March 18, 2024

Oprah And The Ozempic Temptation – Miracle Drug or Dangerous Quick Fix?

In September of 2022, Moji Pour came back to Mojo classes for the first time since the pandemic. She was profoundly unhappy and stressed about a number of unfortunate, overwhelming issues in her life, including the diagnosis of a stress-related autoimmune disorder, ulcerative colitis. Weighing in at an alarming 300 lbs, Moji was determined to take control of her life – mentally and physically.

Moji lost weight slowly and carefully by making conscientious lifestyle changes. Along with a nutritionist-supervised diet and 1 to 2 weekly pops of Mojo a week, Moji aimed for 1 1/2 hour walks 3xs a week, horseback riding one day a week, and two swimming sessions a week. 

Little by little, we all witnessed Moji’s intensity and energy level lifting. Better yet, her smile returned – and so did her infectious singing!

In June 2023, Moji Pour had lost 40 lbs and was going strong.

Last fall, Moji’s Mojo-mentum was curtailed. She started a new job, with Lufthansa at Philadelphia airport. It was getting harder for her to keep regular classes going, so I became privately concerned about whether her old habits would start creeping back into her life again.

Around this time, Moji asked about my thoughts on Ozempic, the “miracle” weight-loss drug, that is currently the talk of the town. Knowing her gut medical issues, and how much she enjoys good food, I pleaded with her to stay the course and not fool with a medication for the quick fix. As the months went on, and seeing Moji’s continued transformation, I was happy to see it, but I privately assumed she joined the Ozempic craze, and was afraid to ask. 

At Monday’s class, the day after the Oscars, Ozempic was the topic of the night, because of the new, magically trimmed figures in the room – particularly Oprah Winfrey. 

With Moji looking so fit and trim, I reluctantly asked her if she was using Ozempic to help get her to the finish line a little quicker. Her words were music to my ears, “You told me not to take Ozempic, so I didn’t do it”. I almost wept, I was so happy for her! 

In my eyes, Moji is the fabled “turtle” who won the race. She slowly and surely changed her lifestyle with enjoyable and doable solutions. Oprah is the rabbit who settled for the easier route – and will eventually lose if she continues on this track. I am Oprah’s #1 fan, but her public, celebratory stance on Ozempic is very disappointing and dangerous. Here’s why…

Oprah and the Ozempic Temptation- Miracle Drug or Dangerous Quick Fix?
Oprah’s Ozempic Temptation Being slim, muscular and trim means you are living a disciplined, healthy life. It’s not easy, and it cannot be bought, which is the reason everyone wants it. Even if you lose the weight, there is no guarantee that it won’t come back in a few months. Tis’ the search for an easier, quicker way to the slim finish line. 

Oprah is an American Icon who has made an enormous impact on modern culture. She has helped educate, elevate, and empower all of us on hard-to-talk-about topics, like mental health, female empowerment, domestic abuse, incest, etc. Unfortunately, this is why her celebratory stance on Ozempic is so scary. 

I’ve been watching her gleeful re-entry into society as a 70-year-old, newly slim person. I cannot blame her for being thrilled, but this enthusiasm for another quick-fix new drug is irresponsible. She dumped her Weight Watcher stock and is going full out on her support for medicated weight loss – for those people who need it. 

 What is Ozempic:
Ozempic and similar weight loss drugs are like messengers that mimic a natural gut hormone. This hormone tells the body to:
    • Feel full: You might eat less, because you feel satisfied sooner.
    • Slow down digestion: Food stays in your stomach longer, again promoting feelings of fullness.
    • Regulate blood sugar: This is particularly helpful for people with type 2 diabetes.

Ozempic was originally designed for adults with type 2 diabetes to help them:
    • Improve blood sugar control
    • Reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events (like heart attack or stroke) in those with established heart disease

Ozempic, while effective for some has a wide number of sketchy side effects. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most concerning ones:

  • Pancreatitis: This is an inflammation of the pancreas, a gland crucial for digestion. Symptoms can include severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, pancreatitis can lead to serious complications.
  • Thyroid C-Cell Tumors: Ozempic carries an FDA boxed warning, the strongest warning for the potential risk of developing thyroid C-cell tumors. These are a rare type of thyroid cancer.
  • Kidney Problems: Ozempic has been linked to an increased risk of kidney problems, including kidney failure. People with pre-existing kidney issues might be at a higher risk.
  • Gallbladder Issues: Ozempic may increase the risk of gallstones and gallbladder inflammation.
Additional alarming facts about Ozempic:
  • Weight Regain: Most people regain most of the weight they lost while taking Ozempic. Studies show this can be around two-thirds of the weight loss within a year of stopping the medication.
  • Appetite Increase: Ozempic helps regulate appetite hormones, so upon stopping it, your appetite may return to pre-medication levels, making it harder to manage calorie intake.
  • Blood Sugar Fluctuations: For people with type 2 diabetes, Ozempic helps manage blood sugar. Stopping it can lead to blood sugar spikes and require adjustments to medication or diet.
  • Lessened Heart-Health Benefits: While research is ongoing, some studies suggest that Ozempic might have some independent heart-health benefits. Stopping it could potentially negate those benefits.
*A balanced diet and regular exercise are crucial for long-term weight management, regardless of medication use.
Oprah is a well-educated, billionaire with access to the best chefs and the best personal trainer money could buy. She seems to be under the impression that if she cannot maintain a healthy weight, no one can. Obesity must be a disease, and Ozempic is (literally) the magic pill…I beg to differ.

The key to losing weight, and keeping it off, is knowing the underlying causes – whether it be mental or physical. Though Oprah thinks she has done everything she can do to lead a healthy life, I feel she missed one key element…The main culprit for her weight loss struggle is her personal trainer, Bob Greene.

To this day, Oprah is quick to say, “I HATE exercise”.
After looking up her regimen, it’s no wonder.

My take is, that she has an unhealthy relationship with exercise and movement, because of an abusive exercise regimen designed by celebrity trainer, Bob Greene. While I have no doubt he is the best trainer for a wide variety of people, his plan for Oprah is a one-size-fits-all all. Here’s a quick peek excerpt of her training schedule, taken from this link, Oprah Gets Fit, Trainer Bob Greene Shows No Mercy 

Cardiovascular Workouts
Six mornings a week: Forty-five minutes of aerobic exercise, including at least two of the following: power walking on a graded treadmill (up to 10 percent), jogging, elliptical exercise, stair-stepping or rowing.

Four or five evenings a week (before dinner): A 20-minute workout using one of the above exercises. These sessions gave Oprah a chance to reflect on her progress toward her goals.

Once a week: On a day with no strength training, Oprah replaced her usual aerobic exercise with a 75-minute run (Who does that???)

Strength Training
Four or five times a week: Thirty to 40 minutes of strength training, usually two days in a row, followed by a day off. Oprah preferred to train before her aerobic workout. Her warm-up: a 15-minute power walk.

After two recent knee replacements, and at 70 years old, Oprah is pooped! She may have had the best trainer money could buy, but she has had an overly wrought, plateau-inducing, soulless regimen that added undue stress to her joints (she just had two knee replacements). It messed with her metabolism and ruined her relationship with exercise. She needs some MOJO in her life! 

The moral of this blog…
Trust the process. Weight loss will never be a quick fix. Drastic diets, hard-core exercise regimens, and diet medications may work temporarily, but unless they are sustainable, they do not last. “Slow, Steady, smart…and FUN” wins the race.
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