Shelving the Waist

So us people who are so fortunate to be living in Toronto (and to be honest, I’m not even sure if I am being sarcastic there or not) have seen Mayor Ford’s “Cut the Waist” weigh-in sessions mysteriously disappear over the past few weeks. Today came the news that he has officially ended his public diet, saying that he “doesn’t care about the weigh-in” anymore. Disappointing to say the least.

I’m not going to get into Ford’s politics here; that isn’t the point of this blog. Realistically, he kind of leaves himself open to a lot of the criticism he receives (on policy and every day actions), but I’d be lying if I said that I have seen other mayors receive the same type of mean spirited focus that Ford has had to endure. No, what I really want to talk about here is a missed opportunity to lead.

When I initially heard that Mayor Ford and his brother Doug were going to embark on a fitness regime focused at reducing their overall weight and getting themselves in better shape, I thought it was a noble idea. From a political standpoint, it was a great way to take a shot at his critics (regarding his weight) and to get weekly photo-ops, but more importantly, it was a chance to show Toronto that no matter how busy you are or what your role is in making this city what it is, living a healthy lifestyle is important…and manageable. Mayor Ford had a real chance to make a statement and he did; I was just hoping for one of a more positive nature.

Quitting the “diet” makes him like many other people in Toronto who have quit diets this year; so he’s human. What bothers me is that he said that he doesn’t care about the weigh-in anymore. So while he said that he needs to refocus, the real words that are going to stick are the ones that talk about his attitude towards his health.

I’m kind of disappointed in Mayor Ford. I honestly wanted to see him succeed and lead the city on living a healthy lifestyle. Hopefully his refocusing means we will see him find a new way to get fit in 2012.

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