The Bombshell Spotlight this week is a fit momma, hard worker and blogger! Her name is Courtney Daniels and she has an awesome, inspiring Instagram account and blog that you NEED to follow! She proves that being fit and healthy isn’t about a diet or short workout program but a lifestyle. Let’s get into the interview so you can get to know more about her and her struggles!
Janie: Give us your story. What got you started on your fitness journey? Have you always been fit and healthy?
Courtney: I have always been active. I did ballet from 3-18 and loved it despite never being excellent at it. As I went through college I discovered yoga and running and that became my jam. I graduated with a degree in chemistry and had a bit of downtime post graduation while I was looking for jobs so I even completed my yoga teacher training and got my instructor certification during that time. It has never been my intention to make a career out of it, but it was a great way to deepen my practice and I love teaching on the side.
Pre-pregnancy, running and yoga were where it was at for me. I ran 5-9 miles 5-6 days a week and taught/practiced yoga 2-3 times per week. I really loved being active and doing these things but always found I was disappointed that my body wasn’t ever as toned as I wanted it to be. I was one of those girls that had the mindset that lifting would make me bulky and the best thing I could do to get skinny was to calorie restrict and get in as much cardio as possible. After I found out I was pregnant I really wanted to be active and fit so I could “bounce back” post baby. I continued running and teaching yoga up until I hit my third trimester, that’s when things got messy. I ended up in the hospital in terrible pain. The pregnancy was causing my kidney to back up with fluid and it was extremely painful. The pain also radiated into my chest making it difficult to breathe. There are not very many options for handling it so my doctor asked that I discontinue running and yoga and take it easy for the remainder of the pregnancy. Anyone who has had a child knows how hard that last trimester is. I had to be pretty sedentary as well and it just made me crazy. Up until that point I had gained a healthy amount of weight through the pregnancy but was on the low end. The lack of activity and the cravings ended up with me gaining more weight in that single trimester than the rest of the pregnancy. I knew all of this so I started planning how I would get back in shape post-baby, that’s when I found Kayla Itsines on instagram. The transformations she was posting were incredible! I wanted that. I wanted to feel fit and toned and get back to my pre-baby shape. I decided this is how I was going to get back. I purchase the program that day and just waited until I could start.
My doctor gave me the okay to begin working out 6 weeks postpartum. I started right away with Kayla’s bikini body guide. I cannot even tell you how weak I was! My core was completely gone! There was just no strength. I was also still sore and swollen from having the baby. It was discouraging but I modified all the exercises I needed to and just kept going. I was sure that by the end of this 12 week guide I’d have a 6- pack. Well, 12 week progress photos came around and surprise! No 6-pack. I was still far from my pre-pregnancy body and kinda discouraged but I figured my body couldn’t fight it forever. I definitely saw changes and knew that if I kept going I’d see more. Was the change slower than I wanted? Definitely. But it was better than being stuck in a body I didn’t recognize forever. Around week 24 I was finally feeling like I was making real progress and I was hooked. This program is amazing and fits so easily into my crazy busy life.
I’ve now been doing bbg for 20 months and have no plans to stop. I’m in better shape now that before I had my baby and I feel amazing. If found a whole new level of confidence and strength and am truly grateful to Kayla for that. I so thankful for the women who posted their before photos back when I was looking for a fitness regimen to follow. It takes guts to put those out there but their transformations and now friendships have really motivated me from the very beginning. I just hope I can be that motivation and inspiration for women who are struggling like I was.
Janie: Where do you live?
Courtney: I live in Salt Lake City, Utah
Janie: Are you married, single, taken?
Courtney: Married to an awesome guy. We just celebrated our 9 year anniversary.
Janie: Is there a motivational mantra or quote you love?
Courtney: Progress, not perfection.
Janie: Anytime you reach a certain level of success there are haters. How do you handle any negative feedback, comments?
