This month we take a peek into Sadie Durbin’s world: where she gets her energy, why she loves to motivate us, and how she looks so good after having her two adorable boys. “Fitness is much more than just going to the gym and eating salads,” she says, “it’s a way of living life and it creates happiness in our souls, comfort in our own bodies, and just an overall feeling of satisfaction when we take care of ourselves.” Hearing her enthusiasm and responding to her motivating “This is your hour!” and “Push yourself!” yells during class keeps Fusionistas coming back for more, leaving the studio sweaty and renewed. Here’s the scoop on one hot, inspiring mama.

How did you start at Fusion?

Darby and I met in the same wine club, err I mean book club, through a mutual friend. One night she mentioned that she was going to start a “small business” with a friend, and I was just excited to try something new in the fitness world. I grew up as a dancer and attended the Kansas City School of Ballet (as well as Brooke, another Instructor Extraordinaire) but during college I quit dancing and took up running. Over the years I loved running but had lost a lot of definition and tone, and I immediately felt a difference when I started at Fusion. Then I started subbing a few classes and here I am; I discovered Fusion was the perfect way to combine three of my passions–fitness, motivation, and “presenting” or public speaking. I was hooked.

So fitness was always a part of your life? Why is it important to you?

Well like I said, fitness helps make you physically strong, but I think more importantly, mentally strong as well. I love that inner battle when you’re doing mountain climbers or running up a hill and part of you wants to quit but the other part tunes into the music and pushes just a little bit harder…that kind of endurance can be applied to all sorts of other life moments to build character. Plus, I love hard work, because putting in all that effort naturally makes you feel strong, proud, and healthy!

Not many people would put “hard work” in the love category–where do you get your strong attitude?

I think it comes from the way I was raised in Cottonwood Falls, a small town in the Flint Hills. It’s a wonderful farming community full of caring, hardworking people, so I learned a lot about dedication and found a deep appreciation for people who work with the land and animals from a young age. I still love to go home with my family and relax in the slower pace–just one of the benefits you receive from being in such a place.

Well you obviously worked hard to look so fit after giving birth to your twin boys, Austin and Jack. What sort of routine did you follow?

JACK

Well first of all I worked out and taught all through my pregnancy, which I believe is important. I had a C-Section, so wasn’t allowed to workout hard-core until six weeks postpartum. During those first six weeks I walked and did the boring snoring elliptical, so I was excited to get back to teaching and taking classes at Fusion after I was cleared for workout. The hardest part was the fatigue, because as a new mom I practically never slept (as many of you know the deal.) But, I treated my workout time like I did anything else I had to get done in a day, and kept it a priority for ME. I think it’s so important for new moms to take that hour not just to get rid of the baby weight, but releasing those endorphins makes a big difference in the way we feel, so helps us be better moms for the rest of the day. I depended on my husband and mom to help out so I could do it for my sanity, my body, and just myself. Now the boys are almost two–wowza!

Do you do anything outside of Fusion to work out now?

I teach about eight classes a week and personal train on top of that, so I’m pretty active most days. For my own workout I enjoy going for a good fast run once or twice a week and also taking classes at Fusion, because, let’s face it, you can’t push yourself as hard as someone else can push you! Running is my therapy though, I love getting a good sweat listening to my favorite music–it always helps me find perspective and leaves me feeling great.

Does your husband, Brice, workout too?


AUSTIN

Um, no, Brice doesn’t exercise unless it’s playing golf or if I force him (which is only fun for about five minutes until he starts whining and then we don’t exercise together again for another three months, ha!) Thankfully he’s a pretty healthy eater (with a love of chocolate) and only complains about my cooking when I use kale in every recipe.

Do you find it challenging to get your boys to eat healthy foods?

Not really, because they pretty much eat what we eat now. I’m not a chicken nugget kinda mama, and we like to expose them to all kinds of new foods. We want them to eat “adult” food so it’s never like, “oh, we don’t think you’ll like this…”, they like our leftovers and veggies and all that.

What’s your nutrition philosophy?

I believe in the real deal–no fake sugars or fats. I don’t count calories, but I do pay close attention to what I eat most of the time. I go by the 80/20 rule: 80% of the time I eat very healthy and 20% I can splurge, so I get to satisfy my cravings and don’t feel deprived. We cook a lot at home, with most meals having a lot of vegetables, good grains, and lean protein. Brice and I love entertaining and cooking for people, so we’re always trying new ideas. I’m not a vegetarian, but I like to go meatless a couple days a week. My biggest rule is eating things I can pronounce–if you read the label and you have no idea what it is, don’t buy it!

So when you do allow a splurge, what’s something you always go for?

Eee..definitely wine and cookies.

Do you ever have “pig-out” days? How do you deal with the common feelings of guilt or giving up that a lot of people have on those days?

