Getting Fit & Fabulous With Courtney Bentley
So through a fabulous engagement group I am in on instagram, I met the lovely Courtney Bentley with Courtney Bentley Fitness. She is so uplifting and is such an inspiration of mine. And when I say engagement group..I really hate that term. This is so much more then that because we I really consider us a group of friends that chat and support each other. I have learned so much from these girls and continue to learn more and more everyday and I genuinely love and care about each one of them.
So I have gotten to know Courtney a tad through instagram and her podcast and I just knew I had to share her and all that knowledge and insight she has with the world. I am so thrilled to feature her here on Go French Yourself. And I hope you will join both of us in a few days for an amazing challenge as we take the next step and break up with sugar for good. I will be sharing more info on that in the post as we start the 7th of September! How I am going to avoid a cannoli from Mike's in Boston in a few weeks is beyond me but if Courtney says I can do it...I can do it!
Courtney is the founder of The Fit and Fabulous Club. She believes that staying bikini body ready is not about starving yourself, crazy cleanses and doing massive amounts of cardio. She has been featured as a Fitness Expert on Websites like Ehow, Livestrong and motivating kids to create healthy habits on The Jackie Fame Network. Her abilities to share her knowledge not only shine when she coaches but also on camera. Her motivation with clients goes beyond the gym, she strives to teach her clients not only how to workout but empowers them through movement, nutrition and wellness. Her goal is to show every woman it is possible to have that bikini body while shining like a star! With years of transforming women’s lives Courtney founded The Fit and Fabulous Club after seeing the struggles of the everyday boss babe. The Fit and Fabulous Club was created as that solution and with Courtney’s quick, effective workouts and throw together meal plans she has been able to help others lose weight in a powerful way! Courtney Bentley is not only a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM, but also certified in Youth Fitness, Women’s Fitness, TRX, Pilates and holds a degree in Nutrition through Precision Nutrition. She also participated in personal training courses in college where she took Biomechanics and Human Anatomy. Her love for leading a healthy lifestyle started at an early age when her Mom enrolled her in Ballet classes. With over 15 years training to be a Prima Ballerina, Courtney said enough was enough and went on to become a cheerleader in High School. With over 5 years of trial and error, Courtney has come up with a method that has created 100’s of Fit and Fabulous women!
I sure was!!
Let's get right into our Q and A with this bad ass lady!!! You will see she is as real as it gets....and honest and raw....and I have so much respect for her story. She has battled bulimia and depression and doesn't hold anything back.
(all photography was provided by Courtney)
Courtney Bentley Interview:
-Have you always been active and have you always lived a healthy lifestyle ?!
Yes, even while coming out of my bulimia, I always was active. By the time I could walk I was in ballet class and training to be a prima ballerina to song leading which is kind of like the Laker girls quick fast dances to pump up the crowd and before I started lifting I was doing Pilates and running. I now empower my body through weight lifting, rebounding and spin class.
-Why did you decide to start your podcast ?!
I started my podcast as a way to empower women anywhere at anytime. The beauty of podcasting is I can connect with women through my voice and leave the image out of it which is something I stand behind especially with media ideals being so powerful in this day in age.
-Is it hard to beat the sugar addiction ?! You have an upcoming complimentary challenge coming up starting the 7th ?! Tell us more about this!
NO! This is a huge misconception! I truly believe that once you decide you want to do something and have a why behind it no matter what you do you will make it happen. I have watched 100’s of women go from never going to the gym to becoming personal trainers after working with me. I truly believe in the power of goal setting and visualizing what you really want. I feel like so many people just assume they can’t do something but I really make it a point to empower them to try and believe they can! It's miraculous really!
Find out more about the sugar challenge and sign up at the end of this post!
-And part two: you give up the sugar and are feeling good.. how do you keep at it when your social calendar creeps In? ( the birthday party with cake and champagne, the holidays, the baby showers, the new restaurant in town ) How the heck do we escape it and just say no!
