“My body is just the container I carry my brain around in.” These were the words of Shonda Rhimes, she said it while she ate pizzas, ice cream, and cheese with bacon in it.
Shonda ate anything which had bacon in it. She used to love the way she was. Shonda didn’t care much about what other people said about her body.
She said: “I believe everyone’s body is theirs and everyone has a right to love their body in whatever size and shape and package it comes in. I will fight for anyone’s right to do so. I will kick ass and take names if I have to. Your body is yours. My body is mine. No one’s body is up for comment. No matter how small, how large, how curvy, how flat. If you love you, then I love you.”
But for Shonda this was not about loving herself, she didn’t feel good. Her knees hurt, her joints hurt. She was on high blood pressure medication. It was not possible for her to touch her toes.
She said: “My toes are untouchable”. Shonda thought losing weight would not be easy. Thinking about losing weight, following a diet, and doing a workout made her afraid.
After all these difficulties, how did she overcomes the obstacles and now live a very healthy life? Let’s find out.
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Weight Loss Journey
Shonda Rhimes, a very successful television producer. One day she had a flight to New York. She had a first-class ticket, a big first-class comfy seat.
Shonda settles in, shoes off, pulls out her book (The Year of Yes), and grabs the seat belt and she is unable to buckle up. She was literally too fat for a first-class seat belt, Shonda Said.
The humiliation was starting to make Shonda sweat. Shonda said: “I decide that I have two choices: I can ask the flight attendant for the seat belt extender, or I can go without a seat belt.” She chose to go without a seat belt.
This incident made Shonda realize that she has to do something about her weight. She thought “How do I say yes to this one?” The year of Yes, She realizes has become a snowball rolling down a hill.
Every yes changes something. Every yes is a bit more transformative. Shonda was thinking about how to say yes in order to get healthy? After a few days, she was lying on bed and eating chocolates, watching TV. She realizes that she has been saying yes to fatness.
The airplane seat belt incident of 2014 had made her putting food on top of the stuff was no longer an option. After that incident, she was no longer able to deal with being numb. Now numb feels creepy to her. The food doesn’t sparkle anymore— it suffocates.
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How Shonda Rhimes Lost Weight
Losing weight is not going to be easy, said Shonda. Shonda never lost more than 15 fifteen pounds in her life before, unless it involved serious stomach flu or self-starvation to such an extent that doctors were called.
She gave herself a choice. Shonda said: “There were two options: I can say yes, I want to be successful at this. I want to be healthy, I want to live a long life for myself and for my children. I want to feel good.
And once I say that I have to buckle down and do the work and not complain and accept that the work is going to be hard. Because that is what it is. Work. Hard work. But I will be able to buckle my seat belt on the plane.
I won’t have narcissistic fears of a karmic plane crash. I won’t have a giant coffin and wear a tent for a dress. If I say yes, the life I save will be my own.
OR: I can say no. Screw losing weight. Screw you, Skinny! I can say I do not want to be successful at this, I want to eat fried chicken. I want to be veal.
But if I say no, if I say that I do not want to do the work? Then game over. I have to shut up. I don’t want to hear me”
On March 8, 2014, Shonda said yes to losing weight. And when she stepped on the scale on March 1, 2015, She had lost almost one hundred pounds. After that, she continuously lost more.
In total, she lost 150 pounds. Anything over 15 pounds was unexpected. It was very hard for her. She used to make a lot of rational excuses to not lose weight. But in the end, she had to face that bitter truth. She cannot hide from it for very long.
Now many people will ask what she did to lose weight? What was the diet plan and did she join any program in order to lose weight?
Shonda Rhimes did not follow any specific diet or use any specific program. And She didn’t have any kind of weight loss surgery.
The first thing Shonda did was to start by seeing a licensed physician. She went to her doctor and said: “I don’t wanna be fat anymore. Help. Me.” Her doctor literally applauded her. She wanted to see progress in even the smallest ways. Whatever advice her doctor gives she follows.
Shonda drinks sixty-four ounces of water every day. This is a lot of water. But it made her skin look fantastic.
The most important rule for her was that “no food was off-limits”. She could eat anything she wanted, as long as she ate a reasonable portion. This was the hardest part for her.
Shonda promised herself that she will never do any kind of exercise that she doesn’t like. So she didn’t. In the beginning, she didn’t exercise at all. She was busy trying to convince herself to not eat everything she could get her hands on.
But when felt ready, she called Jeanette Jenkins. Now Shonda was ready and she did what she was told. Jennette got her doing pilates and she loved it. It’s an exercise you do lying down.
Before & After
As she started to lose weight, she stopped thinking of her body as a mere container for her brain. She became more aware of it. In every way, how it worked, how it felt, how it moved.
Shonda noticed how the muscles in her back tightened up in response to stress. She stretched more often.
In her book, Shonda said: “This is gonna sound weird but I became obsessed with my skin and making it perfectly smooth and soft. This meant a LOT of moisturizing of knees and feet and hands before bed. And I started to feel strong. Like, truly strong.
When I power posed now, I didn’t just feel confident like Wonder Woman. I felt like Wonder Woman. Fifty pounds in, I put my daughter Emerson on my back and galloped up and down the halls of our house with her hanging on to my shoulders and squealing. After I put her down for her nap, I sat down on the steps and burst into tears.
Four months ago, there was no way I would have been able to haul myself down the hall even once with a child on my back.”
When Shonda walked past a mirror, she caught a glimpse and thought, Who is that? The girl in the mirror is a size she hasn’t been since she was sixteen years old. And she looks younger.
The journey was hard for Shonda but she is completely happy with the results. And if you are struggling to lose weight and not doing any effort to overcome it then remember, it only took the right kind of yes to do that. Make the right kind of yes and start your journey for a better life.