Louise Valentine is a 13-year Army spouse who found a passion for fitness that has turned into a fulfilling career as CEO of BreakingThroughWellness.com. The American College of Sports Medicine named her as one of the top three health and fitness practitioners in the world. She shares her own journey and how she uses it to help others.
Where did your fitness journey begin?
I spent my youth frequently sick, overweight and being told I wasn’t built to be a runner. This inspired me to study health, fitness, nutrition and performance. Today, I’m a healthy mom, resilient Army spouse, and a strong runner who helps others learn simple ways to work with their body to unlock their best.
How did you grow your interest in health and fitness into a career?
Knowing I wanted to impact others’ holistic well-being, I started my first company providing health coaching, exercise and sport massage services to NFL players and individuals in Cleveland, Ohio. Life quickly pivoted when I became a military spouse in 2009. It was a hard journey as we relocated nine times in 14 years, but I’m grateful for the diverse work experience and personal growth that came as a result.
What is the most prevalent fitness and/or dieting myth you see?
Today I specialize in coaching women who feel stuck with their health, fitness, hormones or running. The biggest myth I see is that feeling, looking and performing our best needs to be complicated, requiring quick-fix diets, endless supplements and trends. Health, fitness and aging do not have to be overwhelming when we understand simple ways to work with our body’s needs.
What are the biggest mistakes you see your clients make on their fitness journey and how can those mistakes be corrected?
I see many active women 35+ frustrated with fatigue, loss of fitness, injuries and perimenopause symptoms, which are preventable. The solution is to learn simple health, fitness, nutrition and lifestyle strategies to work with our female body’s needs. Since there is so much misinformation out there, I started BreakingThroughWellness.com and a coaching program to help women 35+ understand simple ways to work with their changing hormones to age powerfully and unlock unstoppable health, fitness or running.
Your masters research fellowship with the Army Public Health Center focused on ways to improve the health and fitness of the military community. What was your biggest takeaway from that research and how can members of the military community apply it?
My biggest takeaway was when service members and their families prioritize mind-body health and fitness they can thrive in this lifestyle, instead of simply survive. Military life is challenging and unpredictable. We must expect obstacles to be a part of our journey and courageously address our biggest pain points head on. Whether we need to seek mental health support when it gets hard, learn best ways to sustain injury-free fitness or find realistic ways for our family to eat well, we need quick and effective skills to support our mind-body resilience.
What advantages does living a military lifestyle give you as an entrepreneur in the health and fitness industry?
Military life taught me to be flexible, innovative and resilient, which are skills I need to be an entrepreneur. As we’ve relocated, I’ve coached hundreds of diverse individuals and worked across the health care, fitness and wellness industry. I now have a rare skillset to support my client’s holistic health, nutrition, fitness and performance. As a result, I was named the top Certified Health Education Specialist in the U.S. and most recently American College of Sports Medicine Certified Professional of the Year. Being a military spouse has allowed me to unlock my full potential to grow into the successful entrepreneur and practitioner I am today.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
To any military spouse who’s ever been told to give up on your career, know that does not have to be your story. Know no matter how challenging this lifestyle gets, it’s always in your control to rewrite your story at any point in time. In fact, be prepared to proudly rewrite your story over and over again.Read comments