Tag Archives: Slimmons

I Will Always Love Richard Simmons Because of Moments Like This One

I cannot believe that this happened for the first time five years ago!

I think of Richard so often, and right now I’m going through training that makes me think of him everyday.

He helped me change the way I see myself. He made it okay for me to love myself more, to desire more for my life and to feel confident dancing off the pounds.

I’ve gained weight since this video, but I’m in pretty healthy groove right now. Watching this video for the first time in ages reminds me that I can do very cool things.

If you’re reading this, Richard, I love you and miss you and pray for you.

Okay, Let’s Talk About Richard Simmons

It’s been quiet around here lately, but I don’t think I can stay quiet about Richard Simmons any longer. I had mixed feelings about discussing him here, so I just didn’t. Thinking of him makes my heart swell with sadness, but after the media reports that surfaced last week I think it’s time speak up.

Richard went into hiding, or something two years ago, and I miss the man I’ve adored most of my life. Even as a kid, before I thought of myself as overweight/plus-sized, I admired him because of his love for people. And many years later, when I wrote him an open letter on my blog, his response was prompt and overwhelming. I never thought that the larger-than-life fitness icon would care that I wrote him a letter, so I was blown away when I received the first of many emails only a few days later.

At the time I was at the top of my weight-loss game, but everything slowly began to crumble when the pesky airline made me feel like I was as worthless as they thought I was. Regardless, I got on a plane and flew to Los Angeles to take a class with him at Slimmons, and those workouts were among the coolest things I’ve ever experienced in my life. (It was so cool, in fact, that I thought it was a good idea to move to Beverly Hills just to be close enough to exercise with him regularly, so I did.)

Richard Simmons

Richard made me feel like anything was possible, but even more importantly, he made me feel like I was lovable just like I was. (I hadn’t discovered that yet.)

Richard Simmons and Kenlie at Slimmons

When he went into seclusion he stopped emailing people he communicated with regularly (myself included.) At first, I wondered if I had unknowingly offended him. I wondered if he had given up on me since I was struggling with my weight again, but several months later I learned that it wasn’t me at all.

There was a sign at his studio saying that he’d be back next month, which became the next month and the next month…I soon learned that he stopped responding to my friends like KeepItUpDavid, who were in constant contact with him as well, and months later no one had heard anything from him.

Richard SImmons and KeepItUpDavid and Kenlie

TMZ reached out to my at one point last year, but I refused to talk. The Today Show used footage from when I worked out at Slimmons for the first time to tell viewers that Richard had resurfaced, but that wasn’t true either.

Richard Simmons Kenlie Today Show

There’s been radio silence from Richard until last week when he called in for an interview with Today. It was such a relief to hear his voice that I shed tears for a moment at my desk. At the same time I was sad to hear his quiet, almost calculated words. He sounded sad, which made me sad.

I don’t know what he’s going through. (I have some theories, but I won’t be elaborating on them.) He has the right to live his life privately if that’s what he wants to do.  I just want him to be happy, and I hope he knows that no matter what, I love him, I’m praying for him, I miss him, and I hope I see his face again someday.

 

Not Really Sure What I’m Doing

Yesterday was a fun day for me. Cal came over late afternoon, and he accompanied me to the gym before heading back to my place to help me make dinner.  He grilled steak for fajitas and I chopped and sauteed vegetables.  And we even made salsa with my KitchenAid blender.  Have I ever mentioned that I love fresh cilantro?  It’s true.  Our dinner was amazing, and I was so ready to eat it that I forgot to take a picture…Can you believe that? 😉

After dinner we watched the Presidential debate on Bloomberg (which is so much fun when I can watch with someone who understands what’s going on in my head!) But I have to admit that I was pretty self-conscious before that  (when we arrived at the gym.)   He’s never really seen me sweat (apart from a slight glisten when we took a walk near the Mississippi River) until yesterday, but it’s a big part of who I am so I didn’t hold back.  I tore up the elliptical for a few minutes before working my upper body, and I felt great at the end.

My workouts have been pretty solid since I joined Anytime Fitness.  And while I know I’ll experience a gain on the scale this week (after how I ate last week when Uncle W was in the hospital,)  I’m still pleased with the direction I’m moving in now.  And I know that the scale will start reflecting my efforts soon.  I’ve been killing it at the gym this week, but I worry that I may not be making the most of my time at the gym. I did managed to climb the height of the Empire State Building 2.89 times before hitting the weights.  (Thanks for calculating it Ron and for pointing it out, Anne!)

