People have been whispering for months about Mike Pompeo's out-of-nowhere weight loss, first noticed in the late fall as he made various appearances. Some speculated he was sick; others wondered if he was getting in shape to make a presidential run in 2024. The former CIA director and secretary of state is now saying it's none of those things, revealing in an exclusive interview with the New York Post that he dropped 90 pounds in six months simply to improve his health so he'll be around for a long time to enjoy his family, including possible future grandchildren.
"Today is the day," the 58-year-old tells the paper he told his wife, Susan, on June 15, the day after he got on a scale and saw he was closing in on 300 pounds. He says he started exercising "nearly every day" for about 30 minutes in his home gym, where he used dumbbells and an elliptical machine. He says he also cut down on carbs, sugar, and his beloved cheeseburgers, though he notes he still enjoys an outing to IHOP with his family—he'll just eat egg whites and turkey bacon instead of pancakes doused in syrup. "Losing weight has been a lifetime struggle for me," he says, noting that he really started to put on weight around 2010, when he was first elected to the House of Representatives.
Not everyone is buying what Pompeo is selling. "Dude, just be honest," Micah LaCerte, a well-known personal trainer in the Kansas City, Mo., area, says to the Kansas City Star, which published an editorial board piece skeptical of Pompeo's narrative. "Mike, come on, man. ... The numbers just don't add up." Other weight loss experts and people who've lost large amounts of weight similarly told the paper they were wary of Pompeo's story, noting losing that amount of weight would require a "massive starvation diet" and hours upon hours of exercise, if not surgery or weight loss drugs. However he got there, Pompeo is reaping the benefits, telling the Post his clothes fit better and he has more energy. "It was a virtuous cycle instead of the vicious one that I had been in," he notes of his dramatic loss of pounds. (Read more Mike Pompeo stories.)