Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (let) and his brother, councillor Doug Ford, plan to slim down. (June 25, 2011)
See that door, Mayor Ford? Start walking.
That’s the advice to a political heavyweight from former excess pounder John Henry, Ford’s counterpart in Oshawa. Rob Ford wants to lose weight and Henry has been there, done that and kept it off (mostly).
“He should schedule meetings at the furthest boardroom in City Hall instead of his office,” Henry advises.
“That’s what I do, so I’m moving around all the time. Take the extra 10 minutes and walk everywhere you need to go.”
The Toronto mayor, who calls himself “300 pounds of fun,” and his brother Councillor Doug Ford have pledged to shape up to improve their health and raise money for charity.
“If you’re carrying this extra weight, then that’s not healthy. So we’re gonna get in shape,” a portly Doug Ford told NewsTalk 1010 recently.
What about Rob Ford’s weakness for ice cream?
“You have to earn your treats,” Henry says, suggesting a two-pound loss deserves a weekend sweet.
He went from 240 to 185 pounds on the 2010 campaign trail but regained some after being elected. Last spring, he shed 15 during a month-long diet challenge to help Durham Region’s food bank and now, after spending four months in a cast for an injured Achilles tendon, he’s at 205.
Exercise your self-control, urges Henry, who has an office fridge full of apples and a stash of Oh Henry bars — for visitors.
Whittling a waistline calls for cutting portions, carbs, sugar, salt, dairy and desserts, according to Oshawa Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri, who lost close to 20 pounds in last year’s council-on-a-diet.
“Go deep,” he advises Ford. “Sugar and salt are killers. And cheese, I love it, but it is what it is.”
Drinking 1.5 litres of water a day will “make your skin look younger,” he promises the chubby-cheeked Torontonian.
Losing weight is all about making healthy choices in a jam-packed work and home life, Marimpietri says.
“It’s hard work and doesn’t happen over night, so be patient.”
Chocolate and cheeseburgers are constant temptations for Clarington Councillor Corinna Traill, who still managed to shed five pounds as a law student during final exams last year.
“I imagine our diets are quite similar,” she says, comparing the “lifeblood” of lawyers and politicians.
Limiting coffee intake is tough, she says, but using sugar substitute in those double-doubles helps minimize the diet damage.
John Henry is prepared to walk the talk if it helps the big-city mayor.
“I’ll come in to Toronto and we can go for a walk together,” he offers.
Watch that mouth; move those feet
Durham Region politicians offer Toronto Mayor Rob Ford some tried-and-true tips on paring down the paunch:
Walk everywhere you can. Use stairs instead of elevators.
Curb your enthusiasm for sugar, salt, carbs and dairy.
Try switching from sugar to sugar substitute in coffee.
Drink up. Water’s good for you.
Make a family activity out of shopping for, and cooking, healthy food.
Remember that you’re setting an example for your children.
Get family members onside for moral support.
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