Do you have a friend who is stubbornly single? Who complains constantly about how everyone seems to have someone, but they are destined to be alone? Yet despite their complaints, they never leave the house? They refuse to go out with anyone their friends fix them up with and if they do go on a date, find the nit-pickiest reason to not call them back? (“Who orders vermouth?!”)
Well, if you are wondering how to start your health and fitness journey, you might be in the same boat as your stubbornly single friend. You only have two choices when you’re single: 1) meet people, or 2) stay single. And when you start on your health and fitness journey, there are really only two options that matter: 1) doing nothing, or 2) doing anything. And since I have had these conversations thousands of times with clients (and more than a few times with single friends) here’s how I recommend you get going—even when you don’t know where the journey will take you.
Go on lots (and lots) of dates Try it all: Zumba, Crossfit, yoga, running, walking, Jazzercize, P90X, that new iPhone app you downloaded, Paleo, Veganism, the Zone, and the “only eat what you grew yourself or killed with your bare hands” diet. Try anything that seems interesting, fun, or convenient. The point here is to get off the couch, put down the cheezy-poofs, and try something new!
Try double dates If you had a friend who was scared to meet new people what would you do? You’d go out in a group with lots of wing(wo)men to help make the situation less scary. Does the idea of taking a Zumba or Crossfit class scare you? Go with a friend! Gyms and diets can be scary new places, but everything is easier when there’s a friendly face to share the fun—or just complain to in the bathroom.
Don’t let fear of dating the “wrong” one keep you from dating any one Do you want to know a dirty secret of the fitness industry? Something every fitness professional knows at some level, but no one talks about? A secret that if more people knew would save them a lot of time and heartache? “Everything works!” says Dan John, an incredible fitness coach and 40-year industry veteran. “Every diet, every exercise plan—it all works.”
Don’t worry about finding “Mr. Right,” find “Mr. Right Now” You’re bringing a lot of baggage with you to dinner if you go into every date trying to answer the question, “Could I be with this person for the rest of my life?” Relax. Have fun! Very few people are still with the first person they ever dated, and even fewer fit people are still doing what they did when they got started. And that’s OK! “Everything works,” Dan John reminds us. “Until it doesn’t,” he says. If you date a fun person for a year and have a great time, that’s a year you were having fun! If you do Zumba for a year and then move on, that’s a whole year you were doing something rather than nothing!
Ask: “Did I have a good time?” I have a friend who went on (and blogged about) 100 first dates in 2013. The only question that mattered when she was considering a second date was, “Did I have a good time?” Let’s face it: if it wasn’t fun, you’re not going back. And, again, that’s OK. Since everything works, there is no reason to stick it out and suffer through a boring diet, exercise class, or potential romantic partner.
What helped you get started on your journey to health? Have you found your “Mr. Right” fitness activity or diet plan? Tell us in the comments!