{#WCW}: Meet my Personal Trainer! Courtney Bentley ♡

Yes, you read that right.. I am stoked to announce I have a personal trainer!

I’ve mentioned the internet is a really rad place and can connect you with so many awesome people. Courtney is no exception. Thanks to the internet, I was introduced to this powerbabe and now she is my virtual personal trainer as I am currently on her Fit & Fabulous Plan.

For the next month, she is my virtual coach, trainer, cheerleader, and motivator and you will hear all about it!

I personally am excited since my boyfriend and I are going to Cabo next month so this is the perfect time for me to get on track. If anyone has Cabo reccs, def let me know!

I connected with Courtney as we found each other’s blogs last year. Not only do I love her positive attitude, but she KNOWS her fitness.

I also love how open she is on her fitness journey, struggles, challenges and evolving with the time. Though I am only a week in her plan, it’s absolutely has made such a huge difference. Not only do I feel better, but again, her positivity just truly shines and allows me to start each day on the right foot.

Not to mention, she has lived all over the world! She recently moved back to the United States from Las Vegas. Read on for her advice on blogging/social media, starting a business anywhere, her fitness story, a surprising challenge in her field, as well as some other tips and tricks. To call her a self-starter is an understatement, but her light is radiant and really shines to help me be the best version of myself.

Without further ado, meet Powerbabe Courtney Bentley, and I hope she empowers you like she empowers me!

{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }

Introduce yourself

Hi Everyone! My name is Courtney Bentley, as a recovered self-hater, I have found self love through health and wellness.

I have dedicated my life, creative energy and message to helping women be fit and feel fabulous!

I am a certified personal trainer, motivational speaker, nutritionist, blogger, mother of 2 shih-tzus and closet music junkie. I like to wear many hats in hopes of getting my message out there!

Tell us about your business.

I began my business Star Systemz back in 2010 while working at a girl’s only gym in West Hollywood as a way to share my recipes and fitness advice on Tumblr. Through the years, my business has transformed and gone through some renovations once I truly dealt with my demons and discovered my true message. {{<<<MAD respect to that.}}

I like to call myself a coach, as I work with individuals with their fitness and meal planning, but I also coach each lady through the process. I found that most people know how to workout and what to eat to be “healthy,” it was the mental part that was difficult whether it was emotional eating or just mindless eating so I went to work, learned all I could about coaching and now call myself a Transformational Coach.

Basically, I am a personal trainer, bootcamp instructor and meal planner but with a different type of edge!

Your body is insane! Tell me about your fitness journey.

Thank you so much!

I was a ballerina most of my life and had body disphormia due to the demands of having to have the ballerina body. This lead to some addiction issues with bulimia and anorexia which took me several years to conquer, I say conquer because it was through weight lifting, self love and nourishing my body to train that I was able to battle my addictions.

After high school, I started training to be a Pilates instructor but became the “diet” food queen, diet sodas fueled my long runs, processed meal bars post workout and shakes filled with artificial chemicals took up most of my diet. I was constantly sick and still was fighting my addiction and had MAJOR body dismorphia.

I soon met Norman, my husband now, while bartending and he changed my life.

He taught me the power of lifting weights, eating nourishing foods to fuel my training and my body/mind connection was stronger than ever.

Lifting weights makes me feel empowered, making small mini lifting goals for myself and accomplishing them makes me feel like superwoman and eating large meals full of proteins, carbs and fats without being afraid gave me energy and vitality!

{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }

You were recently living in Asia – tell us about starting a business internationally. What were the steps / challenges / accomplishments, etc?

Living in Thailand was life changing to say thevery  least.

I was always nervous about sharing my message and story, I always felt like people would judge me right off the bat and to be honest I truly think that learning to share my message loud and proud came from changing my environment and going to Asia!

To be honest, I hated living in Thailand when we first got there. I was literally crossing of the days until we would be home until I went home for a holiday and decided to I needed to change my perception.