Having a why is key to long term success. Determining WHY you want to live a healthy lifestyle and saying it every day before you start overthinking your decision. Once you learn how to fixate on your why, it becomes much easier to have a taste of cake or a glass of champagne and feel ok about it. Another big shift is not feeling guilty for having a treat, give yourself permission to enjoy yourself and your life. Setting yourself up for failure is attaching a feeling or emotion on a food and using that as a source to fill a hole in your life. Learning how to fill yourself up with love, happiness and hobbies fills those lack of gaps and allows you to not use sugar or food as a filler.
-You openly talk about your battle with depression ? Can you elaborate on that ? When did you realize this and what steps did you take to overcome this? You also mention we don't talk about it enough .. so much kudos to that!! What advice do you have for someone who needs help--but won't ask.
The hardest part is admitting you are depressed. I always go through this phase of trying to talk myself out of it but in reality, it’s so important to recognize it, state it to yourself and then do something about it. For me, its spending extra time on my meditation practice, stargazing and putting yoga on my calendar. I also find that giving back by volunteering or doing something totally outside my comfort zone helps a lot with that. With depression, it can be so easy to hide out, make the busy/tired excuse when people invite you out. I try to add some excitement to my life by making a plan with someone to get out of the house and into some joyful activity. With depression, you can really get into your own head and it’s just a dark place that can be hard to crawl out of if you don't make some kind of effort. I started speaking about it because I needed to admit it to myself and I know that the three things I put my mind to really have changed my depression cycle!
-Your few fave podcasts to date and why?
Style Your Mind by Cara Alywill Leyba: Cara is one of those women who just own it! She is someone I admire so much because she makes her dreams come true even when she faces setbacks. She self-published over six books when publishing houses told her no, she did her own PR and created a tribe of women all by being authentically herself. I love her podcasts because they are short, sweet and somehow always are just what I need to hear!
Becoming Fearless: Annie Spano is a total boss babe and I love listening to her podcasts because I always take away a piece of inspiration and information I can use to propel my business and brand. I love how she brings on guests from all different backgrounds and talks about the uncomfortable topics that most women in business shy away from like being bullied, harassed and not accepted by peers due to being female. Becoming Fearless inspires me to stand up and make the bold moves I need to make to take my brand and business where it can go!
Almost 30: I love Almost 30 for a variety of reasons, one being Krista and Lindsey feel like my tight knit girlfriends who I laugh with and talk with about being in my late 20’s and all that comes with that. I love laughing with them while working out and love the questions they ask their guests. As an adult, it can be lonely and difficult to make friends so it's so nice to have them to laugh along with and talk all the girlie things!
-Favorite workout sequence to tone the arms?
One of my biggest tips is to go from bicep to triceps back to back in a circuit, lift as heavy as you can by keeping form and to let those arms burn. It is so important to use a variety of exercises and not be afraid to work your chest and back. The biceps and triceps are minor muscle groups that support the back and chest so by using dedicated exercises to work these areas you will have those toned arms you really want.
I love deadlifts, curtsey lunges and low wide lunges for getting a perky butt. The butt is an area that needs weight in order to really tone up. I notice my booty sags a little if I don’t push my boundaries when lifting so make sure you really push it and let it burn!
Those stubborn inner thighs ?!
Thighs are one of those areas that can be addressed by using exercises like sumo squats, side leg lifts, and froggies.
-Favorite healthy snack?
Right now I am obsessed with celery and raw crunchy almond butter from trader joes with pink Himalayan sea salt. I weigh out my almond butter because I tend to eat the jar and eat as much crunchy celery as I want. It's honestly my favorite thing besides my Tazo passion fruit tea.
-If you do drink alcohol when watching calories.. what are the best low-calorie options?
I am a vodka soda, champagne, and skinny margarita girl. I love skinny margaritas but I like to make sure they do not add sugar or agave and bring my own stevia to mix in instead.
-Your fave cheat meal?
It used to be frozen yogurt but the dairy really upset my stomach so lately I have been loving a date night with my husband at Javier’s (locations in Orange County, Cabo, and Vegas) where I get the scallops, enjoy some chips and salsa with a skinny margarita!
