By Allison Kimmey

Once upon a time there was a girl that didn’t quite fit in, no matter how hard she tried to be like everyone else. She worshiped gossip magazines, did all the celebrity diets, cut out pictures of thin models she wanted to look like and lived on anything that said “fat free” and cardio. Sound familiar? We’ve all been down this road before, in some shape or form, whether it be with someone we know or from our very own personal experience. Self-love expert, author, and body image coach Allison Kimmey shares some secrets to being content and loving your own unique self.

“I was a slave to some variation of this mindset, to maintain an acceptable physique while tearing my body apart every chance I had, whether I was a size two or 20, and everywhere in between,” Kimmey says. 

Like most women, Kimmey’s physical appearance had been her only priority for so long that she forgot about the importance of one’s mental and spiritual health. In fact, those progressively deteriorated in correlation with the increasing obsession with her overall physical appearance. It wasn’t until about six years ago, while writing in a pregnancy journal to her unborn daughter, “I hope you are nothing like me,” that something clicked. She read those words aloud again and realized something profound. Instead, she realized the importance of being a mentor to her daughter some day, something she always wished she had as a young girl. 

“It was at that very moment I realized that ‘becoming’ something was so much more than just a physical experience,” Kimmey says. “I would need to start working on the inside and stop obsessing about the outside.” 

Today, Kimmey helps thousands of women move through their limiting beliefs to a more loving mindset every day. 

“We must keep in mind that the journey is paved with hardship and distractions,” Kimmey says. “Each seed that we plant will one day flourish into that garden of self love we have always desired.” ◆

Some tips from Allison on finding joy.

True happiness doesn’t come from seeing the scale drop.

Real joy exists in acknowledging that your body is your vehicle, no matter what condition it was in.

Real joy is welcomed when you no longer tie your worth to a number. 

Real joy rises from living a life full of experiences, not a life full of comparison.

Real joy enters when being a part of something bigger than yourself is more important that becoming smaller.