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Originally published May 7, 2013 at 9:53 AM | Page modified May 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

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Christie's comments on weight, health over time

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has spoken out publicly about his struggle with weight on many occasions, starting when he first ran for the state's highest office in 2009. He has frequently joked about his size while also seeking to identify with other Americans struggling to shed pounds, though he has never said how much he weighs.

The Associated Press

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has spoken out publicly about his struggle with weight on many occasions, starting when he first ran for the state's highest office in 2009. He has frequently joked about his size while also seeking to identify with other Americans struggling to shed pounds, though he has never said how much he weighs.

Some comments Christie has made about his weight and other related developments:

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OCTOBER 2009: A TV ad for Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine accuses Christie, his GOP challenger, of "throwing his weight around" to get out of traffic tickets and shows unflattering images of him. The commercial makes Christie's size a campaign issue, and he acknowledges struggling with his weight throughout adulthood. "I'm slightly overweight. Apparently, this has become a great cause of discussion in the state of New Jersey," he says. "I don't know what that has to do with being governor." Christie tells radio personality Don Imus that he's helped keep Dunkin' Donuts workers employed through the recession.

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SEPTEMBER 2010: Back on Imus' show, Christie likens his weight-loss efforts to "throwing a couple deck chairs off of the Titanic."

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FEBRUARY 2011: Christie, now governor, acknowledges he has lost weight, attributing it to working with a personal trainer three mornings a week. "I'm motivated by the fact that the job is pretty stressful at times and I have four kids, so I need to be around for them," Christie says. "I don't want to be in a situation where, as I get older, my health is really at risk." He tells CBS' "Face the Nation" that he applauds first lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity initiatives, though some conservatives had criticized them as an example of the government trying to control citizens' lives.

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JULY 2011: Christie is hospitalized for several hours for emergency asthma treatment. A spokesman says it's the first time since he was in college that he has needed emergency treatment for the condition. He says the humid weather and allergies, not his weight, are likely to blame.

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JANUARY 2012: In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Christie is asked about being the target of fat jokes. "It didn't bother you?" Winfrey asks. "Because let me tell you, when David Letterman was making jokes about me, it bothered me." Christie responds: "I think I was girded for it, Oprah, I really do."

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APRIL 2012: Though late-night comics had been mocking Christie's size as his political star rose, it became the stuff of C-SPAN when Jimmy Kimmel makes fat jokes during the White House Correspondents' Club dinner, saying Christie was confused about the state's slogan. "It's not the Olive Garden State," Kimmel says. Christie reacts, again, with humor, noting that he was sitting next to actress Sophia Vergara during the dinner. "When you have (Sophia Vergara) next to you to console you, let me tell you, you don't care what the heck Jimmy Kimmel is saying about you," he says.

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SEPTEMBER 2012: Around the time he turned 50, on Sept. 6, Christie says he decided, with the encouragement of his family, to undergo weight-loss surgery. He originally planned it for November, but pushed it back after Superstorm Sandy hit the state.

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NOVEMBER 2012: At a news conference, Christie jokingly declines to answer a question about Hostess shutting down and ceasing to produce Twinkies. "This is a setup! I am not answering questions on Twinkies, no, no, no, no, no, no," he says. "It's bad that I even said the word `Twinkie' from behind this microphone." His office later distributes a video of his Twinkies riff.

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DECEMBER 2012: In an interview with Barbara Walters for her "10 Most Fascinating People" special on ABC, Christie says he's "more than a little" overweight but fit enough for the White House. The newswoman says some people say he's too heavy to be president. "That's ridiculous," Christie responds. "I don't know what the basis for that is."

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FEB. 4, 2013: Christie makes light of his weight on an appearance on NBC's "Late Night with David Letterman," eating a doughnut as Letterman asks him if he's bothered by jokes about his weight. Christie says the topic is "fair game" for comedians and reads some of Letterman's previous zingers and describes himself as "the healthiest fat guy you've ever seen in your life." At a news conference the next day, he says: "The idea that somehow I don't care about this, of course I care about it, and I'm making the best effort I can." He also gives what can now be read as a hint about the surgery, saying he had a weight-loss plan: "Whether it's successful or not, you'll all be able to notice."

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FEB. 6: Christie lashes out at Dr. Connie Mariano, who served as White House physician from 1992 to 2001, for her comments about his weight on CNN. She says she'd like to see Christie run for president but that he needs to lose weight or risk a heart attack or stroke. "I'm worried about this man dying in office," she tells the network. Christie says that unless she gives him an exam and learns his family history, "she should shut up."

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FEB. 16: Christie secretly undergoes weight-loss surgery at NYU Medical Center.

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MAY 7: Christie makes public his surgery in an interview with New York Post. In a book out the same day, "Obsessed: America's Food Addiction - and My Own," by MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski with Diane Smith, Christie talks about his weight struggle and the brutal comments he says have been directed at him over his size. In a news conference, Christie says he did not plan to tell the public about his procedure, and says the decision to have it was not made for political reasons. "This is a hell of a lot more important to me than running for president," he says. "This is about my family's future."

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