Guv sheds pounds as example for state

Promoting a healthy lifestyle in one of the unhealthiest states in America is a difficult job, but Gov. Haley Barbour is off to a good start.

Barbour has lost 18 pounds since he announced his initiative five months ago.

The 59-year-old rises before the sun five days a week and spends 45 minutes on his elliptical exercise machine. When the Republican governor attends events where food is served, he skips the bread and sugar, opting for fruit and vegetables instead.

Barbour hopes to eventually shed another 15 pounds from his 235-pound frame and set an example for others as he promotes his Healthy Mississippi initiative.

The project was launched in June with Barbour urging schools, businesses, churches and communities to get involved in various programs that would help residents adopt better eating and exercise habits.