Tahlia Coutinho is a professional Fitness enthusiast based out of London who aims to bring a difference to the world through her unique approach to Fitness. Though she was born and raised in London, Tahlia’s roots are Indian and she belongs to the quaint town of Mangalore as well as the refreshing beaches of Goa.
During Tahlia’s 9 years in India, she was keen on entering the industry through modelling and TV anchoring however her dreams later changed as she started investing more time into Fitness and Marketing. She left India in 2014 to pursue a Degree in Public Relations from the reputed University of Arts London. She began to work in the Digital Marketing zone for a Digital Commerce firm and was then offered numerous roles within the Marketing and PR industry. But like a true Entrepreneur, she took on multiple roles to chase her dreams that came with a beautiful underlying social cause as well, that a lot of women around the world would relate to.
It was only after a dark phase in her childhood that Tahlia started to get allured by Fitness and eventually turn it into a thriving career. Today, she is one of the most renowned fitness bloggers on Instagram and has even launched her own App for the world to seek fitness tips from. She had been wanting to launch an App with a myriad of exercises and workout plans for users to choose from, ever since she started blogging about her road to Health on social media. Impressively, Tahlia continues to hustle as she is currently doing a course in digital marketing as well as working full time as a Brand and Partnerships Manager for a Digital Marketing agency..
Tahlia is different from regular fitness bloggers and coaches. Her entrepreneurial streak combined with the compassion she has for people around her sets her apart from everyone else. She wants to make an impact on society by bringing a positive change to people’s lives through her fitness guidance and has always chosen happiness over success. The spark she brings to the table is clearly visible when she talks about the challenges people face while trying to work on their health – especially the ones faced by women.
Fitness isn’t everything that keeps Tahlia busy, she loves being a chef and whipping up delicious healthy meals for her friends and family as well as playing the guitar and piano in her free time, clearly a young woman of many talents!
This year was about change for Tahlia, and NYK Daily interviewed her about her journey. Here’s what she had to say to us.
1. What pushed you to become a fitness blogger?
It started when I was living in India. I saw women being made to fit into the mould of being skinny and they termed it as “fit”, but I never fit into it. I was also modeling in India but my agent told me I wasn’t the right ‘size’ for a shoot I really wanted and the repercussions are immense on a teenager when you hear something like that. I started exercising excessively, I wasn’t eating and was extremely skinny. Once I recovered from the bout, I started blogging about Health on Instagram because I wanted to encourage Indian women to look at fitness with a different perspective. I started posting a lot of content and workout videos. I still remember when I was studying at the University, I made a Fitness Guide in my room and tried to sell it to people. I loved the feeling when people bought it and were actively doing my workouts and that’s when I realised I wanted to do it on a bigger scale. Perhaps that’s how I discovered the budding Entrepreneur in me!
2. What was the hardest moment in your life and how did you overcome it?
When I was 15, I got into trouble at school. Unfortunately, at the same time I was also suffering from an eating disorder. At the time, I just didn’t see myself coming out of it and didn’t see a silver lining. I really wanted a fresh start so I changed schools, took some time off and felt better. I changed my approach to Health and Fitness, started focusing more on training both my mind and body simultaneously and felt so much better for it. It sounds crazy but my biggest fear at the time was that I had to eat 3 meals a day at home and I used to be so worried about it. I feel it’s really important to know and understand people’s struggles.
3. Tell us about the App you just launched
I wanted to create a huge fitness community where people felt safe and motivated. In order to create the community I wanted, I collaborated with an incredible team to build an App so that I could get my workout plans across the world. It’s on iOS and Android globally. I want to build a relationship with all my clients, they can see everything I do and the App is super easy to use. It launched on March 12th. It has a diverse range of my workout plans that are customised according to your body type, your routines and the training you enjoy. There are new workout plans every month and the best part is that the basic subscription is free. I’ve always believed that good health is a basic right that everyone deserves for free of cost so that it’s accessible to even those who cannot afford a fancy gym. Once you use the App, you’re training with me, I’m counting you, I’m telling you how many reps to do, I’m tracking your progress, I’m telling you when you can take a couple of rest days and more. To keep a user going, I even offer rewards on the App like supplements and fitness apparel.
