The Fit Student—The Perfect Date

Love.  Gym B.O.  Superfoods.  What do these three have in common?  The perfect date.

Eight months ago, I never exercised.  I barely managed a block walk while dragging my sore knee.  Most days, I felt dead-tired and nauseated.  Me—the perfect date from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Now, after eight months of exercise, I’m turning down a job as a personal fitness trainer.  And in a couple of years, I’ll turn fifty, but look better than my late-thirties.  Better than my mid-twenties.

You, too, may look ten-to-twenty years younger.  How? Buy a gym membership and train six days a week, an hour each day.  The gym will strengthen your bones, tone your muscles, and shape you into a Ferrari.  Plus, gyms glow your skin, eyes, and smile—brighter than a celebrity-makeup-artist’s victim.

While you get fit and flirty, indulge in your trios-of-love.  Yes, three things you crave.  For fitness, my trio-of-love consists of weight lifting, cycling, and shadow boxing.  Once you know your trio, fitness grows fun.

Also, find your trios-of-love with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  My trio-of-love for healthy fats includes natural almond butter, flax seed, and avocados.  Swallow them daily.

You may shrug, thinking, But I’m overweight and smokeWho could love me?  Remember the authors of Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy Until You’re 80 and Beyond?  They cited a study that said (as far as I recall) smokers 40 pounds overweight who regularly exercise are functionally healthier than lean nonsmokers who don’t exercise.  So, you’ve got an edge.

And once you exercise, you’re more likely to quit smoking, quit drinking, eat ten servings of fruits and vegetables, join sports teams, and get higher grades.  Plus, you’re more likely to find love.  Our friend Dr. Amen suggests all this in his book Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted.

Best of all, when you exercise, you get others fit—mostly loved ones, says Dr. Amen.  My boyfriend and I urge friends to hit the gym.  One friend feared the gym, but she now dances and does circuits like a diehard.  And she jokes about selling bikini calendars, starring her.

My hope?  You, too, turn gym rat.

Arthur Agatston, MD, gives you the skinny, not with fitness, not with love, but with food in his book The South Beach Diet Wake-Up Call: 7 Real-Life Strategies for Living Your Healthiest Life Ever:

  • Why eat superfoods? “Eating healthy … could help [you] shed some pounds so that [you] can wear more fashionable clothes or eventually join a sports team or feel confident enough to ask someone on a date” (p.  176).
  • How often should you eat? “Eat three meals and at least two snacks each day. This helps prevent the drop in blood sugar … leading to fatigue and then cravings” (p.  177).
  • And don’t skip breakfast! “People who skip a morning meal tend to eat more poorly throughout the day … They also exercise less … have higher cholesterol, elevated insulin levels, and larger waist circumferences” (p.  178).
  • Pack healthy snacks and stay clear of Starbucks. “The trick is to make sure you always have snacks at the ready—in your refrigerator at home and at work, in your desk drawer, and/or in your backpack and car” (p.  180).  [Starbucks snacks throttle you with excess calories.  And, no, white bread wraps don’t pack great nutrition.]
  • Trash the junk. “Foods to remove from your pantry, cupboards, and fridge … [include] baked goods … fruit juices, sodas, and alcohol … cornflakes, cream of wheat, and instant oatmeal … condiments, dressings, and seasonings … [most] dairy and cheese … canned fruits in syrup, sugared fruit jams and jellies … all pasta made from refined grain … sweeteners” (p.  173).
  • Eat mostly fruits and vegetables. “The USDA says to fill at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables and the other half with grains (ideally whole grains) and proteins (lean please).  … [D]rink low-fat dairy and cut down on processed foods …” (p.  177).
  • Lastly, buy a gardener’s book on growing superfoods. “Plant an edible garden” (p.  175).  [And savor fresh kale picked from windowsill gardens.]

I prod a former colleague (whom I love) to get fit.  She’s a chief scientist at a pharmaceutical company.   Long ago, she ate avocados after workouts, her face aglow.  But she since stopped training.  So, I remind her of that post-workout glow.  To my delight, last week, she returned to the gym.   She’ll live longer, healthier, and prettier, and—no sweat—find romantic love.

Even Dr. Amen attests that love comes easier doused with gym sweat.  Why?  Health nuts make perfect dates.