Some members of General Assembly no longer throwing their weight around

(Photo courtesy of Somerset…)
July 21, 2011|By Laura Vozzella

Even if the size of Maryland government never shrinks, the size of some lawmakers does.

The big news coming out of Crisfield, where Maryland politicos gathered Wednesday for the annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake: Medifast is catching on with members of the General Assembly.

State Sen. E.J. Pipkin dropped 73 pounds in five months on the diet plan created by the Owings Mills-based firm. Pipkin says he’s also exercising a lot, running about 30 miles a week and taking as many as three spin classes a day. Yes, a day, not a week.

He said Del. Michael Smigiel has started on Medifast, too.

Both were inspired by Annapolis lobbyist Bruce Bereano, who told me last month he’d lost so much weight on the plan that rival lobbyists thought he was dying and started trying to poach his clients.

Bereano, Tawes’ biggest booster, expanded his presence at the event this year from two tents to four. He offered his usual spread of crab dip, chicken wings, meatballs and Smith Island Cake, that multilayered treat that Health Magazine has called one of America’s fattest foods.

But the Medifast delegation did not give into temptation. I failed to catch up with Smigiel, but the other two said they stuck to their diets.

“Today, I’ve had one cracker,” said Pipkin, who planned to have a Medifast caramel meal-replacement bar on the ride home.

“I had nothing to eat,” said Bereano, who was looking forward to a “lean and green” meal afterward.

UPDATE: I heard back from Smigiel late Wedneday night. Here's what he had to say:

"Yes, I started July 11, and lost 18 lbs the first week. I spent the last 30 years perfecting my  'before' picture so I thought it was time go work on the 'after' photo."

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