Amidst a hectic and chaotic life, as an active duty USAF pilot and mother- while my husband was deployed to the Middle East for a year, I found fitness as a resource to balance the demands of my high-stress life. Focusing on my fitness, both inside and out, helped me balance my life and truly become healthy. I’m a certified YogaFit and PiYo instructor, AFAA certified personal trainer and hold a Bachelor’s Degree from the United States Air Force Academy in Biology, and a Master’s Degree from Penn State University in Kinesiology where I specialized in Exercise Physiology and women’s fitness. I’m currently studying towards a certification as a holistic health coach. I’ve also just graduated from Air University’s School of Advanced Air and Space Studies with a Master’s of Philosophy degree, and am currently working toward my PhD. My thesis focused on the strategic health and well-being of large organizations, primarily the US Air Force. My dissertation entitled, “Healthy Military, Healthy Nation” evaluates whether military health and wellness programs, as well as policy changes, have the potential to reform military culture into one of healthy lifestyle behaviors, ultimately influencing societal changes in America.
I’m the President and founder of Healthy Body Healthy Life (HBHL), a free health and wellness program for military spouses. The Program Vision includes: Educating individuals on exercise and nutrition, changing the way families view their fitness & nutritional needs, and building communities of like-minded individuals with a desire for living healthier lives. I don’t promote quick fixes, or fad diets. It’s about a lifestyle change, starting small and gradually developing into a healthier you. I am passionate about fitness & nutrition and want to give the gift of fitness and health education to others. My vision is to empower military spouses at every base to join together in a positive way—supporting each other through a shared focus on living healthy lifestyles—creating a networked support infrastructure that perseveres despite frequent moves and instability. In addition, HBHL provides an employment opportunity for military spouses, where the current unemployment rate hovers around 26%.
I am seeking the right type of military spouses to be Healthy Body Healthy Life community leaders, sharing their fitness instructor expertise and motivational power. As a military spouse myself, I know how difficult it is to manage a stressful military life. It’s very easy to get focused on taking care of everyone else, and neglecting yourself. Through fitness and nutrition education, motivation and encouragement, I want to inspire and encourage other military wives and mothers to start taking better care of themselves. I truly believe that by focusing on health and well-being in a positive way, it will make each of them a better person and a positive role model for their children and others in their area.
The response to the program here at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama has been a positive and powerful force within our community. For 2012, my goals are to start expanding HBHL and Powerbodyz, to continue my commitment to living a healthy life, and to run a marathon with my fellow Healthy Body Healthy Lifers. Going “live” with this blog is the first step toward expanding Healthy Body Healthy Life to military spouses worldwide, and also any hard working professional or stay-at-home caregiver that wants help taking charge of their health.
I believe in the power of the individual. Individuals have the power to make a difference – within themselves, within their family, and within their community. I love serving my country as a member of the US military, but I am also on a mission to make our nation’s families healthier. Especially, military families who may not have the resources or may have a difficult time finding communities of individuals where health and fitness are a priority. Spouses are the heart of military families, and a powerful additive to the effectiveness of our armed forces. As Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I see that potential, even if it is only one family at a time.
Be Educated. Be Balanced. Be Fit. Be Healthy.