With Courtney Ustrzycki
By Rebekah Clementson
“Your body is a reflection of what you are. If you want to look healthy, you will have to be healthy. Don’t think of it as a diet, but a lifestyle. Do it for you, not for someone else. Plan to feel good in your skin, not just a dress. Not for the beach, but for your mind. To become a better version of yourself. Every. Single. Day.” #courtneyforlife
Courtney Ustrzycki is a spark of energy from the great land of Canada, and she is an incredible inspiration and breath of fresh air to anyone who is around her. As someone who is inspired by her positivity and also her incredible physique, I feel very privileged to be able to interview her and also share her story and transformation with Luxe Life readers. This past week, Courtney and I had the chance to chat, and she did not disappoint – her answers to my questions are very real, informative, and will help all of us capture how we can all be ‘boss babes’ and hit the beaches this summer with confidence and flat abs. Enjoy!
Luxe Life: Hi Courtney! Thanks for taking the time to answer some of these questions and help us get ready to hit the beaches this summer in true boss babe style! Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
Courtney: I’m just your average girl who loves to feel good! For me, feeling good comes in many forms like nourishing my body with delicious food, lifting heavy weights and empowering women. Although I was never considered ‘athletic’ growing up, I did dabble in co-ed intramural and varsity sports throughout high school and college. It wasn’t until I finished college (when I was 22 years old) that I started going to the gym and learning about food. At that time, I was the typical (read: uneducated) girl who over-did the cardio because of what magazines told me to do, and I thought that ‘eating clean’ was the only way to lose body fat and get a bangin’ beach body! Little did I know that after years of failed yo-yo diets I would finally stumble upon flexible dieting and powerlifting, which is what truly built the badass body that I have today. Over the last few years, I have re-routed my career into the health and fitness industry, and have successfully built an empire that teaches women of all ages that you can truly have a healthy relationship with the foods you love, and that lifting heavy weights will build a strong, lean and very healthy physique.
LuxeLife: You do look INCREDIBLE! I have been following you on Instagram for a couple of months and just love your authenticity and positivity in addition to your physique! I actually want to ask you a little bit different of a question — > How do you see yourself? Is your energy and confidence something you were born with or has been developed? And how does this relate to how you look physically?
Courtney: Lately I’ve seen myself through a different perspective, and I love this new view. I see myself as a role model to thousands of women, in so many different ways. I find my look is very much ‘average’ in the sense that I don’t look like a bikini model just walking out of a magazine cover shoot. I really feel like I look like the girl next door. But I was not always like this. I wasn’t born with good genetics and definitely wasn’t the energetic go-getter that I am today. For years I hid behind what society made popular or acceptable, and I wasn’t confident in myself. Even worse, I was unhappy. I spent years struggling to find who I really am, but I’ve discovered the real “Courtney” recently, and I just adore this woman! Now that I am confident and truly at peace with myself, I feel like it really shows physically. My eyes are full of life, my smile is genuine, and people notice that. I have been able to confidently express who I am, flaws and all, and by exposing my true self, I feel like I have actually been able to help other women discover themselves as well. When I was able to finally break from soul-searching, I found that some life stressors began to diminish, which in turn helped me to continue to improve my physical self as well.
LuxeLife: I also feel your new perspective really shines through physically! I’ve also been checking out your website: http://www.courtneyforlife.com/ and noticed that you have some great client testimonials, and also some awesome “freebies”! (Luxe Life readers – check these short PDF’s out on her page for nutrition/fit/fat burning tips). Great content J … What does your workout week look like when you are getting ready for bikini-season?
Courtney: Bikini season? Is that what we call the summer now? Canadian summers are minimal, at best! Because I love to travel to Cuba, I think bikini season for me is year-round. As I do openly admit that I suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, I do feel like I am fairly stable at maintaining my certain physique, which is really just what feels good for myself. It’s not necessarily dictated by a certain amount of inches or a scale number, and definitely not by a season. Just how I feel. And that can change on a regular basis.
As for my training, I’m a powerlifter, so my workouts are usually focused around an upcoming powerlifting meet and on the big three lifts (squat, bench press, deadlift). I’m currently prepping for my next meet (June 2017), so the intensity is a little high at the moment. My current prep cycle is a 3 day on, 1 day off split. I don’t follow a “7-day week” program, because I’m very flexible with my schedule and I actually really enjoy the 3/1 ratio. It’s more than enough for me. I include accessory work (smaller muscles, full movements) throughout the week as well.
Cardio currently is minimal, but I have really been enjoying the nicer weather lately, so I’m getting outside and going for walks and hikes. Nothing mandatory for cardio, just going off how I feel each day/week and taking it from there. If I were to provide a specific number, it would be about 60-90 minutes a week of steady-state cardio.
LuxeLife: I’ve seen you post about doing some HIIT workouts for cardio. Do you have a particular workout that you love to use?
Courtney: HIIT workouts for me usually only come around in the warmer months when I can get outside, and that’s when I do sprints at a nearby track. If I do other HIIT workouts, I usually pick 4 movements that are usually a full-body combination, and stick with a 45 seconds intensity, and 15 seconds recovery split. Three to four rounds of that and I’m done! There are a few HIIT-focused workouts over on my Instagram page for some inspiration!
LuxeLife: Those are intense. I also follow you on the @my.macros app and noticed that you eat your sprinkles & cereal bowl daily! Is that a post-workout thing or just an anytime food? J Could you share your recipe for it?
Courtney: Busted, ha! Yes, that’s been a HUGE (literally) staple for me lately, and I don’t know why but I just love it so much. I usually eat it twice a day, once post workout and once for my last meal. Post-workout smoothie bowls are usually packed full of frozen mango because I do try to consume most of my carbs around my workouts.
Recipe: (changes slightly based on macros, taste, etc,)
- 25-30g Canadian Protein premium whey blend protein (usually vanilla flavour)
- A ridiculous amount of ice (about 20-30 cubes)
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ cup stevia powder
- 1-2 tbsp Canadian Protein flavour packs (cycle between Canadian Maple, Strawberry Banana, or Chocolate Peanut Butter flavours)
- ½-1 cup water (add more depending on desired thickness)
- 100-150g frozen mango (more if it’s post workout; less or not at all sometimes!)
- Blend up until thick and creamy
- Optional toppings: cereal (I love rice/Kamut puffs!) and sprinkles
LuxeLife: That sounds and LOOKs amazing! I’m so excited I have most of those ingredients already (just need some frozen fruit)! J I love a big bowl of protein fluff – I’ll be trying out your recipe soon! Thanks for sharing it. What is your goal this year in fitness?
Courtney: My 2017 fitness goals include:
- Powerlifting lifts: 225lb squat, 140lb bench press, 340lb deadlift
- Maintain lean physique (about 120lbs, 17-20% BF)
I’m trying to keep my fitness-related goals simple and to a minimum this year, as I do have other personal and business-related goals that I am focused on as well.
LuxeLife: Maintaining a lean physique is one of my year-round goals as well. Is there anything else you’d like to include as tips to leave us with on being an ultimate boss babe?
Courtney: To all the boss babes out there: never be afraid to be yourself, whatever that includes! You don’t have to entertain others. Be vulnerable. Be loud and take up space (literally and figuratively). Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Be your own kind of beautiful. Be who you authentically are. Find your tribe (your supporters) and love them unconditionally. Love yourself first and never apologize for being you.
LuxeLife: Thank you so much, Courtney! Best of luck in all your goals and endeavors this year!
To connect with Courtney: