"I literally eat half of what I used to," said Rendell, who is 65 and stands 5 feet 11 inches. "I am now a devout disciple of the fact that if you want to lose weight you have to significantly reduce the amount of food you put in your mouth."
His wife, Midge, and their son Jesse said they expressed to him their concern about the health implications of his weight. Rendell said he began dieting in June, when still-deadlocked state budget negotiations first bogged down, because it gave him something positive to focus on.
"I told him, 'You don't see that many very heavyset 80- or 85-year-olds, do you?"' said his wife, a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
Rendell, who also works out regularly, still eats omelets, but now they're made with two eggs instead of three and served with four strips of bacon instead of eight.
Once he reaches his target, he acknowledges, he might have a small bowl of ice cream.
"I might have a cheesesteak again," he said, "but I'll put half of it in the refrigerator to have it later."