When Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) decided she wanted to lose weight as she approached her “late (gulp) 50s”, she announced it to her nearly 60,000 Twitter followers:
"I'm tired of looking and feeling fat," the 58-year-old Missouri Democrat tweeted in May. "Maybe talking about it publicly will keep me on track as I try to be more disciplined. Off to the gym."
After five months of healthy dieting, exercise, and consults with weight-loss coach Charles D’Angelo, McCaskill recently tweeted that she lost her goal of 50 pounds.
McCaskill told CBS News that Twitter kept her motivated and accountable:
“I thought long and hard about sending that first tweet. I knew what it meant. It meant that people were going to be watching to see if in fact I stayed on track, if I actually made that commitment to work out everyday of the week and to really be accountable. So when I hit that send button that day, I knew that there was no going back. I either had to make this happen or everyone was going to know that I had publicly failed in a pretty big way to get to a more healthy weight.”
D’Angelo told CNN that the senator’s decision to use social media was her own idea. “Accountability is part of the mindset,” he told CNN. “You have to have something keep [you] accountable.”
Interspersed among tweets about the Cardinals, Joplin, family trips and compromise on Capitol Hill were her often-humorous updates about her journey to a healthy weight. Take a look: