Lightbulb from Richard Simmons

This week has been insanity for me, and I’m so ready for the weekend! I read this article earlier in the week and bookmarked it to share here because I read it with tears going down my face (and not wearing waterproof mascara- mistake). It is from Richard Simmons. I don’t care if you think he’s awesome or he’s whack-a-doo, in order to get the rest of this post, you’ll need to read it. So, clicky clicky. I’ll wait.

You know what is freaking awesome to realize?

I’m not going to die.

At least not anytime soon (God forbid), and at least not by complications from my size. I won’t be a Rose, Tommy, or Sarah as Richard spoke about.

Richard said he woke up from his dream with these thoughts in context to those who had passed:

“…what else could I have done? What more could I have said? Did I fail them?”

What if you tweaked this a little bit and said this aloud, after it’s too late:

“…what else could I have done? What more could I have said? Did I fail ME?”

Could I have tried harder, been smarter, or take little actions to help? Could I have simply said to someone: “help me?” Did I fail myself?

Listen – I know many of you all have never experienced the weight, mobility issues, or emotional issues I have. Even so, I think everyone can relate. We can all try our best and correct course as we need to. We can always ask for help, no matter what we’re struggling with. We can always say YES to ourselves. Many of us are so focused on doing everything else but helping ourselves that we end up bearing the impact of choosing them over us.

This week I’m readjusting course once again. I’m not saying “yes” to everything and I’m clearing my calendar. Family and friend dramas will have to just figure themselves out. I am not saying yes to any more volunteer opportunities this year. I’m not volunteering myself for extra work. At some point, we must replenish ourselves of what we’ve given away to others.

When I started this journey 113 pounds ago, I chose to focus on me. Stalls, injuries, emotional setbacks: they’re all minor. Every day my life gets a tiny bit healthier, and with each step, I am choosing to live. Thank you Richard for the reminder.

Edited to add this photo from Halloween, 2006. I went as “Mrs. Federline” – darn Britney for going all “normal” again! This is the closest I’ve been to Richard Simmons, with friend Blake.

  • Anonymous

    That’s Awesome! (in many senses of the word)
    Trying to lose weight we get freaked out about “am I doing enough?” “Will I still have a heart attack?” It’s enough to drive anyone into a coronary whether they’re skinny or not. The choices are right in front of us and if we decide not to take them, that’s our fault. No one elses. Wonderful post :)

  • Audmeighan

    This is awesome. I love it and thank you for sharing.

  • Jules

    Thanks for sharing that article.  Great read.  I remember YEARS ago being on richards deal a meal and yes..I still dance to the oldies *now own them on CD*  I, too, don’t want to sit at that table for those reasons and actually that revelation has been settling into my consciousness over the last couple of weeks. 

  • Lara @TresLaLa

    Thanks for sharing.  I tend to get caught up in, “Oh, I’m doing so much to lose this”, but then the weight’s still there.  And in reality, I’ve had a cupcake.  Or a glass of wine.  Or skipped a workout because I didn’t feel like it.  I know that 1-off instances aren’t awful.  But daily?  Those add up – and I’m not doing myself any favors.

  • My Wee Life

    Thank you for sharing that link – that’s a hit chord with me this morning and I just wanted to say that on looking at those two photos of you – what an amazing difference :)

  • Sarah @ Run Sqrl, Run

    Thanks for sharing this link. It’s a great read and rather timely for me as I’ve been struggling with maintenance a bit.

  • Rebecca Bond

    You look so beautiful in that picture, before and after x

  • Dreamiedeemie

    Thank u for the post. It has been a crazy week and this helped me put some things in perspective.



  • erinsgobragh

    Way to go girl that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing the story!

  • Heidi @ Finishing the Hat

    If ever you’re in Los Angeles, you should come with me to work out with him!  He’s a total delight – plus he’s even more kind, supportive, funny, bawdy and personal than you’d imagine.  (I couldn’t believe it the first time we met.)  My husband and I have lost a combined total of 123 pounds working out with him at his gym this year.

  • Katdoesdiets

    Wow. I’m usually a lazy link clicker, lol. But I clicked and read. Oh. My. 
    You are so right. Definitely has me thinking!

  • Stephanie

    I love it.  What a great way to think about it.  We should all choose to LIVE!

  • Jenn

    Thanks for this post!  The part that you quoted in the article really stood out to me too — I would hate to die an early death from weight problems and be laying there wondering what I could have done, what small steps I could have taken, to live another 20 or 30 years.  Thanks again, it really hit home this morning :)

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  • Sacha

    Thanks for this post, Emily. And how true are your and Richard’s words. Often we need help but don’t ask, or someone offers but, for whatever reason, we don’t accept it. For me personally, the hardest times for me are when I become “small minded” and just look at the moment, a small glimpse of where I am, instead of the broader picture or at the obstacles I’ve overcome, the progress I’ve made, the weight I’ve lost, etc. He is right. It is better to focus on the positive aspects. These are what carry us through to the next victory instead of sliding backward into old habits and “failure.” Thanks for giving me something to think about.

  • Alyssa Curran

    Hi Emmie! I had the pleasure of working out with Richard Simmons a month ago… it was truly amazing! I loved his article. Such a great point… What can we do TODAY to make life better? 

  • KCLAnderson (Karen)

    What an AWESOME realization and lesson…thanks for sharing it!

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  • Elise

    I’m with Heidi — come to L.A., come to Slimmons!  Love him and love you — it’s a match made in heaven!

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