Editor’s note: Every Friday, HLN brings you the "My First Time" series. It explores the first time your favorite celebrities did something significant or memorable (so get your mind out of the gutter!).
In this installment, Dolvett Quince -- celebrity fitness trainer on “ The Biggest Loser” and founder of the #TooStrong campaign with LifeKraze -- looks back at his first workout and what keeps him going to the gym.
HLN: LifeKraze is an online community that promotes a healthy lifestyle. When was the first time you decided to have an active lifestyle and how did you get into that mindset?
Dolvett Quince: I was 14 years old. I remember I was in my father’s garage and I looked in the car reflection. You know how that reflection is always warped and distorted? I walked by it and I saw that I had abs and a chest. I was a skinny kid, but when I saw what I could look like, I immediately started going to the gym.
HLN: What was your first workout like?
DQ: The trainer looked at me like, ‘Get out of here, kid!’ But I asked a lot of questions and got advice from some of the guys at the gym, like body builders and athletes, and incorporated what they taught me into my routine. When I was 15, I also started doing martial arts and running track.
HLN: What kept you going back to the gym?
DQ: The gym was an escape -- it was a place that felt as good as home felt. I went in there and felt, ‘Wow, I could really be better here.’
HLN: What motivates you today? You’ve inspired so many people to get in shape, but who inspires you?
DQ: It’s a number of things. I have to walk the walk and talk the talk, so I’m motivated by the folks on ‘The Biggest Loser.’ I’m truly kicking their butt, and they’re taking it. If they can do this, there’s no reason I can’t. Also, social media: On Twitter, Facebook, and LifeKraze, people send motivational messages and quotes -- I feed off all that. Their responses give me fuel to be better than yesterday.
HLN: What does it take to truly commit to a healthy lifestyle?
DQ: I’ll tell you what it doesn’t take: A gung-ho, quick-fix mentality. It’s really a lifestyle, so set a two-week goal or a 30-day goal. Get to that goal and nothing else. The reason year-long plans don’t work is people feel like they have so much time to reach their goal, they trickle off. So set a goal like losing seven pounds by the end of the month. Make it the most exciting thing you could accomplish. And watch yourself fall in love with taking care of you.
HLN: Once you achieve that goal, how do you keep challenging yourself?
DQ: You have to pick exciting things along the way. Are you taking a Zumba or Pilates class? Are you bringing a friend along? Make it fun. Challenge yourself to a warrior dash with your friends. Don’t limit yourself to just going to the gym -- don’t make it robotic.
HLN: So having a buddy really makes a difference?
DQ: Absolutely! As you're a woman, you go to the mall with girlfriends and you have so much fun trying on clothes and shoes and getting each other’s opinions. Make it the same thing with the gym. I’ve got to figure out how to get women as excited about going to the gym as going to the mall…
HLN: Getting in shape is one of the biggest New Year’s resolutions. What’s your advice to folks who want to be healthier in 2013?
DQ: Don’t just make a resolution to work out -- add something different to it. Make a resolution to eat more vegetables in January or reduce your portion sizes in February. Instead of munching on the go, make a resolution to stop and have breakfast.
HLN: Which is more important: Working out or eating healthy?
DQ: You can’t do one without the other. The way you eat compliments your physique. Look at someone who eats correctly but doesn’t work out -- they don’t have any muscle or elasticity and their body can suffer. Someone who works out all the time, but doesn’t eat well -- they have their ailments, too. Nutrition and exercise need each other, one’s not more important than the other.