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Love Your Body Instructor Spotlight – Ariel & Stacy

Love Your Body Instructor Spotlight – Ariel & Stacy

. 4 min read

As a part of our Love Your Body Week celebration, we are sharing the stories of body-positive leaders on the Moxie platform.

Today we have the opportunity to celebrate Ariel Zachow and Stacy Woodley. Read below to hear their stories around body image, self-care, and celebrating our bodies in all forms.

Ariel Zachow

Ariel's passion is providing the best, safest, and most fun classes to her clients. She's a 500 hour certified yoga teacher, a yoga therapist in training, NASM certified personal trainer and group instructor. Read more about Ariel below and visit her Moxie studio to join her for her #LoveYourBody Gentle Yoga class.

Q&A with Ariel:

  • How has fitness (or yoga) impacted your relationship with your body?

When I first got into my fitness journey, I am sad to say that I followed the path that so many do; I became hyper-focused on my nutrition and fitness, but it quickly became a very unhealthy habit. After some time, I took a step back and started to redefine what I thought good health was. It was no longer eating perfectly clean or being super skinny or super fit, but about how I felt. I found that I feel healthier and happier with some curves. It is forever something I focus on, but I find that with my current yoga practice, it becomes easier for me to love my body no matter the size, no matter what I’ve eaten that day, or what society tells me health should look like. Through yoga I have grown to love my body at every stage, every shape, every which way my body is.

  • What does body positivity mean to you?

Body positivity to me means loving your body for exactly what it is in this exact moment. I believe you can be body positive and striving to be healthier or more muscular or curvier. I believe a body-positive mindset lets someone celebrate all of the incredible things that their body can do regardless of what that body looks like. Someone who is body positive frequently steps back to be sure that they are celebrating themselves, inside and out, even if they don’t fit a particular mold that society has told us is beautiful or healthy or ideal.

  • In what ways do you aim to empower yourself or others to love their bodies?

I aim to empower myself and others to love their body through my words and actions. I don’t believe that there is one single mold that any one person should have to fit into. I view myself and my students as complete individuals and help them to their specific goals. I hope to help my students see that any progress they are making is good progress and that they don’t have to be perfect, thin, or super flexible, or super athletic to love their body and all of the incredible things that it can do.

  • What are some insecurities you have about your body? How do you work through them? How do you overcome it?

As a personal trainer and yoga teacher on the curvier side, I frequently struggle with imposter syndrome. Can I really be teaching other people how to be healthy and fit when I am not super fit? I will still see a photo of someone doing yoga and immediately compare myself to their skill level and body. But I try very hard to catch myself in those moments. I never would want one of my students to have a similar thought. When I find myself focused on what I look like vs what I think I’d want to look like, I make sure to stop myself as quickly as possible and shift to the positive about who I am. My curves are beautiful. I care very deeply about my students. I work hard to educate myself as a teacher. I am constantly learning and growing. And none of that is related to my size vs the size of other popular teachers.

Stacy Woodley

Stacy is National Association of Fitness Certified (NAFC) Nutrition Coach, Personal and Group Trainer. She specializes in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) that increases muscle gains, fat loss, metabolism and overall cardiovascular health. Read more about Stacy below and visit her Moxie studio to join her for her #LoveYourBody SWEAT YOUR BODY WORTH class.

Q&A with Stacy:

  • What does body positivity mean to you?

Body positivity means accepting who I am at whatever stage in my life.

  • In what ways do you aim to empower yourself or others to love their bodies?

I encourage people to crawl before they walk, jog before they run, and run before they sprint. Love yourself from within first. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves to seek approval from others instead of appreciating our uniqueness.

  • What about advice for someone struggling with body positivity?

Love yourself from within. Find a mentor, trainer, coach that you feel can help you change your mental, emotional and physical body image.