Wellness Spotlight: Amanda Huffman
The Wellness Spotlight series highlights military spouses and their real world health and wellness journeys in a Facebook live series. Below is an excerpt of Amanda’s feature.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE?
I met my husband in college while we were both pursuing our dream of becoming officers in the Air Force. He commissioned in 2006 while I still had a year of school left. That year apart we stayed connected through phone calls and occasionally trips. We were married in March 2007 and I commissioned in June 2007. We were lucky and I was able to be stationed at the same base with my husband. Since we were both active duty, we spent a good amount of time apart with the various training missions and his frequent business trips. My third year in the Air Force my name got tagged for a deployment to Afghanistan. That year I left my husband behind and went off on a crazy adventure.
When we later moved to Ohio I made the transition from active duty to diaper duty. I truly believed being a stay-at-home mom was going to be an easy job. I had gone to Afghanistan. I had this. Motherhood ended up being a lot harder than I expected and a year after my son was born we PCSed from Ohio to California. Now, we are on the move again, moving from my home state of California to Virginia. I am looking forward to the new friends we will make and the new adventures to come.
What is a low moment when your health suffered the most and how did you overcome it?
Leaving the military and becoming a mom at the same time was really hard for me. I lost my identity as I made the transition. I didn’t realize how much of my worth had been tied into the status of military member. It didn’t help that my husband was sent off to two months of training 8 weeks after my son was born.
At the time, I just got through each day. There were a lot of tears. My son was a good sleeper up until the day my husband left and really never recovered from him being gone. Slowly I started to find myself. I first started working out again. I did one of the Beachbody programs and it helped me get in my workout each day since they were only 25 minutes a day. I was able to find an excitement and passion for working out again.
I also found a love for writing. I started following a blogger who challenged people to write for five minutes each Friday. My goal was to find five minutes to write and each week I did it I was so excited. As I continued to write I found a passion to share my story.
Share with us a high moment during your wellness journey!
With my first son I had wanted to have a natural birth, but plans changed and I ended up being induced and getting an epidural. I was able to have a vaginal birth, but it wasn’t the birth story I had been hoping for. With my second son, I was able to have the natural birth I had been hoping for.
My second son was born in November and that following May I had signed up for a half marathon. I was lucky and was able to start training within weeks of giving birth and my training paid off when I was able to break the two-hour goal for a half marathon. I now have a passion for running and have completed a number of half marathons since living in LA.
What is your favorite form of self care?
My favorite form of self-care is getting away from life responsibilities and spending time with my girlfriends. Being able to have a day where I can spend time with friends is always so healing. A few weeks ago a few of my girlfriends and I spent a day at Disneyland and it was a breath of fresh air. Next month we are having a spa day and I am really looking forward to it.
What is one personal habit that contributes to your success?
Not allowing people to tell me I can’t do it. Or if they do, it gives me the challenge that I need to prove them wrong. While I was in the military, people would often second guess my ability to do whatever task was at hand. I have learned to have faith in what I know I can do and just do it. Don’t worry about what others think you can do, know what you can do and go do it!
WHAT IS A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE YOU WOULD SHARE WITH THE COMMUNITY?
There are tons of free workout videos on YouTube, but if you know you need help to stay committed to a goal, find someone who you resonate with and join in.
IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE podcast TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
My favorite podcast right now is The Happy Hour with NextGen MilSpouse. The thing I like most about the podcast is that they cover current events that matter to military spouses. I love learning the details of what is new in Tricare or new laws that may affect the military community. I also love the variety of interviews they have. An honorable mention goes to The Dear MilFamily Podcast by Sheena Arting.
(Purchases using the links above will help InDependent cover administrative costs for our programs at no extra cost to you!)
ABOUT amanda huffman
Amanda is a military veteran and military spouse. She served in the Air Force for six years as a Civil Engineer before transitioning from active duty to diaper duty. Her husband continues to serve in the Air Force. She is now a stay-at-home mom of two boys. Her family currently lives in Southern California and most weekends you can find them at Disneyland. This summer the military is moving them from West Coast (California) to East Coast (Virginia).