There is this stereotype about military life. That when you are in the military physical fitness is required on a daily basis. And I guess in some ways it is true. But for me military life was not a road map to fitness directly. It took time for me to find the balance. And surprisingly enough when I was in military and meeting their basic physical fitness requirements. I often was at my least healthy points.
You see when I was in the military, I was required me to workout three times a week at my first assignment. And three times a week seemed like all I needed. At least that is what I would think. Sure, I can have pizza for lunch, I worked out today.
But I worked out today…
But there were other issues with my diet that meant that the occasional pizza lunch (read every time I worked out). My husband and I were both working full time and the easiest meals to create came from boxes. It didn’t take very long to realize the lack of home cooked meals (the ones that don’t come from boxes), bad choices for lunch and minimal workouts each week would mean that the scale would slowly start to move in the opposite direction of down.
I quickly learned that I needed to do more than the the three 30-minute workouts required by the military. I started to do extra workouts at home. This was before the days of Beachbody and YouTube. I would run or do a walk at home video my mom had told me about. It wasn’t too intense, but it was the extra push I needed to help me maintain my weight.
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Deployment leads to health
When I was at deployment training I would wake up early each day to workout and then had days full of either classroom training or battlefield training. I became fit and healthy. With great food choices at the dining facility most days and a rigorous training routine I began to lose the extra weight I had gained. Once I arrived in Afghanistan I found the Forward Operating Base to have less than desirable workout conditions, but I was able to keep fitness as a priority to help me stay sane and deal with the stress. The little workout equipment they had was enough.
Upon returning home from my deployment, my husband had discovered the latest workout craze. A thing called Beachbody. We started working out together completing both P90X and P90X2. Then I found out I was pregnant and although somewhat active my high intense training stopped.
Leaving the military to stay at home
I was confident when I left the military to stay at home with my son I would have plenty of time to get back into working out regularly. I was cleared to workout right around the time my husband was leaving for two months of training. My son was two months old. Two months passed and while working out was a priority it quickly slid down and out of sight as my pretty good sleeping baby was suddenly up every night.
Somehow near the end of my husband’s training I found Beachbody again. With new programs that only last less than 30 minutes. I tried it out. And each day I completed my workout I was so proud that I had at least done one thing that day.
A road map to fitness
I guess you could say working out became my life line. I put a lot of my passion and energy into checking off the boxes and completing each new program. As I struggled to find my new way as a mom and military spouse I needed a way to track my progress. And here was a map full of check marks to help guide my way.
Working out helped me find my way forward after getting lost in the maze that motherhood brings. And now years later it helps me stay sane. Especially on the days I feel like I have not got anything done.
Workout complete at least I got one thing done.
What ways do you stay motivated to keep working out?
The main goal in your road map to fitness is to find what works for you. Beachbody worked for me, but going to the gym might make more sense for you and your life. Running is also an activity I continually add to my workout routine. Signing up for a half marathon helps me stay focused. Maybe for you walking with friends at the park will help you or joining Stroller Strides. The most important thing to learn is you have to find what works for you.