been listening to my doctor—a couple years I didn't," the singer explained to People. "And 90 percent of the time I'm really good at it because a protein diet is good for me anyway."

She is a Texas girlie after all, "so I like meat—sorry, vegetarians in the world!"

The mom to River and Remington is also enjoying exploring her new life in NYC. “Walking in the city is quite the workout,” she added. “And I’m really into infrared saunas right now. And I just got a cold plunge because everybody wore me down.”

Oprah Winfrey

You get some health advice! And you get some health advice! Because now that the media legend is feeling better than ever, she's dishing out her best tips. "It's not one thing," she stressed to Entertainment Tonight of her treadmill workouts, hikes, water consumption and nutritious eats, "it's everything."

While Winfrey hasn't named the weight loss medication she's using, she told People in December, "The fact that there's a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for," she explained of adding that particular tool to her arsenal. "I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself."

Tarek El Moussa

Living proof that you can, in fact, flip your life, the HGTV personality detailed his two-year fitness journey in a July 2023 Instagram post

"Sometimes you think you’re doing the right thing but what you actually need is redirection in order to see growth," he wrote. While his previous regimen included the occasional hot yoga class with wife Heather Rae El Moussa, the reality star noted that he wasn't following a particular routine, tracking his protein intake or receiving any sort of guidance. 

Enter: nutritionist Sean Torbati. Now, "I’m eating the right food & Hot yoga 1-2 times a week which is so good for my mental & physical state," the dad of three explained. "It all comes down to motivation and perseverance."

For him, "Once I realized how BADLY I wanted to feel good and be healthy—for myself, my wife, my kids, and my longevity—was the second I put my head down and got to work!!"

Whoopi Goldberg

The View cohost revealed she used Mounjaro—a type 2 diabetes medication—to slim down after gaining weight in 2021.

"I weighed almost 300 pounds when I made Till," she said on the March 19 episode of the daytime talk show. "I had taken all those steroids, I was on all this stuff, and one of the things that's helped me drop the weight is Mounjaro. That's what I use."

Whitney Way Thore

The reality star knows she's fabulous with or without your compliments thank you very much. Responding to speculation that she had undergone a dramatic body transformation, the My Big Fat Fabulous Life star responded in a February Instagram post, "I hate addressing this, but no, I have not had medical intervention to lose weight."

And while she noted she had dropped 100 pounds from her previously 385-pound frame, including 50 after mom Barbara "Babs" Thore's December 2022 death, "I weigh 285 pounds and I have been this weight for almost a year now."

Bottom line, she continued, "Thank you for the compliments, but I really don't like obsessing over my body and I don't like it when others do it either."

Valerie Bertinelli

Well aware that she's hot in Cleveland, L.A. or wherever else she happens to be, the actress gave her refreshing take on body image with a February Instagram post

"This is a 150lb body on a 5'4 frame," the Food Network host wrote, sharing a 2014 bikini photo. "I don't weigh myself anymore because this is considered overweight by who's [sic] standards, I don't know. It's stupid and I believed them for far too long."

Fully removed from the pressures of dieting, "I now, finally, know that I am a kind, considerate, funny, thoughtful woman," she continued. "So please remember, who you are and what your character is, should never be overshadowed by what size you are or how much you weigh. You are enough. Just the way you are."

As for anyone that might not agree, she summed up, "F--k ‘em."

Post Malone

Man, the musician feels just like a rockstar since dropping 55 pounds. "I've had a lot of people ask me about my weight loss and i'd suppose, performance on stage," he acknowledged in an April 2023 Instagram post. "i'm having a lot of fun performing, and have never felt healthier."

His inspiration, he continued, was the daughter he welcomed in 2022: "i guess dad life kicked in and i decided to kick soda, and start eating better so i can be around for a long time for this little angel. next up is smokes and brews, but i like to consider myself a patient man."

Kelly Osbourne

Why, yes, she did feel the pressure to snap back after welcoming son Sidney in November 2022. "It became my mission," she told E! News of dropping 85 pounds in that initial postpartum period. "I was obsessed with it because I didn't even want to get brought into the conversation, I just wanted to be left alone."

Not that she's recommending her strict AF approach. "It was a lot of work," she said. "It was miserable. I was hungry all the time, but I'm really happy with the results."

John Goodman

The Roseanne alum has hit a lot of highs and lows throughout his health journey. "In the old days, I would take three months out, lose 60 or 70 pounds, and then reward myself with a six-pack or whatever and just go back to my old habits," he explained in 2017. "This time I wanted to do it slowly. Move, exercise. I'm getting to the age where I can't afford to sit still anymore."

