This interview is part of the Real Talk Real Women interview series, where we bring you the life-changing, heart-warming and inspirational stories behind the most successful women in health and fitness. Make sure to follow us on Instagram for the latest interviews! For this installment, we are joined by Courtney Lynne.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
My name is Courtney. I am a bodybuilder and coach living in Phoenix, AZ with my husband and our 4 children. I’m 29 years old and I began training and eating mindfully as a means of getting my body back after having my children. Training quickly developed into a passion and semi-obsession because of the way it made me look and feel… in fact, my post-baby body and the way I love my body are significantly better than before having my children. I coach women to build their sexy - creating the feelings and a results that they desire in their life.
Where does your motivation come from?
My motivation comes from having a clear understanding of how I want to feel each day. I want to feel energized, sexy, confident, and strong. Training and eating well not only gives me results that help me feel this way, but the actual process allows me to generate these feelings every single day!
As you decided to make a career out of your passion - what were your biggest stumbling blocks along the way?
First, I had to overcome the belief that I had to have a traditional job as well as the fear of leaving that. I have a Master’s degree in education and was working on PhD in a medical field that I wasn’t at all passionate about. I had to come to terms with letting go of all, everything I had invested in my education and commit to doing something that I love instead. I also had to overcome doubt about whether I could make a living in fitness and eventually had to make the leap, trusting that I would be supported while doing what I love and serving others.
What’s your perspective on the importance of self-care?
Self-care is EVERYTHING! It is through self-love and self-care that we generate the capacity to do anything and everything we desire. We’re seeing an epidemic of women neglecting themselves for their children, families, and careers. Making ourselves a priority and ensuring time for our self-care is essential to living healthy, happy, and fulfilling lives. My own self-care rituals are non-negotiable in my life and I encourage the women I coach to make the same commitment. I’m able to show up better for myself and my family because of my stringent self-care rituals.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions about women lifting weight?
The biggest misconception is obviously that lifting weights will make women “look like a man” - whatever that means… The other common misconception has to do with women not understanding that in order to get a curvy and a tone figure, they must do some for of lifting or resistance training. Done safely and intelligently, there are so many benefits to lifting weights (including balance and better bone density for women as they age) that women who do lift are already benefiting from.
Many young women who want to lose weight believe that not eating is the way to do it, without realising the consequences of that kind of behavior.
Why do you think this is and what’s your perspective on educating society on healthy nutrition habits?
That’s obviously extremely problematic and unfortunately very pervasive in our society. I believe that it’s the result of miseducation and misinformation and marketing toward fad diets that promote lighting-quick results. As a result, so many women have very unhealthy beliefs and patterns around food.
Many are also suffering from metabolic damage from years of yo-yo dieting and being in an unhealthy deficit. This makes it practically impossible to lose weight without extreme measures. We have to do a much better job collectively of understanding what is actually healthy and effective. One of the first things I do with many of my clients is to “reverse diet” where we slowly add calories so that she is able to recover and reset her metabolic functioning without gaining weight.
What are the most unexpected lessons you’ve learned on your health and fitness journey this far?
I’ve come to truly understand the importance of a healthy mindset and strong emotional support as a means of a successful lifestyle change. For most women, training and nutrition plans aren’t enough to guarantee successful results. Because most of us are operating with unhealthy beliefs about ourselves, our bodies, and food or exercise, we will suffer significant setbacks and discouragement along our journey if we aren’t getting support for our mindset and emotional state as well. When we take a truly holistic and complete approach, however, success and a greater standard of wellness becomes very likely.
How important have the people around you been when it comes to your success?
I owe so much to the people around me who have supported me on my journey and I truly understand the importance of having a strong tribe or support system. My husband has been my biggest cheerleader and coach. He also happens to be a brilliant Empowerment Coach. He has guided me through working through my own blocks and beliefs, but has taught me how to get the same results for my clients!
What do you do to maintain balance in your life?
Balance is easy to maintain in my life because we make health and well-being a part of everything our family does. We play together and we train together. Most importantly, as I'm living my purpose and doing what I love, while having it all interwoven into my life, I never feel the need to get away or regain balance. My life is pretty amazing.
How do you stay productive?
I stay productive by prioritizing myself and the self-care rituals that generate the energy I need to be productive. As my husband always says, productivity is the result of creating energy and directed focus. Generating my energy and focus while being connected to my purpose keeps me in the flow and consistency productive.
Can you give a breakdown of your current diet, training and supplementation regimen and the thinking behind it?
TrainingI train each muscle group three times per week - I choose weights and repetitions that support both strength and muscle hypertrophy.
CardioI don’t do much cardio. If I do, it’s High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) like sprints, sleds, or ropes. I will do some Steady State Cardio as I approach a competition.
DietI follow a flexible diet and track my macronutrients. The flexible diet allows me to eat a mostly clean diet while still having some room to indulge in foods that I enjoy. An important aspect of my diet is getting protein (I get at least 140 g of protein per day). Although I am a vegetarian, I am able to get sufficient protein very easily.
During my offseason, I reverse diet my calories and macronutrients as high as I can and as slowly as I can so that my metabolism is in a great state and I have a greater capacity to make slow reductions as I prepare to compete. During my peak week before a competition, this allows me to still consume a significant amount of food compared to those who stick to a traditional bodybuilding diet.
SupplementsThe only supplements I take regularly are; BCAAs - Muscle mass maintenance. Glutamine - Muscle Recovery and Improved protein metabolism. L-Carnitine - Natural Energy Production. Green Super Foods Powder - wellness, vitality, maintaining alkalinity. Creatine - muscle recovery, strength, performance.
Name 3 things people don’t know about you.
- I had my pilot’s license and flew solo at age 16.
- I was a certified Master Scuba Diver at age 18.
- I was the commander of my ROTC unit in High School and went to Space Camp when I was 15 - I was a total nerd.
If you could only choose one thing, what would you tell your younger self?
Learn to love and accept yourself - the sooner the better.
What are your biggest goals for this year?
Increase my coaching impact and reach to help more women feel empowered and sexy.
Qualify Nationally in Women’s Figure. Travel more! We have been so focused on growing our businesses and client support that we didn’t travel enough in 2016, but the nature of our business is designed for location freedom and independence.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!