Toronto mayor quits public weight-loss challenge
Published Monday, May 28, 2012 9:50PM EDT
There were no signs of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's semi-weekly weigh-in at city hall on Monday, the day after the man who once described himself as "300 pounds of fun" declared his intention to abandon his public weight-loss campaign.
Ford announced on his weekly radio show Sunday that he was finished with his public "Cut the Waist Challenge" and had stopped dieting altogether.
"I don't care about the weigh-ins," he told co-host and brother Coun. Doug Ford. "I'm not even dieting anymore. It's gone -- it's water under the bridge."
The "Cut the Waist Challenge" was launched by the brothers in an effort to encourage Torontonians to join them in shedding excess weight, as well as raise funds for charity.
Besides public weigh-ins for the Fords, the program also included a website that tracked their progress, as well as the funds raised.
Nutritionist Theresa Albert said that Ford made some significant mistakes when he decided, seemingly on a whim, to lose 50 lbs. over the course of six months.
"He made it very public and instead of laying out a plan or system and engaging his family, and actually having a process, he just kind of made an unrealistic goal," Albert told CTV News Channel on Monday.
"Of course you are going to fail when you don't have a strategy for getting there. I also think he underestimated how hard it is to lose weight. It is not just about throwing out the ice cream and forgetting the french fries."
The massive scale posted outside the mayor's office when the challenge began at the start of the year remained there Monday, but missing were the collection of journalists and members of Ford's entourage that gathered for his weigh-ins.
The frequency of the weigh-ins, which at first occurred on a weekly basis, had dwindled in recent weeks, with the mayor eventually stretching them to every other week before cancelling the last two altogether.
While the challenge began with enthusiastic vigor, Ford's energy for the events appeared to wane as his progress stalled and the pace of weight-loss appeared to plateau.
At the last weigh-in on May 8, the mayor came in at 314 pounds, bringing his total weight loss to 16 pounds.
"I feel really badly for him," Coun. Maria Augimeri said on Monday. "It should not have been a public issue to begin with."
Coun. Janet Davis, meantime, described the public dieting challenge as a spectacle that had evolved from a distraction to a personal failure for the mayor.
"What started out as a media diversion unfortunately turned into a real challenge that he has lost. It was a risk and unfortunately he has given up," she told CTV Toronto.
Other Toronto councillors chimed in on Monday, expressing their support for the mayor for taking on the difficult challenge of publicly trying to lose weight.
"He made the try, he lost some weight," said Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong. "He didn't get as far as he wanted to. We should all wish that the next time he decides to go on a diet that he loses even more weight."
The mayor's brother, who has lost nearly 30 pounds, threatened during the Sunday radio program to drag the mayor to the weekly weigh-ins.
The Cut the Waist Challenge was scheduled to end on June 18.
With files CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson