02/11/2013 06:27 pm ET Updated Apr 12, 2013

Chris Christie's Moment of Truth

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may not have liked the public scolding he got from former White House doctor Connie Mariano, but if he's smart, he'll listen and heed her warning -- a warning I know something about. Mine came not as an adult and not from a medical professional, but it has stayed with me throughout my life, and although I didn't appreciate it at the time, I've come to think of it as a great gift.

I was 10 years old and tipping the scales at a whopping 123 pounds when, while playing goalie for my soccer team, a little girl who couldn't have been more than 6 years old walked right up to me in the middle of a game, looked me in the eyes and matter-of-factly stated: "You're fat!"

I suppose I could have reacted as Christie did to Dr. Mariano and demanded an apology from her parents or told my coach of my hurt feelings, but it was hard to argue with what she said, because it was the truth, and those two words played an important role in my decision as a young boy that I didn't want the kind of life I was headed for.

Christie too has been given a gift by Dr. Mariano, a refreshing change from the enabling comedians and political sycophants whose jokes and excuses may have given Christie the idea that he didn't have to change. But he does. And now thanks to a blunt-spoken Republican doctor who says she'd actually like to vote for him, he knows what he has to do. Instead of berating Mariano, Christie should thank her, just as I have thanked that little girl many times in my head for telling me a hard truth that I needed to hear, call her back and ask her to be Secretary of Health & Human Services in a Christie administration.