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Love Your Body Week Instructor Spotlight – Strollers In Motion

Love Your Body Week Instructor Spotlight – Strollers In Motion

. 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 Vana Beekman and Mandy Cherry of Strollers In Motion. Strollers in Motion helps new moms stay fit online and in-person. Read below to hear their stories around body image, self-care, and celebrating our bodies in all forms. Visit their Moxie studio to join them for class.

Vana Beekman

  • How has fitness impacted your relationship with your body?

For me, it's really shown me that strength isn't a size. My body has changed after each child I've had, and I can still do the same things, but it just looks different. I realized you have to appreciate your body for what it can do, especially as a mom and an example for your kids.

  • What does body positivity mean to you?

It means being proud of my body for what it is and embracing the imperfections that are there. It's acceptance – my body is beautiful. It gets me through the day. It's given me three children. For me, that's really big. Yes, this body is not what it was when I was 19 or 20, or even 23 before I had kids, but it's brought my three beautiful children into this world, and I wouldn't change that for anything. It has brought so much good. It can do so much good that I accept it for what it is.

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

When working with our Strollers In Motion moms, I try to relate it to their everyday activity. I tell them, "you can hold that baby all day, you're able to get down on the floor comfortably with your kids and let them ride on your back, you are able because your body is strong, and you can do this!" You are the best version of yourself when you're active, and you can be the best mom when you take a little time for yourself.

  • What about advice for someone struggling with body positivity?

For me, gratitude is big. I have a fitness journal – it tracks your water, your activity, and it also has a section where you list the three things you're grateful for about your body. Once you start recognizing the things that your body does daily, you begin to appreciate it more. Not just how it looks but what it can do for you.
Just try writing down three things every day that you're grateful for about your body. If you start thinking about the things that your body does for you daily, you'll begin to see that your body is incredible.


Mandy Cherry

  • What does body positivity mean to you?

I think it looks like not being hard on yourself when you look in the mirror. It's more about what my body is able to do for me or what I'm able to do with my body. If you can do something hard like run a mile really fast, run multiple miles, or do more pushups than you thought – what else are you able to do that you didn't think you could? So much of it is mental; knowing that your worth is not attached to what your outside looks like.

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

I try to focus on what I can do and see how my body adapts and changes. With our Women's in Motion and Strollers In Motion programs, we go from running 30-seconds and walking a minute-and-a-half to running for 30-minutes straight in nine weeks. Just having measurable goals that are not the scale and not the size of your pants is huge for anyone, especially women, to appreciate how their bodies can physically change, adapt, and grow.

  • While there's obviously a ton of work to be done still, can you speak to the progress around the body positive movement? Have the stereotypes improved even a little bit?

It's hard to be a fitness instructor and be a large or extra-large and I've had women say to me, yeah but Mandy I would have never tried to run if I hadn't seen you, a woman who looks like me, run a marathon. I think we're seeing more representation and seeing that you can move your body before you're tiny, and also that the purpose of moving your body isn't necessarily to shrink it.

I've also noticed that the availability of sizes in clothing brands is huge now. Models look different. I can look at a business like Athleta, and I can scroll through their catalog and see women who look like me now in athletic clothes, I know how they're going to fit me and I think that's huge.

  • What about advice for someone struggling with body positivity?

Try something new that you don't think you can do and see how it goes. I didn't think I'd ever be a runner, and one day I was like, "I know someone like me who is running a coach to 5k, maybe I'll try it," I did it, and it's changed my whole life; it's changed my entire mindset. Try something new! Worst case, you're going to feel stuck; the best case, you're going to really appreciate what your body is capable of.