With less than four weeks until Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, have to step on the one last time scale to see if they were successful in their Cut the Waist Challenge, the mayor confirmed Sunday that it is over.
The Story of the Cut the Waist Challenge
It was a huge media frenzy on a cold wintry Jan. 16. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Councillor Doug Ford vowed, in front of every major and alternative news outlet in the city, they would lose 50 pounds by June 18. Fellow councillors, former Progressive Conservative leader of Ontario John Tory and supporters wished them well in their endeavours.
For weeks, there was success for the Ford brothers – they even partook in a Cut the Wait Challenge community walk on weekends. In the first month, the mayor would consistently lose the pounds. Unfortunately, after a short stint of weight loss, the mayor’s waist remained stagnant.
In April, Ford made headlines when a citizen recorded Ford heading into KFC. It immediately made the front page of the Toronto Star, which received heavy criticism from its readers, Ford supporters and even fellow reporters.
After many in the health sector urged Ford to keep his head up and fight the good fight, the mayor started to cancel the weekly weigh-ins that were scheduled every Monday in front of his office, which usually meant a phalanx of reporters.
Last week, reporters received an email, in which his communications aide said the weigh-ins would occur every other week. But now we know they will never take place again – and reporters will not be able to get a quick soundbyte.
Speaking on his radio show Sunday, Ford confirmed that he is no longer dieting, but did note that he may start again, though he did not say when that would be.
“I don't care about the weigh-in," said Ford. "I'm not even dieting anymore. It’s gone." He added that the challenge is “water under the bridge” and he has to “refocus.”
Since the public weight loss challenge, which encouraged other Torontonians to lose weight and raise money for charity, Ford has lost 22 pounds, but in his most recent weight-in he gained four pounds. His weight total is 314 pounds.
His brother, however, has been a little more successful by losing 27 pounds since January.
According to the campaign website, participants in the challenge have lost a total of 602 pounds and more than $440 has been raised for charity.