On the elliptical....

I’m trying to get comfortable with the weight machines at my new gym, and while I have pretty good form, I am trying to utilize machines that I haven’t used up this point.  And now that I’m comfortable with how, I really need to know how much.  I’d like to hire a trainer soon, but I’m not sure where to start with that so I’ve been taking notes and using google to figure out what I should be doing.  I’ve also been keeping a journal of my workouts.  (Yes, I carry a little notebook to the gym so I can remember what I did.)  I write in it after every set.  But there’s no rhyme or reason to my weight training, and I need to change that.  I’ve been feeling sore over the last few days, but not overly sore so I wonder if I’m doing too much or not enough.  I really don’t know.  If you click on the picture below, you’ll see that I’m putting in effort.  But you’ll also see that I’m making it up as I go along.

There's a bicycle on the front of my book, and it says "Life's a Journey." Just saying...

 

Richard Simmons, while famous for his cardio workouts, teaches the importance of weight training in his classes.  Did you know that he makes toning videos too?   He ends every class with weight training and floor exercises,  And though I’m not at Slimmons every week anymore, I strive to do the kind of workouts that would make Richard proud.  And it’s important to me to make the most out of the time I spend at the gym so it’s my goal to make a better plan.

Uh, for the record, I'm not usually looking up and smiling while I do leg curls.

I’m doing my best right now, but if anyone has advice to offer, I’m willing to listen.  Until then, I’ll just keep doing what I think is right and hoping that I can start seeing the reflection of my efforts on the scale and in the mirror.  Is weight training part of your routine?  Are you nervous to try it because you’re not sure where to start?  Do you have any advice to offer yours truly? 🙂

Slimmons Friends

I talk about Slimmons a lot because I’ve had so many incredible experiences there!   I have had some amazing workouts, and I’ve also met some incredible people.  And one of those people is Paul.  Aside from the fact that he’s seriously handsome, he also has an incredible story to share.  And last night he shared it with me so I’m sharing it with you.

Paul was one of the first people I noticed at Slimmons when I was there in May because he seriously knows his stuff!  He makes the entire workout look effortless which is awesome for me because I typically stand right behind him.

He began his journey that started at Slimmons in January.  He had reached a point in which he knew he wanted to change his body and habits so he went to Slimmons after a friend suggested it.  And he had so much fun that he just kept going back.  He also changed his food habits replacing snacks (often times quality chocolate) with homemade fruit salads and adding turkey to his personal menu. And he lost 25 pounds.

It’s obvious when you’re talking to Paul or watching him workout that he feels fantastic.  He’s a great example of someone who has changed his habits and his life.  And while I have a long way to go, it’s much more fun to exercise with others who have embraced healthy living.

Do you find motivation in people you meet at the gym?  Are you driven or in any way affected by what the people around you are doing when you’re working out?

 

Slimmons and More…

Yesterday was lovely from start to finish!  I started the day with a workout – Richard Simmons’ Party Off the Pounds.  Then I met up with Gail from Shrinking Sisters and her lovely family.  They came to Beverly Hills to look around and enjoy lunch with me before heading to Slimmons.

I ate a chicken panini with fruit salad, and Gail and I took pictures of our food, of course.  She even took a picture of me taking a picture of our food.  Being friends with Gail is easy because I never have to explain that I want to take a picture for my blog. 😉

And after an afternoon of walking around, my aunts and I made our way to Slimmons along with Gail where we saw Heidi, Patty, Michelle and other awesome people like Richard Simmons. =0) He’s just as fabulous as he was last time I was with him, and I can’t wait to see him again this weekend.

I started my day with a workout, walked a few extra miles and finished with an awesome workout with Richard.  And on the way home, I loaded up on lean meats, produce and healthy snacks.   I exercised like a champ, and now it’s time to refocus on making healthy food choices (again.)

How are you workouts this week?  What’s for dinner?

What’s Happening Today

I’ve been doing some pretty interesting things since I arrived in L.A. like eating Pad Thai from the Thai Food truck (thank you my Curvy Nerd friend.)  I’ve also done some jogging in Beverly Hills (yes, it’s as beautiful as it seems on TV.)  But there’s more fun stuff happening today..

