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Natasha Oakley, 32, who runs a $63million empire claims she has debilitating ‘long Covid’

An Aussie entrepreneur has shared a heartbreaking post about her struggle with ‘long Covid’ symptoms months after she was diagnosed with the virus, and how it’s affecting her $63million empire.

Natasha Oakley, who grew up in Sydney, Australia, but now calls Los Angeles home, took to Instagram on Monday to confess her lifestyle of glamorous yacht parties, Pilates workouts and photoshoots is only ‘a representation of one side of my life right now’.

Behind the scenes the 32-year-old CEO of Monday Swimwear, The Pilates Class and Emma Pills has been battling a serious case of long Covid, which was made all the worse when she received her booster shot two weeks ago. 

‘I have been going through something quite personal that I haven’t wanted to share until now. Earlier in the year I got quite a bad case of Covid, I was physically down for weeks, hardly able to work or even get up at times,’ she told her 2.8million fans.

Natasha Oakley, who grew up in Sydney, Australia, but now calls Los Angeles home, took to Instagram on Monday to confess her lifestyle of glamorous yacht parties, Pilates workouts and photoshoots is only ‘a representation of one side of my life right now’

Natasha's mild improvements were dashed two weeks ago when she received her booster shot, for reasons she cannot explain

Natasha’s mild improvements were dashed two weeks ago when she received her booster shot, for reasons she cannot explain

‘After two weeks I was able to start to walk around or do activities for a few hours but was so fatigued I would need to immediately come home and rest. 

‘The symptoms lasted for months, they included extreme tension headaches all day and night from when I woke up to when I went to bed, fatigue, extreme dizziness, joint and muscle pain and mild brain fog.

‘It really has been debilitating at times and I had a lot of anxiety and depression. I took it easy, ate healthily, did gentle Pilates, walking and stretching and slowly after four months started to see improvements.’

Long Covid, as it has been dubbed, is when individuals previously infected with the virus suffer ongoing symptoms longer than 12 weeks. 

Some studies have shown as many as a third of all those infected with Covid suffer long-term symptoms, including brain fog, anxiety, fatigue and abnormal breathing.

'Two weeks ago I got my booster shot and the next day I was taken back four months in terms of my symptoms which are now much worse again and have been for two weeks,' she said

‘Two weeks ago I got my booster shot and the next day I was taken back four months in terms of my symptoms which are now much worse again and have been for two weeks,’ she said

In March St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney opened a clinic specifically to help patients suffering from long Covid, with many other clinics opening up around the world for the same reason.

Natasha’s mild improvements were dashed two weeks ago when she received her booster shot, for reasons she cannot explain. 

‘Two weeks ago I got my booster shot and the next day I was taken back four months in terms of my symptoms which are now much worse again and have been for two weeks,’ she said.

‘This has been really difficult for me given that I am an active and driven person and I have been struggling with anxiety about my health because these symptoms are relentless and doctors have hardly any answers or very different ones if they do.

‘On my most recent flight to LA I actually had to be taken off the plane by medics because my heartbeat was jumping and my muscle pain was so bad.’

Natasha stressed in her post that she wasn’t an anti-vaxxer and firmly believed in the importance of vaccination but she was just ‘unfortunate’ to have had ill effects as a result. 

Natasha stressed in her post that she wasn't an anti-vaxxer and firmly believed in the importance of vaccination but she was just 'unfortunate' to have had ill effects as a result

Natasha stressed in her post that she wasn’t an anti-vaxxer and firmly believed in the importance of vaccination but she was just ‘unfortunate’ to have had ill effects as a result

‘I wanted to share my current health journey firstly to make sure everyone takes Covid seriously. I always did and was very open to vaccination but unfortunately still fell very ill and now have ongoing long Covid that I am really, really struggling with,’ she said.

‘Unfortunately Covid is something we just don’t have the answers to, doctors still have no idea what long Covid is and can only speculate as to why we have it. I am so hopeful that with good health, rest and a positive mindset I will feel better at some point but for now it’s a struggle and that’s okay because life is tough sometimes.’

Natasha started an online blog called ‘A Bikini A Day’ with her best friend Devin Brugman in 2012 as an outlet to share her favourite swimwear, but it quickly took off and saw the pair able to launch their own swimwear company, Monday Swimwear. when A Bikini A Day took off.

Since then Natasha has invested in other burgeoning brands like The Pilates Class and Emma Pills, giving her an estimated empire worth $63million.

‘Growing up in a beach town was a dream and definitely translated into my love and passion for the ocean, and later swimwear,’ she told FEMAIL previously of her career success.

