Fitness blogger Chinae Alexander, also known as @getfitbrooklyn
, has amassed over 100,000 followers since starting her fitness journey at age 22. However, she says, she felt much more confident when she first started out as a fitness blogger and became increasingly insecure as she began to lose weight.
In an essay for Well + Good
, Alexander wrote that she started her fitness journey at 22 years old, "when I was 225 pounds and wearing a size 16."
"That was the most I ever weighed — and it’s also the most self-confident I ever was," she wrote. "I laugh because I used to look in the mirror and think, 'Damn girl, you’re so fly right now.'"
But after making a bet with a male friend, she says, Alexander began losing weight by maintaining a strict diet and following an intense fitness regime.
"Every day, my clothes got looser, the compliments about my looks became more frequent, and my pride grew," she wrote. But those compliments came with a catch: she also began to use people's compliments as a measuring stick for her worthiness.
"When I reached what I thought was my goal, I suddenly realised: I was the least confident I’d ever been," she wrote. "I was stuck in a cycle of cravings for affirmation, admiration, and progress. Rinse and repeat."
Alexander then resolved to get back to "that girl who looked in the mirror and saw a person, not progress." She realised, she wrote, it wasn't about what her body looked like or how much she weighed, but about changing her relationship with her body.
"I stopped obsessing over the number stitched on the tag of my pants," she wrote. "Or how I compared with everyone else, both on social media and in life. I put away the food scale. I let myself have that extra glass of wine...and here I am. Not my leanest or most athletic — but so damn joyful."
What's more, she wants others to know that no matter what you look like or what you weigh, what matters most is that you never forget your worth.
"Eat food that makes your body work at its best, but sometimes, you’re gonna need to go elbows-deep into the pizza," she wrote.