MISSBISH Flex Zone | How Chinae Alexander Changed Her Life Inside and Out
When it comes to the world of healthy living, Instagram inspiration is aplenty. But what we like best about fitness queen, event planner and adidas ambassador Chinae Alexander is her attitude towards life, her incredible hustle and the way she inspires people to be their best selves and to unleash their inner badass. We checked in with our Brooklyn-based bish to find out how she first adopted her healthy habits (losing 70 pounds in 2.5 years), her goal to get rid of the "Mean Girls" mentality one post at a time, and how an outer change always requires a change within.
What first got you interested in fitness?
I was never an athlete when I was young so it was a whole new world to discover. I went to the library and checked out Arnold Schwarzenegger's "The New Encyclopaedia of Modern Bodybuilding” and started teaching myself the mechanics of weight training. Imagine seeing this overweight girl checking out that book…the librarian was probably like 'What?' I wanted to lose weight and get healthy, but there was no way I was jumping on a treadmill. I had to find some passion and enjoyment in exercise to be able to commit to the lifestyle.
Can you tell us a little bit about your weight loss journey?
Honestly, I was never really aware that I was super overweight (I certainly was at 225lbs…hello rose-colored glasses) because I’ve always had lots of friends, an active social life, and a kickass family. I started the process because I wanted to challenge myself as an experiment because I’m determined AF when I commit to something. My lifestyle changed overnight because I DECIDED to be different. I spent two years laser-focused on eating mindfully and exercising. I didn’t step on a treadmill once, thank God! I dropped 70lbs and I continue to keep it off. I’m focused on becoming more toned and carving a more muscular body out of the one I have. Being strong and able to do awesome sh*t is the goal now.
In one of your Instagram posts, you make an interesting body observation - that you tend to nitpick certain parts of your body way more now than you did when you were heavier. We think this rings true for a lot of ladies. Why do you think this is so?
I think back then, my body wasn’t something I was tending to at all. Leading a healthy lifestyle is a lot of work! Worthy work, but still a process. You really do have to think more about your body and the way you’re progressing so I tend to be more critical now. I keep it in check though. You can’t be obsessed, otherwise, you become a very boring person whose life revolves around the carb count of your kale chips.
You post a lot of inspirational posts about loving yourself (this one really had us in our feelings!) Why is girl power and self-love so important to you?
The only way we can change externally is if the change starts from within. If you feel that confidence in your gut, you can do ANYTHING. I want women everywhere to know they are worthy of the hard work. That they are worthy of excellence. That they are badass and can actually shape culture. I intend to get rid of the "Mean Girls" mentality, one post at a time. Also, I’m a firm believer that it’s very hard to do things on your own, that community is vital to success, and what better support could you have than other women who are on the same path as you? Why go alone, when you can go together?
You partnered with Leila Jewelry for a super fly "Healthy AF necklace." Can you tell us about that?
Leila Jewelry reached out to make me a custom necklace…so I was like, let’s make some stuff together. So we created three pieces, “Healthy AF”, “THE BOSS”, and “Be Better” which is a recurring theme in my life.
We also know that you're a big makeup fan. Top three favorite beauty brands and why?
Wow, that’s hard to narrow down. I’d say right now Makeup Forever, Josie Maran, and Glossier!
OK so we have to ask... you whittle spoons on your front stoop?!
Ha! Don’t reveal my dorkiness too much! When I used to work at an office, I needed an outlet where I could turn my brain off and use my hands (that sounded kinda dirty btw). I still love whittling, I mostly make gifts for other people, I don’t actually think I own any of the pieces I’ve made.
“I want women everywhere to know they are worthy of the hard work. That they are worthy of excellence. That they are badass and can actually shape culture.”
What do you like best about living in Brooklyn?
I love that the world is happening just a few steps outside my door, I even appreciate the crazies to some degree. I love how people here are creative, working hard on their day job but they always have other projects going on at the same time. I’m all about that side hustle.
What's a typical day like for you?
Every day is pretty different which I really love. But I guess an example would be:
Wake up without an alarm, drink warm lemon water and pre-workout while checking social media and email.
20 minute walk to the gym with coffee.
Make breakfast and eat it in bed with music.
Get ready for the day.
Usually a mixture of meetings, hangouts, and working from coffee shops.
I try to have a balanced schedule of seeing friends, working late, and dates (half terrible and half amazing). Most of the time I try to cook dinner or try a new place if I’m going out. I do carve out some alone time during the week for personal projects, reading, and hobbies (like right now I’m trying to get better at running)…oh also, always a couple face masks a week. Duh!
Always a snack. Always.
Three of your favorite "cheat day" foods and why?
Who can resist pepperoni pizza and tacos? I’m not a dessert person, but if indulge, it’s a giant piece of chocolate cake with a glass of almond milk.
What are some of your goals for 2016?
2015 was such a wonderfully surprising year, so I have trouble even imagining what 2016 will bring. I try to live my life in the present. I visualize it by seeing myself living with open hands, allowing things/people/opportunities to come and go without too much need for control. As a seasoned control freak, this is a challenge but it’s been such a freeing way to live. My main goal is to wake up every single day and impact my surroundings in a positive way. Whether that’s through Instagram, or a speaking engagement, or simply talking to someone in the Whole Foods line. That’s the life I want to live.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
MISSBISH is about women owning their lives. We own our story, our weaknesses, our glory, our bodies, our hustle.
Photos by: PARISTORIBIO