Oprah Winfrey, who has publicly struggled with her weight, recalled the exact moment her relationship with food took a turn for the worse.
“I shall never forget Saturday morning, October 17,” she told Vogue, referring to the day after her film “Beloved” released wide in 1998. “I got a call from someone at the studio, and they said, ‘It’s over. You got beat by ‘Chucky’.’ And I said, ‘Who’s Chucky? What do you mean it’s over? It’s just Saturday morning!’ I knew nothing about box-office projections or weekend openings. It was ten o’clock in the morning, and I said to [personal chef]Art [Smith], ‘I would like macaroni and cheese for breakfast.’”
The 63-year-old media mogul continued, “And soooo began my long plunge into food and depression and suppressing all my feelings.”
Winfrey said her depression lasted around six weeks.
“I actually started to think, Maybe I really am depressed. Because it’s more than ‘I feel bad about this.’ I felt like I was behind a veil,” she explained in the magazine’s September issue. “I felt like what many people had described over the years on my show, and I could never imagine it. What’s depression? Why don’t you just pick yourself up?”
She eventually started feeling better — and ultimately stopped running to movie theaters to buy up blocks of tickets to “Beloved” to boost box office sales. She took away multiple lessons after “Beloved,” which was based on Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, flopped.
“That’s when the gratitude practice became really strong for me,” she told Vogue, “because it’s hard to remain sad if you’re focused on what you have instead of what you don’t have.”
She added, “It taught me to never again — never again, ever — put all of your hopes, expectations, eggs in the basket of box office. Do the work as an offering, and then whatever happens, happens.”