Don't look now, Santa's shrinking

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The Beach Strip
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Feb. 7, 2005. 01:01 AM

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The talk
By Suzanne Bourret
Additional Articles by this Columnist
The Hamilton Spectator


For Sale: Five Santa suits, complete with hats and spats.

Hamilton's Santa, Jimmy Lomax, has lost 100 pounds. He has been on the Atkins diet and feels like a new man. His scale now reads 263 pounds.

"I was having a lot of medical problems and I was in and out of the hospital once or twice a year," he says. "The respirologist told me I might feel better if I lost 30 pounds. When I went back to him in April, I had lost 43 pounds. He thought that was great and when I went back last month, he couldn't believe it."

When Jimmy and his wife, Susan, got the Atkins diet book, she decided the only way he was going to lose was by dieting together. She has since lost 35 pounds. "I was waddling, I wasn't walking anymore. I have a bad back and arthritis from my spine right up to my neck and I couldn't exercise."

For the past two years on his rounds for Operation Santa Claus, the non-profit organization that supplies Christmas gifts to children in hospitals and to the less fortunate, he has used an electric scooter. "Joseph Brant has seven floors and McMaster is like Disney World," he quips.

His first big walk along the Beach Strip last summer was an agonizing event. He knew he would be passing Hutch's so he didn't take any money.

"I should have taken my cellphone because by the time I walked the mile and a half, I had so much pain in my leg and back, I could hardly walk."

He managed to get back to his Beach Strip home by going from bench to bench and resting in between. It was the longest distance he had ever walked.

The two enjoyed bacon and eggs every day for six months, but then tired of it. Now Jimmy eats a half-cup of Special K low-carb cereal topped with flax seed, bee pollen and fresh strawberries. He misses bananas and potatoes, but they cheat once a month with their favourite fish 'n' chips or chicken wings. "We get it out of our systems," he laughs.

Jimmy's clothing size has decreased from 6X to 2X, his waist size has gone from 64 to 52 inches and his neck size has gone from 27 1/2 to 22 inches.

"I feel good. I can stay up longer now. I get up at 4:45 a.m. to get my Spectator and I don't have to have the naps I used to have. You get pooped out because of all the weight. Now I'm wired up and ready to go."

Reactions around town have been interesting. He says many at the recent Distinguished Citizen of the Year award event (he was a recipient in 1980) didn't know him. "I had to introduce myself. People on the street don't know who I am," says Jimmy, who also has grown a beard.

He and Susan plan to stay on the diet. "I want to get down to about 190, so it probably will take another year. It definitely helps with your partner on it."

As for the big Santa suits, there are two size 64s, two size 60s and one size 58. They are worth $400 each, but you can buy one for $130.

Jimmy is wearing a regular-size Santa suit these days.

Anyone interested in his Santa suits can visit him at 231 Beach Blvd., Hamilton.

sbourret@thespec.com

905-526-3305

Photo 1

Hamilton Spectator Photos
Before: Santa Claus, a.k.a. Jimmy Lomax, pictured in 1997.

Photo 2

After: Lomax 2005-style, 100 pounds lighter. No wonder his pants don't fit.
 
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