Thursday, August 30, 2012

5 reasons why you fail to lose weight, stay motivated and acheive your fitness goals

Love hearing feedback from clients regarding their success and received this message this week from a young lady who never thought she would ever find exercise something to look forward to:

"I woke up this morning and couldn't wait to get to the gym and start my workout! (Shock I know!) A few months ago I hated the gym and was thinking about canceling my membership. I am so motivated!! Finally something that works for me plus my legs & butt have never looked better! Can't wait to hit the weights today!"

With the launch of my new fitness services, I have had many questions regarding the right programs for people and which plans would be best suited for them and their lifestyle. 

If you are new to exercising or simply returning after a bit of a hiatus, finding the right plan can be difficult. Everyone wants to jump straight in to the "all or nothing" routine, however from observation, I know that after a few short weeks (or even days) people can lose focus, motivation and momentum, slowly falling back into old habits.

This can usually be the result of a few things:
The "total action hero"  Approach 
You desperately want to lose weight (right now!) so you choose the most extreme fitness routine/DVD/program in the market, that has amazing transformation photos, however after playing the DVD/starting the program, you realize that your body is not cut out for 100 burpees in a row or explosive pushups with double claps. You then feel defeated and throw the DVD into the drawer (while icing your aching joints and sore back) and then watch more fitness infomercials, hoping to find the next fitness solution!

The "I am confused about what I am doing" Approach
You decide you are going to exercise, so you head to the gym, walk around, lift a few weights (without any plan or without knowing what to do), walk for 10 minutes on the treadmill and go home. You repeat this for 2 weeks, don't see any results, then give up, deciding that nothing will ever work for you.

 The "I want to look like Angelina Jolie" Approach

You look through the internet and find a fitness routine that a celebrity, model or bodybuilder follows. You print this out and take it to the gym, then realize that you don't understand any of the exercises and that even after following it diligently for weeks, your body doesn't look anything like theirs does! How could this be? This routine goes into the trash and you then start looking for a new celebrity, model or bodybuilder routine on the internet to follow...

The "cardio bunny" Approach

You are scared of doing weights so just stick to cardio. After doing an hour a day on the treadmill, you notice that your clothes are a bit looser, but your body is not really changing shape. You decide that you will now do 2 hours a day. After a week you realize that you simply exhausted and all this cardio is not sculpting your butt like you wanted or giving you definition in your arms. You can't work it out though - all the women are on the cardio machines so it must be the right thing to do?

The "I can eat anything because I went to the gym" Approach

You find a plan that fits into your lifestyle and work out religiously. You start to see great results, so think that you can start to "slack off" now and have dessert every night, "because you deserve it". You then notice your results are lagging, so work out even harder. Your body is looking great! Time to treat yourself again, so out comes the cupcakes. This cycle continues endlessly!

Do any of these examples ring a bell? There are many more I could list, however these are the most common ones that I have observed.

So how can you choose a plan that will work for you and your goals?

Here are 10 important things to consider:

1. What are you trying to achieve? Set clear goals on your dream body!
2. When do I want to achieve this by?
3. How much time can you realistically set aside for training?
4. What is your skill level?
5. Do you have any injuries that may stop you from doing certain exercises?
6. What type of activities do you enjoy?
7. What keeps you motivated?
8. Do you prefer to work out at home or in the gym?
9. Are you able to follow a plan exactly?
10. Are you serious about making real changes to your body, or are you looking for a quick fix?

Ask yourself these questions to work out what NEW approach will work for you. Following the same routine (that has not given you results in the past) is a surefire way to achieve very little progress.

Be fit & well :)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

8 Steps to a Bombshell Beach Body - World Physique Magazine

Everyone wants a Bombshell Beach Body!

This month, one of my articles was published in World Physique Magazine, outlining 8 steps you can take to work on building your own bikini body. This is a great article, as it includes some simple, yet effective tips for your diet and also my Sexy Summer Circuit, which will leave you feeling sassy and strong! It is the perfect mix of cardio and strength training, guaranteed to raise your heart rate and build long, lean, sexy muscle!

