How ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Creator Shonda Rhimes Was Treated After Her 100+ Pound Weight Loss: ‘Things Got Weird’

Shonda Rhimes is known for developing some of today’s most popular television shows including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away with Murder. Now in partnership with Netflix, Rhimes is creating a suite of programs that are sure to bring in high numbers of viewers.

The mom of three embarked on a weight-loss journey several years ago which resulted in shedding over 100 pounds. Rhimes previously shared that her interactions with people were quite different after slimming down.

Shonda Rhimes attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ creator Shonda Rhimes | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Shonda Rhimes ‘Year of Yes’

In her 2015 memoir Year of Yes, Rhimes chronicles her journey of saying ‘yes’ to things that she normally shied away from and how that one small word changed her life.

“I sat down and said, ‘I really need to start saying yes to the things that scare me. If I never say yes to anything, I need to start saying yes to things that I would always say no to automatically,’” Rhimes shared in 2015, according to Parade. “I promised myself that I would do it for just a year because I thought that I wasn’t going to survive. I really thought, ‘I’m going to die of shame and shock and fear.’”

With a focus on tackling issues with an affirmative answer, Rhimes soon realized that her health had to be a part of her new quest.

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“One of the yeses was, I can’t say yes to everything and not say yes to taking care of yourself and not say yes to health,” the Grey’s Anatomy creator revealed. “That came from having an epiphany. I work so hard at everything that I do. I work my butt off at work and I work hard at being a mother, why do I think losing weight would be easy?”

‘Scandal’ producer shares her thoughts in Shondaland newsletter

After losing almost 150.pounds, Rhimes discussed many aspects of the process in an article for her Shondaland newsletter subscribers. While the television producer was successful in achieving her goal, she did not enjoy the experience.

“I did not do it because I thought I would become beautiful like in the movies,” Rhimes explained of her slim down, according to Health.com. “I did it because I could not walk up a short flight up stairs without stopping to take a break and wiping sweat from my brow… There is nothing fun or interesting or great about it. I hated losing weight. I hated every single second of it.”

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Following her transformation, Rhimes soon noticed she was being perceived in a whole new light by others. “You know what was worse than losing weight? What was SO MUCH MORE HORRIFYING? How people treated me after I lost weight,” she wrote.”I mean, things got weird. Women I barely knew gushed. … Like I was holding-a-new-baby-gushed. Only there was no new baby. It was just me… And men? They spoke to me. THEY SPOKE TO ME. Like stood still and had long conversations with me about things.”

Shonda Rhimes’ says new reception was ‘disconcerting’

Rather than finding it pleasing, Rhimes was put off by the change in how she was being treated.

“It was disconcerting. But even more disconcerting was that all these people suddenly felt completely comfortable talking to me about my body,” she wrote. “Telling me I looked ‘pretty’ or that they were ‘proud of me.’… After I lost weight, I discovered that people found me valuable. Worthy of conversation. A person one could look at. A person one could compliment. A person one could admire.”

Rhimes was stunned by the about-face from others. “What the hell did they see me as before? How invisible was I to them then?” she pondered. “What value did they put on my presence at a party, a lunch, a discussion?”

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The television producer summed up her thoughts by making a somber discovery. “When I was fat, I wasn’t a PERSON to these people,” Rhimes wrote in her newsletter. “Like I had been an Invisible Woman who suddenly materialized in front of them. Poof! There I am. Thin and ready for a chat.”

In conclusion, Rhimes reminded her readers that weight is just a number on a scale rather than a window into someone’s true self. “Being thinner doesn’t make you a different person,” she shared. “It just makes you thinner.”