Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story

Richard Simmons
Who is the real Richard Simmons? The energetic wizard who gets overweight people eating right and exercising? The comic who prances around in shorts and a tank top on late-night television? The compassionate listener who sheds tears at sad stories? They're all real, but there's much more. In this book, you learn how Simmons went from being an overweight child whose obsession for food controlled his life to becoming the exercise-and-diet guru of today. It's an engrossing tale, filled with poignant anecdotes, fascinating tidbits (he played a meatball in a commercial when he was an art student in Italy), and even horror stories (licking the nozzle of an empty asthma inhaler, trying to get just one more drop so he could breathe, because his father restricted his inhaler refills). The style is pure Richard: food-obsessed and often very funny ("I even changed my own diapers because I didn't like the way my parents did it"). Much of the book is about--what else?--food. Even as a baby, I could recognize a package of bacon at twenty feet. The strips of bacon looked so weak, so flimsy, so sad, until they hit the frying pan. Then they began swimming and dancing, lacing up at the sides and turning golden brown. At adolescence, his tastes matured. "Puberty was graduating from Thousand Island salad dressing to Caesar salads... from hot dogs and hamburgers to beef stroganoff... from ice cream in a cone to crème brulée." Simmons describes the torments of being obese (268 pounds as a college student), the humiliation of the diet doctors, and his "angels"--the special people who turned his life around. He has a definite knack for drawing the reader in; you'll feel like a dear friend has just confided his life story to you. --Joan Price

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