Richard Simmons

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Richard SimmonsAs a child, I watched Richard Simmons’ show every day all summer long. My grandma wanted us to watch the show so that we could lose some weight, but she ended up hating him. She didn’t like the way he would scream and encourage his audience to scream. She said he gave her a headache, but we should watch him so we could lose weight.

The idea of watching a show so that you can lose weight seems laughable to me now. We weren’t expected to exercise with him. We weren’t expected to cook the recipes that he recommended. We were just supposed to sit in front of the television and watch the show. Somehow the weight would magically come off.

Even though he was a tool used by my grandmother to tell me, yet again, that I was fat, I loved Richard Simmons. Even to this day, I love him. I’ve never bought one of his products. I have never sweated to the oldies, dealt any meals or moved any food. I just watched his show every day for four of my formative years. I moved along with his five minutes of exercise and I listened to him like he knew everything about being thin.

He wasn’t like that lady who did exercises on PBS. He used to be a fat kid just like me. He used to be fat and then he turned his life around. He got thin and he has been thin for the rest of his life. Not only that, he loved me. He loved me just like Mr. Rogers loved me. He told me that I was worth it every day. My grandma might not have been able to say, “I think you’re worth it,” but Richard Simmons did every day all summer long.

That’s why I get so angry when people make fun of Richard Simmons. I don’t care if he’s gay or straight. His sexual orientation has nothing to do with the weight loss process. You think he’s annoying and loud? Guess what, he’s also loving and caring. He seems to genuinely care about the people who he has helped through the weight loss process. He understands that it’s not just about the food. It’s about the reasons we eat the food. Richard Simmons is not a joke. He’s a brilliant man who has helped thousands of people. Including me.


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