Does Richard Simmons know the secret to staying forever young and energetic? At 65, this dynamic diet and fitness guru visited Dr. Mehmet Oz's talk show on October 11 to dish on how he was overweight and bullied as a child. His message: You can achieve your health goals regardless of your past.
You can sum up Richard's philosophy about himself by viewing his Twitter handle: @TheWeightSaint But this "saint" is very solid when it comes to the foundations of his diet and fitness guidelines for his loyal fans. And as Dr. Oz notes, now a new generation of would-be weight loss winners is discovering Richard through his YouTube videos and his famous groove-move fitness DVDs, such as "The Complete Collection of Sweatin' to the Oldies."
However, Richard emphasizes he didn't always have his positive attitude about fitness and diet. Overweight growing up, he was bullied. Despite his difficult childhood, he vowed to overcome his personal challenges and shed weight, then help others. For that reason, many overweight people connect with him because he's honest about what he's gone through and the fact that he doesn't have a designer-perfect body.
Richard's persona of big hair, tiny shorts and oversized personality are so universally recognized, in fact, that SparkPeople lists him as the number one fitness celebrity to mock for Halloween, advising: "All you need to dress as fitness icon Richard Simmons is a curly wig, some super short shorts and a sparkly tank top. You'll also need a big cup of coffee to match his high energy and enthusiasm for a good workout!"
And in an era where the latest dance fad is twerking, Richard stubbornly and successfully sticks to his cardio classics, such as "Richard Simmons - Disco Sweat." What he makes clear whether he's talking with Dr. Oz or a fan: He's proud of where he came from and what he's contributed to helping overweight people feel better about their bodies and lives.