New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denied reports that he has lost 85 pounds since getting lap band surgery and slammed speculation that his weight loss was politically motivated.
Christie said he has never confirmed how much weight he has lost, and insisted he slimmed down for his health — not so he could position himself to run for president in 2016.
“First off, I don’t talk about numbers, so the report in the ‘New York Times’ wasn’t accurate, but I’m not going to tell you why it wasn’t accurate,” Gov. Christie told ABC News Sept. 23. “I don’t talk about that stuff and the reason is because that’s my business and not anybody else’s.”
Christie was responding to a Sept. 22 New York Times report alleging he had revealed he lost 85 pounds at a private fund-raising dinner in Manhattan hosted by billionaire David Koch. However, Christie said he never made those statements at the dinner.
The 5-foot-11 Christie rarely discusses his weight loss publicly, and said he got lap band surgery in February 2013 so he could live longer and be around for his wife and four children. Meanwhile, bariatric surgeons had estimated Chris’ weight loss at closer to 100 pounds, saying he has been making excellent process.
‘Weight Loss Not For Presidency or To Be Fitness Role Model’
While many have speculated Christie got the weight loss surgery to make himself a more viable candidate for the 2016 presidential nomination, he said that’s simply not true. That said, the race for the 2016 presidential nominations is heating up, with Christie considered the frontrunner for the Republican party.
Gov. Christie, 52, also slammed rumors that he lost weight to motivate others to get healthy. “As far as being an inspiration for other people, that’s not why I am doing it,” he said. “I needed to do it for my own health. I turned 50 and I decided I need to do something and so the fact that it’s going well is really gratifying for my family first and foremost.”
Christie’s weight became a hot-button political issue in 2013 after former White House physician Dr. Connie Mariano said Christie would not be a viable presidential candidate for 2016 because of his obesity. “I’m worried about this man dying in office,” Mariano told CNN. “I’m worried he may have a stroke. It’s almost like a time bomb waiting to happen unless he addresses those issues before running for office.”
In response to the comments, Chris vehemently insisted he was very healthy. However, in February 2013, he quietly underwent lap band surgery and said he has never felt better. Christie recently called the weight loss surgery “life-changing.”
The gastric-band procedure involves having a silicone band placed around the stomach to create a pouch the size of a golf ball, limiting the amount of food the patient is able to ingest.
Gov. Christie, who has been overweight all his life, said the best thing about lap band is that he no longer feels the compulsive need to eat all the time. “I’m not nearly as interested in food as I used to be,” he said.
Christie joins a long list of celebrities who underwent dramatic transformations after getting weight loss surgery, including “MasterChef” star Graham Elliot, who lost 155 pounds after getting gastric sleeve surgery. Elliott is now training for the Chicago Marathon.
Similarly, “The View” host Rosie O’Donnell lost 53 pounds after her bariatric procedure and said she has never felt better. Magic Johnson’s son, EJ Johnson, also got gastric sleeve surgery and lost 50 pounds in five weeks.