Every month, we introduce a new Guest Editor to share his or her musings on wellness, beauty, lifestyle and beyond. This month, we invited wellness guru Courtney King to take part. Find out what first inspired her to hit the gym, the mantra she lives by, the Vital Proteins products she can't live without and more. Plus, keep an eye out for her two blog posts on Lively later this week!
Courtney King: I remember feeling so lost and out of place in high school. I didn’t have many close friends and I went through a phase at the start of my high school days when I was just hanging out with the wrong people and not focusing on the best things. I knew this wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I wanted something more for myself. When I was 16 years old, I went to the magazine aisle at the grocery store and picked up Oxygen magazine. I remember flipping through the pages and thinking how awesome all these women looked and how happy they seemed. I went home later that night and started to research different things about fitness: “How do you build muscle?” “What do you eat when you want to feel good?” “What exercises should I do at the gym if I’m a beginner?” I seriously spent weeks and weeks researching and my mom got me to go to the gym with her and ever since then I have been hooked! Fitness changed who I am, and it’s become such a blessing in my life – mentally just as much as physically!
CK: Honestly, I would say I still work out with the same intensity. I just won’t spend hours in the gym anymore! I think recovery and learning to listen to your body is just as important as pushing yourself while working out! Competing professionally took an extreme toll on my body, and it’s something that is not sustainable for the long term. I got into competing because I liked the structure and goal setting value that it brings you. I liked seeing my body change with extreme dedication and hard work! Having a lifestyle now that is balanced with how I work out and eat is best for my mind and body! I work out now to feel my best from the inside, out! I learned that you don’t need 2+ hours a day in the gym seven days a week to live a healthy lifestyle. I like to weight train 4-5x a week and take a hot yoga class or an interval class!
CK: I know it might sound cliché, but you have to trust the process! That, along with believing in yourself and not comparing yourself to someone else. We are all on different journeys so try not to get discouraged if your overall fitness progress isn’t happening as ‘fast’ as you might like. Consistency pays off! Being able to love yourself along this new journey is the best feeling. You should be proud because you’re taking a step to better health and wellness and you’re doing that for you.
CK: “Where the Mind Goes, the Body Follows” – I love this because I truly believe that what you think, you become.
CK: This is a great question because I’ve been there many times! Honestly, don’t beat yourself up if you hit a phase where you’re feeling in a rut or not motivated. “How do you stay motivated?” is a question I get asked all the time. This is my best advice when hitting a rut or feeling unmotivated with your workouts: Try something new and pivot in a different direction for a bit! Sometimes you need to take a step back from what you’re doing and that’s okay! If you’re always weight training and you hit a rut, then maybe try taking a class. I’ve had this happen to me a few times over my fitness journey and I really got into taking spin classes as a workout or interval classes. Studio 3 in Chicago is great as well as Barry’s Boot Camp, F45 classes and Soul Cycle! I started to do that because it took the thinking out of what I was doing, and it was so different for my body. I include interval classes or a spin class when I feel my body is hitting the stage of feeling ‘stuck’ in the gym with weight training. I also started to add in yoga and getting out in nature more for bike rides and walks. Even taking time off with your workouts and letting your body and mind reset is a great idea. I get in phases and I end up taking 4 days to a week off and then my body is craving to go get a workout in. Just take it slowly and don’t be hard on yourself!
CK: I have so many! I am a snack queen. I have a quick and easy collagen-infused granola recipe on my YouTube channel that I make all the time. I love that one because it’s super easy and great to eat on its own or to throw on top of some coconut yogurt. I also love to make my oatmeal protein cookie bites as a quick on-the-go snack that I always have in my freezer.
Here is the recipe for my oatmeal cookie protein bites!
CK: I just love you guys! I love Vital Proteins and everything this company stands for. I am so honored to be able to share a little bit about me, who I am and what I love. I hope to encourage and inspire others to focus on their health and wellness because true health starts from the inside out! Thank you, VP, for letting me be your August Guest Editor and a big thanks to all of YOU chiming in this month!
CK: Why do you guys have to ask me such hard questions?! Haha, this is so hard because I use Vital Proteins, no joke, every day. My two favorites I use all the time would have to be the Collagen Peptides and the Lemon Ginger Collagen Water. I always add the Collagen Peptides in my smoothies and protein ice cream and I love sipping on Collagen Water during my workouts! I put the collagen drink in the freezer for about 15 minutes before I go to the gym, so it gets icy and extra cold. It’s very refreshing and hydrating when I’m sweating my butt off at the gym!
Photos: Courtesy of Courtney King