New Jersey Governor Chris Christie admitted on Tuesday that he secretly underwent weight-loss surgery in February in an effort to overcome a 20-year battle with obesity.
The 50-year-old Christie -- whose name is often mentioned as a possible Republican presidential candidate -- confirmed the 40-minute lap-band stomach procedure to the Today show's Matt Lauer in a telephone conversation. He said he quickly resumed his busy work schedule shortly after the surgery and has not experienced any complications.
The New York Post, which initially reported the story, quoted the father of four as saying he decided to have the surgery after "struggling with this issue" for two decades. "For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them," he said.
Christie has never disclosed his weight -- which has been an issue throughout his political career -- and declined to say how much weight he had lost since the surgery, during which an adjustable ring is placed over the top of the stomach to restrict the amount of food that can enter. He did tell the Post, "A week or two ago, I went to a steakhouse and ordered a steak and ate about a third of it, and I was full."