Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., admitted Tuesday to having stomach surgery in February in order to lose weight, according to the New York Post. He said it was at the behest of his family and not a cynical move made ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid.
"I've struggled with this issue for 20 years," he told the Post. "For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them." Christie has four children and the youngest is still in elementary school.
Lap-band surgery is less invasive than another common stomach surgery, gastric bypass. A synthetic tube is placed around the stomach and restricts its size creating a full sensation.
"I know it sounds crazy to say that running for president is minor, but in the grand scheme of things, it was looking at Mary Pat and the kids and going, 'I have to do this for them, even if I don't give a crap about myself,'" he said, according to Politico.
Christie, who is running for re-election in New Jersey this fall, received criticism over his weight during his 2009 campaign, but ultimately prevailed.
The move will only fan flames that Christie is looking ahead at the 2016 presidential race, where his weight would almost certainly come up as opponents scrutinized the prospects of his health and fitness for office.
According to the Post, Christie consulted with doctors in secret before the surgery and aides told Politico he's already lost about 40 pounds.