’Twas the night before Christmas

Tanja Shaw shares her Christmas wish for a happy holiday and a healthy new year.

  • Dec. 18, 2015 7:00 a.m.

’Twas the night before Christmas and I wondered (with a cookie at my lips)

How to survive the holidays without adding inches to my hips.

I worked hard all year long to stay in good shape;

Started each day with a walk or a Jane Fonda tape.


I knew that my buns were made not of steel

But I was not trying to look like the media’s ideal.

My arms sometimes jiggled and my six pack was hidden

For I never dieted and no foods were forbidden.


The models in magazines were too far out of reach

All I strived for was to feel comfortable when I went to the beach.

The odd treat I enjoyed, I cannot deny

Though I aimed to always stay at a healthy BMI.


But during the holidays it was always a fight

Too keep my clothes from getting too tight.

December was always so busy, it wasn’t my fault

For letting my gym visits come to a halt.


At the office lived cookies and chocolates galore,

Never mind the candy I stashed in my drawer.

So this year for Christmas I wished from Santa’s sack

For a magic weight loss pill and for the scale to cut me some slack.


Christmas morning I awoke; in bed I could have stayed

To avoid the scale and not know how much I now weighed.

Last night was much fun; my plan was to behave

And not give in to all the things I did crave.


But the abundance of goodies were hard to resist;

The platters of cheese were certainly not missed.

I remember sipping a cocktail… or four

And the dessert tray was one that I could not ignore.


I rolled out of bed, my mind somewhat hazy

And sauntered downstairs feeling tired and lazy.

I squinted my eyes so that I could see

What Santa had left me under the tree.


The miracle I had hoped for was nowhere to be seen

In the mirror I saw that I was not very lean.

When all of a sudden there was a knock at the door

And entered a man I had seen somewhere before.


Dressed in red sweats from his head to his toe

He smiled at me and nodded ‘hello’.

He coached at the gym, he always seemed nice;

I hoped that he had some useful advice.


“Do not get too excited, for I am not St. Nick,

But I am hoping that what I say to you will stick.

We both know that your healthy habits have slid

But please do not regret that partying you did.


The holidays are to be enjoyed with your loved ones

Not a time to worry about missing a few runs.

So for Christmas this year, enjoy time with your friends,

Don’t worry about being strict with the diet Health Canada recommends.


A pound or two at Christmas is nothing to fear

As long as you commit to healthy living the rest of the year.

For extra help in exercise you can wish from Santa’s sack

For runners or a gym membership to keep you on track.


The message to you is simple and true

Though its written it in a poem, it isn’t anything new.

Exercise and portion control are key to staying fit,

A treat here and there won’t harm you one bit.


Staying active during the holidays as best as you can

Will make it easier to commit to January’s action plan.

Your health is important but it isn’t a crime

To take part in the festivities and have a good time!”


I wish you a happy holiday season!


Tanja Shaw is a supportive health and fitness coach, Rotarian, mom, runner, host of the Fit and Vibrant You Podcast and owner of Ascend Fitness Inc.  Tanja and her team of expert fitness coaches inspire and educate Chilliwack residents to make positive and power changes in their lives through physical fitness and sound nutrition.  Visit Tanja  at  www.ascendfitnesscoaching.com and www.tanjashaw.com.