Gov Christie Gets Secret Weight-Loss Surgery USA TODAY: GOP governor says he had lap-band surgery at the behest of family and friends. Christie said surgery had nothing to do with a possible 2016 White House bid. Christie's weight has been a perennial topic and source of late-night TV jokes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie secretly underwent surgery to lose weight at the urging of his family and friends, he told The New York Post. The Republican, who is running for a second term in November, had lap-band stomach surgery in February. A GOP source, who requested anonymity so Christie can speak for himself, confirmed the news Tuesday. "I've struggled with this issue for 20 years," Christie told the newspaper. "For me this is about turning 50 and looking at my children and wanting to be there for them." Christie, the father of four children, turned 50 in September. He said he was not motivated by a potential presidential bid in 2016. Christie reportedly consulted with the doctor who performed the same surgery in 2010 on New York Jets coach Rex Ryan. In lap-band surgery, a silicone tube is placed around the top of the stomach so it restricts the amount of food that can be eaten at one time. Christie told the newspaper he recently ate only a third of a steak and felt full. He did not disclose his weight loss, but the New York Post quoted sources who said the governor has lost 40 pounds. The governor's weight has been a perennial topic and has provided fodder for late-night comedians. Christie has been open about his struggles and last year rejected the idea that he was too fat to be president. In an interview with Barbara Walters, Christie said his performance after Superstorm Sandy — in which he worked long days managing the state's recovery — showed he could be effective despite his weight. During an appearance on David Letterman's show in February, Christie poked fun at himself by eating a doughnut as he talked to the CBS host. But the governor said the next day he had a plan to lose weight and rejected the idea that he did not care about his health. He lashed out at Connie Mariano, the White House doctor in the Clinton administration, who commented in a TV interview that Christie was at risk for a heart attack or stroke. "Be assured there is a plan — whether it will be successful or not, you will all be able to notice," Christie said after the Letterman show appearance.