Friday, June 23, 2006

Cheney Discusses Pre-'Iraq' Bulimia

cheney_eatVice President Dick Cheney opens up on his five-decade battle with bulimia in this month's Human Events.

Cheney tells the magazine, now on newsstands, that his cycle of binging and purging began when he was 17 and continued until the Iraq invasion.

"When we decided to invade, I knew that food -- my eating disorder -- was the one thing really holding me back," Cheney tells the magazine, estimating that he was making himself throw up as many as seven times a day. "I was binging my whole life away for days at a time... So when we were building a consensus for the invasion, I said, 'You know what? I can do well in this war. Let me give myself a chance and just get a hold of this thing.'"

In preparation for the invasion, Cheney enrolled in an intensive treatment program at the Eating Disorder Center in Langley, VA.

Cheney tells Human Events that he credits the war with saving his life.

Although this interview was the most candid Cheney has been about his eating disorder, the Vice President, who was the administration's energy point man before launching the "Iraq" experience, hasn't shied away from talking about his problems with food.

In a conference call with reporters to promote the killing of Abu Musab al Zarqawi, Cheney was asked about his workout regimen.

"I don't have any time," he responded. "I haven't worked out in like four months. I feel like I'm a big blob, like I don't have any muscle in my body."

He continued, "I've totally struggled with body weight and stuff like that. Before 'Iraq' it was like was part of my struggle with being a public servant was I went up and down with my weight, and I would get such good feedback from political consultants, 'We would love to run him for office, but...' It's part of Washington and it's a shame that you have to be so skinny and in such good shape and it was just such a huge struggle for me."

Hinting at his pre-"Iraq" treatment, Cheney had more to say about his ongoing relationship with food.

"I actually met a dietician before the war because I wanted to get all my stuff in check," he admitted. "And he just taught me to eat normally and to have like peace with food and stuff like that. Now I just don't have any kind of emotional eating anymore, and the weight just kind of starting dropping off of me. I still have weight on me; I'm probably still not like what Washington thinks is stick skinny. But I'm just happy with food. I'm able to eat and I think that that's what men should be able to do. I eat food and I don't think twice about it."

Cheney's next war, "Iran," will open after the midterm elections.

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