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 Eleanor’s feature.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE?
I was an Surface Warfare Officer when I met my husband who is a Naval Aviator. We got married and I decided to hand in my uniform to stay at home with the kids and enjoy traveling as a military spouse. We first bought a house in Odenton, Maryland when I was teaching at USNA, then we moved to Lemoore, California. We stayed there about 1 year, had our first son Tyler, then moved to Southern California. After 3 lovely years and another child (Travis), we moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where my husband attended the Naval Postgraduate School. We were delighted when we got the news that we would be moving to Stuttgart, Germany, and moved 12 months later! Germany was an amazing time, and brought back a little girl! It was the most amazing surprise I could ever dream of, and then we got orders back to Southern California!! We stayed there 3 years and then moved to Northern Virginia where we currently live while my husband works in D.C.. Between tackle football, ballet, violin, wrestling, and school work, we find time to visit with East Coast family and friends that we have met over the years.
Are you a health or wellness expert? Tell us about it and how it has impacted your wellness journey
I am a certified Holistic Health Coach, a Personal Trainer, a Les Mills Bodypump Instructor, Group Fitness Coordinator, and a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant. I realized that fad-dieting and burning out at the gym was not the way to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. Learning how foods and nutrition affect my body has changed my life and inspired me to become a health coach to help other moms who struggle in a similar way.
My career as a Surface Warfare Officer was behind me and becoming a military spouse and mother shifted my responsibilities drastically. I struggled with putting myself on the priority list, with so many other things pushed ahead of my choices. I wanted to be healthy, tried to diet once in awhile, but it wasn’t until I went to Nutrition School and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach that my mindset around food and wellness began to change. I now live a life of freedom from the deprivation dieting, the depression of weight gain and the confused identity of being a mother. I have learned to let food do it’s job: nourish my body to make me flourish.
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY HIGHS OR LOWS AS A MILITARY SPOUSE?
I would have to say my lowest moments come around right after my husband leaves for deployment. Although I am used to the feelings, know they are coming and am completely prepared for the scenario, it just kills me everytime. I often need a few days of being a hermit to shake it off and find my groove. I find that working out, finding friends with similar lifestyle goals and having fun with my kids helps to move me out of the funk.
My highest moments are usually the homecomings! I feel like my life is put back together in a cohesive way and I have help again! When I decided to become a health coach, I was so encouraged and inspired by my husbands willingness to step up to support my dreams and ambitions. He often will workout with me and offer support and accountability that I love! Everybody needs support, accountability and love.
What is one personal habit that contributes to your success?
Diets suck and they don’t give sustainable results. Eating a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and vegetables will always be in style. It is the best way for your body to thrive, the way it is meant to be. When you deprive yourself of a certain food group, your body has to overcome and adapt, leaving it out of balance. You might see a change on the scale, but you must think of the whole picture of health. This means you might lose weight but have trouble sleeping or having energy. There will never be a supplement or substitute that will replace good, whole-foods nutrition.
What is your favorite form of self-care?
My favorite form of self care is finding time to be alone and just be. I often meditate in my room or on my couch with some soft music, set my diffuser and block out the noises & distractions around me. It helps to re-center and recharge me for getting back into my life as a mom, wife and health coach.
WHAT IS A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE YOU WOULD SHARE WITH THE COMMUNITY?
I would love to connect with anyone that would like to chat about their challenges with their weight management or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Moms need to do this for themselves, but also as examples to their friends, family and loved ones.
IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE BOOK TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I just love the book “Excuse Me, Your Life is Waiting” by Lynn Grabhorn. She is such an amazing, inspiring woman that really shows you how to show up in your life. You are responsible for your vibration and others are affected by how you feel. It’s incredible.
(Purchases using the links above will help InDependent cover administrative costs for our programs at no extra cost to you!)
ABOUT Eleanor Duelley
Eleanor Duelley is a Stay-At-Home mom of 3 children, a Military Veteran, Naval Aviator Spouse and Certified Holistic Health Coach. Throughout the last decade, she struggled with the ups and downs of weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle until she found her balance through whole-foods nutrition. Eleanor graduated from the prestigious Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City to become an Online Holistic Health Coach and to support and share the amazing possibilities of health and wellness for women all over the world.
Connect With Eleanor
Facebook: Holistic Health From the Military Wife | Online Community: Healthy Moms Love Wine Too | Website: Simple.Healthy.Well. | E-Book: 5-Day Simple Slimdown | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Instagram: @eleanorjc