Secretary of state is a job that carries a lot of weight, and when Mike Pompeo held the job he literally felt that weight physically, as the long hours had him eating a not-so-healthy diet and skipping exercise.
But when Pompeo noticed last June 14 that he was tipping the scales at just under 300 pounds — a barrier he had never surpassed — he decided it was time to do something about it.
The next day, he told his wife, Susan, ”Today is the day,” he said in an interview with the New York Post.
”I started exercising, not every day, but nearly every day, and eating right and the weight just started to come off,” the 58-year-old said.
He put a home gym in his basement with dumbbells and an elliptical machine, and ”tried to get down there five, six times a week and stay at it for a half-hour or so. And that was nothing scientific. There was no trainer, there was no dietitian. It was just me.”
Pompeo starting gaining weight in 2010 when he was elected to Congress representing Kansas, though he told the Post, ”the truth is losing weight has been a lifetime struggle for me.”
He said he employed the discipline learned as a cadet at West Point to motivate him. He graduated first in his class.
”For me it’s about getting it right and being sufficiently disciplined,” he said.
Pompeo’s family revolves around food, and that won’t change, he said.
”For our family, food is where we gather. We are Italian and we like to get together around a good meal of pasta and bread and cheeses and dessert. We are still going to enjoy these big meals with family and friends except I am going to be the guy that says, ‘Yeah, I’ll have a salad,”’ he told the Post, laughing.
But for any speculation that the weight loss is a sign he might be running for president in 2024, Pompeo was quick to explain his real reason: family.
”The truth is, I’m really getting ready for 2044 and hoping I’ll be around in 2054,” he told the Post. ”My son’s getting married in July, and I wanted to be healthier and be around for what I hope the Lord will bless us with as grandkids before too terribly long. I’m not supposed to talk about that, I’m told.”