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/ May 2020
Jenny Gaither, Founder, Movemeant Foundation

5 Tips to Boost Your Mojo When Cooped Up Inside

A fitness trainer shares her practical advice on how to reignite your mojo during difficult times

Ever since my first pair of ballet shoes, I had an understanding of what would make a more universally loving and joyful world - an active one. Whether it be dancing, running, boxing or yoga, a journey in the physical body organically roots us in worthiness, love, and empathy. 
 
The daily ritual of exploring our physical and emotional power, resilience and intelligence builds an inner-world - a solid infrastructure connected in mind and body - of solace, recognition, compassion and trust. Through endorphins, I learned time and time again that to know the answers to any of life's harder questions, you must know yourself first. And that is the gift movement provides.
 
The common theme in my story is that when I resisted who I was (when at battle with my image and weight), and when I spent more time comparing my image, path or timing to other women, I suffered. When I listened to and accepted my body, mind and intuition, life-changing opportunities presented themselves to me. Doors opened and movement became a tree branch of many career paths. From those branches I grew into the Founder of Movemeant Foundation, a Business and Confidence Life Coach, a Master SoulCycle instructor, a Shadowbox instructor and the creator of Notorious FIT cardio hip hop class.
 
My attachment to my image, perfectionism, and validation was shattered when I decided not to hide in my shame, but to speak out on behalf of myself and all women who struggled with their insecurities and body image. I struggled for 15 years with disordered eating, body image issues and depression. And as a fitness professional, this was my giant secret. It wasn’t until I chose to accept who I was unconditionally, even if no one else did, I realized I was limitless. If I am limitless, so are all people, and that is the message I was born to share with the world.
 
Over the past 10 years, I spoke on panels, podcasts, and events including: Shape’s Women Run the World Summit, Reebok’s #BeMoreHuman campaign, Movemeant Foundation’s charity fitness events, and through my own Brave Babe Blueprint virtual coaching (a digital community and curriculum that helps women build self-worth and confidence). I’ve led and facilitated hundreds of conversations around body-positivity, self-worth, and confidence. Yet, I still find women need support, reassurance and guidance on how to trust themselves. 
 
Women doubt themselves every step of the way, especially when it comes to their bodies and physical capabilities. I don’t think most women were ever taught how to trust their bodies. No matter what goes on around them, they have the power to create change and they instinctively know what their body needs. However, women get confused, and I don’t blame them. Women lack a sense of safety and assurance within themselves. With the endless amount of health and wellness information in the media and on social media (misguided or not), our self-awareness and Inner Knowing is muted. 
 
I’ve noticed during this pandemic that women are left feeling inadequate and defeated by much of the fitness content they see online, whether they have tried it or are too intimidated to even attempt it. This makes them less motivated to move at all. I personally have felt overwhelmed and intimidated by the abundance of online fitness content I see daily on social media. In fact, I noticed I was disconnected from myself and was overworking out, which led to overeating, adrenal fatigue, burnout and shame. I carried shame because I felt like I couldn’t keep up with what everyone else was doing - and I am a fitness professional.
 
My point is: movement is personal. It’s a journey that we take with one person, and that is yourself. We all have different limits; mine are different than yours. So trying to keep up with our online communities will only set us up for failure. It’s not a race or a contest, it’s an ongoing journey in self-love. Be inspired by those moving, but choose your own prescribed way of tapping in.
 
Here are a few practices I use to reignite my mojo to move, remind myself why I love moving my body and sustain an active lifestyle:  
 
1.Innerwork = outerwork: Take a beat in the morning to check in with your body to see what your body needs that day. Everyone on social media might be doing HIIT workouts, but your energy might be low, so the remedy could be a walk or a restorative yoga class. The important thing here is to listen to what your body is asking for.
 
2.Track your progress: In a visual calendar (I use my google calendar), keep track of your workouts by adding in what physical activity you did at the end of each day. I started this to make sure I was not overworking out and to gain awareness when I hadn’t worked out in a few days. In addition to tracking your workouts, track your energy levels each morning, and at the end of day, keep this in your calendar as well. This visual tracker will help you build a workout routine that works for you based on what’s sustainable in terms of your energy. 
 
3.Find your why: In your journal write out why you love to move your body. List out all physical, emotional, mental benefits. Example, movement impacts your ability to function at work, impacts your mood, patience, bandwidth, compassion with yourself and others, and clarity. Especially on days when you are not motivated to move but you know you want to and need to. Remind yourself that your workout doesn’t have to be a full-body, high-intensity 45 minute session. Your sweat sesh can be ten minutes of dancing to your favorite song to lift up your mood! Moving doesn’t have to look the same each day. In fact, if you switch it up you will find more thrill and excitement in it.
 
4.You know best: No matter what, you know your body better than anyone else. Get in the practice of choosing your own intuition over someone else’s opinion. To help strengthen your intuition, practice journaling, being still, and listening to yourself until you have an answer.
 
5.Inner-joy: Focus on the internal benefits of exercise (joy, peace, relief), instead of the exterior (weight loss, image).
/ May 2020
Jenny Gaither, Founder, Movemeant Foundation