’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.