04/18/2012 12:18 EDT | Updated 06/19/2012 05:12 EDT

Hey Ford, Cut Budget Fat Instead of Your Own

CBC Screengrab

Why is he putting himself through this embarrassing spectacle?

It would be one thing if Mayor Rob Ford was actually losing weight at his celebrated weekly public weigh-ins, to demonstrate to voters that he's becoming a leaner, more streamlined leader of the city.

It's entirely another thing if, at these weigh-ins, he not only isn't losing much weight, but is actually gaining pound (if not kilograms).

At his last weigh-in he went from 311 pounds to 312 pounds.

That's not much of an advertisement for lunches of rye crisp and celery -- or the mayor's self-discipline to eat less, and forget about jogging to lose weight.

If a 312-pound guy insists on seriously running to lose weight -- forget it. He won't get thinner, but he may have a heart attack.

Trim your diet, Rob, if you're serious. It's not hard. A bit of "No" power works wonders if you have the guts . . . whoops, resolve . . . to reject the canapés and calories at various civic functions.

As a football coach he must know that.

But to publicly declare intentions to lose a few pounds, and then not do it, makes the mayor look weak without the moral fortitude to resist culinary temptations.

Another large guy with political aspirations is Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, whom many people (including me) wish was running to be the Republican nominee for U.S. president.

But Christie has insisted he's not ready, and dismisses all attempts to persuade him to challenge the primaries. One suspects a reason he's so steadfastly declined high-level appeals is that his 350-pound weight (or whatever it is) would be a campaign liability.

Why put himself through the wringer of comedian jokes and worried supporters who fret that his overweight my lead to his sudden collapse?

Pity, because he's a fearless, funny, quick-witted guy who has the common touch and radiates good sense, candour and integrity.

Ford ain't Chris Christie, and already his weekly weigh-ins are being exploited by others who are unlikely to be ideological admirers -- witness the PETA "Lettuce Girls" who attended his last weigh-in to publicize their aversion to eating animals or wearing animal skin.

Considering his size, Mayor Ford has no aversion to consuming medium-rare steaks and Burger King Whoppers. He surely didn't get so "robust" by concentrating on crackers and veggies.

If the mayor really can't discipline his appetite sufficiently to lose the 50 pounds he promised he'd lose, then better to call the whole thing off, and publicly announce that he wasn't elected to lose weight, but to inspire the city and save taxpayers' money.

His predecessor spent our money with lavish disdain, and many on council saw their role as one of spending as much as they could get away with on themselves.

Toronto voters were sick of these guys looting the till, which is why the majority voted for Ford. And he's been diligent in trying to save the city money.

He gets voted down on a lot of issues, but he never stops trying to cut costs. That alone is a refreshing change in municipal politicians.

So get on with the job for which you were elected, Mr. Mayor, and forget gimmicky weight-loss nonsense at which political foes sneer and mock.

Save the city money, stand up for taxpayers. Who cares if the mayor is a tubby, addicted to cream puffs and malted milk shakes?