Susan Powter

No one can say exactly when it happened. But at some point after Jan Jarboe Russell’s November 1993 cover story, “The Skinny on Susan Powter,” appeared, the insanity stopped. The workout madwoman with the grating voice and the blond buzz cut could no longer be heard blaring out of millions of television sets and radios. In her infomercial called “Stop the Insanity” and her best-selling book of the same name, the perennially peeved, formerly fat Dallas divorcée urged overweight women to join in her indignation with the diet and fitness industries—and to send a payment to join her own program. Despite her early success, the late nineties were rough on Powter. She moved to Los Angeles, where she was married for six years. A few more books followed (the most recent, Sober … and Staying That Way, was published in 1997) and more infomercials appeared. But a long legal battle with a former business partner over the licensing of her products wiped her out financially. Though she won the case, Powter was forced to file for bankruptcy. In 1998 she relocated to Seattle, and these days the 43-year-old teaches health and fitness courses and lectures to various groups. And, in case you were wondering, the skinny is that Powter is as fit as ever.

Tags: THE CULTURE

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