You can read the full article in the Summer Edition of World Physique Magazine, which if you are not familiar with, is a fabulous magazine full of great fitness and nutrition articles, written by fitness pro's, including pro fitness and bikini competitors, bodybuilders, trainers and nutritionists.If today is the day that you have wanted to try something new in the gym, then print off my Sexy Summer Circuit and get to it! 

 I also encourage all of you to visit my official Facebook page, as I regularly post exclusive workouts and fitness tips there. 

Be fit & well :)


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ask Courtney - What are some of your favorite beauty products?

One of my fabulous readers Ashley wanted to know:  

"Hi Courtney! From your experience as a model, what are some of your favorite beauty products or cosmetics that makeup artists have used in your photoshoots?"

Well I have been asked this many times over the years and I thought that I would share some of them with you all, so that you can also benefit from the many products that I have tried and tested! 

I am a product GURU and love spending hours in Sephora, trying out all the latest cosmetics and skin care products, as well as Neiman Marcus and MAC. (Don't even get me started on MAC lipglosses...I love them!)

Here are just a few of my top products at the moment, however I will update this list monthly for you all, as I receive so many requests about this topic.

I have also added all these products to my Fitness & Beauty Shop, where you can find all my favorite products at low prices! I spend a lot of time looking for great deals, so if I find an item at a great price then I will include the link so that you can purchase it directly, without paying a store premium :)

This is an amazing product and looks great on its own or over your eyeshadow. There is also a gold version which looks fabulous. You can also use this a highlighter on your cheekbones or add a touch at the top of your cupids bow, to make your lips look more defined.

One of my newest lip gloss additions. A makeup artist introduced to me this color, as it is perfect for summer with bronzed skin and a sculpted body! There are 3 shades in this range, however I am loving this color. Plus you can't beat the lovely little swirls inside, which adds dimension to the color on your lips.

Most self-confessed beauty addicts have at least one MAC Lip Glass in their kit. Now a lot of people don't like sticky glosses...I love sticky glosses! So if that sounds like you, then you will love these. They come in a range of colors and are not expensive. One of my favorite shades is Prrr - a frosty, pale pink that reminds me of the 90's! Paris Hilton is also a fan of that shade, so if you are looking for that "bombshell" lip, then definitely try it out!
Urban Decay Naked Palette

There is a reason why this is a "cult" eyeshadow palette - it really is amazing! Urban Decay has some of the best eyeshadow in the market, with lovely, pigmented hues and velvety textures. I use this all the time and it is one product that all women should have in their kit. I think it looks great on women with yellow undertones in their skin (especially with the gold and bronze colors), however you can also create a gorgeous chocolate smokey eye or nude, shimmery eye.

Stila Concealer

I have only started using this product recently, but have found it to be a great concealer. It has good coverage and is perfect for concealing redness, as well as brightening under your eyes.

Remember that the best beauty product you can add to your routine is drinking more water! It doesn't matter how many products you use, nothing looks better than a clear, healthy complexion. Your makeup will also look a lot better, so make sure you keep up that H20.

If you have any amazing beauty products that you would like to share, then feel free to add them below!

Be fit & fabulous!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Workout Video! 3 exercises for amazing abs!

As you know as I am the Celebrity Fitness & Lifestyle Expert for FitPerez and have recently shot some amazing fitness videos for all the fabulous readers out there!

I have a great video that covers 3 of my favorite ab exercises, which you can do as circuit or straight set. 

I love these exercises because they cover all aspects of the abdominals and work the upper, lower and obliques.

Do this at the end of your workouts or dedicate a training day to abdominals, to really target this area!   

Tune in for more great workout videos and fitness exclusives right here on my official blog.

Be fit!


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Is social media causing low self-esteem in women?

 Image Source
Today we are focusing on giving our mind a workout, with some thought provoking insights into the world of social media and its effect on how we think about ourselves and others.

Most of you would be very familiar with platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr etc. It goes without saying that most people would have at least one social media account (and some of us have a good deal of them). Social media is a great tool to help people connect with others and through platforms like Facebook, many of you are able to keep in contact with family and friends all over the world, or follow your favorite celebrity on Twitter, or browse through amazing photographs on Tumblr - very cool! :)

Social media has changed the way we all use the internet and its intentions are to connect people, which is a great notion. However, social media also brings out some other interesting "trends", which highlights some important issues regarding users personal esteem and their "true self". Now, more than ever before, people are weighing their self-worth on how many Facebook "Fans" they have, if anyone "Liked" their post or how bad they felt when didn't have any messages in their inbox today telling them how totally inspirational they were! (This one I overheard while standing in line at the movie theater - seriously!)

