First of all, let me throw a disclaimer in here. What someone weighs, looks like or other physical mannerisms should be as off limits as race and gender. However, when you happen to be a mayor, like Rob Ford of Toronto, and you make a very public display of a weight-losing program, then it is a totally different story.
Back on January 17, Ford embarked on a weight loss program of 50 pounds in five months in a competition with his brother Councillor Doug Ford. Fifty pounds is pretty ambitious. If either could come close to that, they deserve congratulations.
The Toronto Star kept up with developments that included weekly weigh-ins.
He enjoyed quick success, eating “like a rabbit” and avoiding ice cream. He was photographed running lonely laps on a high school track.
Pounds also vanished from Doug Ford’s 275-pound frame, thanks to daily exercise and diet changes that curbed a serious chocolate milk habit.
In late February, Ford was down 22 pounds, the best he would do, but he warned that resisting fattening foods was “getting very, very hard.”
As pounds started to come back, Toronto got insight into the brothers’ close but competitive and complicated relationship. Though Doug Ford is fiercely defensive of Rob Ford, he repeatedly mocked him for cancelling weigh-ins, eating fast food, and failing to match his own weight-loss success.
On May 27, Rob seemed to have given up on the diet, although he promised to attend the final weigh-in. The final results showed Doug dropping 35 pounds and Rob 17. In five months, 17 pounds is nothing to dismiss. Although if he could have kept his will power up, Rob might have prevailed at his goal since he was almost halfway there after a little over a month.
As bad as losing to his brother in the weight-losing contest was, the other indignity came when Rob brought his lumbering frame off the scale, twisted his ankle and fell into the arms of his slimmer brother.
The Fords’ efforts to lose weight were part of a citywide program to lose a few extra pounds. As Atlantic Cities reported, the rest of the city has nothing to brag about:
Of the people participating in the mayor’s public-health contest, the collective body has shed just 605 pounds of flab, according to self-reported statistics. And this is in a city of 2.5 million people.
So before everyone takes a laugh at Rob Ford, spend a moment recollecting how hard it really is to lose weight. Although, when an ankle goes out as it did for Ford, then he should still keep the 50 pound goal in mind. His brother is on board with that too.
“He’ll make it, if I’ve got to get a piece of duct tape and stick it across his mouth, and put a little hole in there for a straw,” Doug Ford said.