I have a lot of reasons to keep the weight off, but thankfully “So I can become president” is not one of them. According to Slate, however, Mike Huckabee should add it to his list. The former governor of Arkansas lost 110 pounds several years ago after living out a fat person’s nightmare: he broke a chair in front of 50 cabinet members. (Thankfully I never broke any furniture when I was fat, but I did break a bed once. It wasn’t entirely my fault though since other people were involved. Once you drag your mind out of the gutter you will be disappointed to learn it was not at an orgy, but at a sleepover in middle school and there was no lesbian experimentation involved.) Huckabee wrote a book called Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork: A 12-Stop Program to End Bad Habits and Begin a Healthy Lifestyle which helped launch him into the national spotlight. That’s why Slate thinks his weight is important as he campaigns for the Republican nomination for president.
For Huckabee, getting thin did so much to get him into the game that keeping the weight off could become an unconscious test of whether he’s really who he says he is…If Huckabee starts to balloon, he’s no longer a fresh face; he’s another flip-flopping phony diet doctor.
I can see their point, but the article is flimsy in other parts. The first paragraph ponders whether we want a president “whose biggest fear is getting fat?” How do we know what Huckabee’s greatest fear is? Considering how conservative he is, his biggest fear probably involves being best man at a big, gay, marriage ceremony. The article also says “the worst diet plan in the world is to have everyone watching,” which I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with. Knowing I have to weigh-in here every week has kept me more focused on my goal than I otherwise would have been. And knowing a certain event is happening in May (which I’m not going to mention because I’ve talked about it far, far too much already) has also kept me working hard to maintain my weight, if not lose more. Sure, it adds pressure, but a credible threat of humiliation can be a good thing if channeled properly. And if I did become fat again, I would still have friends and family who love me no matter what, which is far more important than what the public thinks.
I hope Huckabee keeps the weight off for his own sake and not because of the electorate. Campaigning for president sounds like the world’s longest, most stressful job interview. Nothing makes me eat like stress. It’s also got to be tough to eat healthy when you’re constantly traveling around the nation, never knowing where or when you’re having your next meal. I hope Huckabee remains a loser, and I really mean that.