WEIGHTY WISDOM: Governor Rendell’s Six Smart Tips for Weight Loss

If our steak-loving governor can drop 40 pounds while stressing over his budget, you can, too. Here, his no-nonsense formula for slimming down

Ed Rendell’s new, slimmer figure is hard to miss. He’s dropped more than 40 pounds since June, when, thanks to a few words from his son, he took a hard look at his diet and decided to make some changes. And if his missing double chin isn’t inspiration enough, factor in that he did it all while juggling a major stressor in his life: the recent budget crisis. Check out his tips for dropping pounds, getting fit, and turning frustration into fat loss — something we all need during our own budget crisis — below.

1. Set a goal. “My son Jesse just got married a year ago and they don’t have kids yet. But Jesse said to me, ‘Don’t you wanna go to your grandkids’ Little League games? You gotta do something to make sure that you’re here.’ I thought about it and Jesse was right. [I wanted to be there] and I certainly wasn’t maximizing my chances of living longer.”

2. Focus on what you can control. “I knew we were in for a long haul with tightening the budget and I knew there would be almost daily frustrations. So, I thought if I dieted and was successful that I would have positive reinforcement every day to counterbalance the frustration. And that’s actually what occurred. The budget has been enormously frustrating. And during that time, I’ve gotten the positive reinforcement every couple of days of weighing myself and seeing my weight go down. So it’s been a real plus.”

3. Eat half of what you eat now. “Reducing everything I put in my mouth by 50 percent has really worked for me. I’m a big meat-eater and I’ve gone to great steak places in Philly. I’ve been to Barclay Prime, I’ve been to Union Trust, I’ve been to Butcher and Singer. I’ll order the same 20-ounce rib-eye that I used to order, but I’ll eat half of it and take half of it home and eat it the next night.”

4. Be choosy about carbs. “I don’t eat any sweets. I go light on the carbs, but I’m not a fanatic. I’ll have cereal and fruit, for example, and some skim milk.”

5. Change how you think about food. “I’ve learned that I don’t have to eat a lot of food. I was afraid that I would be ravenously hungry all the time, but after four or five days your stomach adapts and I haven’t felt hungry at all. I think that’s a lesson that won’t escape me. I mean, will I eat a lot of food on Thanksgiving? Sure. But on a day-to-day basis [I’ll eat less].”

6. Reward yourself. “I was an ice cream-a-holic. My favorite of all time was Starbucks’ Java Chip Frappuccino and sometimes I’d eat a half-gallon of it in one sitting. I haven’t had any since the middle of June. When I reach my goal, which is to get down to 200 pounds, I will break the diet for one day by having some java chip.”

  • Mark

    If he can do it I can. Great inspiration

  • Elaine

    Way to go. Even if I don’t like the library cuts.

  • Barbara

    I too want to be there for my grandchilden. After losing my husband, a huge Eagles fan at age 50 to cancer, I appreciate how precious the days ahead are. I’m going to drop my excess weight!….and then buy some Eagles ice cream!

  • PEM59

    1. Set a goal.
    I will lower total debt by 30 % in two Years.

    2. Focus on what you can control.
    I will not attend any ribbon cuttings and will stop handing out Poster check.

    3. Spend half of what you spend now.

    4. Be choosy about Pork.
    I will line item veto any bill or portion of a bill that only benefits only a small community or special interest

    5. Change how you think about taxes.
    Taxes are money entrusted to me by my bosses (The voters) to benefit them, not to keep me and my friends in office.

    6. Reward Pennsylvanians
    Remember that you serve the people of Pennsylvania, not the other way around.

  • Don

    Glad to see he could still eat $50 steaks while foster kids and the poor go without anything since he cant pass a budget

  • charles

    you look terrific, i am 8 years your senior and a Republican who eats more than you and will loss more weight than you, can not let a Democrat beat me.

  • janet

    I’m glad Ed is doing so great on his weight loss!!! I am struggling with this issue and reading his tips really inspired me!!! My only suggestion to Ed would be “not” to have that Java chip ice c