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Why Richard Simmons is a Cool Guy – No, Seriously

So I have some weight to lose. (What, you’re perfect? Stop judging.) I figure gnawing on twigs and branches instead of eating dinner will only get me so far, and heading to the gym just isn’t an option. No big deal, right? I’ll just work out at home.

Only, I have lupus and fibromyalgia and the whole low impact/high impact thing makes a difference. A big difference. A ginormous difference, as it turns out. I came to this realization rather abruptly on day two of Denise Austin’s three week body boot camp. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Denise is a perfectly pleasant (if overly peppy) person, and I’m undoubtedly speaking from a place of pure, unadulterated jealousy. But somewhere between minutes 18 and 19 of this 20 minute video I found myself reaching for the remote in an effort to SHUT HER UP.  Why wasn’t she the least bit out of breath? Why weren’t her knees crumbling and weeping blood as mine surely were judging by the throbbing, searing, aching pain emanating from them? Why on Earth was she so damn PERKY as she did one armed push-ups with a small legion of brick toting monkeys perched on her impossibly firm butt cheeks?

At any rate, I finished the video, and paid dearly for it with a fibro flare of epic proportions in the days that followed. Time for a new plan. A plan that included the words “low impact.” A plan that wouldn’t kill me in my quest for biggest loser-dom.

Wrapped in my heating pad, I crawled face first towards my laptop and pecked my way over to Amazon. And was more than a little surprised to find that the low impact workout DVD selection is pretty scarce. There’s a handful of yoga and stretching vids, which seem like they’d be nice for warming up or cooling down your muscles but don’t exactly look like they’re going to burn up much in the way of fat and calories. Lord help me, Denise Austin has some 12 minute workouts called the Daily Dozen that I ordered. I was afraid that I was stuck with this crazy b— err, lovely aerobics instructor as my only option in the battle of the bulge. Then I saw it.

Turns out some of the best selling – and highest rated – exercise videos on Amazon are actually by none other than that whacky, cheesy, king of fatties himself: Richard Simmons. I read the reviews. I laughed. I scoffed. I mocked him with my boyfriend. And then I ordered one anyway. (Disco Sweat).

The day it arrived, I put the DVD in and rolled my eyes. The video begins with a parody of Saturday Night Live that includes the Simmons selecting his tank top to wear for the evening before heading to the disco for the night. But then the workout begins and you’re off. Ok, yes, it’s cheese with a capital C. Moves like ‘Travolta Arms’ and ‘The Hustle’ had me making sure that my door was locked and the shades were tightly drawn.

But here’s the thing. It’s a helluva workout. No joke, it kicks butt. A solid hour of sweating and working. And because it’s broken into songs, I can squish it into my work day (I work from home) and squeeze in 2-3 20 minute workouts a day. The impact on my joints is waaayyyy easier. Obviously, exercise makes you sore (hey, that’s how you know it’s working, right?) but I don’t feel like I’ll never be able to walk again. Most importantly, I’ve lost about 9 pounds so far.

And Richard? Eh, the little guy grows on you after a while.


5 responses to “Why Richard Simmons is a Cool Guy – No, Seriously

  1. Lindsey James ⋅

    too funny and important happy you found something that helps
    i had to stop and read because of the headline

  2. Ana Turck

    I was giggling as I was reading your post because Denise Austing made me feel the same way. Excellent post!

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