AIM: Letters to Santa

How lucky am I to have run into Santa last week at the drug store! He was waiting for a prescription (“Just a little something to keep me awake on Christmas Eve!” he said) and trying to take his blood pressure. I told him I was in the middle of writing him a letter and he said if I helped him figure out how to use the “dang machine” (because Mrs. Claus was always worried about his blood pressure this time of year), that I could just tell him what I wanted for Christmas. Easy enough, and it saved me a stamp, so I got his forearm in the cuff, pushed a few buttons, and in less than a minute, Santa had his numbers: 120/80.

“Not bad for a guy your age,” I said.

“The Mrs. will be pleased,” he said. “Now…What can I do for you, Lynnie?  Have you been a good girl this year?”

“Well, I’ve been a…well…hmmmm. Let’s just say I’ve not been the most stellar maintainer this year. I’ve made some bad choices. But it doesn’t make me a bad person, right? I mean, you won’t put eggplant in my stocking, will you? You know I hate eggplant.”

“Ho ho ho! Of course not! What DO you want for Christmas?”

“I want that spark back, Santa. That determination, you know? I seemed to have lost it this year.”

“Hmmm… Tell me, what’s different this year?”

“You see, I met someone. Someone who likes to cook soufflés and eggs Benedict. Someone who likes Italian food and eating at four- and five-star restaurants.”

“Ho ho ho! Is he force-feeding you ravioli?”

“No! No! It’s just so tempting and I love food and I lose my mind sometimes and…. Why are you rolling your eyes?”

“Lynnie, Lynnie, Lynnie. You of all people should know an excuse when you see one. You have demonstrated restraint in the past, right? Seems to me you need to take the gag out of your inner voice.

“My inner voice?”

“Don’t you remember? You used to ask yourself: ‘How will I feel five minutes after I eat this?’”

“That’s right! I forgot about that.”

“And how’s that Y membership working out? I understand you couldn’t bike much this summer, but are you still hiking?”

“Um…. Well, you know. It’s gotten cold and…”

“What the…? Didn’t you grow up in Minnesota?”

“Well, yes…”

“You lived in that white house in the middle of the block between Dreesen’s and Mrs. Stoltenberg. You played outside all the time in the snow! And you walked, all bundled up in your snowsuit and Mukluks, to school…uphill both ways, I recall…and to work at your dad’s store.”

“Yes, well, but I’m older now and my body doesn’t work the way it used to. I need new knees, my shoulders are shot…. Again with the eyeroll!”

“Again with the excuses.”

*sigh* “I know. I just have no motivation.”

“Motivation, snowtivation. Body over mind, girl. You know that. I’ve read your blog. You used to preach it all the time. You just do it. You get out there and MOVE! You like the pool, right?”


“Go back! Stop throwing away $35 a month!”

“Money can be motivating. I don’t suppose there will be some of that under my tree this year?”

“Ho ho ho! No.”

“Can’t blame a girl for trying.”

“But speaking of money, I understand you’ve signed up to walk a 5K next weekend to raise money for arthritis research.”

“That’s right, I did! The Jingle Bell Walk/Run. Crap! What was I thinking? I’m afraid I won’t be able to walk it in the time I’ve challenged myself to. I used to walk 5Ks in 38 minutes…”

“Used to. That was then. Now you won’t walk it in 38 minutes. So what! What’s wrong with, oh, say, 45 minutes? Or 50? Or even an hour? It’s your effort and dedication to a cause that is most important, not beating up your body to chase after some ghost of the past.”

“You’re right. I just…”

“Just what? Let go, Lynnie. Live now. Today. One meal at a time. One workout at a time.”

“You’re right.”

“I’m always right! Except when Mrs. Claus tells me different. Now off my lap with you! Be good, Lynnie, and don’t forget to leave me some cookies and milk!”

“How about a soufflé?”

“Even better! Merry Christmas, Lynnie!”

“Merry Christmas, Santa. And thanks.”

“No need to thank me. Just help me get my arm out of this cuff!”

AIM: Adventures in Maintenance is Lynn, Lori, Debby, Shelley, and Cammy, former weight-loss bloggers who now write about life in maintenance. We formed AIM to work together to turn up the volume on the issues facing people in weight maintenance. We publish a post on the same topic on the first Monday of each month. Let us know if there is a topic you’d like us to address!

Lori @ Finding Radiance
Debbie @ debby weighs in
Shelley @ My Journey to Fit
Cammy @ The Tippy Toe Diet


13 thoughts on “AIM: Letters to Santa

  1. I join you in getting back on track. My husband returned from deployment a month ago and we both seem to have celebrated with overeating (though his is because he didn't have home cooking for 8 months, much more understandable than my excuse..none).

    Thank you for your continued honesty about maintenance!

    Merry Christmas, Lynn!

  2. Yeah, Lynn. I think its important for people to see how difficult long-term weight loss maintenance is. Someone who was “hard core” (I still remember your big salads and traveling ice cooler!) can have a change in their life (aging, new relationships) and have difficulty maintaining the status quo. Thanks for keeping it real.

    P.S. I'm with ya on the egg plant!

  3. Send your eggplant my way, I love it!

    I love what Debby said about maintaining the status quo… maybe what will re-spark you is to fully accept recent life changes and figure out how to work on things from right where you are, right now.

  4. Love your convo/letter with Santa. You have such a gift for writing! 🙂

    Socializing is a hard time to keep on the straight and narrow when it comes to eating/maintaining…maybe you can figure out a half portion compromise to keep yourself happy both emotionally and physically? It's hard when you're around people who love food and eating, I know!

  5. It is hard being a foodie and keeping weight off. Too much good stuff. Finding that want right now versus want for the future is very hard for me as well.

  6. I love your comments more than my blog! Leah, I'm so glad your husband is home safely! Granted, I know you don't want to be overeating, but what a wonderful thing to have him home, I'm sure.

    Debby, I WILL travel with that cooler again 🙂

    Helen, every day is a day to recommit. Thank you for the reminder. Right here. Right now.

    Shelley, I love the half portion idea. Maybe even the “one bite” mantra? Irish isn't going anywhere (which is good!), but I need to reign in the food crazies.

  7. Uphill, both ways. In Minnesota. It CAN be done.

    Do Gympact, ma! Money is a huge motivator! I bought myself new running shoes with my rewards 🙂

    Love you!

  8. 5 years in – I'm still waiting for this maintenance gig to get easier.

    I'm pretty good at the “just do it” approach. There are many times I'd rather gouge my eyeball out with a candy cane than hit the gym/pool etc but off I go. And, no rainbow moments after it either – I drag my sorry butt out of the pool and go home – neither elated nor proud – just checking it off the Must Do list.

    I really want to be that person who craves kale over cheesecake and any form of exercise over couch riding but, alas, I am beyond that hope. I just keep doing it – over and over again.

    Hang in there – you will conquer this too!

  9. Ha! Lorna, I thought that sounded like you! You're right, there are times when I think I should “feel” something after I exercise when most of the time it's nothing more than hungry. Just do it, Lynn.

  10. Great post, great read.

    At this time of year, it's more important than ever to stay on goal and remember that you used to say ‘How will I feel five minutes after I eat this?’”

    Love the way you've written this.

    All the best Jan

  11. I love this post! I usually try to work hard all week and leave myself one meal to be more lenient with. At least I have that to look forward to if I am tempted. The rest of the time, I have to remind myself what I am working toward and know that that is what I really want, not what is tempting me. But I know that is easier said than done and I just happen to be in a better mode than I sometimes am, at this moment. And I haven't even gotten to maintenance yet…. If you did it once, you can get it going again!

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