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 Tatiana’s feature.
Tatiana is a mother, certified health coach, and personal trainer. Her passion is helping busy women develop a plan that fits their goals and lifestyles. Tatiana is empowering others to embrace life with balance.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AS A MILITARY SPOUSE.
My journey as a military spouse began right as I was beginning to focus on my career. I left home for the first time, and coming from a large family, there was some culture shock. It wasn’t until we got to our first boat that I began to make real connections. I met one of my closest friends at our first command and we remain close even fifteen years later. I have moved a total of six times across country and made one move with a newborn. This journey has taught me a lot about myself and my ability to adapt.
IF YOU ARE A HEALTH OR WELLNESS EXPERT, TELL US ABOUT IT AND HOW IT HAS IMPACTED YOUR WELLNESS JOURNEY.
I grew up an athlete and remained active through college. It the transition into adulthood and military life that threw me some curve balls. I could no longer depend on my metabolism or spend four hours training. I had no knowledge of overall wellness. During this time, I fell into the trap of emotional eating and self-sabotage. I would eat well during the work day and go to the gym, but I wasn’t taking care of myself as a whole person. As a health coach, I have been able to use my knowledge of behaviors, triggers, and coping mechanisms to help me better handle stress. I am better prepared now than I was when my journey as a military spouse began, and I am thankful for every lesson. Lifestyle transformation is my goal with every client. The majority of my clients are moms, and while moms know how to take care of others, we often forget to take care of ourselves.
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED ANY EXTREME HIGHS/LOWS SINCE BECOMING A MILITARY SPOUSE? WHEN HAS YOUR HEALTH (MENTAL AND/OR PHYSICAL) SUFFERED THE MOST, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
I’ve been blessed in that I wouldn’t categorize any of my lows as extreme. I have been associated with the military family for most of my life and there are families that have had a far more difficult time than me. If I were to describe a point when being a military spouse was most difficult, it would have to be following the birth of my daughter. Her father was stationed on the opposite coast. When it came time for me to return to work, I came back to California alone with a three-month-old baby. The emotional lows were directly related to my lack of sleep and return to work. I was exhausted.
I was blessed to have my best friend and fellow military spouse to help. She watched my daughter during the day and made sure I was supported. She helped me with breastfeeding, and taught me the so much about motherhood. She and her family made sure that my daughter and I never felt alone. My tribe stood strong for me, and I am forever thankful.
WHEN HAVE YOU FELT YOUR HEALTHIEST AND/OR BEEN AT YOUR HIGHEST MOMENT?
I can honestly say that right now I am at my happiest and most balanced. My family is happy, my daughter is thriving, and I have peace in my heart. The goal for this season in my life has been about self-acceptance. Having an athletic background and competing in fitness competitions can have an impact on how a person views themselves. Being a type-A personality, I am hardest on myself and this isn’t always healthy. For me to be a good example to my daughter, I have been working hard to accept my body and the strength it carries. That means no more negative words or thoughts. The focus is on fueling my body with things that nourish from the inside out.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FORM OF SELF-CARE?
I love getting my nails done. I know it may sound silly, but the majority of my time is spent doing things for others. When I am at my nail salon I walk in and the next hour is about me. My nail tech and I are also good friends, so having that extra girlfriend time with her in the salon is a treat. Sometimes my little lady and I go to the salon together and she gets her nails done with me. This reminds me of the times growing up when my mom and I would go to the salon together. During the summer months, I allow myself more treats and indulgences. Brunch with the ladies, sun-hats, and sparkling drinks. We normally go to brunch on Sundays after attending church. This time of decompression is so important for me and my family because it prepares us for the week to come.
WHAT IS ONE PERSONAL HABIT THAT CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I am a planner naturally. I am so good at planning that I am a project manager in my day job. I believe in the power of the list. Yes make a list. List your things to do, list your children’s activities, but most importantly list your goals. These lists are meant to keep you on track. When we feel productive, we become more productive. This is where we can begin to prioritize and add purpose to tasks. If a task is not going to add to your life in some way, then eliminate it. Your time is valuable, and by removing unnecessary distractions, you may just find a few minutes for yourself. Even my four-year-old pretends to write her list before each trip to the store. Organize the chaos!
IF YOU COULD SHARE A HEALTH AND WELLNESS RESOURCE WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I would share my favorite family meal planning app. I believe in menu planning and having an idea of what you are going to feed the family. This not only saves time and stress, but money. We have wasted so much money on take-out and spoiled food over the years. I had to really get control of the food budget. One of the things I hear often is that eating well is expensive and impossible with a large family. Real Plans allows you to schedule your meals and create a complete shopping list. The app has options for families with dietary restrictions and provides nutrition information for each recipe. My coaching clients love having a database of healthy recipes available to them.
IF YOU COULD RECOMMEND ONE BOOK OR PODCAST TO MILITARY SPOUSES, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
I really enjoy the Dear Mil Family podcast which is centered around military families, anyone who has a person in the military, or anyone who’s curious about the lifestyle. I like that she addresses topics pertinent to the military family and its experiences. Her guests cover various topics in a conversational format that is not only entertaining, but very informative. Podcasts are great for busy spouses because you can listen on the go. You can find Dear Mil Family also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dearmilfamily/.
Tatiana Mone, is the owner of Tatiana Mone Fitness. Above all else, she is a mother, and also a certified health coach and personal trainer. She holds an MBA and her experience working in corporate America and as a military spouse helps her relate to clients. Tatiana works with busy, everyday women, and specializes in prenatal and postpartum wellness. Her passion is helping women develop a plan that fits their goals and lifestyles. Tatiana doesn’t believe in fad diets or extremes. The goal is sustainability.