UNDER THE INFLUENCE
With the explosion of the wellness world comes an influx of influencers - and these are the next big names on the scene, You heard it here first...
Meet the women set to be all over your Insta feed very soon
With an infectious say-it-how-it-is balanced attitude to body shape, Chinae Alexander is the fitness buddy everyone wants on speed dial. Cheese plate and a glass of Malbec? Hell, yes. Perfecting her kettlebell deadlift and then some the next morning? Bring it. For this New Yorker, life is about going after – and getting – exactly what you want. First donning sweat-wicking gear to get active in 2009 to support a friend who was following a new healthy regime, Chinae’s first foray into fitness led to an unintentional slimdown – she dropped 70lbs. But while for many, losing weight equals greater confidence, for Chinae, it proved the opposite. ‘I became more conscious of what I looked like and felt enormous pressure to keep losing weight. If I missed a workout, my week was destroyed.’ So how do you come back from that? Chinae’s secret: self-love – and pizza. She eased up on her diet plan, ditched the scales and found balance. And although now Chinae averages six sessions a week – a mix of weights and Soulcycle – if it’s fewer, she doesn’t worry. ‘On one hand, we’re told to love ourselves as we are; on the other, to better ourselves. It’s about learning to do both. I’ve probably gained back 10-15lbs but I’m more positive about my body than I’ve ever been.’ Her social media success was a happy accident. Chinae set up her original @getfitbrooklyn Instagram account a couple of years ago to have something to talk about at a job interview for Classpass – and it turned out people related to her workout bloopers. ‘Women worry about how they’re viewed by other women. I wanted to be this voice that said, “You’re safe here. You’re loved.” I want to get up every day and help people feel like they’re a part of something.’ Until January, Chinae juggled Instagram with the events-planning company she set up in 2015. But with hundreds of comments and emails flooding in every day and her new role as an Adidas ambassador, the day job had to give. ‘I try to give back to everyone who gets in touch with me,’ she says. ‘Sharing is an opportunity to gain confidence in ourselves and realise we’re more than just a body.’