Wynonna Judd

In February 2004, Wynonna Judd went public with her battle with weight and said she was ready to make a change. How has her life changed since that appearance?

"I'm getting a lot of attention and it's very unusual for me to be able to receive that," Wynonna said. "I just smile, and I think, 'You know what? I'm not alone.' It's a bittersweet thing."

Wynonna had never discussed her weight issues with her mom, Naomi, or sister, Ashley, but she wanted them here today. "I invited them to come," Wynonna said. "I prayed about it, and thought, we may not have it all together, but together we have it all. We agree to disagree, and we're very different people, but I need them. As much as I want to be autonomous and I want to be individual, I need these two strong women in my life. And it's something I've never really dealt with, with them—so let's do it on national television!"
Ashley and Naomi Judd

Oprah: What did you think seeing this on TV?

Naomi: There's two parts to it. One is being a viewer, standing in my kitchen cooking supper like everyone else and seeing Wynonna. I was first struck by how enormously appealing [she is], and how vulnerable. The second part, being a mother, I felt like I was seeing into [her], seeing an x-ray of her soul.

Ashley: We had spoken, and I knew that she felt it went really well. She loved the humor and how the candor was wonderfully mixed with a lot of the personality that she has that not everyone has had the chance to see. When Dario [Franchitti, Ashley's husband] thought it was wonderful, I watched it with a lot of confidence and thought it was great.
Ashley Judd

As an actress in Hollywood, Ashley Judd has to pay a lot of attention to her appearance. Does she ever feel guilty for being "the skinny sister?"

"I feel upset and perplexed at how to express—I want to make sure that she doesn't feel weirdly toward me," Ashley explained. "That's something that I hope we continue to address and that our love is strong enough that we can be different and have our different body types without one of us feeling strange toward the other."

Wynonna chimed in, "I'm never going to be a runway model. I can sing my butt off, but I'm not going to walk the runway. To make peace with something is the key. It never was a competition with me. I want to be healthy."
Naomi and Ashley Judd

Oprah: How is it that this [Wynonna's weight] was never discussed?

Naomi: It's extraordinary, because the three of us kind of freak people out sometimes—we finish each other's sentences, we have an emotional shorthand.

Ashley: I think we talked around it for years. Some of the conflict that you two [Wynonna and Naomi] have had is because you weren't talking about the core thing that you wanted to talk about.

Wynonna: Mom always felt like she had to save me. Let's just talk about it.

Naomi: I had to get out of my mindset. [I] care so deeply, want to help everybody. When it's your child, it just becomes excruciating. I knew all these other things about how it [her weight] sent her into the dark night of the soul. I had to make myself never ever say or give her any looks.

Watch Wynonna, Ashley and Naomi discuss Wynonna's weight for the first time

Wynonna Judd

In an emotional moment, Wynonna candidly spoke about her struggle with weight, and why it's been so hard to talk about it with her family.

"I've suffered in silence, I guess," she said. "I've tried so hard not to complain. Roach and I travel 300 days out of the year, I go out on stage and I'm victorious. It's just, this is an issue. This is a problem. It's hard to be vulnerable. I don't want people seeing it as whining or complaining. If I'm going to do this, I've got to be willing to be honest, and to be that vulnerable and that honest is just...But the pain of not changing is much greater than the pain of changing."
Wynonna Judd and Oprah

Oprah: Is there anything you want to say [to your mother]?

Wynonna: Just how hard I'm trying. I think Mom still feels the need to save me and give me that advice. Being helpful is just reassuring me. We are so strong. We got it from you [Naomi], the survival instinct.

Most people assume we are so strong that we don't need their help, or their prayers, or 'You've got it all. You don't need luck.' The heck I don't! I'm fighting the battle of being in country music with all these hairy-legged men with cowboy hats.

My point is, I love the messages you leave me. Just calling me and telling me you love me, and not assuming I'm okay. The thing we all want as daughters is to be allowed to be authentic and to make those mistakes without the judgment.
Wynonna Judd's trainer, Dominick DaVito

For the past three months, Wynonna has been working with Oprah's trainer, Bob Greene, and her own trainer, Dominick DaVito. They have definitely seen her making progress!

"Even when I haven't been there, she's been downstairs doing cardio on her own, which she's never done," Dominick said. "And she's also, for the first time in three years, jogging for thirty straight minutes on the treadmill."

Since starting the program, Wynonna has lost a total of ten inches and gone down a clothing size. "And I'm singing better than ever!" she said.

Dominick says Wynonna's family can be even more supportive of her goals. "Instead of telling me what she does wrong, I think she needs a lot of encouragement. When we measured, she wasn't happy with the results, and I was elated. I couldn't believe it. She's working so hard."
Wynonna Judd's husband, Roach

In 2003, Wynonna married her longtime business associate, "Roach." During his 12 years working with Wynonna, Roach had a front row seat for her struggles with weight.

Roach: I've seen her struggle her whole life. It has been very frustrating for her.

Oprah: Can you be a support without judging?

Roach: Inside or out? I think we all judge people, but we don???t say it out loud. To judge somebody is like condemning them. You're not giving them the hope that they need to come up.

Wynonna performs "I Want to Know What Love Is"

Wynonna finished the show with a triumphant performance of "I Want to Know What Love Is" from her album Wynonna. It brought the house down, and brought tears to more than a few eyes!

Look back at all the Judd family's Oprah Show appearances


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