Courtney Standridge, 30, from Fort Mill, South Carolina, is a mum-of-three and bodybuilder who wants to encourage mums to love the skin they’re in.The personal trainer, however, hasn’t always been into fitness, only joining a gym in 2012.
Courtney has told how she fell in love with exercise after replacing sm-oking with fitness to help with stre-ss and an-xiety in 2012.
Two years later Courtney and her now husband Kyle, 32, began trying for a baby, but were hit with difficulties after she was dia-gnosed with hyp-othyroid PCOS and told she might not be able to conc-eive.Despite this, in June 2016 Courtney fell pregnant with her twins, Mason and Sedona, 3, and says exercise, the right nutrition and prayer made it happen.
And in February 2018, Courtney welcomed the couple’s third child Elijah, 1, and says she loves and respects her body more than ever.Determined to keep her fitness levels up after having her babies, Courtney planned to take part in bodybuilding after giving birth to the twins.
She said: “I remember about halfway through my pregnancy, my mum asked me if I was upset about losing my fit body, she had twins and sw-ore it was the reason she never got her body back.
“I told her and the rest of my family that I planned to compete in bodybuilding after having my babies and they all laughed in my face, pretty uncontrollably actually.
“I was livid, but so determined to show them I could.”And true to her word and just nine months after welcoming twins, Courtney competed in a bik-ini division and was placed sixth.
Getting up on the stage showed the mum-of-three she was capable of anything and 16 months after giving birth to her third child she competed again, placing third and fourth.
Courtney is proud of her body for bringing her three beautiful children into the world and says she is the most phy-sically and me-ntally strong she has been in her life.
And despite her muscular phys-ique, Courtney has loose skin on her tummy which she is proud of and she embraces when up on stage.
Courtney said: “I love and respect my body now more than ever. I’ve never been as strong, both men-tally and phys-ically as I am now after having three babies.
“I have loose skin, but that doesn’t take away from any of my accomplishments. I went on stage with that same loose skin and walked away with hardware.”I do have moments of self-doubt, but I snap myself out of it because I’m so blessed to have my babies and I’m not going to let skin and sca-rs shake my vibe.”
She added: “I received so much love from friends and strangers letting me know how much I inspired them to get healthy, which is all I’ve ever wanted.
“If I can help someone turn their life around, it will ri-pple and aff-ect many more.”
Courtney’s training is inte-nse, and when prepping for a competition she has to cut out sugar, sweets, soda, restaurant meals and alc-ohol.
As well as exercising most days of the week.
Courtney said: “Bodybuilding is a whole other animal in the fitness world.”It takes over your life and you just have to be prepared to defe-nd yourself because the general population doesn’t understand why we put ourselves through this.
“Off season is great because you can build, eat with more variety, lift heavy and still attend social events without being labelled or judged.
“After my third baby, I went ahead and built my phys-ique up for about six months, then randomly decided to compete again.
“I picked a show that was 20 weeks out to allow me time to do things as slowly and healthily as possible.”
Keen to show others that they can lead a healthy lifestyle as a busy parent, Courtney offered some advice.
She said: “I want to show women it is possible and that it can be done no matter what one’s circumstances may be.”Working out at home, during lunch, during nap time, or just making better choices about what we put into our bodies. We are the most important person in our children’s lives and they deserve healthy mums.
“Start slow, don’t feel gui-lty, and hire a trainer. Just because you were a varsity athlete in high school doesn’t mean you can jump back in the game and hit 20 burpees.
“Your body just did an amazing thing, it made a human that you brought into the world.
“Ease back into your routine to avoid inj-ury, which leads me to getting a trainer. A good trainer is an investment to your health and wellbeing.
“If you want to get back in shape, build your programme with a pro who will guide you and help you avoid inj-ury. Lastly, don’t feel bad about it.”Like I mentioned, you’re the most important person in your child’s life.
“They want you to be healthy and happy. Take 30-60 minutes a day to do something for yourself so you can be your best self.”
This Article First Published On dailystar