Monday, March 28, 2016

YO-GA-Da-Be-Kidding-Me, New Mother F'er Post!!!!!!!!

Welcome Back F Word Nation!!!!!!!!! I have a new Mother F'er post I would like to share with you all. (For those of you visiting the blog for the first time, the term Mother F'er refers to ladies who justify the F word to the the fullest). This post was sent to me by Ginny Washburne, a high school friend of mine who we affectionately nick-named "Guinea Bissau." Ginny or "Guinea" truly encompasses what it means to justify the F word. She has found life centering satisfaction as well as a new career through yoga, meditation, and fitness. This life changing moment occurred while being a mom, wife, working professional, three moves, and going back to school to receive her masters degree. I find her story inspiring so I wanted to pass it along. I love Yoga (although my posses look more like a triage scene). Enjoy "Guinea Bissau's" story of discovery!!!!!!

For as long as I can remember, fitness has been a big part of my life. Although I now incorporate many forms of exercise into my daily routine, running was (and always will be) my first love. First came junior high track, which I liked, but wasn’t sold on running around the same circle again and again. Then came the full on love affair in high school thanks to an amazing cross country coach (and a team full of cute boys to chase after….yes that includes you, Quinn).

For years, running was my only source of exercise. From time to time I would try to lift weights, bike, or take exercise classes, but running was my go-to workout. Although, I hate to call it a workout, as it’s always been so much more than just a way to break a sweat and stay healthy. For over 20 years, running has helped me manage stress, work through my feelings , and look at situations with a fresh perspective . Whenever I feel overwhelmed, sad, frustrated or confused, I lace up my shoes head out the door. No matter what’s going on in my life, I always come back from a run a better version of myself.

I also have a competitive side, so I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the rush of a hard fought race. And just so you are aware, if you are on a treadmill next to me, then yes, we are in a race. I’ve nearly fallen off trying to get a glimpse of my neighbor’s pace, making sure I’m running at least .1 MPH faster. (Yes, I have issues). Nothing gives me more of a runner's high than to go all out for the last 200 meters of a long distance race, leaving fellow runners in the dust.

Throughout most of my 20’s, I thought I was healthy because I exercised regularly. I used to joke that I would “run to support my eating habits”. I enjoyed being able to eat whatever I wanted (King size bag of skittles for dinner? Yes please! They will go great with my pizza and beer.), and though I did gain the freshman 15 in college (twice), I eventually lost it by training for a marathon my senior year. I also tried to exercise SOME self-control when it came to eating (a normal size bag of skittles is plenty, thank you very much).

Fast forward to my 30’s and everything changed. After having my second son, my body wasn’t bouncing back, and I was frustrated after a series of recurring running related injuries. I turned to yoga as a way to strengthen and heal. My injuries slowly began to disappear, and I was hooked. NOTE: NOT immediately. My first class felt like an awkward combination of “what did he just ask me to do?”, “hold this pose for HOW much longer?”,”put my what WHERE?”, and “is he speaking English?!” I kept going back, because my competitive side knew I could eventually hold the poses in proper form as long as everyone in the room seemed to be able to do with ease. And even though I didn’t want to admit it, the calmness and peace I felt from yoga was something my fast-paced, crazy life desperately needed.

Now I’m in my mid (ok, late) 30’s, and I feel healthier, stronger, and more energized than I’ve ever felt. I’ve spent the last 5 years experimenting with a number of exercise routines in order to find what works best for my body. I quickly began to realize this was a passion of mine, and I knew I wanted to share what I’ve learned with others. In 2015 I received my 200 hour yoga teacher certification, and quickly followed that up with barre certification. In early 2016 I completed my TRX suspension training certification, and I’m hoping to add pilates to the list in the next few years. My current workout routine is a mix of yoga, barre, pilates, TRX, and of course, running. I believe you can LOVE your body into shape. Finding a routine I can sustain long-term is so important. One that will strengthen me physically and mentally. I think so many workout programs today end up leaving our bodies injured. The “no pain, no gain” mentality may give you a bikini body, but at what cost? I want to be able to do what I’m doing when I’m 60, 80 or even 90. I no longer focus on how I look, my goal is always to improve the way I FEEL. Most days I can’t wait to workout, sometimes waking up between 4:30-5 a.m. to get it in before the chaos of the day begins.

In addition to my daily exercise, I’ve drastically changed my eating habits. I had no idea just how good real food tastes. All of the stomach issues I experienced in my 20’s as a result of fried and processed foods are now a distant memory. Sadly, I had to break-up with Skittles. (Which was much easier to do once they changed one of the flavors from lime to green apple. Seriously, who does that? Gross!) I firmly believe the change in my diet has been just as transformative for my overall health and wellness as my daily exercise. (Kale, anyone?) We’ve all heard the saying “you are what we eat”. If you want to be healthy, begin with your gut. I can promise you this: Nothing tastes as good as being healthy FEELS. (Not even skittles.)

I’ve learned so much about myself along the way, and I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. Having three young boys (ages 8, 6, and 2), I believe it’s my job to model what health and wellness should look, sound and feel like for them. We discuss food ingredients, we do yoga together, we run around the park, and we talk about the importance of having a strong and healthy body.

The past three years of my life have been full of chaotic change. I had my third child, finished my master’s degree, left full-time work to pursue my passion of health and wellness, oh and moved from Chicago to Atlanta to SoCal within a period of 14 months. There is no way I could have survived the change without my daily dose of sanity.

I’m proud of where I am because I have fought hard to be here. I’ve had to challenge (and change) many of my perspectives and beliefs about what it means to be healthy to allow for transformation. I’ve devoured hundreds of books and articles in an effort to know better and do better. And I’m still learning, as I believe this journey is lifelong. My husband, kids, family and friends deserve the very best version of me. Anything that leads me in that direction, you better believe I’m going to chase it down.

Enjoyed Ginny's "Guinea Bissau" Story? you can follow her at @gwashburne (Instagram) 

or at

Have a Mother F'er story our tribe needs to hear? contact me and we will get it cooking!

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