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Oprah says she's O-bese!

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Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008

Billionaire talk-show titan Oprah Winfrey admits she's "embarrassed" that she has ballooned to 200 pounds.

The media mogul reveals in the January issue of O, The Oprah Magazine that when she throws her weight around nowadays, she has 40 pounds extra on her 5-foot-6 frame.

"I'm mad at myself," Oprah writes. "I didn't just fall off the wagon. I let the wagon fall on me."

Wearing a purple pantsuit, a plump Oprah poses on her glossy's cover next to a superimposed 2005 version of herself at a svelte 160 pounds.

"I can't believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I'm still talking about my weight," Oprah gripes. "I look at my thinner self and think, 'How did I let this happen again?'"

She partly blames her inflated flab on a thyroid condition that has slowed her metabolism and given her "a fear of working out." She also concedes that her willpower has taken a backseat to a busy schedule.

"This past year, I took myself off of my own priority list," Oprah confesses. "I wasn't just low on the list. I wasn't even on the list."

Oprah spent the summer and fall stumping for votes for President-elect Barack Obama. Last year, she was hamstrung by a headline-grabbing scandal involving a matron accused of sexual abuse at her all-girls school in South Africa.

"I didn't follow my own fundamental rule of taking care of self first," Oprah owns up.

She says she hit bottom April 26, when she nearly skipped a taping in Las Vegas with Cher and Tina Turner.

"I felt like a fat cow. I wanted to disappear," writes Oprah, whose body mass index of 31.8 is considered obese by the Centers for Disease Control.

In 1988, Winfrey famously wheeled a wagon of fat onto her talk-show set to illustrate the 67 pounds she had shed on a liquid protein diet. By 1990, she had beefed back up to 237 pounds and was swearing, "I'll never diet again."

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