4. What is one social cause that’s closest to your heart?
I am very passionate about mental health. As a blogger, I see the impact social media has on the mental health of teenagers and adults alike. People think it’s a picture-perfect life but I’m very transparent about my story and my life. Social media also comes with the bane of people creating issues like fake accounts and rude comments. But I always try to speak honestly on my page and believe it’s important to talk about your feelings. If someone with a platform like mine has the confidence to talk about the bad and not just the good, it allows people to relate. Even when I talk about it on my Instagram stories, people reply saying they’re going through the same thing and then thank me for sharing something which is often considered a social stigma. For me it’s always been about building a community and not just posting perfect pictures with a toned body.
5. What are some of your favourite fitness tips or some fitness myths you’d like to bust?
- Myth 1: “Weights will make you bulky”.
Women stay away from weights thinking it would make them bulky but that’s not true. Weights build muscle and tone the body, you’re not going to end up looking like The Rock if you pick up a dumbbell. I don’t support this myth in any way.
- Myth 2: “You can’t grow muscle if you’re a Vegan”.
There are numerous incredible vegan proteins and lentils available today that provide the right diet for building muscle.
- Tip 1: Don’t starve or avoid carbs – they’re your best friend if you want to build muscle and they provide the required energy.
- Tip 2: Don’t hate food, just eat the right kind of food and don’t fear it.
I love cooking but I get replies on my stories accusing me of not eating what I make and just posting it but that’s not true. I want to set an example for people that I can eat nutritious yummy food and still live a fit and healthy life. I do a lot of Brand Collabs with the Hospitality Industry and post promotional content like Burgers etc. Thankfully people know me better now, they trust me and see my genuineness.
6. Do you feel people have started to take their health more seriously after COVID-19?
In a way people have realised the positive impact of exercising on mental health. When I’m feeling down I automatically feel better after exercising. During COVID-19, a lot of people had no choice but to workout while being couped up at home. I have seen a transformation in several individuals during the Pandemic who take fitness a lot more seriously now.
7. How does physical health affect mental health, and what are your suggestions to people who are currently in Depression due to being Overweight?
You have to start somewhere, there are so many free resources available on Youtube and the Internet – just put on a 30 minute video and start. Once you see the positive changes, it’ll become a part of your routine and not something you have to force yourself to do. That change has to start from you, you have to decide when you want to make that change. If you start working out for a couple of weeks, the progress you see acts as motivation. I was always sporty as a kid but when I went to the gym for the first time, I just felt so happy after coming out of there. I wanted to keep feeding that feeling and that’s why I’m into fitness today and am motivated to workout every single day.
8. Is genetics an excuse or a legitimate reason for bad health? How can it be tackled?
People think an Instagram blogger’s body is achievable but it might not be. We are all born genetically different. It’s not about looking a certain way it’s about feeling a certain way. Looking a certain way comes as an added benefit for me. My advice is to never look up someone on the internet and aspire to look like them because it’ll just be a downhill experience and you will struggle with your mental health. Genetics plays a role in some cases but there are ways to find sports and workout routines you enjoy. If you can’t lift weights, you can swim. Find what works for you. Everyone has their individuality that comes with what works for them, so there’s always a way to tackle things. Even in exercise, if the gym isn’t your thing it’s perfectly alright. Don’t feel pressured because your friends and people on social media are gymming. Today, there are many ways to have fun while incorporating fitness into your routine.
Tahlia’s journey as a businesswoman in the fitness industry is truly inspiring along with being informative. From having an eating disorder to eating every kind of food today, she has truly come a long way whilst uplifting women who share similar stories. Most importantly, she understands how to nurture her fitness clientele with compassion while guiding them on how to achieve the best physical and mental health.
Workout with Tahlia through her Fitness App!