Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Courtney Tucker. I am a 29-year-old Midwestern girl, born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I graduated from Mizzou with a Masters of Education in 2012, and after teaching elementary school for 5 years, I set out to pursue my passion in the health and fitness industry.
I became a NASM Certified Personal Training in 2015, and started working as a personal trainer. After going fulltime as the fitness manager in 2016, I quickly became discouraged by the lack of progress my clients were making. No matter how hard they worked during our hour together, I realized there were many other factors hindering their ability to make progress. I wasn’t just interested in helping someone squat correctly. I wanted to help people truly transform their lives.
Just one year later, I decided to take my business online and founded EMPOWER U in August of 2017. My mission is to educate and empower women to live a healthy, sustainable lifestyle through fitness, nutrition, and mindset. I help my clients find freedom by overcoming food anxieties, rebuilding their metabolism, and creating a body and a life they most desire.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the most what fitness does for the body, both physically and mentally. It’s incredible to see yourself getting stronger and being able to do more today than you did yesterday. That’s so empowering! But I also love the way fitness makes you feel. When you’re physically active, you have more energy, your mood is better, and it even improves your sleep. It’s amazing how a small investment of time can so drastically impact every other aspect of your day.
How long have you been into fitness?
I have always been very active, but I really got into fitness myself in 2008. I started pursuing a career in fitness in 2013, and made it my full-time career in 2016.
How did you get into fitness?
I really got into fitness my sophomore year of college, after putting on some extra weight. This was the first time in my life that I felt extremely self-conscious in my body. Not only was I unhappy with how I looked, but I didn’t feel my best either. I lacked energy; my skin was breaking out; and if you’ve ever felt uncomfortable about your body, then you know it’s challenging to be your best self. I became more distant in my relationships, and when I realized it was impacting every area of my life, I knew I had to make a change. That’s when I turned to fitness.
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
In my fitness journey I’ve had many ups and downs. Like many people, I spent years trying different diets, jumping from one program to the next, fearing food, restricting calories, and driving myself into the ground with exercise. All of this to only become discouraged and even more unhappy. But I learned a LOT along the way.
Since then, I’ve learned how to achieve and maintain a body I love. I’ve learned how to eat and train in a way that makes me feel amazing. And I’ve learned how to live an all-around healthy lifestyle, without major restriction and without missing out on life! Most importantly, I’ve discovered what BALANCE means for me. Now, I get to coach others who are struggling to achieve the body they desire and show them there’s a better way!
How has fitness impacted your life?
Fitness has impacted my life both personally and professionally in a major way. When I started my fitness journey, my only goal was to weigh less. I went from being unhappy and unhealthy at 127 pounds to being unhappy and unhealthy at 92 pounds. That’s when I learned that the number on the scale wasn’t the answer. After that realization, my goals changed. My goals became about health, strength, confidence, happiness, and sustainability. Focusing on these things has forever changed my body, my health, and my life.
These continue to be my goals for my future. But now my goals expand far beyond just myself. I want to help hundreds and thousands of other women experience what I experience every day. FREEDOM. Freedom to eat foods you love without the guilt. Freedom to nourish your body in a way that sets you up for a long, healthy, energetic life. Freedom to work out because you want to, not because you think you have to. Freedom to wear a bikini and have no shame. Freedom to love yourself, inside and out.
What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
If you are looking to start your fitness journey, I have 3 important pieces of advice for you:
First, go into it knowing that it’s a process, and there is no end destination. You don’t exercise for 3 months and then you’re set for life. I encourage you to start small. Focus on making gradual changes that will compound into significant results overtime. The greatest mistake I see people make is they want results NOW, so they buy into the quick-fix diets, and it’s just a matter of time before they’re either back where they started or even worse off. There’s no magic pill. There are no secret fat-burning tools. It just consistent effort to make better, healthier choices each and every day.
My second piece of advice is to get outside accountability. This is especially important when you’re getting started and trying to build momentum. This could be a coach, a trainer, or a friend. But keep in mind, this must be someone who will truly hold you accountable for doing what you say you’re going to do!
Lastly, my final piece of advice, and probably the most important, is to just START. Not on January 1. Not on Monday. Not tomorrow. Start NOW. There will ALWAYS be excuses and reasons to push it off longer, and I see this hold people back for months and even years! Then they look back and say, “I wish I would have started sooner.” Stop overthinking it and waiting for the perfect time. Just get started.