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Staying Fit and Eating Clean During PCS Limbo

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Staying Fit and Eating Clean During PCS Limbo
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Going through a permanent change of station (PCS) is a real pain. But it’s what military members and their families do. Most have gotten used to the fact that it comes every couple of years. But have you met anyone who has every bit of this thing completely managed, organized, and under control? Nope! It’s hard for everyone and it’s especially hard on your healthy lifestyle. Staying fit and eating clean during a PCS move takes a little more willpower and creativity for obvious reasons —hello, your kitchen is in cardboard, and your workouts are second to house hunting, purging, and packing. It’s probably the last thing on your mind.

And a PCS doesn’t happen in just one day; no, it’s a whole freakin’ season! It starts with anticipation. Then you’re frantically trying to schedule and nail down actual dates. Next, you endure the pre-move inspection, followed by the initial cleaning and pack-up prep. After that period of dusting things for the first time since you moved in and furiously posting “curb alert” items daily, the official pack-up starts. It usually takes a couple of days for a crew of people you would really rather not be touching your granny panties to stuff everything you own into cardboard boxes. Finally, comes loading day.

But, that’s just the beginning.

Now it’s time to hang out on some air mattresses in your empty house for a few days or stay in the temporary lodging facility (TLF), which sometimes makes sleeping on an air mattress in an empty house sound like a dream vacation. Then, of course, you’re ready to actually move to your new duty station, so you hop in the car for an extremely long road trip. Finally, you make it to the other side, only to land yourself once again in a TLF or an empty house. Let’s not even mention the stress of worrying about if everything will make it to your final destination and in one piece for that matter…

RELATED: PCS Stories: The Good and the Bad from One Seasoned MilSpouse

So, what do you do when you’re focused on making a major transition, but you don’t want to sacrifice your fitness and clean eating during PCS limbo? It’s far too easy to say #dontjudgemeImPCSing or #Igiveup. But there are a few simple ways in which you can still fit in a workout and eat as healthy as possible.

Stay Fit During the Craziness

Staying Fit and Eating Clean During PCS Limbo

Just because there’s a lot going on, doesn’t mean you can’t pause for a quick workout. You may not be able to get to the gym, and maybe your P90X DVD is already packed, but you can go for a walk or take a run anywhere! And, what about the kids and all their pent-up energy? Keep a ball handy. No matter where you are, you can kick a ball around. Every moment counts.

When you do find a spare moment early in the morning before everyone wakes up or in the middle of the day, here are a list of YouTube accounts that feature workouts that don’t require any equipment and can be completed in a few minutes no matter if you’re in a hotel room, camping out in an empty house, or moving into your new home and you just can’t make it to the gym, or don’t know where the gym is at yet.

If none of those float your boat, check out these additional posts for even more ideas.

Fight the Fast Food Temptation

Staying Fit and Eating Clean During PCS Limbo

It’s convenient, but it isn’t the healthiest choice! If you have to grab fast food — and sometimes you just do — look for the healthier options on the menu, and squash the mindset that this fast-food run is going to derail your typically clean eating habits.

Consider these options instead:

  • Chipotle instead of Taco Bell
  • Five Guys instead of McDonald’s
  • Chick-Fil-A salad instead of a sandwich

It’s all about making the best decision with the options that are in front of you. You can do this! The goal is the freshest food available. Not the fastest when it comes to eating healthy on the road. Staying fit and eating clean during a PCS move isn’t about perfection, it’s about doing the best that you can.

Eating Clean At Home (Yes, It Can Be Done During A PCS Move!)

You’re already trying to purge everything from your refrigerator and pantry, so this is the perfect opportunity to eat clean, healthy foods. Grab some fruits and veggies — foods you can eat right away — so you don’t have to worry about storing them. And make sure to pack easy, healthy foods to bring with you in the car or plane as you make your way to your new digs. Meal planning is always a big help during this transition phase; don’t buy any more food than you know you can eat.

Yes, your dishes and utensils have been packed. But it is still possible to cook a meal (or two, or three) at home in the midst of the PCS crazy. Keep a skillet or two, as well as a couple of cooking utensils, with you during a move. That way you can still cook a little something. Doesn’t have to be fancy; do not overthink it.

Check out this post for some more tips on how to manage without eating out during a PCS move.


PCSing can be a drag. But don’t let it drag down your healthy lifestyle. Take care of yourself and your family, especially during this huge transition period. It’s easier than you think. Here’s to staying fit and eating clean during a PCS move!

Staying Fit and Eating Clean in PCS Limbo

WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Surviving a PCS Road Trip with Kids!

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Photo Credits: Eastern Sky Photography NC | Pixabay

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