By Dani M. Stone
Roy Pickler joins his wife Christine Pickler this season on Biggest Loser 13. They make up the red team, which is appropriate because Roy is a self-employed Santa Claus from Middlebury, Indiana. With his authentic white hair and fluffy white beard, his Santa-esque qualities are remarkable. Unfortunately, he also has the “bowl full of jelly” belly to go with it. At 63-years-old and 306 pounds, Roy knows he needs to get healthy, but there is an emotional attachment to his weight. He wonders how he can continue to delight children if he’s a slim Santa.
For 25 years, Roy has been a role model for young children, taking his scout troops on adventures, and spending the Christmas season being the jolly man. Now, with an unhealthy lifestyle and morbid obesity causing high blood pressure, sleep apnea, water retention, hypertension and high cholesterol, Roy hasn’t been feeling quite so jolly these days.
As a newlywed with four new children joining his brood of three adult children, Roy knows getting in shape is important for his family, the children he mentors, and his new wife; but the authentic “Santa image” has always stopped him from getting “too healthy.” Now, he knows he needs a different mindset. He has this to say about his new approach to being St. Nick.
“I love being Santa, I love kids and I want to be a positive role model. That extends in to health too. Frankly, a fat Santa that eats all the cookies he can get is not the kind of role model we need for our kids. I’d rather be a long-term healthy Santa than a flash in the pan.”
During the next marathon race in Indiana, if you see a balding man with a shock of white hair run by in a red shirt, yell “Hi Roy,” because it just might be him.
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January 3rd, 2012