I don’t think I need to be the one to tell you that we are smack-dab right in the middle of the holiday season!
I mean, pretty much the moment Halloween is over my son and I start our “Christmas Playlist” on Spotify every single time we are in the car. And we also of course immediately start fighting over which songs we want to listen to first.
Yes, my son is five, and pretty much, when it comes to Christmas? So am I!
Regardless of how you might feel about the holidays in general, chances are you are busier than usual. Some of us LOVE all of the hustle and bustle…others of us possible not so much.
I think that one thing we all can agree on, though, is that finding time for ourselves, to put ourselves first, keep our bodies moving, and cycle through the holidays can be TOUGH.
And besides. There’s cookies. And hot cocoa bombs which I recently discovered! And wine. AND DID I MENTION COOKIES!
I honestly think that moving our bodies during the holidays, whether it be going for a chilly ride in the cool winter air, jumping on the trainer or spin bike, or bundling up and walking around the neighborhood is so incredibly important.
And I am not thinking important in terms of an “oh my goodness I must burn off all of the calories I am eating!” sort of way. Let’s face it, if you are anything like me that’s just hardly possible and not particularly realistic.
I mean important because being in the habit of being healthy, putting yourself first, eating well, and moving your body is not a habit that you want to break.
We want to embrace the habits that keep us happy, healthy, and strong. By carrying them through the holidays we stay committed to ourselves and to our long-term goals.
Also, speaking of the holidays, don’t forget to check out Sascy Cycling’s 2020 Holiday Gift Guide! There are lots of awesome items in here that can help you cycle through the holidays!
In this article I am going to give you 3 simple tips that will help you keep your body moving, make good choices, and cycle through the holiday season!
Tip #1 Plan Your Cycling Workouts
I know. This is hard. Also, I know you have heard this from me before, but it’s not enough to say, “I am going to ride my bike this week.” or say “I am going to cycle through this holiday season.”
Quite frankly, that just isn’t concrete enough.
If you don’t have a plan in place to actually make this happen, to actually plan to cycle through the holidays well...It honestly isn’t very likely to happen.
On the other hand, if you have a plan and you commit to yourself and say “I am going to ride my bike 3-4 times a week this holiday season.” Then you are THAT MUCH CLOSER!
I say that much closer because we aren’t quite there yet. You need to actually schedule these workouts and put them on your calendar. Whatever calendar you have. Wherever that calendar may be.
And if you don’t have a calendar? Get one! Do you have gmail? Then you have a calendar. Do you have a realtor? Have you ever in the past 30 years had a realtor? Then you DEFINITELY have a calendar. Realtors LOVE to send calendars!
I want you to look at your week ahead (doing this sometime Sunday or first thing Monday morning is best), and write the days and times you plan to ride on your calendar.
Make sure that you have that time available. Brainstorm any obstacles that could get in the way of your rides. We have a five-year-old walking, talking, football pajama wearing obstacle that can easily derail our plans.
I even have a back up plan for each of my rides just in case something (or someone) messes up my initial plan.
Tip #2 Plan (and ALLOW!) Your Indulgences
Starting to see a theme here?
We have success when we plan for things.
We don’t usually have much success when we just fly by the seat of our pants and hope for the best.
During the holidays we are surrounded by so much warmth, the people we love (well most years anyway!) and a lot of good food. And, of course, wine!
And I can’t really remember…have I mentioned cookies in this article?
The thing is, there is truly a place for every food in the choices that you make. Many experts call it different things, such as the 80/20 rule, etc. but the beauty is truly in the simplicity of it.
My mom is always telling me how my grandfather would say, “everything in moderation.” I think this is a key way to look at some of those things we really like to eat and drink that aren’t so great for us.
If you make good decisions the majority of the time, and plan for occasional indulgences or treats, you are very likely to have success in your health, wellness, and cycling goals.
And, if you plan your wine and cookies in advance, then you are so much more likely to enjoy them without the guilt than if you get stressed out and pull the cookies out of the pantry, or reach for that beer in the fridge.
No joke, last night I walked by my son’s fruit snacks, opened the box, and held them in my hand.
I paused, and I said to myself, “you aren’t hungry. You are stressed. This is just emotional eating. You don’t need these. You didn’t plan for these. You don’t even WANT these.”
I put them back in the box, closed it up, and went on my merry way. Haha. Merry. See what I did there???
And what if I ate them? Or if I ate that delicious looking Christmas cookie on the platter? Should I beat myself up over this?
No. Absolutely not. It’s over. It’s done. Move on. Ask yourself what you can do tomorrow, or the next day, to handle a similar situation differently but DO NOT agonize over it.
Because if you do, you are that much more likely to say “Oh, well, I clearly CAN’T do this, why am I trying, I will just stop putting this kind of pressure on myself.”
I did this COUNTLESS times.
It shouldn’t be pressure! It’s really, truly, just making choices, and if you aren’t happy with the choices you made, trying to make better ones next time.
When we over complicate things and get emotional about them we are not making choices and decisions from the right place.
I personally plan to have a little something special every day. It may be a cookie or two, or an extra cup of tea (with sugar and half and half…because for me the tea is something of a mechanism to those two things), or a glass of wine.
Wine makes me generally feel worse (headache, sluggish) than a cookie though, so as much as I love it I indulge a little less frequently and try to plan it pretty far in advance.
Whatever your treats or indulgences are, plan for them, and allow them. Give yourself the space to enjoy them. In moderation, of course, as my Grandpa would say.
Tip #3 Keep Your Goals at the Front of Your Mind (And Have Goals!)
First of all, having a goal is so important.
If you haven’t already, definitely check out my post on Setting Amazing Goals.
I have set some pretty crazy goals for myself this year. I kind of broke my rules and set too many, but one of my big ones was to lose 50 lbs this year, and I have already lost over 40! I won’t lose 50 in 2020, especially not during the holidays, and that’s OK.
I may never lose 50 lbs, and that’s OK too.
The whole reason why I set this goal wasn’t to lose exactly 50 pounds, it was simply to have a benchmark that says “hey, I care about myself, my body, and I want to be able to keep up with my son and be a strong cyclist.”
It was also a little bit of “Hey this heartburn is really killing me, and the only other time in my life it was this bad was when I was carrying another human.”
Whatever the reason for your goal, make sure that you have a really good reason, and stay focused on your goal. Having your goal in focus, and keeping it at the foreground, will help you make better choices.
Eating that little package of fruit snacks was not going to destroy my goals! No way! But it wasn’t going to bring me any closer to them either.
When your goals are present and with you and in your thoughts, then you are bound to make better choices.
So there you have it! My 3, easy, straightforward tips to cycle through the holidays, keep your body moving, and make good choices. You want to plan those workouts, plan (and allow) your indulgences, and do it all while being hyper focused on your healthy, strong cyclist goals!
You want to keep your body moving, stay strong, and keep these positive eating and moving habits with you throughout the holiday season. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season or enjoy your favorite foods!
Being mindful and planning your rides and indulgences in advance while keeping your goals in mind will allow you to LITERALLY have your cake and eat it too. Now who doesn’t want that?
What are YOUR tips for cycling through the holidays? I would love to hear from you! Comment here, or send me an email at [email protected].