Courtney Black: 'There's more to life than a flat stomach'

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'There's more to life than a flat stomach'

Courtney Black shares her fitness journey from suffering with an eating disorder in her teens, to recovery and becoming one of the most-well known fitness influencers.

Since the first Covid-19 lockdown, Courtney has shared fitness and workout videos on her app and YouTube, as well as gaining a following of over 844,000 on Instagram thanks to her inspirational, healthy content. Speaking to WH, Courtney Black gets real about her journey, sharing tips, advice and her all-time favourite way of working out.

Courtney began her love of fitness through dancing as a teen, attending classes and competing as a Latin dancer. However, she blames the dance industry’s attitudes to weight for contributing to her eating disorder.

‘In the dance industry everyone is so critical of their bodies, everyone’s trying to be as skinny as possible,’ she says. ‘I remember everyone saying “the lighter that you are, the faster that you’re going to be on the dancefloor, the quicker your spins will be”’.

Forced to squeeze into tight, child-sized costumes as a growing teen, Courtney dramatically cut food from her diet so she wouldn’t gain weight, building up a reputation at school for barely eating.

‘Everyone else would eat their pasta pots and I would come in every day with my container and it was literally just salad leaves, a little bit of cheese, and some ham,’ says Courtney.

She focused on eating a very low carb, low fat, and high protein diet for years which left her suffering with dizzy spells. After years of missing out on family dinners, making memories, and being overly critical of herself, Courtney went through recovery to help her deal with her eating disorder.

‘There is so much more to life than training. There’s so much more to life than having a flat stomach.’

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Courtney describes one of the keys to her happiness as having variety in her training routine: from running, to pilates, to high intensity interval training which she records for her app. Out of her entire routine, it is home workouts which land at the top of the list.

‘My all-time favourite way to get my body moving is home workouts,’ she reveals. ‘I feel like sometimes gyms can be such intimidating places but when you’re in your house, you’ve got the music blaring and you’re doing something you enjoy and you’re having fun with it – it is the best and it is my all-time favourite way of training.’

While she doesn’t consider herself a real mindfulness fanatic, Courtney lists getting fresh air and cooking as the most important things to help her relax and destress, with taking time out of her day to cook a nutritious meal a top priority.

‘[Cooking is] the most nourishing thing I can do for my soul and my mind because I completely switch off while I’m doing it.’

Thankfully, she shares loads of her recipes over on her Instagram and we’re obsessed - we need this kind of food inspo in our lives!

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