“I spent so much time picking it apart and trying to hide it and make it be shapes it never was going to be, that I missed a lot of things,” Rhimes, 47, tells TODAY.com.
Rhimes recognizes that body doubts are common, and she advises women to look within themselves for confidence instead of focusing on outward appearance.
“It’s a struggle for women,” she says. “Frankly, the idea that we need to be beautiful, if you really think about it, it’s odd. But if you can turn it inward and see yourself as beautiful, that’s what changes the world.”
Rhimes has spoken previously about her frustrations with people’s obsessions over physical looks. She wrote in her Shondaland newsletter that she hates the sudden attention she now gets after losing weight.
“Women I barely knew gushed. And I mean GUSHED. Like I was holding-a-new-baby-gushed,” Rhimes wrote. “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.”
RELATED VIDEO: Shonda Rhimes Opens up About the Moment That Sparked Her Dramatic Weight Loss
“Being thinner doesn’t make you a different person,” she added. “It just makes you thinner.”
And for Rhimes, her body changes aren’t about looking a certain way — she lost weight to be healthier.
“I still don’t think it is any fun and I still don’t enjoy working out. But for me it is more about being healthy and feeling really good about myself,” she told PEOPLE as part of her collaboration with Dove. “I like my job and I like my kids and I want to be around. It is not necessarily about looking cute in clothes cause I think I would wear pajamas all day if I could get away with it.”
- With additional reporting by KAITLYN FREY