By  on November 3, 2010

Helen Gurley Brown is best known for, one, being the editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine and, two, sex. But she was also quite the fitness fanatic, as WWD discovered in the July 17, 1970, profile “Helen Gurley Brown’s Body.” “Her exercise and her diet keep [Brown] in a constantly deprived state,” the paper wrote, “which she says is worth it.” The editor told the reporter that she had exercised in hotel rooms all over the world, from one in Acapulco during Christmastime (“she exercised on the cold tile floor”) to Claridge’s in London. At the latter, Brown said, “if David [her husband] has the living room for something and I’m stuck in the bedroom, I’ve exercised with my head under the bed to have enough room.” Her daily regimen included waking every morning at 8 a.m., making breakfast for her husband (eggs, corned beef hash or codfish cakes) and herself (a smoothie of “powdered crushed yeast liver, safflower oil, hot skimmed milk and half a package of chocolate Instant Breakfast”). She then exercised for an hour and spent just 15 minutes on makeup, “including lashes,” before arriving at the office by 10 a.m. Her weight: 109 pounds for a 5-foot, 4 1/2-inch frame. “I think exercise is narcissistic but, then, so is all attention lavished on myself,” she remarked. “But, at least, I am not prowling around stores buying things. As long as this kind of exercise-narcissism doesn’t interfere with the rest of your life, as long as you can still be good to your husband, family and friends and still do your job, how can it hurt?”

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