While NBC's hit reality weight-loss series, "The Biggest Loser," has hosted many celebrity guests over its 13 seasons, there's a huge reason why Richard Simmons has never been one of them: He can't stand the show's premise.
"I'm not into any show that makes people compete when they lose weight," Simmons told Men's Health. "I think the show has some merit and they do some good. But voting off people every week because they didn't lose enough weight, or giving somebody a car or money because they did lose weight? That's terrible."
Simmons, 63, claims that in the course of his fitness career he's helped humanity lose more than 12,000,000 pounds. During those 44 years, he says the biggest thing he's learned is that incentive through material goods just does not work.
"My father offered me a dollar for every pound I would lose as a kid," he says. "It didn't work. And it doesn't really work in the long run. Who are you competing against? It's you. You need to be doing this for you and only you. Not to win a car, not to stay at a fancy resort, not to get a treadmill or an elliptical for your home. The real pride, the real present, is your health and your longevity. My whole career I have never done anything where competition was involved with weight loss."
Simmons, who recently won the prestigious Jack LaLanne Lifetime Achievement Award, told Philly.com the secret to living well is to love yourself.
"For 40 years, my formula has been to love yourself, move your body, and to watch portion size. But the No. 1 thing is to love and value yourself, no matter what you’ve been through. People spend thousands in therapy digging and digging in the past. When you dig and dig, you find relics. Try to forgive yourself and get back on that ride. Ride, Sally, ride! (He begins to sing.) On this magic carpet ride!"