Posted in Moment with Monique

In the month of May, we celebrate Women’s Health.

Women embody so many characteristics and traits that are worth celebrating throughout the entire year.

Women are compassionate, nurturing, strong, bold, brave, courageous, hard workers, and relationship builders… this list could go on and on. Women are quick to show up and help others. If you find yourself caring and prioritizing other people (which is awesome), it can be difficult to take a time-out to focus on taking care of yourself.

Living in a society that celebrates productivity, work is praised, and many women feel more valued when they are achieving (which often corresponds with feeling stressed and drained.) Remember that you aren’t loved because of what you do, you are loved because of who you are.




Self-care means that you engage in behaviors that help continually fill your cup.

When we rely on others to meet our needs, they will inevitably fall short. This often leaves us feeling unfulfilled (and sometimes frustrated.) It isn’t others responsibility to meet our needs. It is our responsibility to fill our cup and care for ourselves in ways that only we can.

No one can exercise for you.

No one can learn for you.

No one can relax for you.

No one can sleep for you.

No one can be in a relationship with you if you don’t show up.

You get to choose.


It is easy to put your physical health on the back burner until an emergency or urgent situation occurs. Being proactive and working each week towards physical health will pay off in unexpected ways.

Having stronger muscles may reduce the energy you spend doing tasks throughout the day. This reduces the amount of energy that you spend simply doing everything on your to-do list. I think we could all use a little extra energy at the end of the day!

Fitter women have stronger bones, lower risk of heart disease, lower risk of cancer, depression and anxiety, and often they are better problem solvers. It is worth the time and investment!

There are many ways that we can practice self-care. If you are a habitual over-committer, learning to say “no” is a wonderful place to start. Choose to leave some margin on purpose. Say no to things that aren’t fulfilling so you have the ability to say a freakin’ huge enthusiastic YES to the important things!



Margin is the difference between your load and your limit. If your load is too heavy to carry, you can’t sustain it and something eventually breaks. The work you care about often decreases in productivity and you can lose excitement and joy. Have you ever been there? I certainly have.

When you have margin, you have time for creativity, for curiosity, for laughter, for problem solving, for meaningful relationships, for time to be prepared, and the ability to be your best. Margin rarely happens by accident, but it often happens with purposeful planning.

You are able to do great things when you live with a full cup. You shouldn’t feel guilty about taking time to ensure that your fundamental mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health needs are met.

Speak kind thoughts to yourself, even when you feel overwhelmed and especially when you feel like you are falling short.

My Current Self-Care List: 
  1. Don’t set an alarm and naturally sleep-in once a month.
  2. Drink coffee without feeling rushed once a week.
  3. Teach something to someone at least once a week.
  4. Exercise at least 4 days a week. Get outside!
  5. Skip cooking once a week and let Matt pick up food instead.
  6. Listen to my favorite podcast or book once a week.
What are you working on?
You are worth it. Take the time. Be your best.

Fitness For Us is a perfect gift for Mother’s day (May 13). You can use the discount code: FITMOM for $20 off until May 13 at midnight! (Just because Mom’s are incredible.) Go hug your Mom and tell her how much you love her!

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About the Author

Dr. Monique Middlekauff is a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP) through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). She has been a certified personal trainer with the NSCA, ACSM, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) for over 10 years.
Monique is the founder of Fitness For Us, a program designed to teach the basics of exercise while providing support, and ongoing encouragement.
She is a certified Higher Education Teaching Specialist (HETs) and has instructed courses ranging from introductory to graduate level including Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology, Exercise Physiology Lab, Resistance Training, Fitness Foundations, Aging and Exercise, and Skeletal Mechanics.
She is a former NCAA DI volleyball athlete and loves to exercise outdoors. Monique is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and is an Exercise is Medicine Level 3 credentialed provider. Monique works for a major health system in Idaho.
Her goal is to pursue health and overall wellbeing through evidence-based practice. Physical wellness comes in many forms, and she seeks to celebrate where you are, and challenge you to be better!

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