(this is a post I started a little less than a year ago, and I think is “fitting” to take up again this week!)
Santa is big on lists. He’s big on doing hard things. He sets his mind to something, gets it done, turns with a jerk, and gets on to the next task. So it should reason that if Santa sets a goal it should be achieved; a commitment, observed; a resolution, resolved. This year, one of my resolutions was to be healthier. My plan was simple: eat less, exercise more, and sleep better…
Two months in, and it’s a disaster. I have completely deserted my workout partner. Insomnia has taken control of my schedule. And my wife has decided that there isn’t enough gluten options in our home, ordered a HUGE bag of flour, and has created her own little sweet shoppe of our kitchen and pantry–and she is a GIFTED baker!
So, I am resigned to the sleepless nights, and the added weight essentially “filling” the stereotype of the fat man in red.
And so, let’s discuss that. Certainly canon describes him as having a “broad face and a little round belly that [shakes] when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly”, and as being “chubby and plump”. All the Coca Cola depictions, and artist renderings through the ages represent him as overweight. One of the bits from the Santa Clause movies was Tim Allen visibly fattening in the mirror. The cookies and milk, don’t help. And it seems that, in general, the brotherhood is heavy as a whole!
But is it really necessary to be overweight to be Santa? One of the more recent, popular franchises, “The Christmas Chronicles”, sports a slim and dashing Kurt Russell, (who also takes liberty with the beard of white and the traditional red suit with white fur–but these are topics for another post!)
In fact, St Nicholas, himself, is usually portrayed as tall and lean. And the Old World Father Christmas is rarely seen as portly. So why our obsession with the obesity? It doesn’t have to be!!
(the preceding blog text was written sometime around March 2022–what follows is current)
So, fast forward 10 months. I sit on the floor of my bathroom at home, 24 hours into a nasty stomach bug, about 15 lbs lighter than I was on Christmas Eve. I think to myself, “This could be the start of my journey back to a healthy weight!” How desperate I sound to myself!! But then I have to remind myself where that desperation comes from.
Since “becoming” Santa in 2020, I have put on almost 50 lbs. Most of that was this past year, 2022. Yes, the year of the great resolution to live a more healthy lifestyle! The reason for the gain was certainly the way I was eating, exercising, etc. But the rationalization for the gain seemed to come back to Santa for some reason: Santa is SUPPOSED to be fat. Santa NEEDS to eat. Santa LOVES cookies. Obviously my train(wreck) of thinking those ten months ago, when I first penned the argument that, perhaps, Santa didn’t NEED to be overweight, didn’t quite have the results I might have hoped for!
So what happens this year? Will this “purge” be a catalyst toward a new way of eating? Will I find an accountability partner who won’t take “I’m gonna sit this one out” for an answer? Will I be able to settle into a routine that includes adequate sleep, healthy food options, and a more active lifestyle? Or will Santa’s little round belly continue to be my scapegoat?
My money’s on the belly…