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Still Hungry After All These Years: My Story Hardcover – September 1, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 303 pages
  • Publisher: Gt Pub Corp; 1st edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577193563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577193562
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Who is the real Richard Simmons? The energetic wizard who gets overweight people eating right and exercising? The comic who prances around in shorts and a tank top on late-night television? The compassionate listener who sheds tears at sad stories? They're all real, but there's much more. In this book, you learn how Simmons went from being an overweight child whose obsession for food controlled his life to becoming the exercise-and-diet guru of today. It's an engrossing tale, filled with poignant anecdotes, fascinating tidbits (he played a meatball in a commercial when he was an art student in Italy), and even horror stories (licking the nozzle of an empty asthma inhaler, trying to get just one more drop so he could breathe, because his father restricted his inhaler refills). The style is pure Richard: food-obsessed and often very funny ("I even changed my own diapers because I didn't like the way my parents did it").

Much of the book is about--what else?--food. Even as a baby,

I could recognize a package of bacon at twenty feet. The strips of bacon looked so weak, so flimsy, so sad, until they hit the frying pan. Then they began swimming and dancing, lacing up at the sides and turning golden brown.
At adolescence, his tastes matured. "Puberty was graduating from Thousand Island salad dressing to Caesar salads... from hot dogs and hamburgers to beef stroganoff... from ice cream in a cone to crème brulée." Simmons describes the torments of being obese (268 pounds as a college student), the humiliation of the diet doctors, and his "angels"--the special people who turned his life around. He has a definite knack for drawing the reader in; you'll feel like a dear friend has just confided his life story to you. --Joan Price

From Publishers Weekly

One of Simmons's great strengths as a fitness guru and infomercial demigod is his palpable empathy for others. But the man who feels others' frustration, anger and sadness does very little soul-searching here, beyond noting that "food equals love." Simmons radiates warmth and compassion in the book's later chapters, which cover his work rescuing morbidly obese fans (the focus of his 1993 book, Never Give Up) and establishing exercise programs for the physically challenged, but that depth of feeling is seldom evident when he tells his own story. Simmons presents himself as a chubby child who was constantly picked on but who was able to deflect all hurts with humor and by obsessing over food. Youthful anecdotes about inviting strangers home to dinner and putting the family home up for sale will make most readers feel for his beleaguered parents rather than for the irresistible scamp Simmons portrays himself to have been. Growing older, Simmons tackled his weight problem with starvation, vomiting, laxatives, shakes, Weight Watchers and diet pills, landing in the hospital after losing 112 pounds in two and a half months. He finally found the key to be exercise and smaller portions. Opening a salad bar/exercise studio in Beverly Hills brought him an acting stint on General Hospital. From there he built his fitness empire by writing self-help books, producing Sweatin' to the Oldies videos, creating the Deal A Meal food maintenance program and cannily marketing his image to the public. Simmons breezes past the $64,000 question, stating only that he is too busy working to have a private lifeAbeyond his dogs. This autobiography is as bland as cottage cheese, but steadfast fans will no doubt eat it up. Photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I read it - loved it - then had some questions. Yes, he is an angel - and what a great son....I am on his program and the book really was an extra delight.
The portion of the book about the Barbis almost had me falling off my bed laughing....and the portion about his dogs dying had me in tears.
However, there was nothing about his PERSONAL and PRIVATE life - I thought this is what makes an autobiography...
I love Richard....and I love his program....but I think that this book only peeled back his top layer...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
The only reason this doesn't get 5 stars is that after Richard's college years the book doesn't describe any more of those sidesplittingly funny incidents to match the ones in the earlier part of the book. That was my only dissappointment. What an accomplished writer Richard is! That was a bonus (or should I say "treat"?) to have such vividly detailed, descriptive accounts. Being so squeeky-clean in content and absolutely hilarious -every few seconds my kids would hear me snicker. They've since outgrown being read a bedtime story, but they BEGGED me to read the book to them each night. It's a hit! When's the movie coming out?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lisa C on January 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The title of this autobiography, "Still Hungry After All These Years," is intriguing and poignant. As an overweight reader, I could identify with the title -- after all, overweight is not just about how we eat and exercise (or not), but it can be tied to our deepest and profoundest emotions and insecurities. It was my hope that Richard Simmons would share some insight into these aspects of himself.
While the book was written in Richard's warm and entertaining style, he did not answer the fundamental question raised in his title. Why is he still hungry after all these years? Hungry how? For what? Surely for something more than gourmet cuisine!
I can easily recommend this book because it is a good read. I fell off my chair laughing with his description of his childhood Barbie doll head collection. The fact that he is an amazing human being shines through clearly. But I cannot help but think that Richard's hectic schedule is just another way (besides food) of coping with some of his deeper hungers.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By leighann on May 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was a really fascinating book. I've read it a few times. Richard Simmons had such an interesting life. His parents had been vaudeville performers before settling down to raise a family. He writes about how much of the family's life revolved around food and how he came to equate food with love. His mother would hold him on his lap and say, "I love you" and give him a bite of food. So when she put him a diet, he must have felt totally unloved. Especially when he was having liver and the rest of the family was having New Orleans feast. Actually, food was a major part of his life before he was even born. His mother went into labor at a Chinese restaurant!

Simmons majored in art in college and went on a study abroad program to Italy -- a choice based solely on the fact that he liked Italian food better than English or French (England and France being the other two options). The book also talks about his early career as a weight-loss guru, his Slimmons lunch/exercise venture in LA and the work he did with what he calls the "hidden obese," those who were too large even to leave their homes. This book isn't deep or scholarly, but it's a very entertaining read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Linda on October 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This was an absolutely wonderful book. Richard is a very compassionate person and shows you in this book. You laugh with him and cry with him, there sould be more people on this earth like Richard. Such a loving Son. I think this book will help many people over come there eating problems. I can't say enough about this, it is must read book. The whole Family could go see it if they made a movie.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
What a wonderful, kind man! Richard Simmon's autobiography is just what the doctor ordered! I'm tired of being yelled at, made to feel ashamed.....Richard just tells it like it is, and his life story gives real insight into why he is the man he is today! A true champion of the overweight and obese! God Bless Richard Simmons........and here's a prayer for 50 more years~
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By margaret krass on May 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
i am almost done reading this book & was looking for inspiration in my eternal battle to lose weight! i just love this book & feel an enormous amount of respect and admiration for this man! he truly wears his heart on his sleeve and cares about us...thanks richard...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave on November 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
this is a well written book that has it high and lows as it takes you from his childhood up to current day. Richard Simmons has talent writing and was able to keep my interested except for a certain parts. For this book the only real problem i see was him going off subject. He was telling about his life but every other chapter was about his brother or his dad getting into trouble where he wasent ever involved. He really makes you care about what happened in his life which was a good aspect of the book. That was one of the main reasons i contiuned reading. I would of gave this book more stars if he didnt go off subject so much. So in conclusion if you have some free time on your hands and want to read a well written book about richard simmons this is the book for you.
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