As I type, I can’t help but feel this could be likened to one of those X-Factor sob stories from the early noughties…
Following a series of life-changing events in a very short space of time, I was left feeling lost and alone in the world. I quit my high-pressure marketing job after a year of being bullied by my boss, I was coerced into bankruptcy by my husband who then left me for his best friend within 3 months, leaving me without a home, a bank account or a means to earn.
After a period of what felt like an emotional and physical breakdown, I began to rebuild my life with the support of my amazing family and friends, plus help from clients and business champions who helped me to realise my worth. With everything I had been through, all I could focus on was reinventing myself and leaving behind the last 6 years. I set to work on building a successful design and web development business, working on my mental health and completely overhauling how I looked from my hair to my body! The only issue was, no matter how hard I tried, how far I ran or how many salads I ate, the weight was not coming off... in fact, it was piling on!
After months of wallowing in self-pity, a visit from my oldest and dearest friend sparked my journey to recovery and a visit to my GP. Diagnosis: clinical depression.
I made a conscious decision to not let the chemical imbalances in my brain and body dictate how I ‘wanted’ to feel about myself. I signed up with a female fitness coach in Liverpool and trained 3 times a week in a purpose-built women’s gym. I learned to lift, I met great people and I felt happy, confident and stronger, but what I didn’t feel was ‘comfortable’.
The clothes I trained in were either too restrictive or too baggy and exposing. Activewear for my size just didn’t ‘fit’ – not only am I plus-size, but I am also short too! My options were oversized sacks to cover my large top half and hide my wobbly bits with ill-fitting leggings or crop tops and high-waisted leggings that looked good only if you stood still. I often felt the need to wear a vest under my sack-style t-shirt, but this meant I was training in 3 layers, two restrictive and one overlayer. I was hot, uncomfortable and self-conscious.
A lot of the options available to me then and even now are merely ‘sized-up’ versions of garments designed for women without bellies, boobs, bulges, muffin tops and curves. These garments are great if you are body-positive and super confident, but I am not in that camp, however much I would love to be.
I just kept thinking, “there must be something out there that looks good, makes you feel good and performs under pressure” ... But I couldn’t find a garment that did all three. What if I could create a range designed specifically for women like me?...
Well Fit was birthed from a need for something better, for me and the amazing women I have met whilst training. Designed by a larger-than-average woman for women who want activewear that performs and makes you look AND feel great.
I launched Well Fit in January 2023 after nearly 5 years of development (and delays), and in the first week, gained a celebrity fan, Alison Hammond, who has been a terrific support from day one.
Thanks to everyone who has supported me in launching Well Fit. I’m excited to be building a brand that is good for the customer and good for the planet.
The Well Fit design process led me to work with an incredible team of highly skilled and talented women. I surrounded myself with empowered women on purpose! Find out more about their businesses here:
Lily Rice – Sportswear Designer
Eloise Atwell – Sampling
Amy Fettis and Team at Studio 54 Jesmond – Production
Stevie B - Stylist to the stars!