By Jessica DeRubbo

What if incorporating fitness into your life actually helped you meet the love of your life?  Turns out there’s a correlation between fitness and love, which JJ Flizanes, celebrity fitness trainer and exercise architect explains in her book, Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life.  If you’re single or looking for a better relationship with your partner and you struggle with weight loss or body issues, Flizanes’ book may be just the thing you need to gain love and security through fitness and health.  She says it’s possible to attract your life mate by creating the body you desire from a place of self-acceptance, rather than self-loathing.  Named by Elite Traveler Magazine as their 2007 Global Black Book pick of Best Personal Trainer in Los Angeles and one of Shape Magazine‘s top six fitness trainers in 2003, JJ Flizanes knows what it takes to get long lasting results in both fitness and relationships.

We had the privilege of speaking with Flizanes via phone last month.  Take a look at what she had to say:

How do love and fitness go together?

Love and fitness go together in a couple different ways.  The first way is in how someone approaches fitness.  Most of the fitness industry supports the idea that if you lose weight and have a nice looking body, then you’ll love yourself.  And unfortunately, that approach doesn’t come from love; it comes from fear.  It comes from the fear and the frustration and the disgust most people have with their bodies.  And they get so upset and beside themselves that they want something different, and so they go and work out.  But most of the time, that way of working out comes from a place of not liking your body … You’re coming from this attitude of negativity.  There is another way, and that’s honoring the body and doing things for it to support the future, and that feels differently.  And that’s how fitness and love go together.

I’m in an industry that loves to catch people in that very dark moment and then capitalize on it, which is why we’re all fat and continue to not find solutions.  And it’s coming from a different place where you can empower yourself and have it become part of your life.  Your self-care is a blueprint.  How you take care of yourself are the exact signals and messages that you’re sending out into the world of how it’s acceptable to treat you.  If you don’t take care of your body and respect your health, why would you expect someone else to?

What were your goals in writing Fit 2 Love, and what inspired you to write it?

I always saw myself as different in this industry, and I was never able to quite pinpoint why until I read Geneen Roth’s latest book, Women, Food and God.  I read that book and I was inspired by her stories, and as far as I know, she doesn’t have any credentials, yet her credentials are her life.  She’s gained and lost over 1,000 pounds throughout her life.  I was sitting there thinking, “Well, what’s my story?” because I’m not the trainer that’s gained and lost 300 pounds in my lifetime.  It didn’t come from that place.  It came from being in the gym and looking at the trainers and saying, “Wow.  That looks good.  I’d like to do that.”

And then the love came from what my real story is: being able to attract my husband; being able to attract men and relationships into my life from how I was treating myself.  I was watching different stages of my life and comparing them with how I was treating myself at those points.  The time when I was taking care of myself on every level was the time when I met my husband.  I know a ton of very smart and very attractive women who don’t understand why they’re single, and they don’t take care of their bodies.  And there’s a correlation there.

 

Many trainers use the fear factor to get their clients in shape.  Why haven’t you adopted that approach?

I didn’t feel right about instilling fear in people.  It’s different coming from a place of love than from a place of fear.  I looked at my body and said, “I don’t have any pain.  I’d like to stay pain free.”  I see all these older people who have all these issues and I don’t want to end up like that.  I want people to feel better now; I don’t want them to have to wait.  You’ll always have that “push, push, push,” for where you are with both your body and your relationships.  And if you can’t accept where you are right now, you delay the kind of results you can get.  The people who get lasting results are those who accept working out as a way of life, a new habit and a transition.

One review says you are a “rare commodity” because you actually live the truth that you preach.  Is that true?

Well, the “rare commodity” comment comes from my passion and my drive for wanting people to be better and to be happier … and to not force a way of being with pressure.  When there is pressure, you’re never focused on the person … you’re just focused on the results.  It just dehumanizes us down to these numbers.  I just try to help people find what works for them.  There is no perfect body, or standard that we all have to meet.  I think half the population that doesn’t work out don’t do it because they’re fighting against the idea that in order for someone to accept them, they have to look a certain way.  It just goes back to loving yourself first and taking care of yourself.  You will not have long-lasting results until you’re from that place.

What would you say is the answer for women out there who are single or unhappily in a relationship?

Ask yourself how you want someone to treat you and if you’re treating yourself that way.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’ve learned through this approach to love and fitness?

Your results will come faster and last longer when you come from a place of love.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

The book outlines a 5-step process.  I think these steps are very easy and very do-able for people.  You can follow them in my book or in my workshop, and actually try to apply them to your own lives.  It’s something everyone can do no matter where you are with your body or where you are with your relationships.  It can help you attract your ideal mate and it can also help improve any current relationship you’re in.

Cupid thanks JJ Flizanes for her time! Fit 2 Love: How to Get Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually Fit to Attract the Love of Your Life is available on Amazon. For more information about her book and workshops, visit her website at www.invisiblefitness.com.