One last sweat. Richard Simmons shared a heartfelt good-bye message to his iconic Beverly Hills exercise studio, Slimmons, after it closed on Saturday, November 19.
"I have never been very good with beginnings and endings," the 68-year-old fitness guru wrote on Facebook. "This may come as a surprise to some of you but I am not the most patient person. I just can't wait for a movie to start, or a new restaurant or business to open, or for class to begin. Hurry up already! When I opened Slimmons in 1974, I simply couldn't wait to tell everyone that food could be healthy AND delicious or that exercise could be fun! I worked my little striped shorts off to spread the message that you must move your body every day, that portion size matters and that while others may not always be kind to you, you must be kind to yourself. I traveled the country, appeared in malls and convention halls, talk shows, news segments and made more guest appearances than I can name. I made countless friends along the way and I hope I changed a few lives for the better."
"Well, it's been over forty years now, and I am finally taking my own advice," Simmons continued. "I am being kind to myself, and putting myself first. I am making changes and taking time to do the things I want to do. Please know that I am in good health and I am happy. No one has ever been able to tell me what to do and the same is true today. I am still independent, determined and opinionated. I simply am making a new beginning for myself — quietly and in my very own special way."
The Sweatin' to the Oldies star, who now lives a reclusive life in his Hollywood Hills home, said he would not be attending Saturday's final class at Simmons because "he would just spend the whole time hugging and crying," but urged fans to continue exercising and living healthy lifestyles.
"You know, I've always said I am with you every step of the weigh," he wrote. "And you have been with me, at my side always, in happy times and sad. We laughed and cried together and have memories to last ten lifetimes. I want to thank everyone who has ever taken a class with me at Slimmons or anywhere else. I especially want to thank my angels at Slimmons, the incredible staff and teachers over the years, who always put themselves before others and helped me help you. I will be forever grateful for their loyalty and compassion."
"While I'm not there today to share this last class, I know you will take comfort in the friends you've made and the lessons you learned," Simmons concluded his note. "Truly, you don't need me to tell you what to do anymore. You know. It's within you. It's in your heart and it's been there all along. So get up and get moving! Be kind to one another, be kind to your body and be kind to yourself. I love you. Richard."
Simmons first announced the decision to close the studio after 42 years of business in a Facebook post on October 21. The studio launched his mega-successful weight-loss empire, which also included several workout videos and books.
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