Welcome to my Fatboy series. This is a chronicle of my journey after weight loss surgery in January 2012 at the University of Texas Medical Branch Center for Obesity and Metabolic Surgery.

I’m not one to judge other people who are fat. I know what it is like to be the one judged.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie recently went on David Letterman to address critics who complain about his weight. For the most part, the governor had fun with the subject, poked fun at himself and said fat jokes directed at him don’t bother him.

“In my perspective, if the joke is funny, I laugh, even if it is about me,” Christie, 50, said.

Then he said something that caught my interest.

“I'm basically the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life,” Christie said.

Sorry, Gov. Christie, that’s total bull.

How do I know that? That’s the same line I used for years as an excuse not to get in shape not to get healthy and remain fat.

The governor was responding to former White House physician Dr. Connie Mariano, who said Christie — a potential 2016 presidential candidate — was “a time bomb waiting to happen,” and she worried Christie would die in office.

The doctor, a Republican who treated President Bill Clinton, admitted to never having examined the governor. It still doesn’t take a physical examination to determine that Gov. Christie is fat.

Christie has not, at least that I can find, revealed how much he weighs. But at 5 foot, 11 inches tall, (the same as me) my guess is he weighs more than 421 pounds. Those of you who follow this blog know was how much I weighed the day I went into the University of Texas Medical Branch for my gastric sleeve weight loss surgery.

I weighed more than that before my surgery, but avoided scales as much as I could. Today, I am 275 pounds and still looking to drop more weight.

I was struck by Christie’s comments because I think it does a disservice to the public to say such malarkey. I did that for many years and, thankfully, no one who heard me say it believed me either.

Last week, my friend Lisa Crowder, who in 2006 went through gastric bypass, said something that I think applies well here.

“You don’t realize how bad you felt until you feel good,” Crowder said.

When we were fat, we dismissed it and said we were happy. We poked fun at our weight.

We could roll with the punches when other people would make jokes.

Then we started to change our lives and guess what? We started to feel better. We started to feel healthy.

Now we realize that we weren’t feeling good when we were fat. We just never admitted it.

And that is what’s needed here. Just as I had to come to terms and admit I was fat and needed to change my life, Gov. Christie should do the same.

Not because of any political motivation or greater concern for public health. It’s because he needs to stop deceiving the public and admit he is a Fat Governor and doesn’t yet realize how good he can feel.

And given the bully pulpit he controls, maybe it will convince others to make a change for the better, too.

Video of Chris Christie on David Letterman


(3) comments

Lars Faltskog

I do admire Christie for his candor when he is speaking. He does have a way of being sincere, even if one doesn't agree with the issue he is talking about at hand.

Seems to be the only thing he isn't truthful about is his weight. This article is true - he is extremely overweight. He won't tell us the teasing he very likely had when he was a child. Even as an adult, I imagine he, deep down, wishes he wasn't so hefty.

Hopefully, something or someone will inspire him to be healthier. If he could coalesce and get a following so he could perhaps run for president - he certainly has a shot. But, his obesity should concern not only his loved ones but also the people he works with. He's a time bomb. He's not getting any younger - any ailment will likely catch up with him.

Gary Scoggin

TJ .... Well said, as a fellow journeyman on the weight loss trail, I see much familiar in Christie. I do have to say though, he was a riot on Letterman. But as you and I can attest, his exterior is likely in far better shape than his interior. I see him as one of the few Republicans I can support. Maybe he needs to see Sukwan and Dr. Ekhase between now and 2016.

Kevin Lang

I saw in the news that Gov. Christie had some kind of gastric band inserted shortly after that Letterman appearance. He seems to be taking a much different approach than TJ with regards to how he shares the details of his journey. To each his own, but I hope that he's ultimately successful in getting his weight to a healthy level.

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