Toronto’s mayor has one last date with the industrial scale outside his office Monday. It’ll be the finale of Rob Ford’s “Cut the Waist Challenge,” a contest that showed Mr. Ford has as much trouble controlling his weight as he does city council.
After losing 10 pounds the first week, the mayor – who started the competition weighing 330 lbs and promising to drop 50 – struggled to stay on track, skipping five of his last nine weigh-ins and briefly quitting the contest before announcing he’d turn up at the final weigh-in.
At his last weigh-in May 8, the mayor tipped the scales at 314 lbs, up 4 from the week prior.
Mr. Ford’s brother, Councillor Doug Ford, has had more success. The instigator of the contest, he was down 28 lbs at his last weigh-in. The councillor spoke to The Globe and Mail about his office sit-up regimen, going cold turkey on chocolate milk and sibling rivalry on the scale.
Do you have any regrets about doing this as publicly as you did?
Nope. Not at all. I wouldn’t be down the weight I am if I did it privately ... even if I’m short a few pounds on the scale I’m going to continue on and Rob’s going to continue on. I guess it was a little tougher for Rob than myself.
Do you think it was good for your brother to do it in public?
You’d have to ask him that. You know something, I think it was alright. (Chuckles.) Rob found it a little more challenging than he thought it would be.
What was your workout regimen?
Every morning you wake up, you start with the sit-ups. Then I get on the stationary bike for five kilometres. We have a universal gym downstairs. I lift weights ... I do a lot of sit-ups at my office. I got a mat, not downtown, but at my Deco office, I have a mat with a pull bar. I close my door, hop on the floor and do 50 sit-ups.
What about the food side?
I just cut out a lot of garbage [and] eating late at night. I cut out dairy. Dairy was a killer for me. It’s chocolate milk, I was drinking two or three litres a day. I haven’t had a chocolate milk in six months. I feel like an alcoholic [saying] I haven’t had a drink in six months. (Chuckles again.)
In your brother’s case, do you think he could have used a little outside help?
I think Rob needs someone to help him, an actual personal trainer. That’s my opinion ... And have a structured meal plan. That’s what Rob needs.
He said on the radio show a couple of weeks ago that he’d quit the diet. Did he tell you privately at any point during the process that he’d quit?
No, he never quit. He was just ticked off with being harassed ... everyone was on him on a daily basis. I guess it just got on his nerves. Rob never quit. He just quit weighing in. If he quit he wouldn’t be weighing in on June 18.
How do you think he’s going to do on June 18?
Oh, I don’t know. I’m not too sure.
What about you? If you had to predict, what do you think you’re going to tip the scales at?
Oh, geez, depends how I do on the weekend. The weekends are killer. I don’t know, maybe 40-some-odd pounds I’m down? I’m going to continue on. I’m going to get down another 20 [lbs] or so. I feel great. I know I’m losing weight. Everyone comes up and tells me, ‘Boy, you’ve lost weight.’ That’s when you know you’re losing weight, not what the scales say. It’s what people tell you.
Do you and your brother have a little bit of a rivalry over weight loss?
No. It was a challenge for everyone. It wasn’t a competition between Rob and I. Not at all. I support him 100 per cent. It’s a big challenge for him.
The mayor has talked about how the Monday morning weigh-in became a circus. Why do you think it became a circus?
Well, because you got a mayor that’s obviously overweight and his brother. It’s unique. I would guess Rob’s probably one of the heavier mayors in Canada, if not the heaviest ... the media went wild over it.
Why did it surprise you when you had a public weight-loss contest that the media would show up?
Oh I believed the media would show up, but not 20 cameras all the time. There’s stories and then there’s stories. But anyways it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t bother me. Personally, you ask me – Rob may not agree with me – but I’m glad I did it.