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.