I’d met Charli during my time at Women’s Health as the Beauty & Health Editor. The health market is saturated with samey people – but I loved Charli’s high-fashion take on sportswear and her style! Here’s her story…
1. What made you get into fitness initially?
“I became fascinated by fitness and nutrition whilst recovering from anorexia. Obviously the illness itself created an obsession with fitness, but that was based more on faddy misinformation than any real science. During my recovery, I went about properly educating myself about health and fitness, and I fell in love with weight lifting, which ended up being fundamental to regaining my health.”
2. How has your relationship with your body changed in that time?
“I’ve still got a long way to go with the body confidence stuff. But fitness has helped me so much in that it gave me real control over my body and physically I knew how to achieve the results I wanted. But recently, I suffered with adrenal fatigue and that took away that control again by negatively affecting my hormones, metabolism and general health – that has set me back a long way both physically and mentally. But once again, fitness and nutrition has been key to my recovery – I’ve just had to learn a new set of rules this time.”
3.What made you want to design fitness gear?
“Fashion and fitness were originally totally separate interests to me. I qualified as a PT to run an online fitness consultancy alongside my fashion degree, however, towards the end of my first year a Uni, I had a bit of a breakthrough moment and realised that activewear would be the perfect consolidation of my skill and interests. I find it so much more exciting to design than regular clothes – it’s the way that you’re challenged to create something truly functional as well as something that looks awesome. I think the fashion and fitness worlds are becoming increasingly integrated, both in clothes (sportluxe is everywhere as a trend) but also in the lifestyle. It’s now almost as common in fashion circles to meet for a workout class as it is to go out for drinks in the evening – especially in places like London and New York.”
4. I’m guessing as a trained PT you work out a bit 😉 So what are your post-workout beauty tips?
“Dry shampoo is everything! I like the Batiste range as it’s super affordable. Waterproof mascara gets me from workout to work with minimal effort and for speed I like an all-on-one base too. My current favourite is Bare Minerals Prime Time, which I use by itself as a foundation. I’m also a Bleach London fan when it comes to my hair colour.”
5. Above all, what are your top tips for women wanting to get into fitness, who might be a bit intimidated by all the super-fit people in the gym?
“The best way to ease into the gym environment is to hire a great personal trainer. Having someone there to show you the ropes, chat to and keep you focused (and engaged so you’re not looking around to see who is looking at you) can make all the difference to your confidence. All you need is a couple of sessions to get you on track with your programme, to give you some confidence and then a catch up every 4-6 weeks to assess how you’re feeling and update your routine. And remember – no one in the gym is looking at you, I promise! Everyone is far too in the zone with their own workout. The gym isn’t just for the fitness elite – everyone is at different stages of fitness and progression towards their goals. There’s always a large percentage of beginners at the gym, and we’re all there for the same reason!”
Follow Charli on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as @charlicohen and check out her awesome fash-meets-gym wear here or at charli-cohen.com