Of course, any normal person does. I have this conversation all the time with my clients–just because you have one bad day doesn’t mean you’ve sabotaged your whole diet and now you’re fat. If you continue down that path then yes, that can happen. I just workout a little harder the next day and eat clean for a few days, and I’m back on track, no big deal. Working out and eating clean feels good.

Do you have a favorite healthy snack?

I love eating this little salad of black-eyed peas, cucumber, peppers, edamame, feta, lemon, and any other veggie that sounds good. I also have a weakness for popcorn, but I make it myself to keep it healthy and yummy, and then eat it with an apple or cheese.

Where do you like to shop for foods?

Whole Foods is one of my happy places. The produce department is huge and has a lot of different seasonal features that I can incorporate into my recipes so I don’t get bored, plus it’s great for our bodies to digest different foods. I also go to Farmer’s Markets. I’m not a big Trader Joe’s fan (GASP!) because I find when I shop there I end up with a lot of unnecessary calories from their frozen foods and snacks.

You know a lot about nutrition and fitness. Did you always want to work in the health industry?

Actually yes, I wanted to be a nutritionist in high school. But in college I took a different path and majored in journalism at KU. (However I did meet Brice while waitressing in college…funny how things work out.) After graduating I worked in the corporate world for a while, which taught me a lot, but I don’t miss it at all. Being able to do what I am passionate about has been life-changing–I am a different person now that I get to help amazing clients who are the most kind, impressive women, and also work with the craziest, coolest chics. It may sound cheesy, but Fusion has truly changed my life. If it weren’t for this path, I would probably be working a high-stress corporate job, travel all the time, never get to see my boys, be 25 pounds heavier and hate my job. Instead, I am in love with what I do–that fitness is such a huge part of my life, I get to help women reach their goals, and I genuinely enjoy myself through it all.

Your schedule allows you more time with Austin and Jack–how do you like being a mom?

I’m going to be honest: before I was pregnant, I was not one of those women who always wanted to be a mom–at some points I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have kids. Then, we found out we were having TWO and oh my, there was no easing into it at that point! But I am completely obsessed with my little buddies. They are amazing people with passion, humor, and love that I never imagined. I had them at 30 weeks, so we spent the first six and a half weeks of their little lives in the NICU, which was a humbling, amazing experience. Going through the stress and fear, but also the love and support of the NICU team, changed the way I looked at GETTING to be a mom.

What’s one of your favorite things about the boys?

Right now, I’m just melting when I pick them up from school and they come running towards me, so excited to see me. Gets me every time. (Brice and I remember these moments when they are having a meltdown and acting like animals, ha!) They are starting to talk, and it’s so fun to see which words they pick up on and try to use. Both buds are saying “happy” and “please” a lot, two awesome words!

As a busy wife, mother, and full-time Fusionista, what would you do with one day all to yourself?

Oh wow, I’m not sure my mind can be that creative at this point! I would SLEEP in, until about 8, get up and have a good workout, and get a tasty coffee and breakfast. Then someone would do my hair and pick out my my clothes (not my strengths!) and I’d travel to a beach for the afternoon (this is a fantasy world.) Then I’d come home for dinner with my sweet family, put the boys to bed, and share a delicious bottle of expensive red wine with my hubby.

You are a big source of motivation to a lot of women at Fusion–do you ever feel pressure to be perfect as a fitness instructor?

Like when I look over my shoulder when I buy cookies at the grocery store? Ha! Joking aside, I really don’t feel that pressure to be perfect. That’s one of the many things I love about Fusion. It’s a place where women come to spend time for themselves improving their health, making friends, and soaking up the positive energy. I am constantly inspired by our fabulous instructors and amazing clients. Each time I teach a class, I know it’s that special hour for the women in the room, and I do my best to make it count.

How do you feel about women struggling with their confidence in the face of our media and culture being geared towards an almost unattainable beauty?

I think everyone struggles with confidence in certain seasons of their lives, and fortunately I’m in a really good spot right now where I feel like I know myself and I try to stay true to who I am. My priorities are my family/friends, my health, and my work. These are what guide my decisions and where I put my energy, and I think when you are strongly focused on what matters to you, you don’t have as much time to struggle with confidence.

THE FUN FIVE

Favorite restaurant: For a casual spot, I love Mixx. Going fancy, I’d choose Capital Grille or Le Fou Frog, depending on the mood.
Favorite place to drink a glass of wine: My back porch.
Inspirational book: Hmmm, I haven’t read a book since the boys were born–maybe I can answer this one in a few years :)
Beauty advice you like: Drink lots of water!
“I find my confidence in…” Running the country roads at my parent’s house. That always brings me back to where I came from.

Near Cottonwood Falls

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