Nightly News   |  May 07, 2013

Christie: ‘I’m just not very hungry anymore’

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says his lap-band surgery is helping him control his weight. Not being hungry anymore, he said, is a “huge change.” NBC’s Brian Williams reports.

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>>> the republican governor of new jersey , chris christie , has undergone lap band weight reduction surgery. the story broke in this morning's "new york post." it's not known when the governor was planning to say something about it himself, but there has been a noticeable reduction in his weight just in recent days. today we sat down for an exclusive interview with the governor alongside the newly rebuilt boardwalk in seaside heights , new jersey, mostly to talk about the sandy recovery. turns out sandy forced a delay in his surgery until presidents weekend of this year when he checked himself into the hospital on a saturday morning under an assumed name.

>> last fall i was turning 50, and it really was a moment of reflection for me. and so i really just felt like for mary pat and for the kids, that i needed to take a more significant step to try to get my weight under control so that i could have a really active next half of my life.

>> the governor sought the advice of dr. george fielding of the nyu school of medicine in new york , a pioneer in the field of weight loss surgery .

>> do you think i need this? he said to me, if you came in here with cancer and i told you that i had a 40-minute surgery that would give you a 90% chance of cure, would you sign up? and it just really crystallized it for me. and i said, yeah, i would. he said, then why wouldn't you do that to cure obesity?

>> the governor said he also consulted rex ryan , the new york jets head coach, who had successful lap band surgery himself. rex ryan has a great phrase saying that people who have been through the surgery use, listen to the band .

>> yes.

>> you're just starting out, but that's what's going to guide you.

>> there's no question. sometimes whether you want to listen to the band or not, it forces you to listen. but the biggest thing about it for me has been i'm just not very hungry any more. i mean, that's a huge change for me.

>> this is tough here. this is our turf.

>> the sausage and peppers are the problem. but i don't feel like every day like i have a significant amount of hunger and that really helps.

>> governor christie long ago learned to own his weight in public appearances while always maintaining his waifg was his business. he grew tired of often questions about it and famously decided to have some fun at his own expense while appearing on david letterman just two weeks before his surgery.

>> i've made jokes about you, not just one or two, not just ongoing here and there, intermittent, but --

>> during the doughnut incident on dave, you knew yourself what the rest of us didn't know, and that is, i'm going in to get this fixed, so it's all moot.

>> the doughnut on david letterman was kind of my good-bye.

>> your curtain call .

>> it was. dave obviously didn't know that nor did anybody else. i needed to do something. i did not want to take the risk of becoming unhealthy and the ramifications that would have for mary pat and my four kids. as you know, i still have children in elementary school . i have a long road here as a father, and i don't want to miss any of it.