He quickly realized he had gained it all back, saying bluntly, “Let’s put it this way, I jumped on the scale one day and for a while there I was north of 335 [pounds]. And I got on the scale and I was all the way out at 337, 338, and the arm wasn’t even starting to bounce on it.”

So Runyan started getting active and eating less — way less. The House freshman says he embarked on a 40-day “crazy diet” eating lean protein with veggies such as spinach and lettuce as part of a 500-calories-a-day regimen.


He’s since traded in his “crazy” diet for something a tad saner and is running about every other day as well as doing some interval training. Between football injuries and his hectic congressional schedule, Runyan, 38, admits staying slimmer is a daily struggle.

“Diet’s always a problem because you’re always eating on the go. And exercise is too, because you don’t have a particularly set schedule.”

He squeezes in some time to break a sweat whenever he can, saying it’s a matter of “being ready to go at 5:30, 6 o’clock in the morning to get it done. Which I don’t think is anybody’s favorite time of the day to get anything done.”

Now weighing in at 285, Runyan says he hasn’t tightened his belt this much in a long time. “In high school I was 275, so it’s not too far off from where I was when I was 18 years old.”

And although he’s nervous about keeping the weight off as winter approaches, he says, “I’m contemplating whether to go back and get all my suits tailored again.”