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How to be the best you can be with Movemeant Foundation

posted on Sunday, 22nd January 2017 | find under Fitness
31 days to fit

Meet Jenny Gaither

movemeant foundation
Jenny wears the Zero Gravity Leggings

This year, over 600 people sweat it out in Union Square Park, New York in Sweaty Betty sports bras. The reason why? Senior SoulCycle instructor and founder of Movemeant Foundation, Jenny Gaither. A former professional dancer, Jenny decided to start Movemeant Foundation after struggling with her own body issues, with an aim to empower young women to feel confident in their bodies by providing them with tools to be active.

On a mission to use physical movement as a platform for body confidence, Jenny is determined to make fitness about empowerment rather than weight loss. Movemeant not only organises Dare to Bare events across the US (where said women can be found working out in their sports bras), they also supports various body-positive initiatives including the Movemeant Curriculum for at-risk middle school girls. To help motivate you this January, Jenny has shared her tips on how to be the best version of yourself.

How to be the best version of yourself

Focus on personal progress

January is my favourite time of the year because who doesn't love a fresh start? It can be challenging to set approachable goals that are meaningful and also sustainable, which is why I recommend setting goals that focus on personal progress, not perfection. At the beginning of every year I used to think things like, 'This is going to be the best year yet', which set me up for failure because it created a lot of unrealistic expectations and pressure, that eventually led to disappointment. So focusing on personal progress means that my benchmarks for accomplishing goals are level-set and attainable to my own life journey.

I recommend setting at least three easily attainable goals, for example one for fitness (is there that 10k you've been wanting to train for?), one for career (are you happy where you currently are?) and another for personal life (I find making time for friends and family is a great one). Nutrition is also another idea, with this I recommend small easy swaps, like adding extra greens to every meal. 

Listen to your body

Every body is different and no one knows your body better than you. Listen to what it responds to best in terms of diet, sleep and supplements and don't get stuck with a workout you don't like, I recommend trying everything there is until you find the one. 

Get your workout on 

I believe the simplest exercise is exactly that: exercise. Sweating and releasing endorphins can put you in a clearer headspace while reminding you how strong and capable you are. For me while moving, I think of at least three things that are positive in my life and three things that I'm grateful for. That simple exercise is all it takes to truly see how much I've accomplished for myself instead of focusing on the things that I need to change.

A positive headspace

Being the best version of yourself is all about being in a positive headspace, look at everything as a learning experience rather than as a setback. I now actively choosing the mindset that each experience offers us only things to gain, even if I supposedly fail. So when I experience a setback, I no longer choose to get stuck in a negative headspace but look at this as an opportunity for growth, understanding and learning. Try not to be to upset and look at what you have learnt from the experience, at the very least it's a lesson not to do this next time. 

Start afresh

As we all collectively step into 2017, my best advice is to clean out your headspace by ditching any bad thoughts and starting with a clean, fresh, open mind. Focus your energy on building inner-confidence, self-esteem, and strength because you will be braver and less intimidated when it comes to goal setting. The more self-worth we build internally the more worthy we feel to receive success, love, health, and joy. We need confidence in order to get out of our own way and realise what we are truly capable of.

Take care of yourself

Building self-worth is all about building a loving, nurturing and safe relationship with yourself. We tend to get caught up in the daily grind with work and relationships that we put our own needs last. So, I challenge you to put yourself first by making your health and happiness your number one priority. Start implementing a routine that involves taking care of yourself. For example, I have a nightly ritual where I take a warm bath, lather in essential oils and meditate for 15 minutes. Do this instead of scrolling through Instagram, I guarantee you'll feel better. 

Show gratitude

It all starts with two simple words, thank you. Not only is it good manners to thank colleagues, friends and family, I also recommend thanking yourself. Start a gratitude journal and write down three things daily you are thankful for, your mindset will instantly become more positive. 

I'm also a big believer in affirmations. I repeat positive affirmations like, 'Light and love flow in and out of me' or, 'I am safe, secure, and strong in this body' in my head all day. I will admit that repeating these to yourself feels weird and silly at first, though keep going as you do start to believe them.

Three burning questions

Describe your morning routine?

The first thing I do when I wake up is turn on music. Depending on my mood I switch between something more mellow, like Kygo or something super fun and upbeat, like 90's hip hop. As soon as my jams are playing I make coffee, and lots of it. I'm a creature of habit so I tend to make the same breakfast everyday; eggs, greens (kale and spinach) and a protein (turkey or ground beef) with a ton of Sriracha. While breakfast is on the stove I dance around in my kitchen with my french bulldog, Rihanna, and curate playlists for my SoulCycle classes for the day. Once I've had at least one cup of coffee, I try to take ten minutes to sit and meditate before I rush out of the door.  
Your favourite workout and why?

I love reformer Pilates because core strengthening and spine mobility exercises help me move more efficiently throughout my day, whether I'm on a SoulCycle bike or sitting at a desk. I also love to dance! Dancing is one of the most fun ways for me to unleash my inner-Beyonce' and energy without feeling like I'm working out.
What five items would we always find in your fridge?

Cage-free brown eggs, broccoli, Tuscan kale, bacon, Half & Half pasteurised milk.  

Find out more about Movemeant Foundation and Jenny here.Join us for your fittest January ever at sweatybetty.com/31daystofit with exclusive workouts, wellness tips, exclusive recipes and more. Share your workout selfies, recipe snaps and tag your friends with #31DaysToFit. 
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