Now, this may seem like a silly question… Fitness valentine disaster – would you be insulted if your “Valentine” ruined your fitness efforts?
Over the years of working as a Personal Fitness Trainer, and within the fitness industry, I have seen some very emotional and upsetting reactions to Valentine’s Day and how it effects people’s fitness goals.
What may seem to be a very caring present from your loved one to you, may easily backfire and cause more friction than “those lovey dovey feelings” on Valentine’s Day – …or the days following.
And, NO, I’m not talking about drama queens…who crack a sad because their diamonds aren’t big enough – far from it!
With all the trials and obstacles that you’ve gone through with your fitness, you have now dedicated yourself to achieving your fitness goals. And you’re kicking butt. Those fat loss and lean muscle results that you’ve been wanting to reach are now getting closer. And you’re on a fitness high!
Then Valentine’s Day comes along… your loved one who has given you so much support with your training and “clean” eating delivers you the biggest box of calorie packed chocolates you could imagine. Not too mention the bottle of champagne or spirits to chase it all down with – and fancy cheese platter to boot. You appreciate the gifts but these treats won’t exactly help your waistline.
What happened to your goal for a fitness valentine day?
Or maybe your loved one takes you out to a Valentine’s special dinner, where the menu is pre-set. Between bucket-loads of oil, creamy sauces and sugar-filled deserts and cocktails… the calories that you have consumed would cover around 5 days (or more) worth of your usual daily calorie intake.
Now, this might all appear like a heck of a lot of fun thinking that you’re doing something special on such a romantic day, but when you’ve been trying so hard to achieve and maintain your training results, and have put in such a dedicated effort… since your new years resolution, the aftermath of going overboard like this with your food and drink on Valentine’s Day may not seem worth it.
This is just a handful of some of the roller-coaster symptoms of post Valentine’s Day that I have witnessed with clients and folk that have been training on a regular basis – or are dedicated to their fitness routines – and not expecting a spanner in the works for their fitness valentine goals:
a. If you haven’t consumed high fat foods like this for a while you can bet that you will have one massive gurgling tummy-ache that’ll keep you stranded on the toilet – on and off – for the next few days. Not exactly romantic…
b. Headaches… sure this could be alcohol related?. It’s not uncommon, after eating clean (clean eating = consuming lean protein, fresh veggies, salads and fruit etc) experiencing quite harsh headaches when pigging out on really high fat, sugar filled meals.
c. Cravings starting up again for junky foods… which is very frustrating. When you’ve put in the effort in the past and have gone through the withdrawals of getting out of those bad eating habits.
d. Looking and feeling bloated
e. Putting on extra body fat
f. Feeling lethargic and experiencing sugar rushes – mood swings
g. Knowing that you are going to have to train your backside off for the next few weeks, and take extra special care – even more than usual – to help burn off those stored calories / body fat.
h. Not fitting into the clothes that you’ve only just finally been able to fit back into.
i. Remembering the person who gave you the gift saying “go on, you only live once” or “it won’t make any difference”… or how about… “we never have any fun now you’re training hard – why not take a break from it”
With all of this compiled together over a couple of days, it’s easy to see why people get so emotional and upset that their fitness efforts have been “tampered” with. And you can already imagine who is going to get the blame for them being in this predicament — that’s right… the loved one who provided the Valentine’s Day gift. Obviously you could say “no” to a Valentine’s Day gift… but I don’t know many folk who have so far. 🙂
Now don’t think that this reaction is just limited to women. Or it’s about someone just being nasty or self-centered. Not at all. Altering your life to a healthier one doesn’t come easy and it’s an ongoing process. Big efforts and big changes are required.
I’ve seen men get pretty cranky with their wives and girlfriends, especially when they have put so much hard work into their workout routines and eating plans, only to have their loved ones supposedly (and unintentionally) jeopardise their fitness goals.
For folk who have never put in the hard yards or battled with their weight, body fat or health – and don’t think twice about consuming junk food on a regular basis – then they may not understand how difficult it is to be put in a situation like this.
So what is my advice for folk giving gifts to your fitness valentine?
Nope, it’s not run for the hills! 🙂
If the love of your life is making a massive effort towards their fitness goals, then ask some non-obvious questions, along with listening carefully to what their fitness obstacles are and use that as a guide for gift-giving on Valentine’s Day. Indicating that you are proud of their fitness progress so far, and want to continue to encourage and support them.
Unfortunately what are meant as good intentions on Valentines Day may not always be well received. If you work together on your gifts keeping an eye and ear out for what you both want you can make this romantic day super special for both of you. Nothing wrong with giving a fitness valentine gift that will help them with their fitness regime – besides you can always tie a big red heart, balloons or something romantic to it so that it still fits in with the occasion.
Happy Valentines Day!
© Mandy Gibbons
Virtual Fitness Trainer