Why Wellness Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

Updated 03/27/19

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"I cry, like, 100 times a day," Chinae Alexander tells me—a surprising statement coming from someone who preaches positivity 24/7 on her wellness-focused social media platforms. But don't feel sorry for her—she's referring to tears of joy as a result of the abundance of uplifting feedback and kind comments from women following her journey. And it's certainly one to celebrate: Not too long ago, Alexander was smoking a pack a day and eating takeout on the regular. These days, not only is she the healthiest, strongest version of herself, but she's also an entrepreneur who encourages other women to find the lifestyle that's right for them.

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What started as a fitness bet with a friend ultimately turned into a nine-year health and wellness adventure. Alexander candidly explains that her first step was teaching herself how to weight-lift, which involved checking out a copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Body Building from her local library. (I mean, the guy does know a thing or two about building muscles.) She credits her hyper-disciplined—or as she calls it, "insane"—personality for sticking with her fitness and clean-eating regimens over the years.

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When I ask Alexander how she rewards herself for all her hard work inside and outside of the gym, she has this to say: "It's not about celebrating some single moment of success—it's more about the constant pursuit of yourself." But rest assured that she does treat herself regularly, whether it's her version of meditating—which involves a face mask and a glass of wine—or shopping for jewelry from the new Forevermark Tribute™ Collection.

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Her favorite pieces from the collection are the dainty stackable rings. "[Your hands] are a part of you that you see all day when you're creating, whether you're writing, typing, or working out," she explains. And Alexander's not reserving her favorite jewelry for special occasions—she's wearing it daily. "I want to use my fine china, I want to sit on any chair I damn well please, and I want to wear my nice things whenever I want to," she tells us.

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Not that the adventure has always been easy—Alexander admits that there were definitely times where she felt like she wasn't making any progress. This is when she learned to change her mindset: "Over time, I started to focus more on the learning and the fun I was having rather than being so results-driven," she shares. Now she picks one challenge every year to focus on. The challenge for 2017 was mastering SoulCycle (she's a regular at the spin studio), and for 2018, it was trying out hot yoga. (For the record, she once swore she'd never try it, but she's now a huge fan.)

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Alexander tells us that her best quality is her confidence: "It's all about knowing that you're going to fail and that it's okay and that you're equipped for something more." She also tells us she's proud to employ other women and help them achieve their own goals. "The fact that I can pay women to help me do the things I always dreamed of doing, and the fact that we can all profit off of something that hopefully makes the world a better place, is pretty fucking cool," Alexander says before we sign off. Pretty fucking cool indeed.

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