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Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute member Belisa Vranich shows you how to turn a breakup into a “break-over”—a fitness-fueled makeover that will help you beat that broken heart.
Week 1: Make a pledge to hit the gym at least 3 days a week for 30 minutes.
Week 2: Start a workout journal. Write down your fitness goals and ideal BMI (calculate your current BMI here). Make entries at least once a week to track your progress and, more importantly, how your workouts make you feel.
Week 3: Commit to trying three different fitness classes. If you have any questions about a class, you can always ask a gym staff member, or swing by the class before it gets started to chat with the instructor.
Week 4: Try to cut out one unhealthy food choice per day. An afternoon M&M splurge is fine when you’re first healing, but the sooner you swap fattening treats for healthy picks, the sooner you’ll start seeing your body change.
Week 5: Make an appointment with a Gold’s Gym personal trainer to assess your routine and learn some new moves to spice up your workout.
Week 6: Buy yourself some new gym clothes to show off your sleeker figure and inspire you to stay focused on your fitness goals.
Week 7: Begin eating five fruits and vegetables a day—just like you know you should. Filling up on fruits and vegetables has been shown in study after study to help with weight loss and protect you from chronic diseases. Check out more benefits and get recipes here.
January has always been the month to ditch old habits, which may be why in recent years it’s become the month to ditch relationships. It’s even been dubbed Official Breakup Month. In fact, divorce lawyers say their phones never stop ringing in January, and dating Website analysts have noticed an increase in new memberships after the big ball drops in Times Square.
Psychologists say that there are two underlying reasons for this phenomenon. One is that many couples would rather ride out a rocky relationship than face the holidays alone — and couples with children don’t want to throw a gray cloud over Christmas by announcing breakup plans. On the flip side, holidays chock-full of family events and pricey presents can add stress to already strained relationships. On New Year’s Eve, as the clock approaches midnight, those couples are ready to kiss their relationships good-bye.
After a breakup, it’s easy to fall into crying jags, plates of french fries or a few extra glasses of wine instead of facing down a treadmill. Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute member and clinical psychologist Belisa Vranich says a little wallowing and overeating isn’t such a bad thing, but only up to a point. If you start gaining weight and stop smiling, all the bad feelings the breakup caused will just keep bubbling up. Here are Vranich’s six reasons to get a “break-over”—a new kind of makeover that gets your endorphins pumping, your confidence flowing and your body and mind back in first-date-ready form.
A natural high. When you work out, your brain pumps out endorphins, which are naturally produced opiates that fill your whole body with a sense of well-being. “When endorphins run through you, it feels like you are taking care of your body,” Vranich says, “which is just what you need when your mind and soul are hurting.” Exercise also reduces the chemicals in your immune system that can worsen depression.
New friends and — maybe — new mates. “The gym is a great place to meet people because there are so many natural conversation starters,” Vranich explains. If you’re waiting for a fitness class to begin, ask the person next to you if he or she has taken the class before. If you get short answers, that might be a signal that the person isn’t interested in chatting, but longer responses that encourage you to talk are a good sign that you might have made a new gym buddy. If you notice an attractive stranger using a weight machine, ask for a few pointers — and see if there’s a spark.
A healthy routine. When a relationship ends, you might feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. Life might seem empty and uneventful without a partner. The best way to combat that feeling is to fill up your calendar — make dinner dates with friends, check out local museum exhibitions, and schedule gym visits. The less time you spend sitting alone on your couch, the better off you’ll be.
Free fuel. A little anger and sadness might not be such a bad thing for your fitness goals. “Since exercise stimulates positive feelings and lifts your spirits, you might start hitting the gym more frequently, run for longer intervals or lift more weights,” says Vranich. Channeling those self-defeating emotions into better workouts means you’ll get results even faster.
A safe escape. If you’re not feeling social after a breakup but you know you need to spend more time out of your house, the gym can be a sanctuary. “It’s a place where you can be around people, but you can interact as little or as much as you want to,” Vranich says. More important, the cardio room is a much healthier place to release your sorrows than the local bar.
Positive feedback. Getting back in shape won’t just help your mental health; your physical appearance will get a big boost too. “When you lose weight and gain muscle, you glow,” Vranich says. “Friends and family will notice, and you’ll start getting compliments.” That kind of positive attention is a great cure for any feelings of inadequacy. Instead of wallowing in negative thoughts about the past, you start looking toward the future. After all, isn’t looking good the best revenge?
Check out the Official Gold’s Gym 30-Day Break-Over Makeover workout here.