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December 12, 1986 - Image 74

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-12-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ENTERTAINMENT

SECOND ANNUAL

CHANUKAH SPECIAL

FROM

Exercise Maven Richard Simmons
Wins The Fight On Fat: Waist Not!

fl

BF'S

MICHAEL ELKIN

I

n the battle of the bulge,
Richard Simmons has
proved quite the
heavyweight.

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Place Your Ad Today. Call 354-6060

movie listings

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Double Feature

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Show with

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He remembers the bad
rounds — when round also
described his body profile. "I
once weighed 268 pounds," he
says, tsk-tsking the memory
of those teen days away.
But he also remembers the
good rounds whe_i he licked
the ice cream and fudge habit
and shadow boxed his way to
a shadow of his former self.
Today, Richard Simmons,
star of television, videos and
gyms, is a svelte success. Re-
turn to those calorie-laden
days of yesteryear? Fat
chance.
Real men, he has dis-
covered, don't eat quiche —
and don't gorge on brownies
and biscuits.
Yes, he says, you are what
you eat — and what you be-
lieve in. "I didn't find out
that I was Jewish until my
19th birthday," he says. (His
father is Catholic; his
mother, star of one of his
commercials, is Jewish.) "And
I felt, boy, did I have a lot of
catching up to do."
After all, adds Simmons,
overeating is a Jewish tradi-
tion. "Jews," he says, "think
of food much more in terms of
celebration than nourish-
ment. Forty to 45 percent of
my clients are Jews with
weight problems."
The bottom line is that for
bottoms to tighten up, lay off
the hard sauce, chocolate
variety. "So many foods can
be adapted to a lighter menu,
but not Jewish food," says
Simmons. "Jewish food is the
highest in fat. You know, in
the Jewish religion, so much
is based on family get-
togethers. And it's funny, it
seems okay for a Jewish man
to be overweight, but not for
the woman."
Simmons has tried his har-
dest to wean women and men
off the knishes and derma.

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74

Friday, December 12, 1986 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

I

*04011174prvivim7„*...00r)

Richard Simmons:

"Waist

not!"

He founded an Anatomy
Asylum ("If you're a little
crazy in the head, you go to
an insane asylum; if you're a
lttl e crazy in the body, you go
to the Anatomy Asylum").
His battle cry of "Waist not!"
can be heard at his nation-
wide chain of 70 studios.
For those who don't hear
the cry, Simmons has only to
dangle a carrot in front of
them — lose weight, stay
trim, respect yourself more.
After all, obesity stems
from insecurity. "Low, low,
low self-esteem is the biggest
problem," he says. "It's not
just Jewish guilt I'm talking
about, but Catholic guilt,
Puerto Rican guilt."
He knows from guilt. Sim-
mons was busily eating his
way through life, a nosher's
dream, when he was awak-
ened to the nightmare of
what was really happening.
"I wasn't ready to lose my
weight until someone left a
note on my car. It said,
`You're funny, but you'll die
young.' " Can the cakes;
bring on the good good stuff.
But there is more to the
Richard Simmons show; his
concern doesn't center solely
on what he calls "Hadassah
thighs."
Simmons, who has served
as national spokesman for
spina bifida, a degenerative
spinal disorder, has turned
some of his attention to the
physically impaired — or, as
he says, physically chal-
lenged.
Proceeds from his book,
are
Fitness,
Reach for
targeted for the Reach Foun-
dation, Simmons' non-profit
association for the physically
challenged.
"There are 40 million phys-
ically challenged people in
this country," says Simmons.
"There is no person who
could not benefit from my
book. It will change people's
attitudes about the physically
challenged."
Simmons is far from hear-
tened by- the attention paid
the disabled. "There is no
more awareness than there

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