Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie disclosed to the New York Post that he had secretly undergone gastric banding surgery last February. The news came as a shock from the politician known for poking fun at his size, going so far as to chow down on a donut during an interview with David Letterman in February. However, his choice to both undertake the procedure and share his weight loss process with the world has the media buzzing.
According to USA Today, the Governor’s motivations for choosing weight loss surgery are down-to-Earth, realistic, and sound familiar to anyone struggling with obesity. Can you relate to any of these?
1. He did it for his family: All of us want to live long, healthy lives and get to know our grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Governor Christie’s assertion that he underwent surgery for his family makes sense. Weight loss surgery has been proven to reduce and even eliminate the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes and a host of other co-morbid conditions, all of which threaten longevity and ability to participate in activities with loved ones. If family is your top priority, your health will be too.
2. He tried everything: Chris Christie has been struggling to lose weight for many years. Once a slim young man who played sports to stay in shape, the now-50 Christie has dieted on and off for 20 years to lose the weight, without success. With slowing metabolism and potential health side effects weighing heavy on his mind, Governor Christie turned to a medical solution.
Most insurance plans require extensive proof that potential patients have tried every weight loss method without success before covering a surgery. Governor Christie is a perfect example of someone who gave dieting and exercise a chance and chose another path when all else failed. If you have tried every diet and exercise routine with no luck, weight loss surgery could be for you.
3. You need energy to run for president: Or raise kids. Or to run that 5k you’ve been dreaming about. Obesity can hold people back from living their full physical and emotional potential.
During his campaign against Democratic Governor Jon Corzine in 2009, Christie was mocked in ads for his large size. In addition, the public’s concern about his longevity threatened to affect future campaigns. While Governor Christie’s weight may not have hurt his political career, it certainly wasn’t helping.
In both our career and personal lives, we need to feel good about ourselves and our ability to live with passion and integrity. Physical limitations caused by excess weight can be distressing when suddenly we can’t pick up our kids or walk up stairs.
According an article in Forbes referencing the work of Mark Roehling, Michigan State University Associate Professor of Human Resources, “Weight-based discrimination consistently affects every aspect of employment, from hiring to firing, promotions, pay allocation, career counseling and discipline.” Unfair as it is, considering the real effect of obesity on your career means getting honest with yourself about where you are vs. where you would like to be.
Maintaining one’s health for the long haul and improving one’s career are both excellent reasons to consider a weight loss surgery program. We wish Governor Christie all the best in his journey to health.