Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An Invitation to Governor Chris Christie

I don't have much politically in common with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  We are polar opposites when it comes to social issues or the role of government, but the Governor and I do have one thing in common:  We both struggle with weight and deal with it in a public arena.  Granted, my public arena is much smaller than the Governor's but none the less, we are still judged by how we look.  Me because I am a dietitian and dietitians are supposed to "look a certain way" and the Governor because, well, he's a Governor.  I've written about my issues with weight here so I don't need to rehash that old story.  Regardless of the reason, people will look at us and draw a conclusion.

Gov. Christie did an interview with ABC Nightline this month where the issue of his weight came up.  Read the full article here and watch a video excerpt below.  The Governor makes some honest and personal observations about his struggle with his weight.  He shares how he as struggled with weight for 30 years and how his job makes making healthy choices difficult.  You don't have to be a Governor to identify with that, right? Those are issues that all of us deal with but there are much deeper issues that affect our food choices. Near the end of the article, the Governor says,
“I’ve been living with it for a long time, and I’m going to try to get better,” Christie said. “And if I can get better, that’ll be great for me and for my family and for the public who likes me … it’s something that’s not easy. If it were easy, I’d already have it fixed.”
Governor Christie is a very successful, intelligent and driven individual.  You have to be to run for and get elected to political office.  He is "fixing" important social and political issues every day. His career is defined by successfully dealing with problems. But, despite all that success, power and motivation, he can't "fix" his weight.  Again, you don't have to be Governor to identify with that, right?

It's a common misconception that we can "fix" our weight.  We need to realize that what we need to fix is not the number on the scale but rather the way we think about food. What the Governor needs to do is make peace with food.  You don't have to be Governor to identify with that either.

So, I'm extending an open invitation to Governor Christie.  Governor, you don't need another meal plan or diet that promises results.  Let's talk, man to man, about something men don't usually open up about: how we use food to cope with our emotions.  Let's start a conversation about how food can be our best friend and worst enemy.  Let me help you make peace with food.  Let's start the discussion so you can start listening to your body, honoring your hunger and fullness.  Governor, ditch the food rules that you've grown up with and let's talk about how you can start to give yourself permission to eat again. This isn't a fad diet, this is Intuitive Eating.  I am here waiting for your email.  I'm available for Skype or FaceTime calls so no need to come out to Los Angeles either.  You don't need to be a Governor to open up and talk about food.  My invitation extends to anyone else out there that is ready to make peace with food. 

As always, I welcome your comments.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm with you. I don't share Christie's politics, but I do share his weight issues and it's always bugged me that his weight is so frequently a topic of the press. I have no idea whether he's healthy, but as you know well, fat is not the best signifier of ill-health; I would imagine that a high-pressure job like his, coupled with intense scrutiny of his body, would create more health problems than anything else. It is no longer acceptable to most of us to be blatantly racist, but it is still perfectly fine to be weightist; to ask about or criticize someone's weight. I have never yet heard a question or comment about Christie that was weight-related that was relevant to the topic at hand.