Cosmopolitan (UK)

“My relationsh­ip with my body is always improving”

NELLY

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Nelly London went viral in 2020 after posting an image of herself in gym leggings, showing off her tummy rolls

When she opened Instagram to see Gymshark had reposted the picture, she took a deep breath. She’d posted it to show that fitness can look like lots of different body shapes, but with Gymshark having over four million followers, feedback began to flood in. “I got an influx of messages about my body. People said, ‘You’re unhealthy, your arteries are clogged,’ or, ‘That’s not normal, you should see a surgeon,’” she says. “Even though I know it’s not true, it was hard to read. But I also had so many great comments and it’s good to see gym brands starting to include everyone.” Now a body-confidence influencer, Nelly is keen to promote exercise for enjoyment, not punishment. “I only do things I enjoy – hikes, long walks, weight training and circuit training. I’ve always been active, but if I don’t feel like doing something, I won’t. Exercise should be fun for you to benefit from [it].” This rings especially true for Nelly who struggled with disordered eating in her teens. “For 10 years I was completely controlled by these disorders, until I got profession­al help at 20,” she explains. “At school all I wanted to be was thin. These days my relationsh­ip with my body is always improving and it’s better every year.”

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