The word from experts is that lost weight rarely stays off, but TV fitness-guru and bestselling diet-book author Simmons (Richard Simmons' Better Body Book, 1983, etc.) never gives up on those desperate souls who write to him in despair, then successfully shed pounds in his program--or so he says. Here, Simmons tells 40 stories of overweight kids, housewives, and couples, of near-suicides, victims of disease or handicap or bereavement, and others who are immobilized by obesity until they resolve to lose weight and do so with the help of his exercise classes, Deal-A-Meal program, and list of motivating thoughts he calls his ``Project Me Passport.'' One woman is ``empowered'' by her weight loss to seek and find the daughter she gave up for adoption 26 years earlier. Many of these people weigh in at 300, 400, or 600 pounds--one woman is said to have approached 1,000 pounds--but Simmons's caring phone calls, surprise visits, and effusive support see them through temptation and setbacks. Unless you're one of Simmons's clients, it's hard to imagine reading straight through all 40 cases; but just as crowds apparently turn out to greet the famous shape-changer on his visits, you can count on followers seeking inspiration from these upbeat reports.