Making Moves With Jenny Gaither
Meet Jenny Gaither
After battling body image issues and eating disorders for half of her life, Jenny Gaither decided to create her own solution. She realized it was difficult to find an organization that truly met the needs of those struggling so she decided to develop her own. The Movemeant Foundation recognizes and addresses the critical needs of our society by developing an innovative, multi-dimensional approach to promoting positive body image, and it is a seamless example of the influential result of "do-ing". Jenny is the Founder & CEO of The Movemeant Foundation and also a wildly talented Senior SoulCycle Instructor. Her story is so organic to People Who Do's mission and we're so proud to be able to feature it here.
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
I am a Senior SoulCycle Instructor and the Founder & CEO of Movemeant Foundation - We are a (501c3) nonprofit organization who helps young women feel confident about their bodies by empowering them with the tools to be active. We are a community-powered platform that inspires young women through positive mentorship, engaging content about health, nutrition and well-being, and grants that make fitness and physical movement a reality.
People Who Do focuses on those who excel at moving forward throughout their passions in life, why is it important to you to “do”?
Because life is too short and precious to not do the things that make you the happiest. What's the point if you are not enjoying the ride and shining your brightest every day?
Why did you decide to create The Movemeant Foundation?
After battling body image issues and eating disorders for half of my life, at 22 years old, I went searching for an organization that could help me build self-confidence and strength again. At the time I couldn't find a community that felt genuinely approachable and relatable with the resources I was looking for; Which was a community-powered platform that inspires young women through positive mentorship, engaging content about health, nutrition and well-being, and grants that make fitness and physical movement a reality. So, I decided to create a platform where all women who are battling the daily pressures from our society to be thin and "perfect", can focus on all of the other incredible parts of themselves. It was my goal to show women another standard of beauty...one that has no standards at all.
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.
"Your biggest breakdowns lead you to your biggest breakthroughs."
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
Trust where you are at in your journey. It's where you are supposed to be.
To date, what accomplishments (of any kind) are you most proud of?
I am proud of Movemeant Foundation's annual charity fitness campaign called Dare to Bare. The idea stemmed from one of my deepest insecurities/fears of revealing my “belly jelly" while wearing a sports bra in a group fitness class. The campaign is about getting over your own personal insecurities, similar to my “belly jelly", and pushing past the things that hold us back. Our bodies should be celebrated, regardless of where we are at in our journey. Through Dare to Bare, thousands of women have been inspired and motivated to be body positive and have been given the resources to continue forward on a their journey toward self-acceptance and love.
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned, ever?
Always listen and trust your gut.
What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood and what are some of the ways that you relieve stress?
My go-to song changes daily. BUT, right now my song is Roses feat. Rozes by The Chainsmokers. I relieve stress through mediation, dance parties, and hanging out with my people who make me laugh and support me no matter what.
You lead such an amazing, positive, and forward-thinking project. What’s the biggest thrill that you get from it?
The biggest thrill is proving to yourself that you are capable of anything you are willing to invest your heart and soul into. Taking risks and the necessary leaps to get you closer to your end goal gets easier the more you do it. But, the thrill of accomplishing something never gets old! With an incredible team and community of supporters by my side, in less than a year we've managed to raise half a million dollars for Movemeant's financial grant program. When I founded Movemeant nine months ago I never thought that was possible.
Favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration.
Post-its. I write down notes of inspiration on post-its all over my apartment. The best is when you lose one and find it right when you need it most.
The Movemeant Foundation/Dare to Bare focuses so much on positive self-esteem. Why would you say positive self-esteem is such a huge part of being able to “do”?
You need to be confident in yourself and in your choices to be able to "do" anything outside of your comfort zone. And at the end of our comfort zone is where a very fulfilling life begins.
What’s the next goal?
My next goal for MVMT is to make foundational, nationwide change and to bring awareness to our mission through a vibrant partnership with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign. My personal goal is to talk about MVMT on The Ellen show. The world needs to know of the impact we are making and I also need a morning dance party with Ellen.
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look/be remembered?
I hope to be remembered for making long-term, systemic change in our social system where girls are more revered for their brains and not their beauty. For their boldness and bravery, and not their bodies. This could manifest in a variety of different forms from our ability to re-instutite physical education programs in schools for whom budgets for these types of programming have been cut to uncovering local heroes who are thanklessly supporting young women who are suffering from the mental and physical consequences of inactivity.
3 words that you want to be remembered by.
Impactful. Altruistic. Courageous.