Robin Quivers' Weight Loss
Robin Quivers doesn't mind when people comment on her 70-lb.
weight loss. Just don't ask her if she's had "that operation"
- i.e., gastric bypass surgery. "That's the most insulting
thing," says Quivers, the long-running sidekick to shock-jock
Howard Stern. In fact, "I beg people not to have an operation!"
she says. "They're never going to enjoy eating again."
Yet, if surgery seems extreme, Quivers's
own weight-loss method seems nearly as drastic. The 51-year-old
radio personality credits the controversial Master Cleanser
fast—which can involve weeks of ingesting nothing except
a lemon-juice and cayenne-pepper elixir—for her newly
slim 145-lb. frame. But more importantly, she says the regimen
is responsible for erasing the joint pain and fatigue that
had plagued her for more than a decade.
"I've never felt this good about my
body before," declares Quivers, who likens her extreme dieting—she
has fasted for 21 consecutive days on three occasions—to
"a spiritual journey." Says Quivers: "It's just a completely
different way to be." The change has been evident to those
who know her. "She's a whole different person, "says Howard
Stern producer Gary Dell'Abate, "I've been with her
20 years, and I've never seen her this happy and confident."
Still, Quivers acknowledges that her unorthodox plan has
its critics. Created by naturopath Stanley Burroughs, the
Master Cleanser regime calls for fasting as a way of ridding
the body of toxins. (Dr. Sam Klein, president of the American
Society for Clinical Nutrition, disputes this claim and notes
that, as with any extended fast, there is a risk of dehydration
and electrolyte imbalance: "I would not recommend her approach.")
In lieu of food, followers guzzle a concoction of fresh lemon
juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water. "But this wasn't
about weight loss," says Quivers, who traces her health problems
to steroid-based medication that she took in 1989 to regulate
her menstrual cycle, "I was really trying to regain my health,
and that's what it did." It took a rock-bottom moment before
Quivers would make a major change. In September 2002, near
her peak weight of 218 lbs. and in despair about the way she
looked and felt, she grudgingly attended a friend's wedding.
When she tried to make an early exit, "Rebecca Romijn-Stamos
grabbed me and said, 'No! You've got to dance with us!'" recalls
Quivers. "I thought I was going to burst into tears. I'd never
felt so horrible about my physical condition in my entire
One month later Quivers came across her solution when magician
David Blaine was a guest on Stern's show and raved about the
Master Cleanser. Having tried dozens of diets, Quivers decided
to go for it. "Downing her first glass of lemonade,"
she says, "I was like, 'It doesn't taste so bad!'" Still,
"I didn't expect to be able to go 24 hours without food."
But she did just that, and 24 hours stretched into 21 days.
With each day, she says, "I was a little less stiff. I was
sleeping better." All the while, she kept the fasting a secret
from everyone but her longtime boyfriend, known to her fans
as Mr. X. ("He's shy.")
Having since completed three such fasts, Quivers says she
has a renewed appreciation for food: "I was eating a salad
for the first time and going, 'Wow! This tastes like ice cream!'"
Today, she drinks the lemon potion throughout the day, eating
a dinner of salad or fish and the occasional drink or snack.
"Sometimes my body says, 'I want sugar,' and I eat sugar,"
she says. "But my body doesn't need as much food now."
These days she delights in shopping for her slimmed-down
figure—"Now I'm a clotheshorse!"—and looking
ahead to a potential talk show of her own. (As for Howard
Stern, which has been yanked from several major stations,
Quivers is sanguine: "It reminds me of being a kid in school—we're
still being sent to the principal's office.") No matter what,
Quivers sees herself maintaining her newfound health for good.
"This is my way of life now," she says. "I don't ever want
to feel the way I felt ever again."
*Story from People Magazine, April 5, 2004
by Michelle Tauber, Mark Dagostino in NYC.