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‘I’m Finally at Peace with Food’: Oprah Winfrey Tells PEOPLE How She Lost 42.5 Lbs.!

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For all of her success, there was one challenge Oprah Winfrey had yet to conquer: her struggle with weight.

She was determined to lose 20 lbs. in the summer of 2015, but an ankle injury derailed those hopes. While laid up for a month “eating jalapeño bagels,” she gained 17 lbs. “You are doing some serious eating and not moving,” she says in PEOPLE’s new cover story about that difficult time. “I was in yet another funk about my weight.”

Then one day she received the call that would set her on a new course. Weight Watchers offered her a basic endorsement deal, which she turned down to negotiate purchasing 10 percent of the company.

Now, after 17 months on the program,  Winfrey, 62, has lost 42.5 lbs. “And that .5, honey child, counts!” she exults. Oprah People Cover © People.com Oprah People Cover

“This has been the easiest process that I’ve ever experienced. At no time during meals do I deprive myself,” says Winfrey, who’s down to a size 12. 

In PEOPLE’s new cover story, the media mogul talks about the shame she constantly felt over her weight despite her incredible success in other areas of her life, her struggles over years of yo-yo dieting, and how partner Stedman Graham and best friend Gayle King (who are also on Weight Watchers) are supporting her.

Most importantly, she says her attitude towards eating has become healthier.

“I finally made peace with food,” she says.

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