The Pad Thai is seriously delicious...

I’m also working out with Richard Simmons again for the first time in a few months, and I’m going to see some friends that I haven’t seen yet since I arrived.

I’ve also decided to send in an audition video/application for a certain weight-loss show that I mentioned on my blog last week.  After reading such positive responses from so many of you, I’ve decided that maybe some really good things could come from it.  I mean, I say it all the time, but I have a long way to go…Why not try?

I’m also excited about meeting up with Gail from Shrinking Sisters who is visting Beverly Hills this afternoon.  She was the first person I met at Fitbloggin’, and I adored her from the moment I met her! She’ll be joining me at Slimmons tonight so look for pictures later!

There’s a lot happening in my world right now, and it’s all good stuff.  Meanwhile, I’m off to enjoy those things so I’ll be back later.  How’s everyone else doing today?

An Open Letter to Richard Simmons: Thank You

Dear Richard,

You don’t know me, but I want to thank you for helping me change my life – particularly my views on exercise.  I’ve lost over 120 pounds which puts me right in the middle of my weight-loss journey.

I’ve lost over 100 inches around my body so far…

When I weighed almost 400 pounds, I was nervous to go to the gym, but I went.  And after only a few minutes, I was approached by a mean-spirited girl who said that if she looked like me she would give up.  I held my head high even though I felt like crawling under a rock.  I finished a quick workout and knew that I’d have to try something different.  I tried several things then I bought “Party Off the Pounds” – my first and favorite of your workout DVD’s!

Demonstrating Angels, one of my favorite workout moves from 
“Party Off the Pounds” at a party with friends.  Yes, I did that..=)

Since then, I have also added the Sweatin’ to the Oldies collection to my fat-fighting arsenal, and through your videos I have literally been transformed!  I still have over 100 pounds to lose, but I have gained the confidence to walk into a gym and complete sweat-pouring workouts on the elliptical.  And I’m no longer embarrassed by my slow running pace!  Instead, I’m proud of the fact that I can complete daily 5k’s and swim over a mile without stopping.

And Richard, I have you to thank for this because it all started with you and your workouts – jumping jacks that I could do without hurting myself and dances that were fun, not painful.  I still “Party Off the Pounds” regularly, and last year, I made it my goal to fly to L.A. to workout with you in person.  I’m happy to say that I think that time is coming soon…

You see, Richard, the last couple of weeks have been some of the hardest since beginning my weight-loss journey.  I’ve been trying desperately to remind myself that I am not a failure and that I have come too far to allow mean-spirited people to sway me.  I was humiliated in front of more than 100 people at an airport during a layover for my flight from Denver to New Orleans with my mother (you met her when I was a little girl at the New Orleans airport!)

Anyway, during our layover, we were singled out by airline attendants who were disrespectful and incredibly mean due to our size,  telling us that we were too fat to fly home without paying for an additional seat. At 400 pounds, I purchased two seats, but after losing so much I’ve earned the right to purchase only one. I’ve lost enough that I do, in fact, fit in the seat Richard.  =)  But their cruelty took its toll on me last week.

It was as if my worst nightmare had come to life, and I have been working hard to get through it since it happened on Easter Sunday.  After reading about my experience here on my blog, someone from Southwest called me in an attempt to make it right even though they can’t undo the damage.

In short, Richard, I have a ticket that will allow me to fly wherever I want to fly so I’ve decided to turn one of my most horrific life experiences into something amazingI’m going to see you Richard!!!!! I called Slimmons today to see if it would be possible to pop in for a class, and it seems it will be possible! And that’s incredible!

I firmly believe that if I ever have the opportunity to meet you, that you’ll treat me with utter respect and see me as more than just an overweight girl.  You see the beauty in everyone Richard, and even if I’m never lucky enough to workout with you at Slimmons, I’m still thankful for you everyday.  Your videos have changed my life, and I will be forever grateful to you.

The denim jacket in the older pic was 12 sizes bigger than the one in the 
new pic.  The new pic buttons, but the old one did not!

I’ve come so far, and I have a long way to go.  But I want you to know that you have been an integral part of my journey, and you will continue to be a part of it.  I realize that you have changed the lives of so many!  Please just know that I’m so thankful that you’ve changed mine too

Sincerely,
Kenz