New Jersey Governor Chris Christie turned 50 last September, and at the urging of his family and friends, underwent secret weight loss surgery in February.
“I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” Christie told the New York Post. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”
The lap-band procedure involves placing a silicone tube around the top of his stomach, where it limits the amount of food he can eat at one time and makes him feel full faster.
Christie said he went under the knife at 7 a.m. for 40 minutes -- checked in under a false name -- and was home the same afternoon. He managed to keep the secret for three months, in part because he had his doctor visit his home instead of going into the office.
Christie, a Republican running for re-election as governor this year, saw his weight become a campaign issue in the 2009 governor’s race. Many political insiders believe his weight was the only thing holding him back from a presidential run.
“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 top political donor told The Post.
But Christie denies any political motivation for the weight loss operation. “It’s so much more important than that,” he said.