Gov. Chris Christie looks healthier than ever after his 85-pound weight loss following lap band surgery in February 2013. Christie, who rarely discusses his bariatric weight loss, revealed he has lost a total of 85 pounds since last year, USA Today reported.
The New Jersey governor made the revelation at a private fund-raising dinner in Manhattan hosted by billionaire David Koch. The dramatically slimmer 5-foot-11 Christie did not reveal how much he weighs, but told attendees the lap band surgery dramatically improved his health.
**Update: Christie denies he lost 85 pounds
He even joked about his previous food addiction, saying, “A doctor once told me you have to have the right relationship with the food you eat. For many years, I had a great relationship with the foods I ate.”
Gov. 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, 52, 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.”
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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.
While many have speculated that Christie got the bariatric surgery to further his political career, he said his health and his family were his primary motivation.
“It has nothing to do with the performance of my job,” said the father of four. “I did it for myself, for Mary Pat and the kids.” That said, the race for the 2016 presidential nominations is heating up, with Christie considered the frontrunner for the Republican party.
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 in July 2013. Elliott is now training for the Chicago Marathon.
Similarly, “The View” host Rosie O’Donnell has lost 53 pounds following her August 2013 bariatric procedure and said she has never felt better.
Update: Gov. Chris Chris denies saying he lost 85 pounds