Louise Cooney: 'I’m really comfortable in my skin'

The Shape I'm In: 'Before the pandemic, I would have said that New York was my favourite place in the world but after living there, I'm not so sure'
Louise Cooney: 'I’m really comfortable in my skin'

Louise Cooney returned home to her native Limerick from New York when the pandemic hit. Now she's building her brand in Dublin.

It’s safe to say that Louise Cooney has comfortably settled back into living in Ireland since returning home from New York last year. The successful blogger and fashionista first moved stateside as a graduate student with Tourism Ireland, later leaving her job to focus on her website full time in 2017.

Since the pandemic hit, her 213,000 Instagram followers have been keeping up with her return to her native Limerick, as well as a move to a new apartment in Dublin earlier this year. As restrictions ease, she’s also been finding herself with a lot more to post online.

"It's flat out but it's great to be busy," the 28-year-old says. "Even today I've been going from place to place for work and I keep thinking how amazing it is to be able to do this again.” 

Cooney is “naturally very active” and often chats about fitness with her followers. However, deprivation is not on her agenda.

“I enjoy exercising, it's a stress reliever for me, but I also love food and wine and I have a big appetite. I'm definitely not one to deprive myself. I just try to get the balance right. It was hard in lockdown. Some months were better than others,” she says.

“As a woman, some days I can feel amazing and the next day I can feel so bloated, which might not be anything to do with my diet, it could just be hormones. As I've got older I've learned to stop beating myself up about that because there's actually very little you can do to control it.” 

  • Louise Cooney is an ambassador for Cleanmarine.

'I used to pray every night growing up but now I'd be more spiritual than religious.' Picture: Sean Curtin.
'I used to pray every night growing up but now I'd be more spiritual than religious.' Picture: Sean Curtin.

What shape are you in?

I would say that I'm happy and healthy. I'm really comfortable in my skin at the moment and I think that's a big part of feeling good about myself.

What are your healthiest eating habits?

Probably my Monday-to-Thursday routine. I'll have my three meals and I usually won't get takeaways. My meals will include protein, fruit, vegetables, and carbs. I've been brought up with a good routine that's helped me. I also take vitamins every day.

What are your guiltiest pleasures?

I think you should be able to enjoy everything that you want in moderation but I do love trashy television. Just switching off my brain and worrying about somebody else's far-off drama.

What would keep you awake at night?

I'm normally asleep as soon as I hit the pillow but a good book might keep me up if I really get stuck into it.

How do you relax?

I need a good belly laugh about something silly to really refresh. Hanging out with my boyfriend, my friends, my family;/, that's the most relaxing thing.

Who are your sporting heroes?

Honestly, anyone who can run 5km in under 25 minutes is my hero. 

What’s your favourite smell?

Fresh bread and the smell of those small shops you find on holidays in France or Spain. Sometimes you get it here in a Spar when the Cuisine de France bread comes out of the oven but it's not the same.

When is the last time you cried?

Probably last week. It's better out than in.

What traits do you least like in others?

Arrogance.

What traits do you least like about yourself?

Impatience. It's genetic in my family.

Do you pray?

I used to pray every night growing up but now I'd be more spiritual than religious. We went to Mass every Sunday until I was 18. I was involved in the orchestra and the choir and there was a stage where I was writing my own prayers. Now I write down three things I'm grateful for every day. It reminds me to count my blessings and not take anything for granted.

What would cheer up your day?

Sunny weather.

What quote inspires you most and why?

'Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.' It makes me want to give everything I do my best shot. Seven years ago it was my blog and today it's the brand that I'm working on.

Where is your favourite place in the world?

Before the pandemic, it would have been New York but after living there, I'm not so sure I would say it's my favourite place. Over the last year, I've discovered that there are other things I enjoy about places. I spent two weeks in Doolin recently and I loved it - the rolling hills and the people. Ireland is the best place in the world when it's sunny.

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