- (Photo: REUTERS/Jeff Zelevansky)
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has revealed that he underwent lap-band surgery to deal with health problems caused by his weight. Christie had the surgery in February and managed to keep it a secret until now.
"I've struggled with this issue for 20 years," Christie told the The New York Post. "For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them."
Christie said that he has already noticed significant changes in his diet thanks to the surgery, which required placing a tube around the top of his stomach to restrict the amount of food he can ingest at one time.
"A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it and I was full," Christie said.
He admitted to losing nearly 40 pounds since February, which is a great win for the governor, who has always had to deal with jokes and remarks about his weight. Many speculated that Christie's weight is what prevented him from running in the 2012 election, though Christie said that his priority at the time was his family and that his weight was never a factor.
"I know it sounds crazy to say that running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, 'I have to do this for them, even if I don't give a crap about myself,'" Christie told The Post.
"I'm so proud of my friend," MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski said on "Morning Joe." "For his kids, for his family, for his own health, he did it."
"New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) told the New York Post that he secretly had 'lap-band stomach surgery' to lose weight. Good for him!" tweeted Al Roker.
"Chris Christie has life saving surgery … Takes courage, he'll be healthier," added Ted Lehmann.
Many have speculated that the lap-band surgery is in preparation for a 2016 presidential campaign, though Christie has denied such rumors.
"It's so much more important than that," Christie said.
"This means he's running for president. He's showing people he can get his weight in control. It was the one thing holding him back," a political donor told The Post.
"He's running for president for sure," Sol Noir tweeted.