We chatted with Jaimmy Koroma, Body Positive and Lifestyle Influencer who shares her journey of self-acceptance and self-love. You can follow her journey of loving her body @jaimmykoroma.
1. What does being confident in your body feel like?
For me feeling confident in your body is so much more than thinking you look good in a pair of jeans. It’s a deeply rooted knowledge that you are worthy and deserving no matter what you look like. That’s when I feel confident! Remembering my value is what gives me the will and freedom to wear what I want and enjoy my life unapologetically.
2. Do you use affirmations and how have they supported your journey?
Affirmations honestly are the ABSOLUTE KEY to self love. At first I didn’t even realize that that is what I was doing but I would tell myself every morning, out loud, “I am beautiful and have so much to offer.” They would also come in handy on days that I wasn’t feeling great about myself like, “will you let this stop you from living your life? No!” I definitely recommend it for everyday, every week, month, and year. Mine this year is: “Thirty, flirty and thriving” haha!
3. What would you tell your younger self about body image?
That’s a hard one. As a little Black chubby girl growing up in predominantly white spaces, I would tell myself “to stop comparing your unique glow to the glow of those around you. That the ‘kids’ you see playing highschoolers on TV are actually adults and that you only have this one life so stop taking it so seriously.” I was a straight-A overachiever who really needed to relax.
4. What would you tell your future self about body image?
I’ve never been asked about my future self but I think I would tell her, “hey, remember when you finally stopped caring about the opinions of other people. You wouldn’t be where you are and who you are if you hadn’t taken that step all those years ago.” And also “where’s our husband, damn it?? (not sure how far in the future I’m talking to myself haha!)
5. What does self-acceptance look like for you throughout your journey of reclaiming body confidence?
It’s not easy, but man is it worth it! I’ve had to do a lot of unlearning to accept who I am and my body. Remembering that society and its standards are what taught me to hate myself. From an early age I was taught to hate my skin color, my hair texture, and then my size. And step by step I had to dismantle those walls in my head by following both people who look like me and who don’t look like me from different backgrounds with their own set of distinctions.
6. How has your mental health been impacted by confidence and self-acceptance?
Oh, what a huge change it has been! The one word that comes to mind is “peace.” I’ve never been at peace with who I am, like I am now. I used to be anxious around food, or if I skipped a workout. It was so so consuming– making sure you ate the “right” thing and looked the “right” way. I was trying to attain something that for me was not even attainable. I mean, my very goal weight that I wanted to reach, I hadn’t been since I was in highschool, haha!
7. What has been your transition from weight loss journey to self love journey been like for you?
It’s definitely not linear. Everyday is a choice full of other choices. Will I honor my hunger today? Will I move my body out of love or hate? Will I wear the outfit that I wanted to or will I change? Will I order a salad because I want to or because I have a wedding to go to on Friday? But one thing is for sure, I won’t ever go back to how I was. Diet after diet. Constantly trying to shrink myself and take up less space. Never again.
8. What is your mantra for showing up in one's body this summer?
Last summer and this summer are like night and day. After the year we’ve had, I can’t help but think about the people we’ve lost, who wish they had another summer and so I just keep saying to myself “Life’s too short, go and LIVE!”