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A Loving Goodbye to Slimmons

Endings and Beginnings

I have never been very good with beginnings and endings. 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. 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.

I will not see you today because I am not very good at endings. I would just spend the whole time hugging and crying. My eyes would get puffy and red, my hair would get all frizzy and I’d be a mess. I cannot bear to be sad today. And you shouldn’t be sad either. This should be a celebration of our forty-plus years together dancin’ and sweatin’. So let’s turn this ending into a new beginning. Start your own chapter today. Do something new you’ve always wanted to do. Make a new friend. Exercise. Eat a healthy meal. Drink water. Track your food. Spend time with your family or the ones you love and those who love you back. But most importantly be good to yourself. 

You know, I’ve always said I am with you every step of the weigh. 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. 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.