Life is all about choices. Be a mom or be a writer. Do squats or drink margaritas.
But Northern Virginia based writer and fitness blogger Erin Washington has come to the conclusion that it’s not the either/or that makes life worth living; it’s having both things and finding the right balance that’s the key.
Her first book, “Squats and Margaritas: A Journey to Finding Balance,” was released this month, and in it, Washington details her more than 20 year struggle to find that sweet spot between discipline and indulgence in her own life. She hopes that talking about her hard times will help others through their own rough patches.
“This book shares my journey through overcoming a serious eating disorder,” Washington says. “[I was] finding true happiness by living my life with balance. And it shows the reader exactly how they can do it too.”
Washington grew up in Ohio, played Division 1 soccer at the University of Dayton, and ended up in DC working for the Redskins. There, she met her future husband, former Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington. They married and have two young children.
These days, Washington juggles her roles as mom, writer and fitness blogger. Her more than 15,000 followers on Instagram look to her for inspiration.
“So many women are turning to social media to follow fitness influencers for motivation, and it’s exciting to be able to provide daily content to my followers and be able to motivate them in real time.”
She shares what works for her, and offers tips for getting back in shape after the holidays. Washington says it starts with what you’re eating.
“You can start by eating small meals more often versus having three large meals per day, and increasing your water intake. Nutrition is a big part of losing weight. Tackle that first by eating clean – no processed foods – every couple of hours, and drinking eight glasses of water each day, even when you’re not thirsty. When you start seeing results on the scale, you’ll feel more confident about getting in the gym and starting an exercise program.”
So why did she pick that title, “Squats and Margaritas?” For her, margaritas symbolize the balance she’s constantly working towards.
“A margarita, for me, is the indulgence I can’t live without. For someone else, it may be a beer or red wine. You have to allow for the thing that you can’t live without because if you know you can have that, you won’t quit on your healthy eating plan. If you cut something out of your diet that you love, you will eventually fail because you’ll be miserable. Restriction isn’t sustainable, balance is.”
Instead of restricting yourself, Washington says, you can have your indulgence as long as you find somewhere else in your diet and exercise plan to balance it out.
“Skip the bun on your chicken sandwich,” she says. “Don’t have a beer at happy hour if you’re having a margarita at dinner.”
And she offers one last tip for readers.
“The best margarita I’ve ever had is the jalapeno cucumber margarita at Matchbox. It’s the best. Trust me. I’ve done the research.”