“Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes said her 127-pound weight loss was triggered by a humiliating airplane incident in 2014. Rhimes credited diet and exercise — not surgery — for her jaw-dropping weight loss.
Shonda, 46, had an epiphany after being unable to buckle in the airplane seat belt on a flight from Los Angeles to New York. “In 2014 I get on a plane to New York,” Rhimes recounted in her book, Year of Yes.
Shonda continued: “I grab the seat belt and – well it’s gotta be broken. Right? RIGHT? I do not have a broken seat belt. I am literally too fat for a first-class airplane seat belt.”
Rhimes, who had been overweight for much of her life, realized she had allowed her emotional overeating to endanger her health and diminish her quality of life.
“I have been saying yes to being fat,” wrote Shonda. “I’m not cutely chubby. Or nicely plus size. I am massive. Look, I believe everyone has a right to love their body in whatever size and shape it comes in. But I don’t FEEL good.”
Shonda decided in that moment to lose weight and take control of her lifeRhimes is a not a fan of starvation diets, and said portion control and exercise are her weight loss secrets. “I try to make it smaller portions, but you change what your palate wants,” she said. “I’m suddenly craving fish and salad.”
While Rhimes looks sensational and is feels more confident about her body, she insisted her weight loss was not motivated by vanity, but by a desire to stay healthy for the sake of her three daughters (two were adopted, and the third was born via a surrogate).
It really was about the fact that I have a 3-year-old, and a 2-year-old, and a 13-year-old, and I wanted to be around for them, to be healthy.
I’m super-feminist, and I’m like, ‘Everybody should be whatever shape they want to be. How dare anybody tell anybody anything?’ And then I thought like, ‘I’m going to fall over because I don’t feel good.’ So it was really about that.”
Shonda said losing weight became easier once she resolved not to spend the rest of her life wishing she were thinner or healthier. “I couldn’t be that person who like, ‘I wish I could, I wish I could,'” she said.
Rhimes continued: “I’m always going to want to eat the fried chicken. I don’t like exercising and I don’t like eating white fish. But I was like, ‘This isn’t ever going to be any fun, but you’re just going to have to do it anyway.’ But you know what? I did it. Now I do like exercising and I do like eating white fish. But that’s the way it is.”