Editor’s note: With the holidays upon us, I thought it was time to have a little health chat with the Big Man in Red. Watch our video below, then check out a health-conscious version of a much-loved holiday poem, courtesy of our Healthy U friends. Stay smart, stay healthy, and happy holidays!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the town,
Mrs. Claus was awake and sporting a frown.
She looked at her husband, our dear old St. Nick,
If he kept going, he would make himself sick.
His BMI exceeded 35 and one-half,
Which didn’t give anyone reason to laugh.
Needed was action, something quick, something swift,
Barbells or weights, not cookies to lift!
Not candies, not pies, not even some cake,
What this man needed: a strong protein shake (or eating plan remake)!
She knew that making good choices each day,
Would make all the difference, and help pave the way.
So she went to her husband, looked him straight in the eye,
“You need to get healthy, if not, you could die!
“I care way too much to see you this way,
We’re getting some help, this very same day!”
Santa agreed. He was not at his best,
His buttons were popping right off of his vest!
It wasn’t the life he had dreamt of before,
He wanted to play with his grandchildren more.
He made a date with Dr. Pate and his team,
So a health check-up becomes the routine.
He needed his immunizations to be up to date,
And a colonoscopy; he’s way past 58.
A health coach could steer him down the right path,
And help get his BMI to 24 and one-half.
With this in his mind, Santa Claus made a call,
to St. Luke’s Healthy U. He knew of them all.
Stacy, Michele, Terri or Tiff,
Call Mary, or Norma, they’ll give him a lift.
They’ll know how to get him shapely and fit,
They’ll stay right behind him. They won’t let him quit!
A Healthy U meal would certainly suffice,
If only he took their daily advice!
So he started to walk, one block at a time,
He took the stairs, left the elevator (or chimney) behind.
The next thing to go was that nasty ol’ pipe,
To be a true role model, not only that hype.
Nicotine patches keep urges at bay,
Success takes a plan, day after day.
Santa gained skill, he knew what to do,
To eat veggies, lean meat, and whole grains, too.
It didn’t all happen one magical night,
It’s small changes each day, and doing what’s right.
He thinks it’s important to share his story too,
So you know it’s possible to be your best you.
No need to have trouble with knees or backs that can ache,
These symptoms will stop with the healthy commitment you make.
So this Christmas season, keep his story in mind,
As you reach for the cupcake or cup of mulled wine.
You might hear him shout as he jogs down your street,
“Healthy Christmas to all, and to all that you meet!”
David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.