Finding Richard Simmons…

I did something I haven’t done in a while.

I listened to an entire podcast in one weekend.

Six episodes. Six hours. One highly entertaining and productive weekend.

The show?

Missing Richard Simmons.

Yes, you read that right: Richard Simmons. As in, the eccentric, bedazzled tank-wearing exercise guru that made a killing through home dance workout videos in the 90s.

Now, I have a confession.

Long before my anorexia in high school, (and long before my unhealthy obsession with exercise that followed shortly after) I sort of had this…love…of Richard Simmons.

I’m not talking romantic.

I’m talking, I just loved his vibe.

I don’t know how it happened, but I somehow ended up with three Richard Simmons “Groovin’ Oldies” exercise videos with hallmark Richie sporting a jerry curl and purple sequined hot pants.

I’m gonna be honest, I think I felt a kindred spirit with Richard. His effervescence matched my goofy side. And I loved it.

I could still bust out the choreography if the right Aretha Franklin tune came on, complete with “sparkle hands” and high kicks.

So, obviously this podcast piqued my interest.

You see, Richard Simmons has been missing since 2014. He disappeared. Hasn’t been seen or heard from. And so this podcast set out to find him.

They interviewed his house keeper, and his friends. Dove into his past, and got all up into his personal life – including his nearly 2-year stint at a Catholic seminary, his battle with obesity, and then bulimia and other eating disorders. They played old interviews from various talk shows, where we could hear him talk about his struggles with his weight, and his life in isolation from friends.

It was all very…voyeuristic, I’d say. Entertaining, yes. But it was just a little too personal. A little too creepy. Especially since Richard didn’t sign up to have his life scrutinized.

What bothered me the most, was that all the dirt the narrator was uncovering, all the skeletons in Richard’s closet that he was exposing, sure it may have made for riveting podcast material, but at the end of the day, that wasn’t his story to tell. It was Richard’s. And only Richard’s.


It was really eye opening to listen to this podcast while I’m revising the manuscript for my book about, well, the literal skeletons in my own closet. And how, a person’s story is sacred. It’s their life. What they’ve been through. Overcome. The times they’re fallen, and the moments of strife — those aren’t fodder for some edgy storyline. They’re the challenges and the difficulties that have shaped a life.

And Richard, I’m sorry that I listened to your story, without your permission.

Because the truth is, a person’s story is worth telling…but only if and when that person wants to share it.

I know I’ve recklessly shared a lot of really personal things on this blog, and coming up, I’ll be taking that even a step further, but the difference is, I’m choosing to.

I’m putting it all out there with the hope that perhaps one girl who is suffering from an eating disorder might find help. Hope. Comfort, knowing that she’s not alone.

Richard didn’t ask to have his life put on display for the world to judge. That’s his story. His journey. And his information to share.

I will just leave you with this:

Richard Simmons fought a lot of demons in his life. He was tormented by a lot of things that could have led to his demise. But you know what? He didn’t let it.

He turned his life around and created incredible positivity from pain. Beauty from ashes.

And sure, people can jab and laugh at his eccentric outfits and goofy dance moves and silly persona, but at the end of the day, he not only changed his own life, but he helped millions and millions of people turn their lives around too.

So Richard, thank you for the incredibly positive impact you’ve made, truly for the whole world. And I hope that wherever you are, you are okay.

Stay Connected!
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram




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235 thoughts on “Finding Richard Simmons…

  1. Take your time with the book. Well said. I think that you are talking recovery here and recovery is personal.

    (And by the way, if you would like a beta reader for your book, I am willing, if you are willing.)

    Happy Mother’s Day to your mom and I pray that she is doing well.

    Have a blessed day and weekend!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes that sounds creepy, prying into someone’s whole life without their permission. While I was reading this post I realized that you’re such a beautiful soul. You’re very kind and gracious to be concerned about Richard 🙂 it’s touching


    1. Yeah, I felt bad for Richard that the pod cast got so up in his business without his permission. Made me sad. And oh my gosh, you are so sweet to say that. thank you friend. YOU are a beautiful soul!! 🙂 hope you’re having a great weekend. big hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The teachers of a daycare My brother and I went to as kids used to have us (all the kids) watch richard simmons videos and do the workouts all the time… LOL!!! I will savor everyone of my richard simmons memories for life!! They (teachers) really got a kick out of it and we (brother and I) got a kick out of their enjoyment. I really hope he is okay also. This world can be an incredibly rough place….especially when you feeling like nobody has got your best interest at heart…. yea, I hope he is okay. Thank You Lord for taking care of Richard wherever he is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh my gosh that’s too funny! what an amazing mental picture hahahahaha thanks for stopping by and making me smile with this thought. and you’re right – i hope he’s okay too. big hugs xox


  4. I love Richard Simmons! I had no idea he went missing! Thank you for such a beautiful post. It’s a reminder to all of us to not be judgemental. We all have to work through something. Have a wonderful day!


      1. Idk how to get my blog to grow. I want it to! I thought about getting a domain but I barely have any followers 😦 idk how to make it better. Suggestions?