Furthermore, there seems to be an increasing trend of the "Sending you all a sneaky bikini/underwear/abs/topless/nude shot" as if it was taken without their knowledge, or that the camera just happened to snap a photo of them, while they were holding it, with perfect hair and makeup, posing into the mirror, with an Instagram filter over it, with a matching pair of expensive underwear on...yes you get the picture! It was so "unexpected" that they had to post it to 15 000 people immediately! And re-tweet it for weeks after!

After chatting with some young women recently, they expressed their concerns about this type of thing happening on their social networks. Seeing other girls who posted staged "Kardashian-esque" photos of themselves day after day, updating their status multiple times per hour with what sounded like a life of grandeur, as if they themselves were starring in their own award winning reality show (the "reality" part is ironic!) 

After viewing this type of behavior, these women truly believed that these other people's realities must be so amazing and that their own lives/bodies/activities could not live up to these standards. In turn, what once was a place for seeing photos of their friends holiday in Brazil, quickly became the place in their minds that only these far more "popular" people could exist. 

However for these women, they found it interesting to see that while they thought they were suffering from low self-esteem, it was really the "poster" who needed the validation from others about their lifestyle or body. If no-one "Liked" their picture or told them they were amazing, then how were they going to get through the day!

"Researcher Soraya Mehdizadeh from York University in Canada asked 100 students, 50 male and 50 female, aged between 18 and 25 about their Facebook habits.
They all took psychology tests to measure their levels of narcissism, which the study defined as ‘a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and an exaggerated sense of self-importance’.
Those who scored higher on the narcissism test checked their Facebook pages more often each day than those who did not.
There was also a difference between men and women – men generally promoted themselves by written posts on their Facebook page while women tended to carefully select the pictures in their profile." (Published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behaviour And Social Networking).

For women, young women especially, it can be hard these days to navigate oneself through the gauntlet of media that is fed to you each day, not to mention through the countless images are flashed before your eyes. There are whole websites dedicated to "thinspirations" and "fitspirations", not to mention thousands of hashtags, bitly links and Instagram uploads, all there telling you what to look like, what not to look like, how to live your life etc. It can be very overwhelming!

So how do you get through all this information and visual stimuli without going crazy and thinking you are not good enough?

1. Don't think too much into what other people post, the photos they put up (especially their "sneaky bikini/underwear/abs/topless/nude shots" (haha) or their supposedly Kardashian type lifestyles. They need the admiration of others to fuel their own purposes and that is something that they have to deal with. (It would also be very time-consuming posting, reposting, retweeting etc. all day long, so think of all the extra time YOU have to actually DO real things with your life).

2. A lot of images you will see have had careful planning. There are people that want you to think they look totally polished 24 hours a day! We all know this is not the case, so don't stress out. Just like in the magazines, a bit of editing or an Instagram filter will do wonders for a photo and it can look totally different to the original one. Also I have seen a lot of people post old photos of themselves doing fun things as if they happened last night, to give the illusion that they are living a nonstop rockstar life. Sad but true!

3. Find true role models who you look up to! There are plenty of fabulous people out there that can inspire you to be the best person you can be.

4. Let go of the obsession with who "Liked" your post, who commented on your wall (or if you are someone that has a public page) how many "fans" you have. Unless you are a business, then it really doesn't matter. There are no popularity police and judging yourself on what other people think of the photo you posted yesterday is not a productive way to live.

5. If you are someone that finds yourself constantly over exaggerating your lifestyle on social media then stop for a moment and think about why you are doing it? Is it to make yourself feel important? Is it to gain the admiration of others? Is it to give the illusion that you are living Richard Branson's life? (haha)

Don't get caught up in the "illusions" of social media. Believe in yourself and don't be distracted by what others are doing. Find some "true" role models and work on making your own life a fabulous one!

Be fit, well & vibrant :)