(CNN) – The weight loss surgery Gov. Chris Christie underwent in February was not a precursor to seeking higher office, the New Jersey Republican asserted Tuesday.
Christie, speaking in public for the first time since his surgery was revealed, said the decision instead was based on his commitment to his family.
"It's not a career issue for me. It is a long term health issue for me. And that is the basis upon which I made my decision," Christie said, saying that "the steps I've taken are for me, and Mary Pat, and the kids."
Christie secretly underwent lap-band surgery a few months after turning 50 in February, though the procedure wasn't revealed until Tuesday. He said he spent around 10 hours at New York University's Langone Medical Center in Manhattan for the process, though the surgery itself only took 40 minutes. It was minimally invasive and didn't interrupt his schedule, Christie said. New Jersey's
Part of his pre-surgery consultations included a discussion with New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who himself underwent a lap band procedure in 2010. Ryan didn't know at that point that Christie was considering weight loss surgery, though he was able to provide a first-hand account of the process.
In fact, no one outside a small circle of Christie aides and family members knew of the surgery until Tuesday, and the governor never intended the information to go public. He said the weight loss measure wasn't "anybody else's business but mine," but that when a reporter from the New York Post began inquiring about the procedure he was forthcoming.
The ensuing media attention, he said, has been "ridiculous."
"I think there are so many more important issues we are dealing with in this state on a day-to-day basis that for this kind of attention to be drawn to the fact that I'm pursuing a weight loss measure is, I think, shows just how really shallow a lot of this coverage has become and why a lot of people ignore it," he told reporters.
After a month and a half, Christie said he doesn't feel "markedly different" than before the lap band, but that he wasn't discouraged in the least.
"I'm at the beginning stages of this thing," Christie said, noting that "I feel great about myself."