The Reason Oprah Regrets Her Highest-Rated “Wagon of Fat” Episode

Who can forget that iconic episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show where the talk show host famously walked out on set in her size 10 Calvin Klein jeans, beaming with pride and ready to show the world her new body. It would turn out to be the most highly watched episode in the history of one of the most highly watched daytime talk shows of all time. In November 1988, about half of the total U.S. daytime television audience tuned in to see Oprah flaunt her weight-loss success by pulling a Radio Flyer wagon filled with 67 pounds of animal fat. Who could forget, right? Well, it sounds like Oprah would like to.

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In three-part podcast series from Chicago’s WBEZ radio station called “Making Oprah,” the Winfrey and her staff give a behind-the-scenes look at the show’s most iconic moments. When discussing the episode “Diet Dreams Come True,” Winfrey reveals how the “wagon of fat” moment is one she regrets. “Looking back, I gotta tell you, it’s really hard for me to watch because you can see that my ego is on flamboyant display,” she said. During the episode, Oprah describes how she lost 67 pounds in four months through rigorous exercise and a diet that consisted solely of Optifast, a protein powder mixed with water.

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Although the star has since gone on to share many more ups and downs during her weight-loss journey, that unforgettable moment stands out as a personal low point in her show’s history, and not because her weight-loss ups and downs didn't end there. “The ego was my belief that being in those Calvin Klein jeans made me worthy as a human being, or more valuable, or made me better. And so, I have had to pay the price for that moment over and over and over. I literally handed to the world on a fat wagon platter the story of 'Is She Fat?' 'Is She Thin?'"

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