Inside Politics

Gov. Ed Rendell on a diet

Monday, August 17, 2009
Gov. Ed Rendell

Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania's food-loving governor, has sworn off cheesesteaks, three-egg omelets and his beloved Starbucks coffee ice cream in the interest of better health, a newspaper said Monday.

Already, Rendell has lost nearly 40 of the 265 pounds that he was carrying when he began his crash diet two months ago. His goal is to get his weight down to 200 pounds, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

"I literally eat half of what I used to," said Rendell, who is 65 and stands 5 feet 11 inches. "I am now a devout disciple of the fact that if you want to lose weight you have to significantly reduce the amount of food you put in your mouth."

His wife, Midge, and their son Jesse said they expressed to him their concern about the health implications of his weight. Rendell said he began dieting in June, when still-deadlocked state budget negotiations first bogged down, because it gave him something positive to focus on.

"I told him, 'You don't see that many very heavyset 80- or 85-year-olds, do you?"' said his wife, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

Rendell, who also works out regularly, still eats omelets, but now they're made with two eggs instead of three and served with four strips of bacon instead of eight.

Once he reaches his target, he acknowledges, he might have a small bowl of ice cream.

"I might have a cheesesteak again," he said, "but I'll put half of it in the refrigerator to have it later."

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