Oprah and people who have each lost at least 100 pounds

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

They Lost 100 Pounds Each
Over the last 25 years, The Oprah Show has devoted hundreds of episodes to the topic of weight loss. Like millions of women, Oprah has struggled with her weight—a struggle that has been quite public ever since the show started in 1986. "I've been ripped to shreds eight ways from Sunday for my weight," Oprah says. "But no one has been harder on me for my weight than I have. And I know many of you can relate to that."

Look back at Oprah's weight loss journey   

For the last weight loss show in Oprah Show history, the audience was filled with 100 loyal viewers who have been on their own personal weight loss journeys—and each one of them lost at least 100 pounds in the process!

Meet Sandra who lost 106 pounds

Sandra before and after losing 106 pounds

At 40 years old, working mother Sandra was 5'2" and weighed 240 pounds. "I was an emotional eater," she says. "I wanted to be a better mother. I wanted to be a better employee. I wanted to be a better wife. So when I felt like I fell short of my own expectations, I would eat."

After experiencing an extreme panic attack at work, Sandra went to the doctor who warned her that her high-stress job, fast food habit and lack of exercise could lead to an early death. She knew she had to get healthier, but says that she hated working out—especially because of the pain she had experienced as a result of her large chest.

Then, Sandra heard about the Enell sports bra that Oprah loves, bought one for herself and was ready to take the leap. Soon after that, Sandra—who used to roller-skate competitively as a teenager—decided to take up ice-skating after being inspired by women she saw skating at the ice rink where her children played hockey. "I was still pretty heavy, but I just started small and built over time," she says.

To date, Sandra has lost 106 pounds, and last month she even competed in the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships in Salt Lake City, placing third in her event.

Meet Birdie who lost 144 pounds
Birdie before and after losing 144 pounds

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios (right)

By the time Birdie, a neurologist, had completed medical school, had five children and had begun her demanding career, she weighed 300 pounds. For her, losing weight wasn't just about getting healthy or being able to slip on a swimsuit at the beach—there was a professional motivation as well. "I felt like a hypocrite telling my patients to eat right, exercise and lose weight," she says. "I absolutely felt like a fraud."

Birdie finally decided that she couldn't stand the hypocrisy of being overweight anymore. She started using a free online weight loss service, counted calories and learned how to exercise—she lost 144 pounds.

Still determined to lose more weight, Birdie kept up with her new lifestyle...but she hit a plateau. "I got stuck at about 158, 160 pounds, and the scale stopped," she says. "I wanted to be 135 pounds, but it wasn't happening."

Watch Birdie talk about the dreaded weight loss plateau    

After seeing Oprah discuss her weight loss struggle in O magazine, Birdie realized she shouldn't be hung up on the number. Since that realization, Birdie gave up the battle to be 135 pounds and now happily weighs in at 156.

Meet Mary Ann who lost 103 pounds

Mary Ann before and after losing 103 pounds

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios (right)

Mary Ann
Mary Ann says she has always been 20 to 30 pounds overweight. But when her best friend Lyn was diagnosed with terminal cancer five years ago, Mary Ann says she turned to food for comfort. "I was just in so much pain, I didn't know where to put it. So I would just eat," she says.

Mary Ann's aha! moment came while she was watching Dr. Phil talk about uncovering the real reasons for overeating. He had said, "If you're not real about what's making you eat, you'll just keep pushing it down and it will keep popping back up. It's like pushing a beach ball underwater in a pool."

That's when Mary Ann decided to take charge. She signed up for a triathlon, trained, got into shape and lost 103 pounds—and inspired her daughter Michaela to lose weight as well!

Meet Mary Ann's 11-year-old daughter Michaela who lost 50 pounds

Michaela before and after losing 50 pounds

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios (right)

As Michaela's mom was eating as a way to cope with the loss of her best friend, 11-year-old Michaela became her mother's eating partner and began using food as a coping mechanism herself. "I didn't have many friends, and I didn't fit in," Michaela says. "Food, basically, was my only friend."

Watch Michaela talk about her friendships before and after losing weight   

After watching her mother cross the finish line at her first triathlon, Michaela was inspired to lose weight as well. "The day I saw my mom cross the finish line, I made the decision that night to ask her for help," Michaela recalls. "I felt, well, since my mom did this, then I can do this too."

To help her daughter, Mary Ann started with the basics: portion control, reading labels and exercising. To date, Michaela has lost 50 pounds, and both mother and daughter are having fun with fitness. "We bike, we run 5Ks," Mary Ann says. "She beats me!"

Meet Angela who lost 114 pounds

Angela before and after losing 114 pounds

Just four years ago, Angela was overweight, in part due to her love for cooking things like macaroni and cheese, and buttery biscuits. One day, she turned on The Oprah Show and saw Bob Greene talk about swapping out ingredients to cook healthier foods, and it changed her life.

"That day I watched the show, [Bob] laid out simple things that I can change in the way I cook," Angela says. "It reawakened the culinary spirit inside of me and showed me that I can eat the things that I love—I just don't have to use white flour. I don't have to eat white rice. I can eat brown rice. I can eat whole wheat pasta. [I can use] whole grain flour in everything. That's how I make the biscuits now!"

After making these types of changes, Angela dropped 114 pounds and still hasn't given up on making tasty comfort food. "Swap out the bad things, put in good things and you can eat delicious food," she says.

Meet Mike who lost 104 pounds

Mike before and after losing 104 pounds

On an earlier Oprah Show episode, Dr. Oz shocked men everywhere with one simple statement: "If you lose 35 pounds, if you're a male, you gain one inch of penis length," he said.

Mike, a husband and father of three, happened to be watching the show that day. "It definitely got my attention," he recalls. "And my wife's as well!"

So, Mike hit the gym and lost 104 pounds. “Shannon, what do you have to report?” Oprah asks Mike's wife.

“Dr. Oz was right!” Shannon replies.

After losing the weight, Mike says that his confidence soared in other areas of his life as well. "I [used to] beat everyone to the punch to make a fat joke [about myself]," he says. "I was always making fun of myself and to wake up now and just be confident ... Every day is a way I can push myself harder. Every day I try to push more and more. ... Amazing."