Courtney Lillich – IFBB Bikini Competitor

Diabetic Muscle & Fitness > Interviews > Courtney Lillich – IFBB Bikini Competitor

Courtney Lillich – IFBB Bikini Competitor



Q. Where do you live?

Camarillo, Southern California

Q. Tell us about yourself? 

I was diagnosed with T1D at 3 years old. I’m currently using a pump and always consider myself a work in progress to better my A1C levels.

I’m a Dr. of physical therapy and athletic trainer for athletes. I have been active my entire life, played basketball in college and worked out religiously since high school. I love to challenge myself regularly. I fell in love with bodybuilding and have been competing in the bikini division for the past couple years.

Q. How long have you had diabetes for?

31 yrs. I have a twin sister that does not have diabetes.

Q. Pens or Pump? Any preference? 

I used syringes until about ten years ago then switched to pump when my A1C was at 12%.

If my A1C were better, I’d prefer to use a pen since it isn’t attached to me.

Q. How often do you check your blood glucose?

During my competition training, I feel like I test about a million times a day. It varies anywhere from 8-10x/day since my bodybuilding training makes it more challenging to stay level. 

Q. Recent A1C?


Q. Tell us about your bodybuilding and fitness lifestyle?

I can never stay still for long, so I always find activities such as Spartan Obstacle mud runs, boxing or general working out to keep me busy.

My boxing and HIIT classes are excellent because I’m always challenged and never bored, plus who doesn’t like to take out frustrations on a bag?

I fell in love with bodybuilding and have been competing with my coaches for Team Edge in the bikini division for the past couple years. I’m currently in prep for a June competition. 

I’m training anywhere from 3-4+ hours a day during training season.  Many think I’m crazy, but all the activities I participate in require hard work, dedication and patience.

Q. Can you give an example of your daily diet plan? 

I eat 6x/day right now with protein, carbs, veggies and some fats in every meal.

I cook all my food which consists of egg whites, chicken, fish, rice, rice cakes, peanut butter, almonds and lots of veggies.

Every morning I eat what is called “Hulk pancakes” made of egg whites, spinach, oats, phytoform veggie powder and cinnamon. It tastes just like a pancake, I love them!

People often ask me about them and, of course, I’m more than happy to explain to them why I look forward to these green pancakes everyday 🙂 

Q. What aspect of diabetes holds you back the most?

The swings with hyper/hypoglycemia sometimes before, during or after my workouts. Not only does my body not absorb and gain things as efficiently as a non-diabetic, but during hypoglycemia, I need to eat extra calories which aren’t part of my meal plan.

Q. Top 3 Tips for managing your diabetes? 

1. Constantly check your blood sugar levels, do not assume anything based on how you feel.

2. Recognise your body’s patterns or tendencies with blood sugar levels during different activities. Your levels will not react the same to every situation.

3. Try not to get defeated with hyper/hypoglycemic episodes as a bodybuilder. Take care of it accordingly and continue with the training, and if you have a coach, make sure to communicate with them about what is working or not working in regards to diabetes.

Luckily I have a great coach who is always asking how the diabetes is reacting to any changes he makes in my plans.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you could give someone who has just been diagnosed with diabetes?

Don’t let this disease ruin your life, but respect it, learn as much about diabetes as possible and keep making adjustments and monitoring.

As a physical therapist, I see many patients who have failed to manage their diabetes. The complications are not nice.

In fact, these cases are a humbling and eye-opening thing for me to see, as a diabetic myself. 

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@teamedge1 (Coach Ingrid Romero/Joe Discuillo

Boxing Studio: @the_fit_journey_studio

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