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Trimming the fat starts at home for Ford brothers

Kevin Van Paassen/Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

The beefy brothers at the helm of Toronto want to pit Hogtown against Cowtown and any other Canadian city willing to join a municipal equivalent of The Biggest Loser.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will hit the scales for a weigh-in on Monday morning, the official launch of the Cut The Waist Challenge being championed by his brother, Councillor Doug Ford.

Their goal: to encourage Torontonians to shed excess pounds and compete for civic bragging rights in the process.

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They've already challenged Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to join and they're throwing it open to the rest of the country. "We'll challenge other cities just like we did with Mayor Nenshi," said the Etobicoke councillor. "It's not about one mayor versus the other, it's about cities. In a month, we'll want to say the City of Toronto lost 10,000 pounds, the City of Calgary lost 8,000, Vancouver lost 6,000 and so on."

Participants can log in and track their progress at which will be launched Monday.

Mayor Ford has never concealed his waistline struggles, often referring to himself as "300 pounds of fun."

Despite that heavy frame, his agility can surprise. He always jogs ahead of his players when leading the high-school football team he coaches, the Don Bosco Eagles, on and off the field.

But his eating habits are the stuff of legend. His desk is rarely seen without a 7-Eleven Big Gulp and chocolate bars line his display shelves. "Tim Hortons and McDonald's have become like best friends," he told The Globe and Mail in December.

On Sunday afternoon, his brother was blowing the dust off the scale he plans to use, a decades-old industrial model at the family's printing company. "It must be at least 60 year old," said Mr. Ford. "It goes up to 700 pounds, so that'll help when I jump on Rob's shoulders."

Mr. Ford said he used to work out twice a day and bench-press 350 pounds, "but then everything went to hell." He plans to drop 50 or 60 pounds over the next six months but he wouldn't say what he hopes the mayor will shed.

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About the Author
National reporter

Patrick previously worked in the Globe's Winnipeg bureau, covering the Prairies and Nunavut, and at Toronto City Hall. He is a National Magazine Award recipient and author of the book Mountie In Mukluks. More

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