Dr. Mehmet Oz spoke to the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, about her 55-pound weight loss and her thoughts on ex-husband Prince Andrew’s alleged involvement in an underage sex ring on the January 30 episode of the “Dr. Oz Show.” Ferguson previously credited a sugar-free diet and intense exercise for her dramatic weight loss.
Ferguson told Dr. Oz she’s an emotional overeating who began binge-eating to cope with depression and loneliness as a child. Sarah’s mom left her to live with a man in Argentina when she was 12 years old.
Fergie said her mom’s abandonment (and death a few years later in a car accident) damaged her self-esteem and drove her into a deep depression. Ferguson, 55, said she overate to cope with feelings of loneliness, sadness and self-hatred.
Sarah felt even worse about herself when the press repeatedly called her the “Duchess of Pork” and made fun of her dramatic weight fluctuations during her marriage to England’s Prince Andrew. The 5-foot-8 Ferguson, who once weighed 190 pounds, was “miserable” being heavy.
“I couldn’t bear looking at myself any minute longer,” Sarah told the “Today Show.” “In fact, the size of my *ss probably saved my life. I got to a point where I just couldn’t bare looking at myself any minute longer. I was 190 pounds a year ago and I was miserable.”
‘I Used to Be So Angry Before 55-Pound Weight Loss’
Ferguson lost 55 pounds during the past 12 months with a mostly sugar-free diet, hiking and running workouts. Sarah said her lifelong food addiction was at the heart of her obesity. “I’ve been a comfort eater since I was 12 years old and I used food as my friend,” said the duchess.
Like other self-professed food addicts, Ferguson ate whenever she felt sad, lonely or angry. Had she not turned to overeating, Sarah said she would have found an emotional outlet through some other addiction, such as drugs or alcohol.
“Had I not just chosen food as my friend, I would have chosen something else,” said Ferguson. “A lot of people turn to shopping, alcohol, smoking, any other addiction. My addiction was food. I used it to suppress my feelings and therefore every time I went through something, I ate to compensate.”
At her heaviest, Sarah said she felt angry and felt out of control. “I used to be so angry,” said Ferguson. “I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes. I was just drowning in eating, drowning in food.”
Now that she’s thinner and healthier, Ferguson is committed to helping fight the global obesity epidemic. Sarah’s daughter, Princess Beatrice, recently lost 30 pounds by running and following a low-calorie diet.
Similarly, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, lost 29 pounds just two months after giving birth to son George in 2013. Middleton followed a low-carb diet and did yoga and running workouts to achieve her rapid weight loss, Celebrity Health reported. Kate is now pregnant with her second child.
Fergie: ‘Prince Andrew Is a Good Man’
Separately, Ferguson vehemently defended her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, against claims that he had forced an underage woman to have sex with him.
“I will have not one word said about him on any level,” said Sarah. “I went to stand by him because I know what it feels like to have salacious lies made up about you.”
Ferguson, who has two daughters with Prince Andrew, has remained good friends with Andrew since their divorce in 1999. Sarah called the underage sex allegations a defamation of character against a “humongously good man.”
Prince Andrew and New York investment banker Jeffrey Epstein were among those named in a federal lawsuit filed by a group of women who claim they were part of an underage “sex slave” ring run by Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender. One woman, Virginia Roberts, alleged she was coerced into having sex with Prince Andrew in three different countries.
Buckingham Palace has vehemently denied the allegations. “Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue,” said the Palace.