15 December 2009

'Mr Christmas' loses 20kg due to financial crisis

A British man who has eaten a full Christmas dinner every day for the past 15 years has dropped nearly 20kg after being forced to cut his portions during the financial crisis.

Andy Park, dubbed "Mr Christmas" by the UK press, has been forced to cut his yearly dinner and decoration budget from $19,500 to $8900, The Sun newspaper reports.

Mr Park, a 45-year-old divorced electrician, has consumed nearly 118,000 brussel sprouts and about 5000 bottles of Moet champagne since he decided to get into the festive spirit full-time in July 1994, but since January he's had to slash his dinner portions.

"Before the credit crunch I was eating a 14-pound (6.3kg) turkey, now I'm down to a four pounder (1.8kg)," he told The Sun.

Mr Park has also cut down from nine large roast potatoes to four, now eats just 12 mince pies per day instead of 40, has just a tablespoon of peas and makes his bottle of champagne last two days.

He's also cut his sprout and stuffing ball consumption by more than half — leading to the drop in weight from 123kg to 101kg.

The budget cuts have been a boon for Mr Park's fitness: he is now walking every day and even able to complete 50 pushups.

The tight times have also forced the father-of-one to cut down on his use of party poppers and crackers, but he still manages to munch on mince pies and drink sherry for breakfast and a roast-turkey lunch before rewatching the Queen's Christmas speech on video.

Mr Park said he started the bizarre festive fetish when he was "feeling fed up" one July.

"I was bored, so I went home and put the decorations up — suddenly I was happy," he said.

"Since then my routine every day has been to get up and have seven or eight mince pies and a glass of sherry for breakfast —: after that I open my presents I've wrapped for myself."

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