I literally changed my mindset on the whole thing and saw living in Asia as a gift.

I started a small bootcamp that gave back to a local charity every Sunday which I coined the Bangkok Babes, from there I started to write for a local magazine called Expat Ladies and from there I was invited to speak at Pechakucha, women’s networking events and even the American Chamber of Commerce.

My move to Asia was scary, starting a business there was difficult there are locals willing to work for little pay so I constantly had to prove I was worth my price by upping my offerings and just being out in the community.

I believe that anyone can build a business where ever you are if you are willing to change your perception on the challenges, get involved in the community and share your message loud and clear… which was all things Asia truly taught me.

What is your advice to others looking to start a fitness business?

The best advice I can give someone is pick a NICHE! When you have a niche, learn everything you possibly can about that type of consumer and give them value.

For instance, if you love working out and have a love for basketball, try to combine the two! Why not help basketball athletes get stronger and become better players by developing exercise routines, nutritional guidelines and bootcamps dedicated to athletes?

Discover your passions and find a way to combine them to make a niched fitness business.

{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }

Favourite books?

My favorite book right now is Crush It by Gary Vayernchuck, social media guru and just all around bad-ass {{<<< SAME – THIS BOOK IS LIFECHANGING – GET IT NOW – I HAVE A POST IN THE WORKS ON THIS BECAUSE IT SHOOK ME UP THAT MUCH HARDER – SERIOUSLY ORDER THIS AND THANK US LATER}}.

I always turn to Creative Visulatizations by Shakti Gawain when I need a boost or a positive change in my life and anything by Gabby Bernstein is fire.

A little side note, for those who think they have 0 time to read, I suggest turning off your radio while in the car and listening to a podcast or audiobook, expand your mind, learn and that is when you will grow! {{<<< audio books at work too instead of music is another great way!}}

Biggest Beauty/wellness Secret? Spill!

My biggest beauty/wellness secret is herbal tea.

People come to me all the time and ask me how I stay slim all year round, how I avoid late night snacking and how I avoid the sugar cravings post holiday indulgences and the truth is I brew a batch of Tazo Passion Fruit Tea a few pinches of stevia and wam bam, sweet, filling and curbs all cravings.

It also forces me to drink even more water which we all know is the fountain of youth and seriously it tastes just like fruit punch! I dare you to try some! {{<<<twist my arm – can’t wait to try! side note: I LOVE to mix my Passion Tea and Green Tea at Starbucks}}

{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }

Who do you look up to and where do you find inspiration?

I admire Chalene Johnson and Gabby Bernstein :: these ladies just slay.

Chalene has taken her audience. taught them how to be fit and well while running a dream business and she taught me a lot about priorities.

Gabby B taught me a lot about letting my spiritual self out, dealing with my past and learning how to love unconditionally.

I admire women who share a message and bring other women up!

What are some of the challenges in your field and how you handle them?

The biggest challenge in my field are “instagram models“. I am not one to bash these ladies but the emphasis on magical wraps, powders, waist slimmers is just nauseating.

I have had many clients come to me and argue with me about how so and so got a firmer butt or how such and such model lost all her baby weight. I will tell you right now, there is something called Photoshop or a plastic surgeon and many of these women are at these offices more than we would like to think.

{{ Not to mention the followers are usually bought – I rant about it a bit here as well as my MO for building an insta following organically }}

{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }

What was the biggest difference, if any, between running your business in various countries (Asia / America/ any others)?

To be honest, the only difference is there is more competition in different regions.

For instance, in Asia, I was one of the few expat trainers so it was easier for me to reach a wider audience whereas now in Vegas there are more gyms and trainers to compete with.

My advice is to keep with your niche, stick to it.

Write blog posts dedicated to them and get out in the community, show people why you are the best and the you care.

As Gary Vee says customer service is everything!

Looking back, if you could do anything differently in building your brand, what would it be?

