I get this question asked A LOT. Most people think I quit my job to try to become a social medial influencer. HAHA! And while it may seem that way… it is a far stretch from the truth.

Here’s my story about what I ACTUALLY do for a living and how I created the life I get to live every single day.

The History

After I finished undergrad (BBA), I landed a well-paying job at a local hospital working in the compliance department. I was always fascinated with healthcare and jumped at the opportunity to work on the administrative side of a healthcare system. I really enjoyed my time there and learned so much about healthcare and other skills I will never forget.

Right after I finished my undergrad, I started my graduate program a few weeks later and I continued working at the hospital full time while in grad school full time (plus working on my thesis, plus completing 140 internship hours, plus volunteering regularly for a non-profit organization and planning a wedding on top of all that!). 

Fun Fact: My husband proposed to me after my undergrad graduation ceremony!

I earned my Master’s degree in Educational Leadership with aspirations to work in university administration, but working at the hospital made me realize that I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t exactly know WHAT I wanted to do… but I knew I no longer wanted to pursue university administration. The hospital promoted after getting my master’s degree to recognize me and show that they valued me being on their team.

Second fun fact: The night after my master’s commencement ceremony.. I drove down to Austin (about a 4.5 hour drive) with my parents to visit my brother and got into a car accident, totaling my brand new car and we were only 5 minutes away from his house.

But even after all of the years of education, the accolades, and promotion at work…. I still wasn’t fulfilled. I still didn’t know what the hell I wanted to do with my life. Who can relate???

After a few months of finishing school, I was finally a “normal adult.” I worked my 8-5 job, worked out, cooked healthy meals for me and my husband, and on the weekends I’d hang out with family and do the grocery shopping and clean the house. This was the first time in my life I didn’t have any other responsibilities other than working. We were in a rut and were just running like the hamster on the wheel.

I always knew I was meant to do something very important with my time on Earth, but I couldn’t really figure it out until…. one fine spring day in 2017, I received a phone call from my sister in law (she was only my brothers gf at the time), with a business opportunity. She wanted me to be her business partner in a new venture, but my husband and I would need to move to Austin.

We thought about it for a few weeks, decided it was a great idea, the business would thrive. Austin was a great place to move because we both already had family down there and we knew we no longer wanted to stay in Wichita Falls. So we took a leap of faith and moved to Austin! There’s a shit ton of details I’m leaving out about this move, but that’s another story for another time. 😉

TOAST + TIMBER

I co-own a DIY arts and crafts studio in Round Rock, TX. It is called Toast + Timber, and we host workshops and teach clients how to make wood signs and home décor! You can check out our website at www.toastandtimber.com. We are also BYOB so you get to enjoy your favorite bottle of wine while you work on your masterpiece. I was never a crafty person, but the perfect thing about our workshops is that you don’t need to be crafty or have any artistic skills. And people of all ages will enjoy the workshop! 

While our studio was being built out and we were working on the logistics of the business, I decided to start an Instagram page dedicated to my health and fitness journey. When I moved to Austin in September of 2017… I was weighing at the heaviest I’d ever been in my life and I wasn’t in the best mental state I’d ever been in. It was a very tough year for me and I let my health suffer BIG TIME. 

Fitness + 1st Phorm

I wanted to document my journey as a reminder to myself and also to inspire at least 1 person every single day.  During my fitness journey, I discovered 1stPhorm supplements and became a Legionnaire for the company. I was already familiar with their products so I figured why not become a legionnaire to receive a discount on the supplements and also help other people in their fitness journey along the way?! I’ve been using 1stPhorm supplements for over a year now and have found my daily staples in them. 

While I embarked on my health and fitness journey, I became hyper-aware of all the products I was putting inside my body because it was a direct correlation with how I felt, how I looked, and whether I was reaching my fitness goals. I learned how to create a healthy relationship with food and to not let food run my life. I’m not afraid to eat certain foods, and I don’t cut out entire food groups from my diet. I consider myself to be a “flexible” dieter and I eat whatever I want (in moderation, of course).

If you need some help with training and nutrition tips, please feel free to reach out and e-mail me anytime at hello@damngina.co

Damn, Gina! BLOG

 A few months ago, I wanted to start a blog to have another platform to discuss the things I was passionate about, and that’s how I ended up running the DAMN blog. I started this blog to educate, enlighten, and entertain.

Being the health and wellness enthusiast I am… I became more aware of the ingredients in my every day home products and the products I was putting on my skin. The personal care industry is highly under-regulated and there are a shit ton of chemicals in toxins in every day products!! I’ve done a lot of research on how certain chemicals can affect our health and decided to start switching to safer products. That’s when I found Beautycounter. 

Beautycounter

Beautycounter formulates skincare and cosmetic products for women, men, and children, without 1500+ ingredients that are known to be harmful or even questionable. Beautycounter is a certified B-corp (which is HELLA difficult to obtain) and advocates for stricter laws on the personal care industry. We deserve so much better than what we are doing, y’all. It’s crazy to know that some of these companies aren’t even required to recall their products or issue a public notice that their products cause certain health issues even AFTER receiving a shit ton of complaints. That is TERRIFYING. Plus there are so many health issues linked to chemicals in every day products from endocrine disruptors, decreased sperm counts, fertility issues, respiratory issues, and sometimes… cancer. That’s why I decided to become a consultant with Beautycounter, so I can educate my friends and family about the importance of consuming safer products for health purposes.

Although I don’t have any health issues and I am generally a healthy person… I believe whole-heartedly in being proactive about my health and not RE-active. There are so many things we can do to prevent health issues and yet nobody is doing them! People ONLY work out when they have to lose weight or have high cholesterol. People ONLY watch what they eat when they are diagnosed with obesity or diabetes 2. People ONLY care about losing weight whenever they become unhappy with the way they look. People ONLY care about certain diseases when they  are diagnosed with them. Why not be PRO-active about these things and maintain the health we already have?! That’s what I strive for. That’s why I continue to workout hard and continuing to switch to safer products so I can maintain my health to be in the most optimal health I possibly can. 

If you are ready to start your clean swap, feel free to contact me any time! I’d love to chat –> hello@damngina.co

So… What is it that I actually do?

Long story short, I co-own and operate a DIY arts and crafts studio. I run this damn blog. I am an affiliate with 1stPhorm. I am a consultant with Beautycounter.

But on top of that… I am living unapologetically myself and I’m doing things that I truly believe in. Isn’t that what we all want in life? 

Thank you so much for reading about #myjourney and I hope it inspires you to live your dreams. And to dream big… no matter how much it scares you. 

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