Today I would like to talk about relationships. No, I’m not professing to be Dr. Phil, or Oprah. But I do know that a big part of my business goes beyond the hour a client spends with me at the gym. Every part of your life connects to your training: your ability to focus, your lifestyle, and most importantly, your relationships.

Relationships affect all parts of our lives, from how we eat, to how often we exercise, to how well we sleep. For example, I have a friend in South Africa. Last year, it was wonderful to see her up every morning, exercising at home on her bike. However, I was recently back there, and she told me her relationship with her current partner was not going well.

We started talking about it, and I noticed how much she was drinking. Drinking at lunchtime, drinking in the evening, drinking all the time; one of the things she had stopped doing the previous year. Then, when her partner came over, and we were all laying by the pool, I noticed immediately that he was the one who initiated the drinking. They would start to drink, and continue all afternoon. As we all know, drinking can create changes in personality, so by the evening, she was texting me that they were having an argument.

A few days later, she invited me to go for a coffee. Of course, her intention wasn’t to have coffee, she wanted a drink. So off we go, it was two o’clock in the afternoon. We are sitting there, she is drinking her white wine. I decided to have coffee, so I could have a swim later and enjoy my evening. My friend started to say how her life had changed with him. She complained about the things he didn’t do, how he hadn’t introduced her to his family after all these years, how he would go to the pub and drink at night when she had to stay with her son, how he didn’t want to take the boy to school in the morning. But one of the major things I noted was that he didn’t like her to get up early in the morning and exercise.

My friend had gotten into this rut. Her partner didn’t like her exercising, so she stopped her biking, she stopped going to the gym. She lost her mojo.

Everything that we do affects our health. It’s not just that hour in the gym. The training is really only a small component of it. No longer can you just do your workout. You have to do lots of walking and stepping and extra things to add to it. It is not only exercise and nutrition, but your social life and your relationships affect your health too.

Think about it, how many times have you taken your iPhone or Blackberry to the gym? Then you are always on it, and responding, and the exercises that you could have done in thirty minutes, have taken you an hour and a half. And you think you exercised so much, but really you didn’t, you just spent a lot of time in the gym on your phone.

Being aware of your relationships, and how they affect you is important. If you have a partner that doesn’t want you to exercise, who encourages you to drink, who doesn’t like the same activities as you, and this is who you are fundamentally, then that relationship won’t benefit you. Over the last year, I’ve been lucky enough to sit back and think, “Is this person ideal for me?” Maybe it’s great that they exercise, it’s great that we can play golf together, but if they like to go out to dinner at 10 o’clock every night, it’s just not going to work for me long term. Because what type of relationship is it going to be, when I need to go to sleep by 9 o’clock, and there we are still eating at 12 o’clock every night?

Make sure when you’re looking for a partner, you aren’t doing it because you think that you need to be with someone. Because that’s what I see with so many people. Instead, say to yourself, “I’m great, my life is great. This is what I want out of a relationship. What can I compromise on, and what are my fundamentals?”

If being healthy and exercising are fundamental to your happiness (and they have to be, because that’s why you are reading my blog), and your partner is not allowing you to do that, it’s going to affect your health long term. You may need to re-think if that relationship is really worth it. Never compromise who you are. Know what it is that you want, and find a partner who you can enjoy those things with, making you a healthier and happier person.

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