Approach diet and fitness like you do dating, and you'll fall in love in no time.

By Rachel Wilkerson
February 14, 2012

Ah, it's February: the month of love poems, flowers, and romance. In the process of going from a very happy-to-be-on-the-couch "before" to a can't-get-enough-veggies "after," I've found that falling in love with healthy living is very much like falling in love with a person. So rather than stress about all the mixed signals and cryptic text messages, shift your focus and apply all the rules of dating to your health and fitness goals.

Figure Out What You Want


Before you start dating, you have to think about what you're looking for in a relationship: Someone to grow old with? A date to your cousin's wedding? Just a fling? Once you figure that out, you can decide whether you should join an online dating site or just hit up the local bar at last call. In the same way, you should figure out what you want from a health and fitness plan.

Do you want to get in shape and stay in shape for the next 10 years? Lose 5 pounds by your cousin's wedding in August? Lose 20 pounds by your high school reunion next weekend? (We don't recommend that last one.) Once you know what you want, it's easier to figure out the best way to get it.

Do Your Research


Let's be honest: It's 2012. Before you go on a date, you Google and Facebook the person you're meeting. It's good to know what to expect going into a date and you may not want to waste your time with someone you know won't work for you.

Likewise, you should do your research before you start a new health and fitness plan. Read health and fitness magazines, check out books from the library, or follow reputable blogs. That way you don't have to waste your time in the gym completing a plan that won't get you the results you want. Only fools rush in, right?

Get a Wingwoman


Most women don't go to the club alone; they grab a couple friends before heading out on the town. That's because when it comes to hitting on someone, it's nice to have a wingwoman to help you out and make you look good. Similarly, a good wingwoman can make all the difference in your new healthy lifestyle. Taking a girlfriend with you to a Zumba class can boost your confidence, and having a gym buddy for early morning workouts is seriously motivating.

If you don't have a real-life gym buddy, don't underestimate the power of online communities. Your perfect wingwoman might be someone you find on Twitter or in a weight-loss forum.

Play the Field


Although some people do marry the first person they ever kiss, many of us enjoy our time playing the field. And just like you might need to date a bunch of people to figure out what you like-and don't like-you might need to try several types of workouts before you find the one that really makes your heart race.

Don't Get Caught up in 'Type'


While it's good to know what you've liked in the past, it's important to keep an open mind. Maybe you didn't think you liked dark-haired men (or spin classes), but then you meet one that just makes you fall hard. When it comes to working out, remember that a different instructor, a different time of day, or just a more positive outlook can make a big difference in the kind of results you get.

Learn to Handle Heartbreak


Falling in love usually comes with some rejection, but you take the good with the bad and don't give up because of one horrible date. So why would you give up on a diet or exercise routine because of one doughnut binge or one missed run? With both dating and diet failures, it's tempting to run straight for the pint of ice cream and sweats, but the most successful people in both cases are the ones who let go of their regrets and let themselves move on.

Love is in the air, but whether you're attached or single, you can definitely fall in love with your new healthy lifestyle.

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