For this week’s Monday Minute, Ashley shares her journey with staying healthy after the military.

Healthy After the Military

by Ashley Saulnier


5 a.m., the alarm goes off.  Turn it off. Say a quick 20 second prayer to check God off the list. Put on PTs, get dressed and go for a 40 minute run. Come back, have a quick snack, drive to PT formation. Do 90 minutes of PT. Show off how in shape I am, especially as a woman in the military. Keep up and surpass my Soldiers, run a little more, feel great and repeat the next day.


Fast forward to now…


It’s 6 a.m., I snooze the alarm. By 6:30 a.m. I’ve said no prayer. I’m still laying in bed, my son needs to get up in 30 minutes, and I’ve done nothing. I no longer had the same motivation, desire, or tenacity to rise up to my day, commencing with fitness. Or is that even the right order anymore?


What happened?




Of course, I started my day with God. I said a quick prayer for myself, for others and for the day, before I idolized physical fitness. There was my problem. When we idolize things before God, we do not have his peace, we do not have the right order to our day, and we definitely don’t have the right way forward.  


This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands,    your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.

Isaiah 48:17-18


I had it all wrong. Was there really any surprise that it carried into my life after the Army? There were two things I needed to fix. One, I needed to place God first.  Actually first, not just a 20 second prayer. But a reading, worship, a praise, repentance, a request, and most of all surrender. Then, I could meet the rest of my priorities, including physical fitness. In fact, I began to see God organize the rest of the day for me, to include physical fitness.  He knows what’s important to us and what he designates as important. He, NOT us, will make it come to pass.  


Build on God First


Yes, God cares that we are caring for our physical well-being. We see in God’s Word, that we should:

     *eat healthy (Daniel 1:12-13), 

     *keep our bodies strong (Proverbs 31:17), 

     *yield our bodies to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), 

     *and maintain discipline in all aspects of our lives (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).  


I still love running. It gives me time alone, promotes peace throughout my mind and body and of course, I’m healthier because of it. No matter what form of PT you do, ask God for help. There is a way to be healthy after the military. Looking back, it’s even better because I’ve become more dependent on God than my chain of command.  


Giving God our full focus yields more than his blessing. We gain his help in all our endeavors, to include our physical well being. 


Rise Up to Remain Healthy After the Military


Pause Wake up first thing in the morning and just sit there for a few minutes waiting on God. Begin your day with peace, as you read, pray, and worship. Give your all to God first, before you do anything else.  


Remember God is present. He won’t leave you to handle things on your own, especially if you ask him for help. It’s important to maintain physical fitness after the military. He has been faithful to you before and he will continue to be now. 


Train Yes, this will require repetition and commitment. Make sure to allocate your time for God first. Then, see how he orchestrates the rest of your day and your fitness plan.  




Lord, thank you for your faithfulness and promises in transforming our hearts. It can be so hard to dedicate ourselves to you above all else.  Thank you so much for your Son’s example and your Word to keep our paths straight. Please continue to help us aim towards you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.