-Feeling stuck? Making shifts happen... I know you have a podcast on this but can you give us a few details here?!
I believe our minds are more powerful than anything. Through my journey to empowering my body and mind, I learned how much the media shapes how we feel about ourselves. I wanted to change that and shine an authentic truth to the topic of health and wellness. I believe we all have the power to shift our minds and our bodies we just have to believe it to be true!
-Any advice for those addicted to food? ( like eating food for comfort ) How do you break these cycles?
You have to recognize it first and then decide you want to make a change. Once you commit it is easy. I also recommend finding a behavioral change specialist to help you along the way. I became certified in this because I found a lot of my clients knew how to eat healthily but their emotions were getting in the way. Tapping your way through this can really shift this behavior and learning how to do so by working with a professional is key!
-How do you feel about weighing every day and being "hostage to the scale "?!
Don't do it! Listen, we all fluctuate especially around our cycles which can even add 5 pounds. To be honest I only go on a scale when I am at the doctors and I am detached from the number because I know where I am at just by looking at my clothes. If you are looking to lose weight use a measuring tape, photos and a scale every other week. Being obsessed with numbers is not where it's at, focus on creating a healthy mindset and the rest will fall into place.
-Your fave work out when you travel that anyone can do from their hotel room?
My fit and fabulous club has no equipment workouts which I created for my girls who travel! It is so important to have workouts that travel well because you never know what type of situation you are walking into. I’ve pre planned and booked hotels with gyms only to find out it's being remodeled so I always have a jump rope and my 20 minute HIIT workouts ready to go!
-Spin or yoga ? ( just wildly curious )
-Fave athletic wear ? ( pants , sports bra , shoes)
For pants and sports bras I love Sthenos for their amazing prints and shoes it depends on the workout. For legs, I like my lace up Stella McCartney’s for circuits/HIIT I love my Nike Airs.
-How many hours do you put in a week into your workouts?
I would say 5-6 hours, most of it is workout creation for my clients.
-Fave songs to get in motivated?
Black Eyed Peas Pump It
Anything by Flo Rida
-Fave ways to cool down ?
-An ideal food day for you? Walk me through it.
Morning: Warm water with 1 shot ACV and 1 lemon squeezed
10 AM: 1 egg, ¾ cup egg whites, a handful of cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, and spinach, I top this with ½ avocado and cook it all in a bit of coconut oil.
1 PM: usually after my workout, I have 1 cup brown rice, chicken or turkey, and veggies usually zucchini, peas and cauliflower with some gluten free soy sauce or mustard
3 PM: Celery with Almond Butter or Bone Broth
5 PM: Some type of fish (lately its been scallops or salmon) and veggies with coconut oil
This is usually what I eat except on leg day I eat carbs at every meal.
-Any tips to make healthier choices for the busy mom on the go ?
My biggest tip is preparation. Stock up on healthy snacks and have them ready all over the place. I love going into my client's homes and setting them up for success. We usually weigh and bag raw nut mixes, cut up celery sticks, make water bottles ready to go and sometimes a few RX bars. Being prepared is key especially for a mom who has fires to put out all the time.
-What future podcasts can we look forward to?
I am going to start doing moon reports every month and I have some amazing guests coming forward this upcoming month which I am SO excited about! You’ll just have to tune in ;)
-What's next for you ?!
I am launching my workshop in October which will be using the moon cycles and EFT to tap into your dream life! I am so excited and hope to take it across the nation.
I am just so excited for you guys !!
Here are all the ways to stay in touch with Courtney and let's do the break sugar challenge together. Courtney posted on insta about it the other day stating how addicted she was to sugar. She hid it from family and friends because she was this newly graduated nutrition expert and she just couldn't stop. She tried sugar detoxes, challenges on line but the binges got worse and worse. Then she discovered a technique that changed her life forever. And she is sharing it with all of us and offering a complimentary challenge. How lucky are we??!?!!!!