Archive | Wellness

FREE Mom Mastery (Online) Summit – Starts Tomorrow!

Mom Mastery SummitA FREE 4-day Mom Mastery Summit starts tomorrow, April 12 and goes through April 15. More than 2 dozen workshops are sheduled with some great folks that include:

  • Crystal Paine a.k.a. MoneySavingMom
  • Tosca Reno — the “Eat Clean” fitness model and author
  • The Duggars of “19 Kids and Counting”
  • Gary Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages”

Register Now
I learned about this Summit at

Portable Career Spotlight: Fitness Instructor

Looking for a career that you can take with you throughout that many moves Uncle Sam will send you and your family on? One possibility: group fitness instructor or personal trainer.

There’s a great post over at MoneySavingMom, Earn While You Burn: 5 Benefits of Being an Exercise Instructor, that lists some of the pros and some tips for getting started.

You’ll need to get certified, but if you’re eligible for a MyCAA Scholarship, you can get your certification paid for.

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Why the Early to Rise Challenge is Perfect for MilSpouses

Early to Rise Andy Traub QuoteThere’s an “Early to Rise Challenge” going on over at Money Saving Mom.

The idea is that you pick a time to wake up in the morning, then commit to actually waking up at that time every day this month. It’s based on the book Early To Rise: Learn To Rise Early in 30 Days by Andy Traub. I’m about half-way through, and it’s a good read. It’s written in a funny, light-hearted tone — not a lecturing, nagging tone that I’ve found some self-improvement/productivity books to be written in. It provides plenty of great reasons why getting an early start on your day lets so many other things in life fall into place smoothly and with less stress.

I’m writing about this on MilSpouse Life because I think the challenge is actually a great fit for MilSpouses. Chances are that your Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine already gets up at O’Dark Thirty, pulls on a PT uniform and is off to work. So why not try waking up at the same time, if you’re not already doing so?

Enjoy that quiet time. That time before the sun comes up, before your children are awake, before the rest of the world is going about its business. Make that time yours. Instead of waking up with just enough time to get your kids off to school and yourself off to work/school, give yourself the gift of that buffer time when you can have a moment to slowly drink a cup of coffee and reflect, read, pray, write.

Or if you’re like me, workout. Working out is akin to meditation for me, so if I can start the day with a full 45 minute to an hour workout, instead of cramming it into a quick 30 minutes because that’s all the time I can fit into my morning because I didn’t wake up early enough — I’m a less-stressed and more energized person and I feel like my brain is much more productive throughout the day.

I joined the Early to Rise Challenge at Money Saving Mom — committing to waking up at 5 am. My results so far:

March 1 — Fail. Woke up at about 6 am. But I blame this on the sinus infection I’ve been fighting.

March 2 — SUCCESS! Woke up at 5 am. Felt like a rock star the rest of the day as I knocked things off my list of things to do and was early to the ice skating rink for my daughter’s skating lesson.

March 3 — EPIC FAIL. Woke up at about 7 am. Was running behind on just about everything the rest of the day.

Today — Fail. Woke up at about 6 am. Blaming this on the lingering sinus infection and a case of the Mondays.

So far, I am 1 for 4. But that 1 success was great so I hope I can get myself out of bed at my target time tomorrow!

The Portable Gym: 8 At-Home Workouts that Work

I gained 40 pounds when I was pregnant with my daughter, so after she was born I was eager to get back down to my “fighting” weight.

But Army life interfered. Or at least I thought it might. My husband had to leave on a 15-month deployment, 10 weeks after our daughter’s birth. Being a first-time mom, I relocated my daughter and myself cross-country to be closer to family while my husband was away, and during that time we bounced between 3 homes of family members. So regularity and routine were out the window. On-post physical fitness facilities were a long drive away. In the interest of saving money, a gym membership was not happening.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. And here’s the way that I found to get back in shape:

  • While my daughter was still too small for a jogging stroller, I would ask a family member to watch her for 30 minutes so that I could go for a run. Rain, snow or shine, I would run. I was able to do this about 2 mornings a week.
  • Once my daughter was big enough for a jogging stroller, off we went! My daughter would usually fall asleep during the run. I would try to end the run at a park so that she would get a chance to play outside. Plus monkey bars are great for doing pullups.
  • There were plenty of days when the logistics of going for a run with or without a baby were too much, and that’s when what I call “living room workouts” were a life-saver. More on this in a bit.
  • Hang on to motivation. Sink your teeth into it. Get an iron-like grip on it. Because there were many days when I felt too sleep-deprived to workout even for just 30 minutes. But I had a couple things to motivate me: the fact that my husband was risking life and limb in a combat zone and was sleep deprived too; I wanted to look my best when I finally did get reunited with my husband; at the time I was still in the Army Reserves and due to go to Airborne school as soon as possible. They do a lot of running at Airborne school, at a good pace, and I did NOT want to be one of the Soldiers falling out of the runs and getting sent home without jump wings.

So what to do on days when I couldn’t get out of the house and didn’t have anyone to watch the little one? I fell prey to an infomercial for Turbojam, an at-home workout by Beachbody.

I am very skeptical of workout videos. I had tried some before and found them to be, well, weak. Heart rate did not go up. Did not break a sweat — not even close. Not much better than sitting on the couch.

Turbojam was different. Heart rate went up. I was breathing so hard and sweating through my workout clothes. I got muscle tone back. And it helped me shed pounds. Between Turbojam and running outdoors 2-3 days/week (this all took place before I could put my daughter in the jogging stroller), it took me 5.5 months to lose the baby weight.

Beachbody still sells Turbojam, but now they have a bunch of new programs as well — all requiring little to no equipment and minimal floor space in front of a television with DVD player. Click on the links below to learn more about each:

  1. TurboJam
  3. P90X
  4. P90X2- The Next Level of Extreme Fitness
  5. Les Mills PUMP
  7. Hip Hop Abs