Daily exercise and a better diet — that's the secret to healthy weight loss, according to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
In an interview with the New York Post Thursday, Pompeo revealed that he was able to drop 90 pounds since last June, when he realized he weighed nearly 300 and decided something had to change.
“I started exercising, not every day, but nearly every day, and eating right and the weight just started to come off,” he told the Post.
Speculation about Pompeo's weight loss swirled online after he appeared on Sean Hannity's Fox News program in October sporting a new, slimmer physique. Some suggested that he had reconstructive surgery, others spread rumors that he had health issues or had contracted COVID-19 and so had dramatically lost weight.
The truth, according to Pompeo, is much simpler: He bought some dumbbells and an elliptical machine and set up a home gym in his basement.
"I 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 dietician. It was just me,” Pompeo said.
Adding to exercise, Pompeo said he cut cheeseburgers, carbs, and sugary foods from his diet. He described how the demands of his jobs in the Trump administration — serving briefly as CIA director before become head of the State Department — an old foot ailment, and his eating habits had contributed to significant weight gain.
“I put on almost a hundred pounds over the course of 10, 11 years — years that coincided with my foot injury — so I told myself that was the reason I gained so much weight,” he said, explaining that he suffered from joint issues that were unrelated to a specific injury.
“No one wants to admit they have gained weight or are overweight even if all the evidence points otherwise,” he said.
While traveling around the world on behalf of the Trump administration, Pompeo would remain sedentary and often eat at his computer. “You can ask anybody on my team, they knew exactly what I was going to do: cheeseburger from room service. I went back to the room and kept working, and ate my cheeseburger. That was my pattern of life.
“When you work and eat, you just keep working and you just keep eating,” he said.
Pompeo, 58, served as Secretary of State for President Donald Trump from 2018 to 2021, first joining the administration as director of the CIA after three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives as a congressman from Kansas. He is a former Army officer who graduated first in his class from West Point and attended Harvard Law School. He currently is a Fox News contributor, works as a senior counsel for global affairs at the American Center for Law and Justice, and chairs the Champion American Values PAC, an organization that supports conservative candidates for Congress.
He lives with his wife Susan in Chantilly, Virginia, and credits his family who all "supported my effort to get healthy."
Pompeo said he hopes his story will inspire others struggling with obesity to get healthy. "It is hard, and it’s not permanent. There’s no guarantees that I’ll still be at whatever I weigh now, but if you realize that good things can happen if you keep at it, you can do it as well.”
When asked by the Post about rumors he lost the weight to prepare for a presidential campaign in 2024, Pompeo laughed and said he's more concerned about 2044 and 2054. He wants grandchildren.
“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,” he said.
“My clothes fit better, and I have more energy,” Pompeo added. "I want to be there for my family and hopefully lots of grandchildren.”