Toronto now knows a little bit more about its mayor.
Rob Ford held a public weigh-in with his brother Coun. Doug Ford at city hall on Monday morning to kick off a weight-loss challenge dubbed “Cut the Waist.”
The mayor, who has described himself as “300 pounds of fun” is actually 330 pounds, the scales revealed.
“I look forward to rising up to the challenge and making a change in my life,” Ford said. “ I invite all Toronto to join me.”
“On June 18, my goal is to be down 50 pounds.”
His brother Doug, who was the first to step on the scale, weighed 275 pounds.
Before Doug stepped on the scale, Ford joked, “I’ll let the skinny guy get on the scale first.”
The brothers campaigned on a pledge to “cut the gravy” at city hall. Their personal effort to trim the fat launched one day before councillors start debating the 2012 budget, which contains $80 million in potential service cuts.
Doug Ford has said he wants to shed at least 50 pounds over the next six months. The campaign will be tracked online, and the Fords are encouraging other Toronto residents to join in.
They’ve also challenged other Canadian cities to compete to see which city can lose the most weight. In a tweet announcing the challenge, he singled out Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Halifax Mayor Peter Kelly, as well as New York City’s Michael Bloomberg and Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel.
It’s unclear how many of Ford’s peers will take him up on the challenge, given that some are already known for their healthy habits and lean physique.
“Mayor Bloomberg exercises daily and very avidly watches what he eats — two reasons why he’s about as thin as he was in college 50 years ago and not at all overweight,” Bloomberg’s spokesman, Stu Loeser, said in an email.
“Though this plan sounds like a great idea, it doesn’t really apply to our mayor,” he added.
Emanuel, a trim triathlete who logs daily workouts and carries a water bottle wherever he goes, may not have much to lose either.
Meanwhile, Robertson’s website describes him as “a dedicated cyclist.”
Earlier, the Fords had said they planned to partner with charities to help fight childhood obesity. Monday, the Mayor’s Office said they would not be collecting any funds, but that residents could donate directly to a charity of their choice.
Website cutthewaist.ca launched Monday, where participants can sign up, share stories and compete individually or as a team. However, you don’t have to publicly weigh-in — that’s the mayor’s job.
With files from The Canadian Press