When Natasha Oakley started an online blog called 'A Bikini A Day' with her best friend Devin Brugman in 2012 she could never have known her endeavour would see her debut on the Young Rich List two decades later

When Natasha Oakley started an online blog called ‘A Bikini A Day’ with her best friend Devin Brugman in 2012 she could never have known her endeavour would see her debut on the Young Rich List two decades later

'We were one of the first Instagram pioneers. At the time we had no idea how big Instagram would be or what our future would look like but we were enjoying the photography, travel, and getting the opportunity to share it with a community,' she said

‘We were one of the first Instagram pioneers. At the time we had no idea how big Instagram would be or what our future would look like but we were enjoying the photography, travel, and getting the opportunity to share it with a community,’ she said

‘I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit being the daughter of two entrepreneurs. Since I was young I knew I wanted to get into business and I feel so fortunate to have found my footing.’

Looking back Natasha believes their Instagram followers on A Bikini A Day enjoyed the light-hearted nature of the content and the ‘fun spirit’ she and Devin possess.

They were also indirectly helping women with larger busts to try different styles and brands they may never have heard of before.

‘We were one of the first Instagram pioneers. At the time we had no idea how big Instagram would be or what our future would look like but we were enjoying the photography, travel, and getting the opportunity to share it with a community,’ she said.

‘After wearing thousands of bikinis through our trials for A Bikini A Day I became ever more interested in the design and production of swimwear. 

In 2014 Monday Swimwear was born, with a huge emphasis on fit and texture

In 2014 Monday Swimwear was born, with a huge emphasis on fit and texture

‘Devin and I knew exactly what worked and what didn’t and were passionate to design a swim line with every female body in mind. 

‘Something we often ran into, as two larger-cup sized women, during our work at Bikini A Day was finding swim that fit comfortably but was also fashionable.’

In 2014 Monday Swimwear was born, with a huge emphasis on fit and texture.

The ladies have a detailed design process where each style is fit on multiple body types and not just scaled from one size. 

‘In our process we like to include the customer as much as possible. We are really vocal with our community and encourage them to be vocal with us,’ Natasha said.

‘We like to survey our customers often and consider all fit comments when designing.’

The ladies have a detailed design process where each style is fit on multiple body types and not just scaled from one size

The ladies have a detailed design process where each style is fit on multiple body types and not just scaled from one size

The brand caters from A to G cup sizes and can be shipped worldwide, making it accessible to all.

Outside of Monday Swimwear Natasha also splits her time between The Pilates Class, an online Pilates fitness training program, and Emma Pills, a jewellery company. 

‘TPC was born during the pandemic. The beginning of the pandemic was a time of uncertainty for a lot of people around the world,’ she said. 

‘Jacqui [Kingswell, the co-founder] and I wanted to start a community to bring people together to share their love for Pilates. Doing Pilates was my saving grace during that time and we received such positive feedback from our community.’

Meanwhile Natasha had been a family friend of the Pillemers before a 21-year-old Emma approached her with the product. 

‘When I first met them I was so inspired by their contagious and supportive energy and loved the way they ran their brand,’ she said.

‘I knew there was synergy. I approached them about coming on to the brand and helping them go global and we’ve now expanded into the US market, are featured on a major fashion retailer, Revolve, and are loved by many A-Listers in the US.’

Meanwhile Natasha had been a family friend of the Pillemers before a 21-year-old Emma approached her with the product

Meanwhile Natasha had been a family friend of the Pillemers before a 21-year-old Emma approached her with the product

Natasha, who is quite often still seen in a bikini as she splits her time between Sydney and Los Angeles, usually keeps fit by following Jacqui’s Pilates classes. 

‘There are so many different classes from HIIT to strength that I adjust the time and the intensity level depending on what my body needs that day,’ she said.

‘Week to week my schedule is changing depending on whether I’m on location shooting a campaign, on a brand trip, or at my home in LA. 

‘On a regular day, I typically like to wake up and connect with my team. After a quick touch base, I like to work out and have a light bite or smoothie. 

‘I typically like to do a bit of admin work before lunch and save any longer calls for the afternoon. Around 6pm I’m usually winding down and like to take a break from my phone and cook dinner with my partner.’

She makes time to read a book and relax when she’s not jetting abroad, like she was recently in the Bahamas celebrating Monday Swimwear’s eighth anniversary.     

‘It was one of the most amazing trips and being able to celebrate my brand in this way felt like a dream. Also, being on location for any campaign shoot feels like a pinch me moment,’ she said.  

‘I work so hard with our team to design the collection that seeing it come to life feels surreal.’

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