several months ago, i happened upon the movemeant foundation via a post on my facebook news feed.
a group of women [one being my good friend, Lindsay, who had written the facebook post] were standing dead on looking at a camera wearing only their sports bras and spandex pants. there was something different about this photo than what you might initially imagine - the photo was un-edited and every single woman in the photo, all of different shapes and sizes held a fierce look of confidence and moxie.
intrigued by whatever it was that had each of these women looking so...badass, i clicked on the post and instantly became inspired by the mission of the foundation. created in recognition of the near epidemic proportions of negative body image on our society, movemeant foundation exists to promote advocacy and awareness for positive body image.
it wasn't until i kept reading about how the movemeant foundation came to be that i felt connected to the cause and motivated to get into something bigger.
for as long as i can remember, i'd been self conscious about my stomach. when i stop and think about all the time and mental energy i'd expended over the years comparing it to bodies that weren't mine and wishing it to look different than it did, i shudder in regret to think of all the space that it took up in my mind and how that mental and emotional energy could have been used towards something much, much more important.
even into my adult life and into my career in the fitness industry, my longing for a more healthy body image followed me. "i will have a 6 pack by october of 2014". the company that i worked for at the time placed a strong emphasis on goal setting. "i don't like these kind of goals", my manager and mentor replied to me, "when you have a 6 pack, what are you going to do with it? just stare at it, admire it? what is it good for?" i didn't have an answer for her. i knew it would mean something bigger to me - but i didn't know what it was exactly or how to explain it's meaning in a simple reply.
october of 2014 came around and i didn't have a set of 6 pack abs. even worse, i felt like i had moved about 10 steps backwards in my search for a positive relationship with my body. it took time in my new career, as a fitness professional, to connect with what my intention was as an instructor, why i had chose it as a career, and what it was that i wanted my students to achieve.
in my further social media following of the movemeant foundation, i learned about their dare to bare event. my personal connection to the foundation grew and it didn't take long for me to prioritize the work of love and acceptance of my body. on a day where i didn't give myself a chance to think twice, i lead my first ride sans shirt, in just my sports bra.
while having a 6 pack of abs is no longer a goal of mine, maintaining a healthy relationship with my body and holding a positive self image is. being comfortable teaching or posing for pictures and videos in just my sports bra still doesn’t feel completely comfortable to me - but what i take comfort in knowing is the challenge in doing something uncomfortable will always lead me to something better.
the movemeant foundation recently reached out to me asking if i would be interested in doing an interview with them for their blog. you can only imagine my feelings of excitement and honor in my huge ‘YES!’ and you can check out the full interview here.