6 ways to help you fit in your uniform again!

Eye on Veterans
June 25, 2018 - 1:35 pm

Photo courtesy Tori Scotti

Special for ConnectingVets.com by Tori Scotti. 

My name is Tori Scotti, and I served 4.5 years on active duty as a Navy Supply Officer. I’m an ACE certified Personal Trainer and run my own business, Tori Marie Fitness. I'm also still serving in the Navy reserves! 

Last full week active duty! Many long days at sea, and stressful times too...but through those times I found strength in the most incredible people. How is it that I’ve seriously had the best Sailors in every division of mine? Rank, experience, and rate/designator has never been a barrier when it comes to the Sailors I could call at any hour of the night for help if needed. I will always remember the USS MONTEREY Sailors who took care of everything in the division when I was assigned 2 CACO cases, and when I found out my pet was supposed to be put down upon returning home from sea. I will never forget the love and support the Sailors and civilians at NMCSD gave me when my dad died, my pet died, and my uncle died in 2017. I hope I’ve taken care of Sailors (and civilians at my current command) as well as they’ve taken care of me. Division Officers and Chiefs do a lot of behind the scenes work to protect our people, and I can honestly say I’ve tried my best to be that Division Officer. I’ll take the lessons learned from my time in the Navy, and do my best to keep supporting friends, family, and coworkers in the future. . . . . . #fitmilitarywomen #strongwomen #sandiego #coronado #strength #military #militarywomen #shecandoboth #instagood #happy #girl #picoftheday #usnavy #sailor #vabeach #virginiabeach

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As a former active duty Sailor, I know how exhausting military life can be.  From being on call 24/7, to duty days on top of long work days, to the stress our bodies are under, being in the military requires us to give so much of ourselves.  Often times, it is easy to let our health and fitness decline after our active duty service.  We may no longer be in the company of military friends who influence us to stay fit, or we just end up letting ourselves go.  I believe we owe it to ourselves to live happy healthy lives after our service, so I’ve put together my top 6 tips for veterans to get back into shape.


You will never stick with a fitness program or activity if you aren’t having fun doing it.  The key is making fitness a part of your daily routine, and that’s easy when you’re looking forward to it!  Going into a gym can feel intimidating if you’ve been out of it for a while, so you may find another activity that is best for you.  For example, biking, hiking, swimming, boxing, karate…the list goes on.  If you’re sedentary, even beginning with daily walks is hugely beneficial.  Eventually, endorphins will become addicting and fitness becomes routine.  You’ll want to incorporate both strength training and cardio.

Not my best demonstration of backflips and pull-ups (I love doing these so I critique myself! Always wanting to get better). I do love this circuit, and fit it in my workout from time to time. Backflip, 5 pull-ups. Repeat 3 to 5 times with very little rest between sets. . . . . . . . . #fitness #fitgirls #fitstagram #fitspiration #backflip #pullup #fitmilitarywomen #strength #muscle #militarywomen #usnavy #sailor #shecandoboth #sandiego #coronado #personaltrainer

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Of course you need to stay hydrated to complete your training, and also for recovery.  However, there’s so much more to this tip that seems so simple.  Water is needed for every system in your body to function efficiently, including your metabolism!  Additionally, staying hydrated will help you to keep from drinking empty calories (like sugary drinks and sodas with no nutritional value).  I love just plain old iced water, but maybe flavored water will be a favorite for you!  I tell my clients to keep their water bottles on them just like they do their cell phones.  If you have one with you at all times, you’ll drink it! 


A lot of trendy diets out there are not good for you.  Many of them will ask you to cut out macronutrients.  One of the best tips I heard from a nutritionist is to eat REAL food.  This is sometimes called clean eating.  Eating clean places focus on the ingredients label versus the nutrition label of your food.  If the ingredients label is a mile long with things you can’t pronounce and obvious “non real” food like artificial coloring, it isn’t clean.  These unclean ingredients are hard for your body to digest.  Also, an easy thing to pay attention to on your nutrition label is good fats versus bad fats.  Good fats are unsaturated (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated), and bad fats are saturated and trans fats.  To learn more about nutrition, or to get a diet plan that is right for you, you need to talk to a registered dietician or nutritionist.  For general questions, you can contact my friend and fellow Navy veteran Tim Fitsemons, Dietetics Student at SDSU, on Instagram at @patriotic_fitness

Fit girls gotta EAT! I tried a brand new spot San Diego today, @pokeitsd . The owner told me they’ve only been open for 12 days! The food was so good, and the staff was so welcoming. I got a pretty health conscious option, which isn’t hard there because the menu is packed full of protein and veggies. I just left out any creamy sauces on my burrito. It was kind of like a giant sushi roll because this place is a poke spot with a Mexican flavor to it. If you go, let me know what you get! Oh, and the hibiscus tea is so good...they told me they might try to make a healthier version, substituting the sugar with a different sweetness. . . . . . . . . #sandiego #strongwomen #fitness #strength #strong #food #sandiegofoodie #sandiegofood #yum #poke #hillcrest #healthy #happy #girl #picoftheday #delicious #foodporn #sdpulse #sandiego_fitness #totalsmokeshow

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Stretching your muscles is so important, and so often neglected during fitness training.  The best time to improve your flexibility is when muscles are warm, after a workout.  Improved flexibility means lengthened muscles, which means less risk of injury during training. 


Never perform a strength training or flexibility movement that you don’t know how to do properly.  Putting yourself at risk for injury is not worth it, because you can set yourself back on your fitness journey.  Always reach out to a certified trainer if you need assistance learning an exercise.  Additionally, you want to ensure that if you’re performing strength training exercises in the gym, you can do them properly without added weight first. 

#throwbackthursday to one of my creative pistol squats. Heel stretch + BOSU + kettlebell. . . . . . . . . . #fitmilitarywomen #militarywomen #usnavy #fitgirls #tbt #flexible #fitstagram #fitspiration #fitmotivation #sandiego #coronado #lajolla #missionbay #pacificbeach #shecandoboth #personaltrainer #fitnessgirl #strength #strongwomen #stretch #military #midwestgirl #gymnastics #pistolsquat #glutes #booty

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In the military, we use BMI (Body Mass Index) as a tool to indicate fitness level during our semiannual Physical Fitness Assessments.  This is something I’d love to see changed in the military, since BMI is not an accurate indicator of health.  It categorizes people into fitness levels using a ratio of height to weight.  This is why we see very muscular people who are extremely fit sometimes fall into an overweight category on the BMI chart.  The best way to measure fitness level is knowing body composition, which describes the percentages of fat, bone, water and muscle in human bodies. A certified personal trainer can help you with this.

I am so passionate about helping others achieve healthier bodies and I believe the best way to do it is through lifestyle changes, not crash dieting or short term methods.  If you have additional questions for me, please reach out on Instagram at @torimarie_fitness.

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