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Not to toot my own expertly-crafted-elf-made-horn here, but being Santa Claus comes with its own unique set of stresses. I challenge anyone to deliver presents to two-and-a-half-billion people in a single night and try to maintain a healthy physique. The second I finish I take the 26th off and then I’m right back in the office above my workshop handling the logistics and planning for next year. This has been going on for hundreds of years. No sleep, constant snacking, sitting at my desk under dim candle lights hovered over my laptop (Sound familiar?). Couple that with the caloric requirements necessary to maintain weight in the constant-freezing-temperatures of the North Pole and you can imagine the amount of food I have to consume in order to stay “healthy.” I put healthy in quotes after Mrs. Claus read this because I was in no way, shape or form, healthy. My way was gluttonous eating, my shape was what can be scientifically referred to as “jovially rotund” and my form was nonexistent because I couldn’t touch my knees, much less my toes.

It wasn’t until I received a moving letter from a little girl in Ohio who asked for a new, healthy stomach for her mom as a Christmas gift that caused me to take a hard look at my red, round face in the mirror and say “Santa, you’re one of the most recognizable figures in history and millions of kids look up to you. It’s time to be the role model you always knew you could be.” So on January 1st, 2015 I undertook the Santa Weight Loss Challenge. While I had some real doozies of ideas clunking around my old head (Shimmy up the Chimney? Really, Santa? You think you can use only your arms to make your way up a narrow, claustrophobic space…in this shape? Sigh.), but I finally narrowed it down to a list of five things to attain the results I needed. Now, my good little darlings, I’d like to share my list (and my results) with you!

1. Chopping Wood