  5. What’s a Podcast? I’m not technology advanced. Richard Simmons, I haven’t heard that name in a while. I liked this post and thanks for sharing your story. Do you still exercise? The sayings in the post were great.


  6. Caralyn,

    I’e just had a little bit of time to read your posts, and as always, I love all of them. But this one of Richard Simmons especially speaks, because as you say, stories are personal and they’re for the people concerned to share.

    Unfortunately, depending on our stories, sometimes it’s inevitable that others will share them whether we want them to or not. King David’s sordid story got confronted and shared by both Nathan and the historians of that time. Although, in the end, he’s remembered with affection and grace, I’m sure there would have been many who hated the details of his story and hated him for what he did.

    I guess it’s when you become a public figure. You lose the comfort of anonymity. You’re there for everyone to see and comment about.

    Anyway, this is just to stop by and say Hi, give you a hug, send regards to your wonderful parents and siblings, and say how glad I am you’re moving forward with your book. That book of yours is going to be an icebreaker, cutting a path in the frozen waste. I hope and pray some day my story will lose its sting enough to be shared, but I’ll leave it in God’s time and pray that He continues to draw out the pain and poison and heal and restore.

    I look at my own fragility and marvel at what strength God gives that we can never call our own. May His wonderful face always shine on you!

    Much love,


    1. Hi Indi, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. you’re so right – stories are for only that person to share. And thanks for the encouragement. that really means a lot. I really hope that is so. I appreciate the prayer. That’s what I pray as well. know that you and your family are in my prayers as well! big hugs xox


  7. (Because the truth is, a person’s story is worth telling…but only if and when that person wants to share it)……… EXACTLY – you hit the nail on the head. It is personal and should only be told in the way that you want it to be told because you and only you know what it really means. If it strikes a chord with someone else – all the better, but the fact remains that it’s yours to tell!!! I love the way you put it out there – it is what it is!


  8. You inspire me❤️ give me hope and I love sharing your work. It’s always those of us that suffer the most that make the biggest impact in this world. You are so deep for your young age. I can see how deep your suffering was and thank you for sharing and for your honor. God Bless You❤️🌟🦋🌹🌷🌺🌸🌼🌻🌝🌟✨🔥💥☄️🌈☀️


  9. Hi BBB,

    Thanks for sharing this story. You always have a way to showing the love of Jesus to others. I pray that your book will reach those that the Lord needs it to, Hang in there while the process is long. I am waiting on the last chapter in the hands of my editor. In the mean time it is praying about moving the extra so it isn’t watered down. Take the slow times for what the Lord wants to share with your and help you prepare. Have a great week.


    On Thu, May 11, 2017 at 4:00 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “I did something I haven’t done in a while. I > listened to an entire podcast in one weekend. Six episodes. Six hours. One > highly entertaining and productive weekend. The show? Finding Richard > Simmons. Yes, you read that right: Richard Simmons. As in, t” >


  10. Thank you for saying this, it’s just sad when people get exposed to scorn like that and it’s nice to hear someone sticking up for them–plus you made a good point on top of that.


  11. I’d like to thank you for this post. You’ve said pretty much what I’ve thought for a while about his being “missing” and all the insane attempts people have been making at contacting him.

    Richard Simmons was such a big influence on me growing up. He was a constant fount of positive information about health, and life in general, at a time in my life when I was searching for answers to life’s questions. His morning exercise and nutrition shows gave me something to look forward to every day. I’ll always be thankful for his exhuberance, tolerance, and willingness to help those in need.

    Although I know many are concerned about his safety and well being, myself included, his life is his own to live as he sees fit. If he wants to disappear from public life, that’s his right to do so.

    Thanks again for your post. 🙂


  12. I always loved him and I think the most outgoing people sometimes are the ones with the deepest pain and you are right, no one should ever go through another’s closet without first cleaning out their own. But sadly, as long as there is a dollar to be made, greed will always win. But God does use it all and truly gives us beauty for all those ashes, I believe especially from the ashes produced by being “burned” by another. Great post!


    1. Hi Nina, thank you so much for sharing this. I think you’re so right – we live in a fallen world and greed is definitely part of the picture. I mean i see it in my life all the time. And amen — beauty for ashes! therein lies the hope! big hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is a great post, given I don’t even know him. But I agree so much, with what you said about everyone’s life story is sacred and theirs to share. I hope he is well wherever he is!


  14. I wrote about exposing myself in public a while back, and I appreciate your take on revealing our stories. I also appreciate that, in spite of the fact you get HUNDREDS of comments on every blog you write and I average about .12 comments per blog, you take the time to read and “like” my blog. Just wanted you to know.

    Keep up the good writing. I enjoy it and know you’re making an impact, even though YOU may never know how this side of heaven.




  15. I miss, Leo Buscaglia. Remember him? Everyone is so serious as has to get in a jab or two just to make themselves feel good at other people’s expense. Richard and Leo didn’t do that. They were the good guys.


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