OGGIES WILL NO DOUBT BE INSPIRED BY THE DETERMINATION AND MAINTENANCE OF PRESIDENT SARKOZY’S DIET REGIMEN…FOUR PACKS DOESN’T GIVE CHOICES TO ATTAIN IDEAL SHAPE…JUST REASONS…AND CARLA BRUNI IS A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN OVER 40…ONE OF OUR “REASONS”…..
Despite his summer “malaise” while out jogging, when he collapsed and was taken to hospital, Mr Sarkozy keeps up with his runs, regularly checking his weight and wristwatch for lap times, and devouring huge pots of low-fat “fromage frais” to ward off hunger.
Now the “Carla effect” appears to have rubbed off on a string of cabinet colleagues who have been politely told that fat is for losers.
The most spectacular weight loss has come from Brice Hortefeux, the interior minister and one of the president’s closest friends. Mr Hortefeux, 51, has gone from a portly, ruddy-faced bon vivant to a spindly, gaunt figure within the space of a few months. So drastic has been the change that some friends have expressed concern. “Worry not,” one of his aides told the Le Parisien newspaper. “He’s just become a soup, cheese and red fruits nut”.
Eric Besson, 51, another of the president’s favoured cabinet figures, has downsized after following a strict diet.
Hervé Novelli, the 60-year-old trade minister, has also lost weight, while the industry minister Christian Estrosi, 54, spent the summer going on thrice-weekly 10-mile runs to hone his figure. Even Gérard Larcher, 59, the triple-chinned president of the senate with a legendary love of heavy French fare, is making a stab at dieting.
Weight, it seems, is no laughing matter. Mr Sarkozy reportedly told one unnamed MP tipped for a government post that he should change hairstyle and lost “a few kilos” if he wanted the post.
Some have even used their dietary efforts as an argument to remain in government. When he was ousted in a July reshuffle, André Santini, the former secretary of state for public service, questioned his removal given that he had “lost several kilos”.
“The fashion for dieting is coming from the chef (boss),” said Jean-Michel Cohen, a nutritionist who has advised many top politicians. “The figure is becoming a vehicle for political communication,” he said. “The ‘reassuring fatty’ is over. The boss is sweating to lose weight. The others must rein themselves in too.” Observers noted that this self-discipline was a far cry from the days of Jacques Chirac, the former president, whose gargantuan appetite was legendary. Contrary to his successor, Mr Chirac once told his unpopular prime minister, Alain Juppé, to fatten up if he wanted public sympathy.
Today, guests at the Elysée and other ministries are treated to frugal lunches. Ministers are even said to often order their own separate low-calorie dishes and pick from fruit bowls.
How much this dieting wave is down to Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy is debatable, but France Soir recently wrote: “Although a discreet wife, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has in reality got her hand not just in the head of state’s diet and sporting regimes, but is also affecting the choice of government.”
Mr Sarkozy said recently: “I attach great weight to what she says to me. Her views widen my outlook and my thoughts.” But he added: “Carla and I speak a lot, but I think I have reached an age that allows me not to be influenced by anyone.”