Weighty Matters

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Good Luck, Governor Christie

on May 8, 2013

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced yesterday that he had lap band surgery back in February.  I want to wish him the best of luck in his weight loss endeavor and journey to better health and fitness.  Every day I think of the millions of people who struggle with weight problems and I say a little prayer for them to succeed in losing weight.  Governor Christie is now included.  All of us who can say “been there, tried that” know how hard it is.  I like to imagine a universal energy created by all of us in the same fight sending out our support not only to ourselves but to everyone else who needs it.

A lot of people are amazed that he managed to keep the procedure a secret.  Maybe it wasn’t appropriate for the head of a state to not tell his lieutenant governor when he was going to be, shall we say, incommunicado, for a period of time.   I can understand his desire for privacy and wish to announce it on his own time.  For years, his weight has been literally and figuratively out there front and center in all of his public activities.  He has been the target of fat jokes for as long as he’s been a candidate and then in office.  Attention comics and talk show hosts — fat jokes aren’t funny and they’re mean.  Even when the target is a larger-than-life politico in every sense of the phrase and a grown man, picking on his weight is cruel.  As cruel as if he was a teenager or younger.  Take it from a woman who still cringes when she remembers high school and the bully who used to yell, “Thar she blows” across campus whenever he saw her.  It sucks to be the brunt of those remarks.

I hope that Governor Christie’s efforts are successful, for his sake.  I also sort of cringe again knowing that he will be under incredibly intense scrutiny.  When I think of how much I hate the very thought of people watching what, how, and how much I eat, I can only imagine that multiplied three dozen times for the governor.  He’s tough, no doubt.  When the media questioned him on why he kept the procedure a secret, he flat out said that it was nobody else’s business.  He and I have different political ideologies so I don’t know if I’d have voted for him if I still lived home in Jersey, but I admire his straight talk and no bullshit attitude.  The man can get his Jersey on, that’s for sure.  I hope that will serve him well as he faces the questions, the attention, the public-level monitoring of his eating and everything else that will come his way now that people know he’s had the lap-band surgery and is losing weight.

Christie said he made the decision for his health and his future with his family.  Hands down, these are the most important reasons possible and, honestly, the only ones that really matter.  That said, whether he wants to be or not, he is also now an instant role model for countless other people who might be considering taking the same step, particularly men.  I don’t know the stats, but I have a feeling that more women than men undergo bariatric procedures.  I know that when I went to the informational seminar in fall 2011 and at every follow up doctor appointment since, women were the vast majority.  In fact, I don’t think there was a single guy at the seminar.  I know men have the procedure.  I know of three off hand in my own small community, but there are probably numerous more women around here that I just don’t know about.   Christie himself said that he made the decision after talking to a male friend of his who’d had the procedure — NY Jets coach Rex Ryan.   That kind of thing is bound to trickle down.  If Christie can make the choice and do the work, I believe it can open it up to other men.  More power to them.

Role model or not, Governor Christie, please remember that the rest of the overweight people watching are not your responsibility, at least not in relation to their weight loss efforts. (You still need to be concerned about some of them as your constituents.)  In this aspect of your life, you only need to be concerned with yourself.  It’s your recovery, your health and your business.  I hope you can ignore the extra attention, except to say thank you when people begin to compliment you on your weight loss.  I hope that you’ve spiked the guns of the comics who found you to be an easy target.

From someone else who’s on the journey, I offer you the very best wishes and support for your success.  You go, Gov!

2 responses to “Good Luck, Governor Christie

  1. Hope says:

    Sneaking out to have weight-loss surgery is a lot better than “hiking the appalachian trail.” :p

  2. Skye says:

    That’s got to be tough, being in the public eye and having that kind of surgery and all the follow-through. As hard as being in the public eye and being obese, I imagine. I wish him luck, too.

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