I came across a photo of me and Richard Simmons that I haven’t seen (or shared) in years.
This was taken after one of his classes at Slimmons, and Richard was obviously in a punk rock mood. Richard would often create themed music playlists for his classes, and then dress up accordingly. It resulted in fun (and sometimes outrageous) costumes!
I’ve been thinking a lot about Richard the past couple weeks, as I always do this time of year, because we’re in the midst of a couple significant anniversaries. I first met Richard in January 2010, and January 23rd of that year is the first day I started keeping a food log for Richard. That means that a couple weeks ago I celebrated my 8-year anniversary of this weight loss and health odyssey. It’s an awesome feeling to still be going strong after all this time!
And February is the month that Richard abruptly stepped out of the public eye. I last saw Richard on February 4th, 2014, and he stopped teaching shortly after that. I received an email from Richard about two weeks later, and that was the last time I’ve heard anything from him.
I had four years where Richard Simmons was a great friend and an active and consistent presence in my life. He got me started on a path towards health and fitness. Since yesterday was the Super Bowl, a sports metaphor seems fitting: he gave me the ball, and I ran with it. I’m still running. (Literally. Up lots and lots of stairs.)
It’s also been four years that I’ve continued on, without Richard being a part of my life. It’s strange for me to think that now, with every passing day, the amount of time I’ve done this on my own grows larger than the amount of time I had with him.
I don’t quote know what to make of this, or if there’s anything to make out of it in the first place. My story has always been my own: Richard was a great mentor, friend, and cheerleader, but I did the work, and I’m still working hard.
I suppose the lesson is this: When you decide to take control of your health, do it for you. Don’t do it for someone else, or because you’re being pushed or pressured. Use outside resources and draw upon those who motivate and inspire you, but do it for you. You will always be there, and you can always forgive yourself if you slip up, or get back on the path if you lose your way.
I had a marvelous friendship with Richard, one that I will always remember and value. And Richard taught me to love myself, and that is the single greatest resource that I draw on as I continue on my path.
Speaking of my path… it’s time for my monthly weight-in and workout progress report!
I stayed even in January, and maintenance is always a win!
My weight of 251 pounds means I’ve lost and kept off 151 pounds. For eight years now! Check out my entire chart:
January was a great month of workouts. I worked out on 27 out of 31 days, and every Friday during the month was a rest day:
Five of those workouts were weightlifting. I didn’t take any group fitness classes in January, but I took one on February 1st, and I’ll be taking a few more in February (more on that in an upcoming post).
Lastly, my cardio miles. I log all the distances I cover doing any form of cardio and keep a running tally. In January, I logged…
80 miles. Exactly. And no, I did not plan that! My cumulative total is 3,787.1 miles. 4,000 miles is on the horizon – mostly definitely achievable in 2018!
Keep it up, David!