Dear Gov. Christie –
Every once in a while a public figure comes along and shines a spotlight on an ugly aspect of our country. Since you’ve come to prominence as the governor of the state I live in, much attention has been focused on your weight. Most of the comments have been ignorant, knee jerk, and shallow, but since you’ve come into focus as a presidential hopeful for so many, even some smart, respected members of the media have been chiming in with what they believe are cogent reasons we should be concerned that a person of girth might occupy the White House.
I think they’re mostly misguided in their thinking.
Before I continue, let’s get the political out of the way. I had no stake in whether you ran for president of the U.S. in 2012. You call it like you see it and seem to govern from a set of principles I’m not particularly aligned with, but I give you credit for coming from that place of authenticity within yourself.
“Now is not my time,” you said in your Tuesday press conference about your decision not to run for president in 2012. “The deciding factor was that it did not feel right in my gut to leave now when the job [in New Jersey] is not finished.”
Admirable. I think there will be a time when it does feel right, though, and here’s what you might want to think about in the meantime. What’s at your core should transcend all else, with you and with voters. It is what makes you so appealing to some and what others can’t seem to access because they are weight obsessed. The latter are often the same people who wouldn’t be fazed if you were thin as a rail and knocking back drinks every night, rendering you impaired and dependent upon a substance that alters behavior and acts as a depressant. That’s just the way we roll here in America. Surface rules.
Frankly, how I suggest you proceed holds up regardless of whether you decide your calling is someday governing the country or managing a Home Depot. You don’t need a “diet.” This is not about food. You need to go deeper than that. What needs to be addressed is what resides at the core of why we eat. (Yes, I said ‘we.’ I know of what I speak).
It’s like they say about a spouse having an affair. That is just the symptom of a larger problem manifesting in cheating. What’s really going on?
To make any headway at all, you’re going to have to ignore the ignoramuses who think this is about your inability to pass up a donut. You’re not one of those youngsters Michelle Obama is trying to educate in her Let’s Move campaign. Many of them have grown up thinking Doritos is a food group. The first lady is trying to help those who need to be shown lettuce exists outside of a Big Mac bun.
That’s not you, governor.
Everything about how you communicate suggests you like and respect directness, so I’m going that route here. I’m a Jersey Girl. I speak that language. So here goes. No one wants to be overweight. Often we are subconsciously hiding ourselves beneath weight. It’s a shield. Unlike the sources of the first-grade level sneers you get on a daily basis, I’d like to see you dig to a soul level and use your national platform to show us how that’s done.
Weight Watchers points are not the solution when there’s no understanding of the ‘why.’ As Dr. Phil might say, what is your payoff for keeping extra weight on? What is lying beneath the surface? Get in there and do the work if you’re not already.
I have to say, hearing a lot of people elevating you to savior status has been making me nervous for you from a health standpoint. That kind of pressure, the kind that comes from tumbling off a pedestal because there’s nowhere to go but down, can do a number on us emotionally. You seem like the type who has the basic tools to take that in stride, but you’re only human. It has the potential to work you over and erode your ability to lead.
This is a heady time for you, isn’t it? That appearance at the Ronald Reagan Library last week made an impact on you and your supporters. They’re paying even more attention. They’re hopeful you’ll occupy the White House at some point.
You can go a long way in showing character here that doesn’t have anything to do with legislation or political clout. I can’t imagine how you’ve thus far fended off the incessant nastiness that has nothing to do with your beliefs and everything to do with how you look. You expressed to Piers Morgan a while back your concern about your weight. I know it ripples into so much of your life.
Do the deep work, governor. Go to that place. I think you’ll find that if you have the courage to do that, running a state, a country or a 7-Eleven will feel like a cakewalk.
This post originally appeared as a Game Plan column http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/10/03/life-coaching-gov-chris-christie/#ixzz2ZthveF3k on FoxBusiness.com.