He may just be San Diego’s “biggest loser!” In less than two years, Mayor Jerry Sanders has lost nearly 85 pounds! No diet. No surgery. No magic bullet. The mayor’s secret weapon for weight loss? Walking!
I met Mayor Sanders one morning on the last leg of his morning walk through Kensington to learn more about the mayor’s new passion.
Carol: What kind of mileage are you doing these days, Mr. Mayor?
Mayor Sanders: 50-60 miles a week. Five miles on weekdays and 20 miles – two five-hour walks – on the weekend.
Carol: Wow! You’re a fitness rock star! How did this happen?
Mayor Sanders: Two years ago, my doctor said I was too fat!
Carol: Has your weight been a problem?
Mayor Sanders: Always. I’m only 10 pounds from my ideal weight of 180, but there’s still a fat boy inside my mind!
Carol: Well, from inside my mind, you look pretty trim! Is it just from walking?”
Mayor Sanders: I also do gym workouts twice a week and watch what I’m eating.
Carol: Must be tough on your schedule … the “rubber chicken” circuit and all?”
Mayor Sanders: I just don’t eat everything I see. I do eat more salads, lentils, brown rice and lean meats. But no more potatoes and fries.
Carol: No more fun food?
Mayor Sanders: I love Trader Joes’ “Popped Chips.” The whole bag is only 300 calories!
Carol: Is your wife supportive of your healthier lifestyle?
Mayor Sanders: Rana’s a runner – extremely fitness-conscious. We “batch” cook healthy meals on Sundays and nibble off them all week.
Carol: And your staff?
Mayor Sanders: Oh, they poke fun … eat M&M’s in front of me, but they also munch from my stash of apples and bananas in the office.
Carol: About those 5-hour walks? Do you ever get bored?
Mayor Sanders: Nope! I “zone” out listening to Pink Floyd on my iPod and collect coins along the way. I tell Rana it’s for our Italy fund.
Carol: I know you walk every day. Do you ever just want to sleep in?
Mayor Sanders: Sure, but I’ve found the best walks are the ones you don’t want to do!
Carol: Some might call you obsessive, Mr. Mayor?
Mayor Sanders: Hmmm. That’s what Rana tells me. But my Dad always said, “anything worth doing is worth over-doing.”
Carol: Walk on, Mr. Mayor!
Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.