Military Spouse Magazine

SEP 2018

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Page 27 of 35

G O O D A D V I C E D e a r F i t n e s s F ia s c o , Sacrifice is inherent to military service. Highlighted in my first article in Military Spouse, "Although few recognize what you do, or appreciate the trials and tribulations that you face, (we are), one of thousands of people whose lives are impacted by the daily challenges encoun- tered by members of military families." Largely these sacri- fices come with considerable concessions, but not always. Let us look critically at your situation. The military requirement for your husband to maintain specific health and fitness standards has now mandated even more time away from you and your family. This fact will NOT change because it is directly linked to mission readiness. However, you now feel obligated to prioritize his He Failed His PT Test Now I'm paying for it. Dr. Kendra Lowe, Air Force Spouse D e a r D r. Ke n d r a , My husband has failed his physi- cal fitness test (again). He is now obsessed with passing the next test, and although I support him, I am frustrated with the drastic changes he wants our family to make to accommodate him. In fact, he recently blamed me for derailing his nutrition with how I cook and what food I keep in the house. But we have three kids, and at some point he needs to take ownership for what he puts in his own mouth. Not to mention that he now works out after work which leaves very little time for me to have any personal time, break from the kids, or time with him in general. I get it, it is for his job, but where is the line of me be- ing supportive and him taking responsibility for his own ac- tions (or lack of actions). Sincerely, Fitness Fiasco fitness by accepting increased absences, modifications to your cooking, and healthy food choices for your home. This can be perceived as a sacrifice for your family, but is this a fundamentally bad change for your family? Prioritizing fitness and health within your family can add great value for you, him, and your three children. A healthy lifestyle transcends to countless areas (positive mental health, longevity of life, boosted energy, increased libido, to name just a few). I encourage you to embrace this change and establish a healthy fitness and nutrition balance for your family. One way to tackle this issue is to find common ground. Pick a fitness goal together, some- thing separate from his military requirement. Get your children involved too. I am unsure where your fitness level is at, but I do know that there are countless fitness events/activities offered today with varied fitness levels, lengths, endurance, and type of activity (running, walking, swimming, lifting, mountain climbing, cycling, tennis competitions, rock climbing, stand up paddle boarding, and the list goes on). Studies show that competitive goal setting is an effective motivator leading to 90 percent more attendance and the additive bonus of long-term behavior change. This critical self-analysis of your own nutrition could be the catalyst for long-term changes for your entire family. Sacrifice, by definition, is not easy. These changes will take patience, time, persistence, and prioritization in your family's daily routines. What you can achieve is invaluable. Health and fitness is one of the best gifts you can give your family. 1) Have a family meeting 2) Pick new fitness goals for your family (individual or collective) 3) Make it competitive (pick rewards/incentives) 4) Track your progress 5) Complete it 6) Reflect/discuss the change in your fam- ily's fitness outlook Nutrition is assuredly the other key component of health and fitness. Behavior- ists claim a balanced diet can be attributed to 80 percent of goal achievement. Further- more, an emerging field in psychology, nutritional psychology, advocates for the benefits of nutrition with scientifically-based research illustrating how nutrient intake impacts mood, stress tolerance, inflammation, energy, sleep, cognition, medication needs, and be- havioral dysfunction. We are fortunate to live in nutrition conscious military com- munities, but it can still be a struggle when you and your spouse do not see eye-to-eye. Perhaps this is a good time for you and your family to assess the effects of your nutrition levels. A quick tool is a three-day food journal for mood. Here's a sample of what it could look like (SEE CHART BELOW). Sincerely, Dr. Kendra H DAY ONE TIME (M)EALS OR (S)NACKS HUNGER LEVEL (0-3) FOOD DESCRIPTION & QUALITY TIME SINCE EATING LAST REASON FOR CHOICE HOW YOU FEEL Photo by Ken Block 28 MILITARYSPOUSE.COM / SEPTEMBER 2018

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