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...

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Meet the women set to be all over your In­sta feed very soon

CHINAE ALEXAN­DER

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.’

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