The Single Girls’ Sweat Club: How to Survive a Breakup Healthfully

Today we’re sharing a guest post on how to survive a breakup healthfully from Cat Smiley, a professional health and fitness writer based out of Whistler, Canada. She’s been nationally syndicated in more than 300 newspapers for over five years and is an award-winning personal trainer and nutritionist. 


Breakups suck, and we’ve all been there.

That indescribable moment of your heart being thrown on the sidewalk and smashed into a million little pieces, like a once-precious glass vase that can never be glued back together. Here’s how to get started towards turning those nutty FML-out-of-control moments of train-wreck emotions and text fights (that you always regret) into kick-butt workout sessions.

How to Survive a Breakup, Healthfully

1. Find a gym. Okay, it sounds obvious, but it can be really difficult to actually go do it. I mean really, really difficult. For one, you feel like crap because your self-esteem was probably flushed down the toilet with his last bathroom visit, and for two, your healthy eating plan is (in all likeliness) completely off track. But after the craziness of emotions get screamed, you find yourself left in a pile of your own thoughts, your own plans and possibly a pile of your own belongings that you now have to put into boxes and find a new home for. This might seem like top priority, but it’s not. Finding a gym is. So although it might be the hardest thing you could do, you need to walk past that disorganized mess and find your workout gear, or go buy new workout gear. And girl, buy the sexiest workout gear you feel confident in. Trust me; you’ll feel a million times better!

Leaving someone or being left is possibly the hardest thing you’ll ever do, especially if you still love that person. But love is not everything and sometimes there’s just nothing you can do except walk away. The best place to walk away to is the front desk of the gym. Hand over your credit card and with a big smile, say “Three month membership, please!” Over the next three months, make the gym your best friend and new living room — this is probably the most productive, healthiest and “quickest way to get over him” tactic that you could ever buy yourself.

Plus, added bonus … you might surprise yourself to find that you actually have less stress when you’re out of the relationship than when you’re in it!

2. Let go of the guilt. As a personal trainer, my fabulously awesome clients often tell me they feel guilty about spending time away from their unhappy relationships at home by taking workout classes at the gym. This is all about his insecurities, and it’s really sad when it starts to hold you back. Don’t choose sad, choose happy!

Another thing that’s often said is that their husband wants them to work with women trainers only, which is why they hired me. While I love my clients, this is not okay! And now that you’re single, this should be the first thing to change. I, for one much prefer having male coaches and physical training instructors, because my father used to coach me all through my childhood and then I had male coaches all through my professional athletic career. It’s just how I roll, and if you do too, then go ahead and book those personal training sessions with a male trainer, if that’s what you want. Sorry. We can still go for coffee and laughs. Not only will it make you commit to workouts again, it might make you confident around men again, especially if you’re feeling frumpy or hadn’t otherwise been able to take the plunge because your boyfriend/husband was insecure. That’s his problem. And it’s not your problem anymore. Go! Do it.

3. Unhappily ever after makes you fat. In a study by Weight Watchers in America of 25,000 married women, those who claimed to be in an unhappy relationship gained an average of 54 pounds during the first 10 years of marriage. Although researchers are still unclear of the direct motive to this weight gain, it doesn‘t take a rocket scientist to pinpoint the comfort zone of overeating is somewhat related to the “who am I trying to impress anyway” cycle of a bad relationship, which we all know now, you’re better than. Right? Right.

Jessica Erny (35) Calgary explains “my husband just loved me the way I am, and although that was nice and all, it was a complete de-motivator to stay in shape. But at the end of the day, I felt like crap and had bad self-esteem. It was almost like he felt bad about himself not working out, if I did. I’ve been working out like crazy since we divorced.” Yeah, Jessica!

4. You deserve to feel good. Looking good and feeling fit is a standard you should set for yourself regardless of your relationship status. Everyone handles break-ups and bad relationships differently, and yours doesn’t have to mean double-dating Ben & Jerry. Besides, retail therapy is more fun when clothes fit better!

Any other tips for surviving a breakup? And actually coming back stronger (literally and figuratively) from it? Share, please! —Cat Smiley

Categories: Couples, Family, Guest Posts, TipsTags: , ,

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  1. Yep, TOTALLY learned this one! After my break up a few months ago, I was a total mess. This month I broke up with the bar and joined the gym, and as it turns out, it’s the PERFECT place to get out all of that distress and anger I had let build up. I loved him more than I loved anything, but now I’m learning to love me. Plus, I’m going to look hot as hell.

  2. For me, yoga helps so much when I am going through a break-up. I tend to push away my sadness and force myself to be and act happy. I don’t like feeling sad, but I know it is a necessary step in the grief process. That’s where yoga helps. After sweating through a session, it really helps to clear my mind and focus on my emotions. I practice breathing in self-love and breathing out any negative emotions that are resulting from the break-up. I walk away from a session feeling stronger! Also, I’m a bad emotional eater and channeling my anger and sadness into a workout keeps me from sitting at home and crying into my Ben and Jerry’s. Plus, I leave my workouts feeling like a badass which helps. If I can survive tabata, surely I can survive a broken heart. 🙂