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‘I could have done better,’ Ford says after final weigh-in at 313 lbs

Mayor Rob Ford heads for the scale during his weekly weigh-in at City Hall on April 16, 2012.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

In the end, Rob Ford could only cut a little bit of the waist.

Toronto's mayor tipped the scales at 313 lbs at the finale of his public weight-loss contest Monday, down 17 lbs from his starting weight of 330 lbs in January.

Councillor Doug Ford, the mayor's brother and his partner in the "Cut the Waist Challenge," lost a total of 35 lbs. He started the contest at 275 lbs.

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"I could have done better," the mayor conceded, after stepping off the scale and twisting his ankle.

Looking deflated and clearly in pain, the mayor made a brief statement thanking Torontonians before returning to his office to nurse his injury.

"I just want to thank everyone for their support. It's been good," he said. "I could have done better. I got down to 308 [at one point in the contest]. … Anyways, we'll keep working hard and get down."

The Ford brothers kicked off their public weight-loss competition amid great fanfare in January, vowing to lose 50 lbs each and challenging other mayors across the country to follow suit.

The mayor started strong, losing 10 lbs in the first week by eating like "a rabbit" and leading community walks.

But it wasn't long before his efforts began to falter.

The community walks stopped, the mayor's weight plateaued and he began cancelling his appointments with the scale.

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He weighed in at 314 lbs on May 8, his second to last trip to the scale.

The mayor skipped five of his last nine weigh-ins before announcing last month on his Sunday radio show that he'd quit dieting. He returned to the same station to the next day to say he would do one final weigh-in.

"I know the media, some of you said, 'Oh, this was a failure,'" Doug Ford told the phalanx of cameras that captured the brothers' last date with the industrial scale outside the mayor's office.

"In my opinion, I lost 35 lbs and I didn't really try. I went for a great buffet dinner last night, I had breakfast this morning, but I'm working out every day and I couldn't have done it without Rob."

As usually happens when the mayor and his gregarious older brother appear together in public, the councillor did most of the talking.

The councillor said his only regret was promising to weigh-in weekly.

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He was contrite about teasing his brother about his weight-loss struggles.

"I was hounding Rob every day, which is unfair," he said.

But the councillor called the contest a gutsy move.

"It took so much nerve for ... pretty heavy guys to come out publicly like this and admit that hey, we got a weight issue. Just like I'm looking around here. Three quarters of the people taking pictures right now have weight issues," he said, laughing. "Well they do! The truth of the matter is it's a challenge for everyone."

The mayor's press secretary had to step in and interrupt the councillor to let the mayor say a few words. After his brief thank you, the mayor answered one question about his ankle before leaving.

"It hurts really bad. I don't know what happened, but I twisted it pretty good."

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Health reporter

Kelly Grant is a health reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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