Courtney: The negative comments always sting a little. You have to develop thick skin. I’d like to say I just don’t engage but I usually call them out on it. Sometimes I don’t have to because friends and followers who know me step in and let them have it ha ha. Honestly, in most cases, the individual usually apologizes and you never hear from them again. Other times, you just have to block them and move on. My account has received very little of that negative energy, luckily. I know many other accounts get hit a lot harder than mine.
Janie: Who are your inspirations? Give us two or three, and why.
Courtney: When I first found Kayla’s profile she had a transformation post featuring @Kim_fairley . She was a mom who was just like me, trying to get back in shape after recently having a baby and I immediately connected with her. Despite being intimidated by her large following, I sent her an e-mail and told her she had inspired me and I was just starting this journey as well. I asked for any insight she had on how to best go about this. She responded and was so sweet, supportive, and just wonderful. I continue to chat and message with her and really need to meet her someday. She lives in Australia so I guess I’ll just have to connect with her and Kayla at the same time.
In general though, women who are out there just killing it. They know what they want and they’re doing it with confidence. There are so many of them and it’s incredible to connect with them and feel and be surrounded by that energy. It’s so empowering.
Janie: Besides fitness what are your hobbies? Things you love to do and enjoy?
Courtney: Life is so busy. I currently work for a biotech company that is focused on cancer genetics. That and normal family life occupies most of my time. I love spending my days with my mister and my little Hudson. We have such a good time together. When we’re not working we love getting outside, hitting the lake, and traveling. Though far from the ocean I’m drawn to it. I’m sure the husband is getting bored of beach vacations and would like to see other things in other places but I have a hard time taking time off when there is no beach!
I’m also like 80 years old at heart and can crochet like nobody’s business ha ha.
Janie: What are some future goals of yours?
Courtney: Honestly, I try not to focus to heavily on goals. I have them, but I don’t want them to be so in focus that I can’t enjoy my life. I want to just keep doing what I love with the people I love. I want to really live.
Janie: What are you most grateful for?
Courtney: My health. I have had several times in my life when my health has declined and it really changes your perspective. It is such a blessing being able to do anything I want to do. I try not to take that for granted.
Janie: People are often criticized for only showing the “good” things in their life on social media. So let’s relate to the readers for a second. What is something you struggle with?
Courtney: Ha ha, so much! I get that, you want to post photos that are pretty, not the weird one where you’re making a weird face and your arm is blurry because you can’t hold still long enough for a picture. I struggle every day. I don’t always eat like I should or push through my workouts. I struggle to make time in the day for important things. My house isn’t always spotless. I’m clumsy, awkward, loud, and I interrupt people waaaay more than I should or intend to. We’re all a mess. All of us. No one has it together no matter how much it looks like they do. I try to be real. I try to post what’s really going on with me. If you know me or if you follow me and read my captions, you know I’m a crazy freaking mess.
Janie: Everyone loves good food. What is your favorite treat?
Can one have a favorite? I’m a sucker for thai takeout. I love getting a giant thing of pineapple curry with so many substitutions the thai place almost just hangs up on me or kicks me out. I have a local place here that know my order by heart, pineapple curry with tofu- no eggplant no tomato, add carrots and broccoli, brown rice if you’ve got it. Also, who can pass up mango sticky rice? No one!
Janie: What’s something most people don’t know about you?
Courtney: I’m terrified of spiders to the point that I’ve had actual anxiety attacks when they’ve gotten too close to me.
Janie: If you could give one piece of advice to the readers, what would it be?
Courtney: Be kind. Be real and be kind to others and to yourself, in whatever you’re doing.
Janie: Where can readers find you? What’s your social media, website etc.
Courtney: @courtneysfitlife_ on insta
And that concludes the interview! Isn’t she so inspiring and charming? I love her style and how she’s been able to overcome her struggles, being a busy working mother and wife! Go find her and follow her for continued inspiration, cute outfits and more.