His sensible approach—lots of walking and a Mediterranean diet heavy on fish, vegetables and nuts—has helped him maintain a 200-pound weight loss. "It's a life of rehab," he admitted to Men's Health. "But it's a labor of love."

Drew Carey

After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and losing both his dad and brother to heart attacks, The Price Is Right host decided to take a spin at healthier eating. 

“No carbs,” he told Entertainment Tonight of his winning formula that also included a lot of daily cardio. “I have cheated a couple times, but basically no carbs, not even a cracker. No bread at all. No pizza, nothing. No corn, no beans, no starches of any kind. Egg whites in the morning or like, Greek yogurt, cut some fruit.”

And to wash it all down, “I don’t drink anything but water,” he said. “No coffee, no tea, no soda.”

Tammy Slaton

A huge loss has led to some pretty big gains for the 1000-lb Sisters star. Since shedding a remarkable 440 pounds, she's celebrated a series of milestones, documented on her TLC show: Flying for the first time, being able to buckle her seatbelt on a plane and ride in the front seat of a car, inside a hot air balloon and on rides at Disney World.

"Some people take small things for granted," Slaton explained in a February TikTok. "Like being able to buckle a seatbelt and not have to use an extender. It's big for me. Because I hadn't been able to do that stuff in years."

Now, continued the reality star, "I'm more or less like giving myself a pat on the back for achieving something and doing it. Getting the weight off and living. That's what I'm doing. I can finally say I'm living life."

Brittany Cartwright

Raise your glasses high to this healthy take from the Vanderpump Rules alum. While the Jenny Craig brand ambassador is hoping to see some results now that she's recommitted to the meal plan, "I'm also just trying to maintain and be the best version of myself for my son," she explained to E! News in February. Because while she "would definitely love to lose some weight," it's more important to model healthy habits for her and Jax Taylor's son Cruz

"I just think it's important to show him a healthy routine," said the future star of The Valley. "Working out is so important to me and for my mental health. I just think that being involved in a good healthy journey is super important for me."

Megan Thee Stallion

All that work on her body-ody-ody-ody-ody has paid off for the musician who has dedicated herself to going hard on strength training. 

"I'm really proud of my journey," the star told People in 2023. "Fitness has become a part of my lifestyle. I've been disciplined and committed to working out on a regular basis and investing in my health."

And with all the work she's been putting in, she continued, “I might have to drop a Hottie Bootcamp sometime soon." A little sample: A heart-pounding mix of deadlifts, jump-roping, forward lunges and mountain climbers. "This s--t burn like a motherf--ker," she said in one video. "But I know you see them thighs popping."

Shay Mitchell

When the world shut down in March 2020, mere months after the Pretty Little Liars alum gave birth to her first daughter Atlas, "I felt the least motivated I ever have," she shared with E! News. "Everything had kind of come to a halt and so truly I just thought, well, eff it."

Workout plans were tossed out the window along with her long-held "everything in moderation" way of eating. Having slid from the first few months of postpartum into the free-for-all that was 2020 "eating 100 percent s---ty food" had taken a toll and she missed feeling good about her body. 

Approached with the idea of signing on for Openfit's 4 Weeks of Focus with trainer Kelsey Heenan, she was pumped but skeptical.  

After four straight weeks kicking off her mornings with lemon-infused warm water and a 30-minute sweat session ("It included HIIT, it included cardio, it included strength training," she said of the varied full-body routines) and recommitting to healthy meal choices ("If I want pizza, I'll have pizza and dump some spinach on it") she was a convert. "I was like, 'Hoooooly...' you know," she admitted. "I've been active my entire life. I have never lifted a 40-pound weight, lifted a 50-pound." 

Lexi Reed

Though the fitness influencer does a fair amount of sweating, it's never about the small stuff. The social media star—also known as Fat Girl Fed Up online—revealed in a December Instagram that she didn't quite hit her goal of getting under 200 pounds. But she still felt like celebrating

"I have to keep reminding myself progress is progress, no matter how small," she noted. "I just know I worked really hard this week. But it's OK, because I didn't gain all that weight overnight, I'm not gonna lose it overnight either. So keep going, no matter what."

Because she knows all of her health goals are within reach. "I will get to wonderland," she said. "Whether it's next week or next year, we're gonna get there, eventually. Keep going, believe in yourself, progress not perfection."

Jonathan Van Ness

Wanting to get stronger so they could tumble into a more intense gymnastics routine, the Queer Eye star truly stuck the landing when it came to their health journey. 

