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 Nicole’s feature.
WHAT WAS YOUR LOWEST MOMENT, WHEN YOUR HEALTH SUFFERED THE MOST?
The lowest points for me as a military spouse have come when my marriage has suffered. We learn to be very independent as military spouses and it is difficult to come back together after separations (trainings and deployments). Trying to figure out your role in a relationship when you constantly go back and forth between doing it alone and then being part of a team/partnership again is so hard.
WHAT WAS ONE OF YOUR HIGHEST MOMENTS AS A MILITARY SPOUSE?
When I gained independence after we moved to Germany. I was so scared at first, but I learned so much about myself and felt so brave when I would venture out on my own or with my little daughter.
WHAT IS ONE PERSONAL HABIT THAT CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I have a passion for inspiring others to be their very best – emotionally and physically. I firmly believe the base for this is feeding our bodies well and moving them in ways that motivate and challenge us. I feel my best when I eat well, exercise and get enough rest. I am a better mom, wife, professional and military spouse when I do this. These habits help keep me grounded and resilient.
Less big picture – making time for exercise in the morning 6 days per week. I take one day off. With work and little people this can be hard but I feel so much better when I get it in. I exercise before the kids wake up – usually running on the treadmill or doing a strength/cardio mix workout. I love running, biking and hiking. I have completed 12 marathons and 2 Ironman 70.3 races.
WHAT IS A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE YOU WOULD SHARE WITH THE COMMUNITY?
Besides the obvious – InDependent – I’m not sure that I have one go-to source. Each time we move, I research bike/running paths, fitness facilities, farmer’s markets, health food stores, child care options (so I can go exercise) and outdoor recreation areas. This helps ease the transition to a new place as I then know I can maintain my base needs – healthy food and fitness. As I get involved in these activities in our new community, I begin to make friends and get acquainted with our new duty station. This helps to ease the stress of frequent moves and transition.
IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE BOOK TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
“Rising Strong”, By Brene Brown is an amazing book about getting in the dirt with the issues we struggle with, humbling yourself to them and rising up. Vulnerability is a scary thing and as military spouses we learn to put walls up. Learning how to be vulnerable (leaning in to the discomfort) helps us cope with this military life. Great book!
(Purchases using the link above will help InDependent cover administrative costs for our programs at no extra cost to you!)
ABOUT NICOLE LETH
Nicole Leth is an InDependent Community Ambassador in Washington, D.C.. She met her Army husband on a 30-minute inter-island flight in Hawaii. He sat next to her on the flight and the rest was history! They have two children and love being outside as a family and taking active vacations. While living in Hawaii, Texas and New York, Nicole worked as an EMT/Paramedic. Nicole worked as a Health Educator in Colorado and now teaches public health and nutrition as a University Professor in Georgia. She also has a passion for smoke-free air advocacy work.
CONNECT WITH NICOLE