After years of criticism over his weight, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie decided over the winter to take action.  After consulting with Jets head coach Rex Ryan on his successful weight-loss surgery, Christie underwent lap-band surgery in February, he told the New York Post in an exclusive:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie secretly underwent lap-band stomach surgery to aggressively slim down for the sake of his wife and kids, he revealed to The Post last night.

The Garden State governor agreed to the operation at the urging of family and friends after turning 50 last September.

He told The Post he was thinking of his four kids and how it was time to start improving his health when he decided to have the procedure.

“I’ve struggled with this issue for 20 years,” he said. “For me, this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them.”

Good for the Governor for thinking of his family — but is that all he considered?  After all, Christie has generated plenty of interest as a potential presidential candidate, although his recent gun-control push has tempered that considerably of late.  Christie says that was the furthest thing from his mind:

He also insisted that, contrary to what observers may say, the effort to slim down was not motivated by thoughts of a presidential bid.

“It’s so much more important than that,” he said.

Well, it is, but it’s also a little coincidental in terms of the timing.  Christie will run for re-election this year in what is expected to be a historic landslide victory, which means he will be free to consider a run by early 2014.  That gives him plenty of time to re-position himself for the Republican primary fight, and his weight should be off by the time he would have to seriously campaign in early-to-mid-2015.  If he does have aspirations for higher office, he probably wouldn’t have time to lose that kind of weight in two years through non-surgical methods, and there’s little doubt his weight would have been an issue.

Matt Lauer and Nancy Snyderman explain the surgery and the prognosis for the formerly self-proclaimed healthiest fat guy around:

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