Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes with Oprah Winfrey (Harpo Studios, Inc./George Burns) Shonda Rhimes said â€œyesâ€ to lots of things for her new book The Year of Yes, including a visit with Oprah Winfrey for Super Soul Sunday.The creator of Greyâ€™s Anatomy and Scandal talked with Oprah about how confronting her fears and saying â€œyesâ€ to things that really scared her changed her life.It all started with a dare from Shondaâ€™s sister, who challenged her to say â€œyesâ€ for an entire year to any unexpected invitations that came her way, which is laid outÂ in Shondaâ€™s just-released memoir, The Year of Yes. Shonda shares with Oprah what a powerful impact saying yes had on nearly every aspect of her life, and says it is one of the most amazing decisions she ever made. One of the things Shonda said yes to was health. With three daughtersâ€”ages 2, 3 and 13â€”Â she made the decision she wanted to be around for them. The result was a 110-pound weight loss. [Since filming the interview, her weight loss has increased to 127 pounds.]But the desire to lose weight, which was never about cosmetics, was also spurred by an incident she reports in her book. On a first-class flight from Los Angeles to New York, Shonda was unable to fasten her seat belt, but was too embarrassed to ask the flight attendant for an extension.
Here are more of the highlights from the Oprah interview with Shonda on her weight loss:
Shonda: First of all, I lost 110 pounds. It was a complete byproduct of the whole thing. It wasnâ€™t the goal, it wasnâ€™t part of it. One of the yeses was, I canâ€™t say yes to everything and not say yes to taking care of yourself and not say yes to health. 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?
The moment that most impacted her life:
Shonda: Possibly 9/11, but in aÂ positive way. It is the thing that made me wake up and once again say, â€œIf the world is going to end tomorrow, there are things that I need to do,â€ and that is what drove me to adopt my first daughter.
Why Shonda decided to say yes to things that scared her:
Shonda:Â I sat down and said, â€œI 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.â€ I promised myself that I would do it for just a year because I thought that I wasnâ€™t going to survive. I really thought, â€œIâ€™m going to die of shame and shock and fear.â€
How Shonda transformed her relationship with her children:
Shonda:Â I said yes to my kids in a way I had never done before. My daughter says to me all the time, â€œWanna play? Wanna play?â€ There are so many times, I said, â€œI canâ€™t right now.â€ I decided every time she asked, I would say yes. So it doesnâ€™t matter if I am wearing an evening gown and heading out to the [Directors Guild]Â Awards, or I have my bags on my shoulder and I am heading out to work, I drop everything and get down on my hands and knees and play. You know, sheâ€™s 3. Itâ€™s 10 minutes, and she loves it, and itâ€™s changed my sense of being a mother and my sense of pride in being a mother, and itâ€™s changed our relationship, I think.