Thanks for popping in to check out this week’s featured blogger, Amber! She is a new(ish) blogger who is so raw, encouraging, and authentic. I’ve enjoyed her work the last few weeks, and I’m glad that you’ll get to meet her as well.
Q: In three sentences or less, tell us a little bit about you.
A: I’m a rookie Army wife living in the Midwest. I’m a Spoonie, fitness junkie, dog mom, chronic over-analyzer, book worm, and lover of coffee and all things purple. My husband and I are high school sweethearts with a serious craving for adventure.
Q: How did you decide on the name of your blog, Amber in Progress?
A: When I started blogging, I was at that weird point in my 20s (but, really, aren’t all of your 20s kind of weird?) where I was pretty sure my life was about to change drastically, I just wasn’t sure. I was on the verge of a major career shift, as well as preparing for my husband to leave for several months of training with the Army. I’d also finally committed myself to a lifestyle of health and wellness after years of yo-yo dieting and wasting too many hours on the elliptical and/or staring at my thighs in the mirror.
Turns out, my career’s leap of faith was more of a crash and burn and I’m still trying to figure out where to go from here. And, as for my fitness journey, it continues to be just that – a journey. Self-love is a marathon.
So, that’s where the name came from. I’m Amber, but exactly who that is is still being worked out.
Q: Who do you think would really enjoy reading your content?
A: I try to appeal to all types of readers, but I think I mostly speak to those who are walking (read: blindly fumbling) down the same road I am – milspouses, wellness-seekers, people who recognize the power and value of being able to laugh at yourself. If nothing else, though, I can always count on my mom to like my posts.
Q: When did you develop your passion for healthy living?
A: In 2007 I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder that’s relentlessly interfered with my life and my plans ever since. As my fellow Spoonies know, some days it’s a struggle just to get out of bed. That’s what led me to begin researching the benefits of clean eating and knowing exactly what it is I’m fueling my body with. The fitness side of things didn’t become a major focal point of my life until just before our wedding in 2014. I don’t know exactly how I found my way into the weight room for the first time, but I know that once I started lifting, there was no turning back. Like many girls, I grew up believing cardio was the only appropriate method of women’s fitness. I wish I had learned earlier how empowering and satisfying lifting could be. I am so much stronger than I ever imagined I could be. For me, fitness is no longer about the number on the scale or a dress size. It’s about discovering, appreciating, and embracing all my body is capable of.
Q: What are you favorite health/fitness-related posts?
A: One of my first experiences with lifting weights came from Bodyrock TV- a YouTube channel that posts free HIIT (high intensity interval training) videos for all fitness levels. I wrote a post about that because the program genuinely changed my life. It allowed me to work out in the comfort and privacy of my own home before I gained the confidence to set foot in the gym. Another blog entry covers my low FODMAP lifestyle and love/hate relationship with carbs. I didn’t know anything about low FODMAP and its benefits until I read another blogger’s post about it, so I can only hope someone might stumble upon my blog and find some relief of their own.
Q: I know you’re a brand new military wife. What are your main likes and dislikes about it so far?
A: The separation is challenging but we’re finally nearing the end of that (for now), and I’m pleasantly surprised at how much of my own strength I discovered while my husband has been away. I think what’s been the most difficult for me is the fact that, as a Reserve family, we aren’t surrounded by the same type of military community that active duty families are. That adds to the loneliness- not having others in close proximity who understand what exactly you’re going through. Technology helps; thanks to social media, I’ve become dear friends with a couple of women whose significant others trained with the same companies my husband did and I’ve found blogs and Instagram pages like yours run by other military wives. So I guess on that same note, the military community is probably my favorite thing this new life has introduced me to. Despite the miles between us, I’ve become connected with so many incredible, supportive, kind people But of course, watching my husband grow and accomplish his dreams has been the biggest highlight of them all.
Q: What advice would you give to other brand new military spouses?
A: Anticipate change. I’m very Type-A and a definite control enthusiast. I like order and schedules and consistency and in the military, nothing is ever guaranteed until after it’s happened. That took a lot of getting used to. Expect plans to change and learn to be flexible when they do.
Q: What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday?
A: We closed on our first house just weeks after my husband left for basic training, so lately, most of my Saturdays have been spent doing some kind of home improvement work. I may not necessarily enjoy all the projects, but the end results are always worth it. I feel such a sense of accomplishment creating a home where we’ll raise our family and create memories for years to come. If I’m not doing that, though, I love to be outside- fishing, hiking, biking, anything. There are few things as good for the soul as sunlight and fresh air.
And just for fun…
- Florida or New York? That’s a tough choice! I’m all about sunshine and warmth (despite the fact that it snows six months out of the year where I live), but I spent a few days in New York a couple years ago and loved it. The snowbird life seems like one I could become accustomed to.
- Trail mix or candy bar? Trail mix. But, I’m that terrible person that picks all the chocolate and raisins and banana chips out and leaves the rest for the next sucker (usually my husband).
- ABC or NBC? I don’t watch a ton of TV, but I am a HUGE Grey’s Anatomy fan, so I’ve got to go with ABC.
- Drive or fly? Another toughie. I get really impatient driving, but flying leaves me with a severe lack of control. You do get free snacks when you fly, though.
Three posts that I enjoyed from Amber’s blog:
You can also find Amber on Twitter!
Click here to discover more bloggers that have been featured in the Saturday Sit-Down.
Want to be featured in this series?
I have openings starting in late 2017 and would love to feature you. Plus, it’s free and great exposure for your site. 🙂 Email me at WHIMSICALSEPTEMBER@YAHOO.COM to get in touch.