Oprah Winfrey has always been completely transparent about her struggles with weight loss over the years, and we love her for it. Most recently, the 69-year-old celeb revealed to PEOPLE that her challenges with weight "occupied five decades of space in my brain, yo-yoing and feeling like why can't I just conquer this thing, believing willpower was my failing." If you can relate to the long journey that comes with dieting, weight loss, and maintenance, you'll want to hear exactly what Oprah does to look as incredible as she does today. Keep reading to learn more, and when you're finished, be sure to check out A 69-Year-Old Trainer Shares the 7 Fitness Habits That Keep Her Looking 25.
Nearing her 70th birthday, Oprah looks downright incredible.
The co-producer of the soon-to-be-released film, The Color Purple, has always been in the public eye and heartbreakingly scrutinized over the years, as she revealed to PEOPLE, "It was public sport to make fun of me for 25 years. I have been blamed and shamed, and I blamed and shamed myself." Recalling one point early on in her career, Oprah explained, "I was on the cover of some magazine and it said, 'Dumpy, Frumpy and Downright Lumpy.' I didn't feel angry. I felt sad. I felt hurt. I swallowed the shame. I accepted that it was my fault."
Next month, on January 29, the actress, talk show host, and author will celebrate her 70th birthday, and she looks downright incredible. She shared with PEOPLE the lifestyle changes she's made—including exercising regularly—to look healthy and fit. The star also noted she includes a weight-loss medication in her routine.
Hiking is her go-to exercise.
After getting knee surgery, the celeb explained she began hiking. She established a new distance goal each week and worked her way up to three to five miles per day, along with embarking on an impressive 10-mile "straight-up hike" on weekends. "I felt stronger, more fit, and more alive than I'd felt in years," Oprah shared.
In addition to exercise, she made some tweaks to her diet. "I eat my last meal at 4 o'clock, drink a gallon of water a day, and use the WeightWatchers principles of counting points," Oprah added. "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."
She takes weight loss drugs for maintenance.
Oprah also revealed to PEOPLE that her doctor prescribed her a weight-loss medication, which she uses as a maintenance tool. "I now use it as I feel I need it, as a tool to manage not yo-yoing. 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. I'm absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself," she explained.
The celeb made it clear, though, that her entire wellness routine—which includes healthy lifestyle habits, a solid fitness regimen, and taking weight-loss medication—is what gets her results. "It's everything," she shared. "I know everybody thought I was on it, 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."
At the time of the interview with PEOPLE, Oprah was seven pounds shy of her goal weight of 160 pounds. However, she pointed out, "It's not about the number … It was a second shot for me to live a more vital and vibrant life."