Oprah's working on living her healthiest life, and recruited nine women to join her in the April issue of O magazine

By Julie Mazziotta
Updated March 15, 2016 09:00 AM
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Credit: Sioux Nesi

Oprah Winfrey is working on living her healthiest life – and recruiting nine other women to join her.

Like Winfrey, all nine women, profiled in the April issue of O Magazine, have inspiring – but completely relatable – reasons why they want to find their best bodies, from fertility struggles, to coping with the loss of their partners, to simply wanting to feel better in their jeans.

For Bobbi Allison, she can’t remember a time when she ever felt comfortable in her body. But Allison knows she’s fought against her size at least since age 6, after she was molested.

“I put on weight like a coat of armour,” she says.

After spending her teenage years trying every possible method of weight loss – SlimFast, Atkins, shakes, working out with a trainer, and even diet pills Allison says were essentially speed – she continued to struggle with her weight.

“Sometimes I fantasized about unzipping my body and stepping out of it, showing people the real me,” Allison says.

She tried gastric banding surgery, but it left her in constant pain and nausea, and she had it removed in 2015. Finally, though, the spiritual medium had a breakthrough when she started meeting with clients experiencing the same weight issues she was experiencing at her current weight of 372 lbs.

“That was my aha moment,” Allison says. “I hadn’t been giving my body or my soul the proper nutrition. Now I’m working on self-love, and I am so excited about the future.”

As a former model, one woman, Michelle Trotter, used to comfortably pose in a bikini. But the never-ending criticism from agents eventually wore her down.

At one photo shoot in Italy, I thought I was thin, but the photographer kept saying, ‘Suck in your gut,’ ” Trotter recalls. “It embeds something dark in your psyche. I look back at all the years I thought I needed to lose ten pounds and realize now how amazing I looked. I wasted so much time not valuing who I was.”

She maintained her modeling career for years after “an agent I knew offered me work as a plus-size model,” but now, after carrying two kids, Trotter’s weight is up to 217 lbs.

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“I have a 9-year-old daughter, and I want her to see me empowered, taking care of myself,” she says. “I never want her to think she’s not ‘enough’ – the way I’ve felt for so long because of the career I chose.”

Trotter’s goal now is to find her happy weight of around 155-165 lbs., and feel comfortable in a bikini again.

“Now I beat myself up about my body all the time, and my daughter hears it. But I don’t think it’s too late to start practicing what I’ve been preaching.”