updated 05/08/2013 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/08/2013 AT 1:30 PM ET
Wendy Williams has lost about 20 pounds in the last year, but the talk show host says her accomplishment is about more than just looking good.
Williams says she has come to a place of self-acceptance – with food and her looks.
“It’s not a big deal. It might not be right for everybody, but I am perfect the way I am right now,” Williams, 48, told Dr. Mehmet Oz on The Dr. Oz Show. “I weigh 175 pounds. I am very accepting of my height and weight and where I am probably for the first time steadily in my life. I feel good.”
Growing up, however, things were different for the Wayside, N.J. native, who is one of three children. Her parents monitored her eating, sending her off to school with a diet lunch of raisins and tuna fish, with mustard rather than higher calorie mayonnaise. They never let her have seconds.
But when she was alone, Williams would snack, enjoying food that her parents didn’t want her to have. It made her a sneak eater.
“I often wonder, Dr. Oz, if my parents hadn’t monitored my weight, would I have let it spin out of control or would I be okay?” she said of her lifelong food patterns.
“I would always sneak in the refrigerator and eat seconds and underneath my bed – you know, I had my own bedroom – it was littered with Twinkie wrappers and Jolly Rancher wrappers,” Williams, a jewelry designer and Season 12 contestant on Dancing With the Stars confided to Dr. Oz. “And I would sneak eat, because I was denied food, not because I was hungry, but because my mom and dad did the best they could in 1970 and ‘71 and ‘72. They didn’t know any better.”
Now the talk show host is back to eating healthier in anticipation of a milestone birthday – turning 50. But her fractured food history still creeps up from time to time, she says.
“My favorite food is the food I eat by myself,” says Williams. “Now I’ll tell you what I eat so it’s not really sneaking, but I’d rather eat it myself. Whether it’s drive-thru at Taco Bell, pick up one taco on my way to the grocery store.”
She adds: “I love the grocery store. I would never have my groceries delivered. I would never have anybody grocery shop. Grocery shopping for me is an hour and a half and I’m the girl who takes the free cheese and I luxuriate over the chips and I open them up and I eat them.”