"I got a nutritionist back in April. I've lost 35 lbs," they shared in an August 2022 TikTok, showing off their body transformation. "Here's the thing, I wanted to change my body size because of my gymnastics and my career."

However, they cautioned, don't assume you're going to nail that metaphorical aerial on your first try. "It took three weeks before I saw any change," the Love That Story author admitted. "So, if you're wanting to make a change, literally three weeks of working out and eating differently before I saw any change."

Dylan Sprouse

Before turning 30 in 2022, the Disney Channel alum made the choice to dive into a new training regimen. 

"Used to wear a shirt in the pool as a kid so I decided in my late twenties I wanted to change my body and become a meat head," the actor, wed to model Barbara Palvin, captioned an Instagram post that April. "This is my meat head post." 

Between hitting the weights and the kettlebells, it was "a long slog," he continued, "but I'm proud of the progress I've made and I ain't done yet." 

Rebel Wilson

Sometimes you're hitting every high note, sometimes you're admitting life isn't always pitch perfect. Such was the case when the actress revealed in a candid January 2024 Instagram post that she'd regained 30 pounds after hitting her 75-kilogram goal weight in 2020. 

With filming committments making it harder to keep up with her grueling boxing and hiking workouts, "I’ve lost focus on my healthy lifestyle," said Wilson, who's spoken about the work she'd put in to ditch her emotional eating habits and trade a carb-heavy diet for more protein. 

The extra stress leading to extra pounds, "It makes me feel bad about myself," Wilson admitted, "it shouldn’t…but it does." 

Chris Pratt

Saying buh-bye to his favorite beers? Fine. Committing to “three to four hours a day of just consistent, ass-kicking hard work," as he described his P90X, kickboxing and running sessions to Men's Journal? Sure. 

But for Pratt, the toughest part of his 60-pound transformation from Parks and Recreation's Andy Dwyer to Guardians of the Galaxy superhero was all the water—drinking an ounce a day for every pound he weighed. 

“I was peeing all day long, every day," he explained. "That part was a nightmare,”

Paul Rudd

Though he was already "kind of a Baldwin" as Cher Horowitz would note, the Clueless alum understood why fans were shocked to hear he would be crawling into Ant-Man's suit as the the Marvel's latest hero. 

“When people heard that I was cast in this movie, I think most people’s reactions were ‘Huh? Paul Rudd as a superhero? Really?'” Rudd admitted to Variety in 2015. 

So he knew what he had to do. The ageless star "took the Chris Pratt approach to training for an action movie," he shared. "Eliminate anything fun for a year and then you can play a hero.”

Jessie James Decker

The Just Eat author has turned to her tried-and-true South Beach diet to feel more herself after the births of her older children. "I saw results instantly," she told E! News of the protein-heavy plan. "I got on the program and I worked out and it was just like, okay." 

But first she soaks up every second of the postpartum period. "I always tell mothers, like, that should be the last thing on your mind," stressed Decker, mom to Vivianne, Eric Jr., Forrest and February 2024 arrival Denver. "After you have a baby, please do not think about trying to lose weight. Just feed your baby. Love on your baby. You have a newborn. Your body is trying to heal. You will know when your body is ready. Don't listen to your brain telling you, 'Lose weight, lose weight.' You'll know when you physically feel like, 'Okay, I feel like I'm ready to kind of have that energy and can run around.'" 

Nolan Gould

Sure, the six-pack has been a nice benefit of the Modern Family alum's 90-minute training sessions and healthier diet ("What I get is actually really healthy food for you: Lean protein, eating as many vegetables as you want and staying away from things like soda," he described to People). 

But completing an ambitious bucket list is really what drives him. "A lot of my life goals outside of acting have to do with the outdoors—I know I want to climb big rock walls in Yosemite, and so, I want to get fit for that," he explained. "One of my big life goals is to do the Pacific Crest Trail, which is up the coast of America, Mexico to Canada and back."

Ashley Greene

Following the September 2022 birth of daughter Kingsley, the Twilight alum sunk her teeth into a hard truth: "I don't think my body will ever be quite 'the same,'" she shared in a January 2023 Instagram post, "and I'm learning to be ok with that."

And should she find herself struggling, she's picked up a strategy every bit as important as the workout routine she recommitted herself to postpartum. 

"I go and pick up my child," she told E! News of her "sweet angel" daughter. Staring into Kingsley's eyes "allows you to be grateful versus kind of nitpicking yourself," she explained of her strategy. "And so that is one of my hacks that I do because no matter what you put out there, it's hard not to be self-critical."

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