Having a CLEAR message and not being afraid to reach out.

I started my brand with 0 knowledge and I refused to learn, I thought the universe would just guide me to success and I could sit back with my pretty website and wait. I was SO wrong.

I wish I could go back to the my old self, shake her and say get yourself together girl you have to hustle!

I also have 1 million ideas at all times, I am a TRUE creative so I wish I would have stuck to ONE thing grew that seed then branched out. I did it all when I started and spread myself too thin. I now really focus on my blog, snapchat and connecting with my audience which has really helped me grow!

Currently, what is your favourite social media outlet? Any social media tips?

I LOVE snapchat { un: @CVBentleyFit } ! It is so REAL, so honest and RAW! Instagram is awesome but I feel like it has become so saturated with ads and photoshopping people are over it.

I really feel like Facebook is going to make a comeback and snapchat will start growing again. {{<<unrelated but I have a theory that MYSPACE will make a comeback somehow but more on that another day}}

I was into Periscope but I now feel like it is all business people trying to sell business to business or make you feel like they have the secret formula for growing a business from home.

With social media I really think it is about connecting with your audience.

Don’t worry so much about growth worry about the value you give people and keeping contact with your audience in a true authentic way.

{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }

How do you see the fitness industry evolving?

The fitness industry is constantly evolving, every year I check into IDEA which is like where all the trainers go to see what is up and coming in the industry and to learn.

I think a big problem that will need to be addressed is thyroid and hormonal imbalance issues which is what I specialize in.

I think so many people are eating too clean, working out way too much and will find that this is causing an imbalance in their bodies.

Many women do not have periods anymore and have become way too obsessed with each and every piece of food they eat.

I hope that things start to relax a bit and I hope the pressure of having abs poke out goes down and people start loving what and who they are.

How do you see social media and blogs evolving and how do you plan to evolve with it?

Social media and blogging is evolving SO quickly, it can be hard to keep up!

My plan is to stay true to me, stay true to my message and to stay authentic in my voice. I think in the next 5 years people are going to start seeing through the “blogger” image and want a bit more rawness. {{<< agree 100% – from one perfectionist to another, remember perfection is boring af}}

With SnapChat making waves, I see many bloggers losing momentum because people can now see who they are and what they are.

You can photoshop your life with photos but when you are pressured to be snapchatting everything the realness will rise.

I think video will be a big deal but to be honest… at the end of the day, nothing beats authenticity and value.

{{ PS – follow Courtney on SnapChat at @CVBentleyFit }}

{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The best piece of advice I have been given is to just do it. Literally!

From public speaking to creating my first blog post (which SUCKED by the way), I just did it! The first time you do something it will not be perfect, you will probably mess up BUT if you don’t know how to make it better because you have never done it then you have no starting line.

I have personally improved slowly but surely through the years because I just do things and then see how I can improve and make steps towards that.

Finally, advice for others who are looking to follow their dreams, but not sure how?

GO FOR IT! Send that email, make that video just DO IT!

The best thing you can do is to start RIGHT NOW!

If you want to be a fitness trainer, write it down and work backwards with small minimal steps that will take you to the bigger picture.

Last one, but you know how much I love music! Favourite song?! 😉

WOW that is a HARD ONE! Honestly..um, it would have to be Lola’s Theme by Shapeshifters just because it reminds me of a time when I lived in Cabo San Lucas and was on the beach drinking a Corona Light realizing that I had grown up but still knew how to have a good time and that just because you grow up does not mean you have to give up laughing your face off, rolling around in the sand and living life.

The song has nothing to do with that but the memory makes it one of my favorite songs!

Listen H E R E ::

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/theshapeshifters/the-shapeshifters-lolas-theme-2013-remix[/soundcloud]

{ Courtney Bentley // Champagne at Shannon's }

fleur16 Follow Courtney on Instagram // Facebook // Twitter // Youtube & check her blog out, Courtney Bentley!

 

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