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How I Stayed Active While Eating Cheesecake All Week

hiking along a park trail

I’ve eaten a lot of stuff I normally wouldn’t eat – and in very large quantities – while I’ve been visiting my future in-laws this week. Pies and cake and cookies OH MY! I don’t even have a sweet tooth, but I have been going HAM on pastries. Which brings me to the next problem – ham. And pork.

I don’t eat these things, but I’ve sucked it up and eaten a fair amount so as not to put anyone out or be difficult. I don’t avoid eating “the other white meat” because of religious reasons or anything. It’s really just a personal choice. But man. I had these sausages at a family friend’s house that nearly had me break dancing in the kitchen, they were so good!

And so, after eating and eating and eating just a couple of days in, my pants started getting tighter and tighter, and I realized I needed to get my butt up and moving a lot more than what I was doing after getting in my 10 burpees upon arrival in Ohio. (We drove, so I just needed to move!) Hat tip, once again, to Jamie King for introducing me to the #BurpeesorBust Challenge!

park in Bath, Ohio

First, we went for a 2-ish-mile hike, a good 1/4 of which was in the mud. It was great to get my steps in and my heart rate up, plus the fresh air was so necessary after breathing in nothing but sugar for days (it seemed). The Akron area really has a lot of great trails, so it was nice to get out and try a new one with my future mother- and father-in-law. It wasn’t too cold as far as hiking whether goes, and it was not terribly windy or raining so we could tackle this loop trail.

red barn

When we moved to a different family member’s home for the second half of our trip, we had access to a home gym in the basement. I kicked my own butt when I finally dragged it down there, and I’ll be sharing that workout with you guys in the next couple of days. (I shared it to my Instagram story while I was doing the workout.) I will just say this: My hamstrings are so sore, and DOMS is a mofo for real!

holding dumbbells

When I was here for the holidays last year, I really wanted to take a spin class, so I Googled cycle studios and found nothing resembling anything I was familiar with. Whomp, whomp. This year, things were different! I found out that there was this town called Hudson that had some of the boutique studios we have in our area, namely Cyclebar, Orangetheory, and Pure Barre. I also had heard of this VersaClimber studio called Rise Nation in Cleveland (my future in-laws live between Akron and Cleveland, but a little closer to Akron), and wanted to check them out while I was here. So many options!

Cyclebar Hudson, Ohio

Unfortunately, because these places are so new and so uncommon, it was almost impossible to find a class that I could take! I say almost impossible because I could’ve signed up to take 6 a.m. classes, but I’m on vacay, so ain’t nobody got time fo dat! Fortunately, I was able to sign up to get waitlisted at Cyclebar for a 9:30 a.m. class.

I like to think of myself as an optimistic realist, so I got there early and waited. Surely someone wouldn’t make it to class. It happens to the best of us! Nobody could tell me I wasn’t getting into that class, and sure enough, I got in – just barely! I grabbed the only empty bike in the front row and got ready to put in some work!

review of Cyclebar in Hudson, Ohio

This was an 80s themed ride, and the music was totally different from what I was expecting. (Like… there was no Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, or Rick James. Bruh.) The instructor played a lot of hair metal bands, which was cool because it defied my expectations and forced me to really focus on the ride itself.
The class was packed! It was hot, and we were all getting sweaty together and working hard. I really like Cyclebar way more than SoulCycle because I’ve found that you don’t really hear the pseudo-intellectual platitudes, you burn more calories, there are actual fans in the room so you don’t have to smell the person next to you (or yourself), you have some space to move around, and someone sets you up on the bike properly, plus, they use beautiful Schwinn bikes that show you all sorts of stats about your ride. (Note: I don’t mean to sound like a total SoulCycle hater. I’ve been to a few of them in different parts of the country, and I always have the same impression. I could probably write an entire loooong blog post about this, but I won’t bore you guys or be a Debbie Downer because it’s really unnecessary, I think. I took my first SoulCycle class shortly after getting certified by Schwinn to teach indoor cycling, and that has really colored my impression of this style of class. But it’s super popular, and a lot of people really like it. So, to that I say, if you like it, I love it!) 
I’ve taken classes at Cyclebar around the DC Metro Area, and I’ve found them to be pretty consistent across the board. It was great to see that I could expect the same thing in a different part of the country! (Read about another past Cyclebar experience here.) Stray observation: I think this was the first time I noticed that Cyclebar has different themes and decor depending on where they’re located. 🤔
The staff was super friendly and helpful and gave me a pointer afterward about where I could grab coffee from a local coffee shop nearby. I got my marching orders and headed for Heartwood Coffee Roasters, which was also located in Hudson, Ohio.

I ordered a peppermint mocha and some avocado toast because I’m a basic millennial and that’s what I wanted and it was delicious and I regret nothing so nanny nanny boo boo. #YOLO #blessed But also, I was having a hard time keeping track of whether I was actually eating any vegetables on the trip, so… there’s that. 
All in all, I didn’t totally derail all of my hard work over the year in just one week, once I refocused and set some realistic goals for the remainder of the trip. I’m not going to sit here and act like it’s easy to stay active and eat healthy during the holidays, because it’s always a real struggle for me! The key for me this year was to enjoy family time, don’t set crazy restrictions on myself, and make sure that I get some activity in throughout the season. Now I feel like I’m ready to keep on truckin’ right into 2019!

Don’t forget to sign up for my #4Kby4PM challenge! This is a step challenge to get 4,000 steps by 4:00 p.m. each day in the month of January. 

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