Body Love Blueprint isn’t your typical exercise programme.
Firstly, there are no scales. Secondly, there’s wine. “We’re about much more than fitness,” says owner and founder Courtney Durr. “Our boot camps involve working out twice a week, but they also involve going out on weekends for bike rides, walks, brunch or coffee… even a wine or three! We’re all about balance: mentally, physically and socially.”
On the origins of Body Love
The business began when Courtney worked as a personal trainer at Les Mills in Wellington. “All I wanted was for my clients to be healthy, happy and proud of their progress. Instead, I watched so many of them feel disappointed, talk negatively about themselves, and quit if they weren’t losing any weight,” she says.
When she realised that she, too, was part of the problem – constantly comparing herself to other women and resenting them for what they had and how they looked – she recalibrated her attitude. Losing weight ceased to be a priority; her new goal was to fuel her body so it could achieve amazing things. She completed a half Iron Man, and shortly afterwards Body Love Blueprint was born.
On what Body Love offers
What began as a 10-week boot camp has evolved into Body Love New Zealand, which offers three-day retreats centred around growth, adventure and connection. “We run workshops to educate girls on self-confidence, living in possibility, and overcoming adversity.”
“We move through activities like yoga, quad biking and hiking. And we build relationships with and between women, by facilitating fun experiences that encourage vulnerability, and by fostering ongoing communication after the retreats are over,” says Courtney.
On Body Love’s ethos and goals
The holistic ethos behind the Body Love movement means you don’t have to be a gym bunny to benefit. Nor is it a ‘one size fits all’ programme. Courtney’s clients come in all shapes and sizes, with different fitness backgrounds and different concerns, both inside and out.
And although Courtney and her business partner, Abbey Palmer, don’t pretend to have all the answers, they’re committed to catering to everyone’s needs. “We are there to support, encourage and never judge,” says Courtney. “We have close connections with all of our clients, so we understand that some girls need a push, while others just need kind words and encouragement.”
Courtney and Abbey are working on expanding the reach of the Body Love programme so that women around the country and around the globe can get involved. In the meantime, Body Love’s Instagram and Facebook accounts act as a hub where members of the community can connect in a positive online environment.
Learning how to harness the empowering rather than the destructive potential of social media has been crucial for Courtney, who strives to keep it real on both her business and personal accounts. This means sharing the bad with the good, including admitting to her followers when she’s struggling with her body image or lacking the motivation to work out.
Courtney’s life motto
“Life is not about getting it right 100% of the time,” she says, adding that she wishes she had learnt to embrace failure, judgment and criticism earlier, “because you never know who you’re inspiring.”
As for words to live by, Courtney thinks the hashtag #actionoverperfection sums it up. And her advice for any woman questioning her path in life? “Take a risk, because either you win or you learn,” she says. “You’ve got one life and you’re going to spend it feeling comfortable? Hell, no! Go for it, girl!”
Words: Phoebe Watt
Photography: Frances Benson-Cooper, Shannon Tulloch
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