It's PCS season again as we say in the military, or for you civilians...moving season. Each year at this time I prepare to say good-bye to clients who have become more like friends and family, than just clients. I also hear the same concerns from my clients, "I'm so concerned I'll gain the weight back." " How am I going to keep up with my training without you here?" And my favorite, "Can I stuff you in my suitcase and take you with me?!" While all of this is flattering and I'm glad they've experienced the value in our sessions, my real work comes in educating you, so you won't need me any longer. So that you can take the skills you've learned during our sessions, from workouts that can be done anywhere, to correct body alignment, to nutritional facts for lifelong health.
So as PCS (moving) season is here, I find myself preparing programs for my clients that they can take with them. Lets face it, moving every few years can be a challenge. Getting a new house, setting it up, registering the children in school, finding doctors and dentists, etc. For many of us, seasoned military spouses, we know the drill, know what needs to get done and set to it with military precision. But that doesn't make it easy. And finding time to exercise, eat healthy, take care of yourself, seems near impossible when pcsing! So here's a three part series on why you should do just that, even when, literally, your house is laying in boxes!
So before we know the "How", we need to know the "Why". Why when in the midst of a move, when everything is still packed, when you may not even have an address, let alone phone number to call home, you should put energy into exercising and eating right? Your to do list is a mile long, and you should take time out to exercise and eat right?! I must be smoking "funny" cigarettes right?!
But ask yourself these questions, do you usually feel better after working out? Do you have more energy after eating a healthy meal or at the local fast food joint? How much harder is it to restart a habit after you've stopped? Did you really work this hard to (lose the weight, tone up, train for an event, detox from sugar overload, etc), to forget it all now? How will you feel about yourself if you do? I can tell you from experience that I feel worse in the midst of a move if I don't maintain my exercise and eating habits. Those habits are the one constant in the midst of the chaos of a move. They keep my mind clear. A good run gives me the opportunity to think about what I have to tackle that day. They help me to feel good about my body. Especially when ordering more pizza (gotta feed the movers so your stuff is well taken care of!) or eating out (after all it takes a few days to move and unpack the kitchen, let alone stock a fridge!). Plus, it feels good! Mentally it keeps me from feeling overwhelmed. My exercise and healthy eating behaviors are still intact. Physically, I'm still challenging my body and feeding it, at least in part, the nutrients it needs to power through packing and unpacking boxes. Emotionally. Lets face it, no matter how many times we've done it, saying good bye is hard and moving to a new place, even one you've been to before, is a bit scary. Exercise gets those emotions out without stuffing them with food. And while traveling or once you've gotten to where you're going, exercise can help you to meet new people, explore new surroundings and quickly get you set up in your new place.
The benefits of eating right and exercising are well documented: reduced stress, increased energy level, improved muscle recruitment, better self confidence, reduced disease risk, weight loss or maintenance, healthier outlook on life, better sleep, etc. Those are all things that will help you power through a move, get set up more easily and handle the change a move requires better.
The biggest obstacle most clients tell me is time. But with so much going on in prep, during and following a move, they don't have time to exercise. The truth is, you don't need a lot of time to maintain your current fitness level and reap the benefits listed above. But you do need to make the time. In the next blog, we'll discuss exercise options that can be done anywhere while moving. But till then, think about this. Where we place our energies, is where we see progress. There will always be an excuse. Life will always be busy. There are no "perfect" moments. A commitment to you, to your health, to continue with your healthy habits, is worth your energy, worth your time, worth your commitment, as much as any other thing on your move to do list. It's taking care of YOU, so you can take care of the move.
I hope you'll be placing exercise and healthy eating at the top of your move to do list. The next two blog posts will show you how!