By Claire Yanta-O’Mahoney, Veteran Spouse

When the PCS orders finally come in, and you get the official word about where you’ll be moving to, things move quickly!  PCS season typically involves the chaos of packing up, erratic schedules, broken routines, fast food stops and long stretches of driving (or flying). Getting settled can take a mental and physical toll, especially for those on a diet. However, there’s no need to add stress to an already stressful situation.


Ideas to keep up your military fitness while your life is in transit:

  • Make a loose schedule but keep in mind that life (especially during a big move like this) can go completely opposite of your military fitness plan.
  • Staying organized with a written list will help you keep track of all the little details. Add, edit, and cross things off as you go.
  • Be mentally ready for anything to happen so that a change in plans doesn’t cause a nervous breakdown or cause you to fall completely off the bandwagon.

Keep moving and maybe go double duty

  • When you go outside with the kids and the dog, run around with them to stay active and blow off steam!
  • Make a yoga date or walk date with a friend who’s not moving with you. Soak up quality time and do something good for your body.

Think about your meals and be prepared, but also flexible

  • Just as you schedule appointments, important events, work, and workouts, think ahead about your meals to avoid scrambling at the last minute.
  • Our willpower becomes very weak when we’re starving, so preempt those situations by having easy, go to snacks/meals to grab.

Make meals easy and creative

  • Throw together an “everything but the kitchen sink/clean out your kitchen” meal. Crack open those canned beans you just rediscovered in the back of your pantry. Finally thaw that ground turkey in the bottom of the freezer and make a casserole or a soup. Use the last of that seasoning that isn’t worth transporting!
  • Or order a veggie heavy dish from your favorite local takeout restaurant. Yes, it’s ok if this meal is supreme pizza with extra green peppers!  Better yet, throw the remainder of that bag of spinach on top.

Tips for when you’re on the plane, train, or automobile to your new home:

Take nutritious snacks with you

  • Travel smart by grabbing some easy, healthy, and resilient snacks from your grocery store. Carrots, bell peppers, celery, apples, bananas, and jerky are some good choices. Pack a cooler if you’re road tripping it with some hummus, already peeled hard-boiled eggs, or some easy egg muffins. Throw in any extra veggies you have on hand to officially use up the remaining contents of your fridge!
  • Do your best with what you’ve got. When you do have to stop at a restaurant, try to find one that prepares more than just fried food. Look for grilled items and vegetables too.  If there really aren’t any standout healthy options to aid with your military fitness goals, just do your best with what you’re presented with and don’t beat yourself up about it

Guzzle your water! 

  • Lots of water guzzling will mean more frequent rest stops (or getting up from your seat on the plane) which means moving around and physical activity. This it helps flush out your system, thus making you feel better.
  • Try to avoid sugary soda and energy drinks. Instead stick to unsweetened tea or coffee when you need that energy boost, which will likely be needed.

With a little preparation, an open mind, creativity, and patience, you can have a successful PCS experience that won’t ruin your military fitness goals.  In fact, you might discover some new tips and tricks that are incorporated into your daily routine in your new hometown!

Remember, taking good, balanced care of yourself by nourishing yourself with whole, nutrient dense, delicious foods does wonders for your mind, body, and soul (and stress levels, hello!) that are important for PCS season and beyond.  Plus, think of what an awesomely positive role model you’ll be for your loved ones and neighbors!

Wishing you all the best in your move and taking good, balanced care of yourself throughout it all!

Claire Yanta-O’Mahoney is a proud veteran spouse originally from St. Louis. She started Fleur de Lis Fitness as a way to help clients seize the day and transform themselves into the healthier person they deserve to be. She offers fitness and healthy nutrition coaching to clients across the globe LIVE online.  Claire is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Personal Trainer, and Group Fitness Instructor. Sher earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters of Science in Developmental Psychology from Tulane University.