NJ Governor Cuts Calories Along With the Budget

By Beth DeFalco
|  Saturday, Feb 19, 2011  |  Updated 5:30 PM EDT
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NJ Governor Cuts Calories Along With the Budget

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NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visits the 'Fox & Friends' at FOX Studios on January 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has cut more than the state budget his first year in office: The heavyset head-of-state has also dropped a few pounds.

He isn't saying exactly how much he's lost, but his suits have been getting noticeably baggy.

"I'm not going to put any numbers on it because you just set yourself up for failure," the 48-year-old Republican said.

Christie credits his recent weight loss to working with a trainer three mornings a week — Wednesday, Friday and Saturday — and eating better.

He started working with a trainer in June 2009, but for the past year says he has been more consistent.

"What I've done over the last 10 months is I've just watched what I eat, work out, and slowly but surely I'm taking the weight off," he said.

The governor has long struggled with his weight, which he says he started putting on after high school when he stopped playing organized sports.

He's tried dozens of diets over the years with varying success.

He lost 40 pounds on a bet in 1997 while he was a county freeholder, but gained it back. From 2002 to 2003, while serving as New Jersey's top federal prosecutor, he lost 50 pounds on the Atkins diet but it didn't stay off.

His weight came up during his 2009 campaign against Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine, who ran an ad accusing Christie of "throwing his weight around" to get out of traffic citations while he was U.S. attorney.

The ads included unflattering images of Christie struggling to exit an SUV. In contrast, Corzine was running 5K and 10K races nearly every weekend toward the end of the campaign.

Christie confronted the ads head on, telling Corzine to "man up and say I'm fat."

Christie said that more than anything else, his four children motivate him to lose weight. They range in age from 7 to 17 years old.

"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 said. "I don't want to be in a situation where, as I get older, my health is really at risk."

Christie's weight has also made him relatable to people, as well as self-deprecating.

During a radio interview this fall, he likened his weight loss to "throwing a couple deck chairs off of the Titanic."

At town hall meetings, he often jokes about how he wasn't elected for his good looks but for his fiscal discipline.

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