A person in need of a little guidance could seek advice from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal on any number of topics. Interior design (decorate with an emphasis on clean lines and pictures of yourself, ensuring fellow royalty never forget whose office they are in). Business (keep your employees movitvated with occasional hookah parties and pet falcons). Fashion (don’t be caught dead clashing with your horse). Know-nothing list-makers whose inability to add gives the world the impression you’re some kind of street urchin worth a mere $18 billion (TAKE NO PRISONERS). But the area of expertise closest to his heart? Diet and fitness. The formerly plump prince has loads of wisdom to impart on how to get fit and and stay that way. Herewith, a preview of the tips you’ll find in what we hope will be be a forthcoming series of books and DVDs entitled The Alwaleed Lifestyle.
- You don’t need a gym to get in a workout.
He often goes on long marches in the Saudi desert or in the cities he visits. His security detail is used to him getting on his bicycle late at night and riding around Riyadh, while talking on his cell phone or texting with world leaders. “Hello Carla,” he texted the French president’s wife after her husband Nicolas Sarkozy’s election defeat on the night of May 6. “I don’t wish to disturb my friend Nicolas but please do convey my respects to President Sarkozy as he just gave a high class and honorable concession speech. The friendship between me and him is stronger than ever!”
- A moment on the lips, forever on the hips.
As with everything else in his life, when it comes to dining habits, Alwaleed is fastidious. At every meal, his chefs prepare vast banquets of many different culinary treats, including roasted camel. But Alwaleed does not eat meat and eats very sparsely—no more than 1,100 calories a day—in an obsessive but largely unsuccessful effort to keep his weight at 140 pounds. His food is kept in separate refrigerators, with calorie counts marked. (He was a chubby child and during his college years in California he weighed as much as 200 pounds.) He likes to boast that he can still fit into pants he has owned for 30 years.
- Midget tossing is a great upper arm exercise.
…dwarves are outcasts in Saudi Arabia; when they come begging, Alwaleed, in his great beneficence, hires them to be a roving band of court jesters, thus instilling in them “a work ethic, and you really can’t fault that.” In Saudi Arabia the wealthy think it is lucky to have dwarves around, and the dwarves enjoy it, “kind of like a circus situation.” When they are pressed into service as human projectiles, there are pillows to catch them. Pillows are obviously moot, however, when Alwaleed has the dwarves dive for $100 bills in bonfires, as the Business Insider story also alleged. Talk about occupational hazards! “It’s all lies,” Alwaleed told me emphatically during our first meeting at the Plaza hotel, in February 2012. He said the story was taken down “the next day,” although it still lives online.
The Stockholder In The Sand [Vanity Fair]