...but brother Doug assured reporters today that the mayor will continue to achieve his weight-loss goals “on his own time."
Despite Rob Ford dropping out of his Cut the Waist weight-loss challenge yesterday, his councillor-brother Doug insisted at this morning’s scheduled weigh-in that the mayor will continue to rise to the challenge. “He’s going to continue on his own time,” Doug told reporters. “He knows he has to get healthy. He just feels under major pressure—I’ll take the blame for that—but it’s all part of losing weight.”
The brothers Ford began their weight-loss challenge on Jan. 16, the day before council voted on the 2012 budget. With great fanfare, they pledged to lose 50 pounds by June 18 and to collect charity donations in the process. The open charity process went as poorly as one might expect, and the publicity effort quickly devolved into spectacle.
While the media eagerly anticipated the weekly weigh-ins—as they constituted their only official face time with the mayor—Ford clearly did not. In the face of PETA’s “Lettuce Ladies” and videos of him walking into KFC going viral, the effort to improve his health was quickly reduced to a punchline.
The mayor missed five of the last nine scheduled weigh-ins, citing a “busy schedule” (despite a recent Toronto Star article that raises doubts about the mayor’s workload). Nonetheless, Rob surprised his brother on their Sunday Newstalk 1010 radio show by announcing he wouldn’t participate in the weekly charade. “I don’t care about the weigh-in. I’m not even dieting anymore! It’s water under the bridge.”
Despite Rob’s dislike of the event, Doug refused to call the challenge a mistake. “If there’s anyone to be blamed, I was the one who prompted it. But no, I don’t think it was a mistake. He’s down 20 pounds”—it was 16 as of two weeks ago—”and he still has to lose another 30.”
Doug added that, unlike his brother, he intends to keep weighing in and that the oversize scale outside the mayor’s office will remain where it is.
However, as he no longer shows up for weigh-ins, the mayor was unavailable for comment.
UPDATE, MAY 28, 2012, 5:30 P.M.: In an appearance this afternoon on Newstalk 1010′s Drive with John Tory, Mayor Ford claimed his remarks from his Sunday-afternoon Newstalk 1010 show on were “taken out of context.” Ford says he will appear at the final weigh-in on June 18.