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Body Watch | GUEST WORKOUT

Inch by Inch

Lose 16 pounds and two dress sizes for the Emmys? Renee Taylor is squinching, swimming, dieting and betting on it.

September 04, 1996|CANDACE A. WEDLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Emmy-nominee Renee Taylor is determined to wear the perfect size 10 to the "Prime Time Emmy Awards" on Sunday.

Taylor, who is up for best supporting actress in a comedy series as Fran Drescher's ma on "The Nanny" (CBS), has put herself on a monthlong pre-Emmy diet and workout program. The goal: drop her dress size from 14 to 10 by losing 16 pounds.

A few weeks ago, the 61-year-old actress made a beeline for the Oscar de la Renta rack at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City, where she fell in love with a divine little number--a size 6--but the zipper wouldn't cooperate.

"A gorgeous gown in black satin and black velvet," says Taylor, who has a hint of a New York accent. "So I wanted to know how much the zipper wouldn't close and they told me 7 inches."

What then?

"I told them to call Oscar."

They did, and Oscar said he would make the same gown for her in a size 10.

"And he's making a black chiffon stole to go with it."

Here's what Taylor, divvying her time between L.A. and a vacation in Vermont, has been putting herself through to make sure that designer gown stays zipped.

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On Working Out (L.A.-style):

* "I live in Beverly Hills, but I don't want to be seen looking heavy in my funny running suit. I ran in the alleys until I lost enough weight to be seen on the Beverly Hills jogging trail."

* She exercises three times a week with Joey, a trainer at the Boulevard Health Club. "First he squinches me, bends me until my bones crunch." After squinching, Taylor does upper and lower body exercises, the stationary bike and treadmill.

* She swims three days a week. "I take my boombox and listen to Barry Manilow and go forever in our Olympic-size pool."

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On Working Out (Vermont-style):

* Aerobics class three times a week.

* Swimming and walking around the lake. "I like to take walks with my husband [actor Joe Bologna]. We hike to this little inn and have dinner and then walk back two miles."

On Eating:

"I'm a food tramp, somebody who eats around. I have a whole closet full of dresses from sizes 4 to 14. That's a lot of closet. Fortunately, Joe loves me whatever my weight. We went to a spa one time where they served a clear soup for dinner with garlic and parsley as a garnish. They said, 'Miss Taylor, the garlic and parsley are the garnish, not the main course.' I was eating a lot of garlic and a lot of parsley."

For breakfast, she eats: a fresh peach, oatmeal, two egg whites with a touch of salsa, a slice of whole grain bread toasted.

For lunch: green salad with a little bit of chicken.

For dinner: steamed vegetables or brown rice, a piece of fish, lots of fruit juices.

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On Diamonds:

Taylor (it must be a Taylor thing) has her Emmy stones lined up.

"I wanted diamonds because they resonate what's inside you. So I went to Harry Winston to borrow $2 million worth of jewelry--diamond earrings, brooch, bracelet and a pear-shaped ring." Harry Winston's will be sending along two bodyguards to protect the resonators.

So, there you have it . . . the Oscar de la Renta gown, the getting into the Oscar de la Renta gown, the accessorizing the Oscar de la Renta gown. But what about the shoes?

"I feel like Cinderella," Taylor says. "I'm looking for glass slippers."

Guest Workout runs Wednesdays in Life & Style.

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