Mom's Amazing Before-And-After Photos Prove Happiness Isn't Determined By Size

Mom’s Amazing Before-And-After Photos Prove Happiness Isn’t Determined By Size

Image via Instagram

Allison Kimmey is a body-positivity goddess and we can all learn from her

It’s high time the word “fat” is reclaimed from those who use it as an insult. Allison Kimmey, a mom, author, and all-around body-positive enthusiast is singlehandedly taking steps to change the way we think about the word.

Earlier this summer, an Instagram post of Kimmey’s went viral. In it, she shared an experience where her young daughter called her “fat.” Kimmey saw this as a teachable moment and had a meaningful discussion with her daughter where she told her we all have fat, in varying amounts. But that we’re all worthy of love and respect no matter what size we are.

Basically, Allison Kimmey rocks. Her Instagram account is one of the most inspiring, motivating places on the internet right now. She often shares stunning before-and-after photos, where she shares photos of her at her happiest. Not her thinnest.

A few years and a handful of dress sizes ago I believed that the only way to be happy was to be as thin. I held onto the belief that I wasn't good enough just as I was because it protected me from seeing just how worthy and unstoppable I really was. Because I knew that if I really let myself be who I really was that I would be seen, and heard, and judged, and loved, and hated. And in my mind, the fear always won over the freedom. Most of the time we stay stuck for fear of what we'll have to go through as we grow. That the safer place is to stay right where we are, after all we already know how to endure that. But every time we stay, we are experiencing pain far greater than what we would endure to break out of that comfort zone and experience life free from the expectations of others and lack-based mentality. I promise you, staying where you are is hurting you so much more than anyone's opinion of you ever could. None of us can predict how long we have on this earth, hell I might only have until tomorrow…but it doesn't matter because I live my life for NOW not for if's and when's. Double tap if you believe that life is too short to put conditions on when you're allowed to start living! Just do you babes! Xoxo Allie

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It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking our self-esteem issues will be solved if we just lost weight. That thinness is synonymous with happiness. Well, Kimmey is here to not only disrupt that notion, but destroy it altogether.

“A few years ago and a handful of dress sizes ago I believed the only way to be happy was to be thin,” she captions one of her transformation photos. “I held onto the belief that I wasn’t good enough just as I was because it protected me from seeing just how worthy and unstoppable I really was.”

Let's talk postpartum depression… 1 in 7 women suffer from PPD. And over 50% of PPD sufferers go undetected. I was part of that statistic. And I didn't even know it. Just like perfect bodies, were fed an unattainable and unrealistic idea of motherhood. That it should be sweet from the get-go, that its glamorous and you should be over the moon that everyone is healthy, that your new purpose is getting your body back, and aside from that you run a household without a hitch. But more often than not, it doesn't look like that. Here's the real deal…for me. I couldn't breastfeed my first born and I had extremely high expectations that with all my new knowledge this wouldn't be an issue with my second born. I had extreme anxiety about keeping my daughter alive and a bit of post traumatic stress when it began all over again. My life revolved around weighing my daughter and breastfeeding my daughter. I put SO much pressure on myself to be strong, to have all the answers, to not break under the pressure, to MAKE IT WORK, that I had no joy left in me. Thank God my mother in law was there in the beginning to care for my son, because I can't imagine the neglect he would have faced had I been alone. I felt hopeless, broken, like they would be better without me, and it felt like there was no end in sight. I was so set in my ways that I was blind to my daughters weight loss and I kept pushing another day, another week. Of crying, constant crying, and sleepless nights, and resentment towards my spouse, and mood swings, and a lack of motivation to do anything else. In other words it was shitty. And I knew it didn't feel right. But no one ever talked about it. So I didn't know how to help myself. And so I didn't receive treatment. My postpartum depression carried through my daughters first 2.5 years of life and formed into extreme dieting and exercising, making rash decisions and major life changes, extreme body image issues to name a few. I'm making this post to shed a light on a topic we don't hear much about and to say that it's okay. And if you feel unhappy since giving birth, know that it's okay to ask for help. Stop comparing your motherhood journey, *con't…

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In each one of her Instagram posts, she doesn’t hold back. She talks about body issues, depression, sex, and her personal experiences with all of the above.

Her posts are beacons of hope and a driving force of motivation for many of her followers. Commenters flood Kimmey’s page to share their own experiences and how she’s inspired them:

You look so much happier in your after picture. I’m only in college, but you’re helping me set a framework for how I want to teach my future children. I love what you do and you’re educating so many of us. Thank you!!

Thank you for saying all this. You are such an inspiration! 

You are so inspiring and beautiful. Thank you for being you and what you do 🙂

I remember the evening vividly that I posted that photo in the purple strapless top. I said "For the first time ever, I feel like a MILF" That's what I said. I looked at my photos and I knew in my mind I looked great. I had lost all the baby weight and got my pre-baby body "back". And yet, I didn't FEEL confident. And you can literally see it in my eyes, my smile, my posture. I look like I'm holding back. And I was. I told everyone I felt like I was bangin. But inside I was still the hot mess express. I still determined my worth based on WHO ELSE thought I was attractive. I still based my success on the markers that society placed for me. And yet, even achieving those milestones, and standing there saying I was "fuckable" didn't make me feel any more LOVED. And I continued this path for a while, about another year. It was destructive. Painful. And really fucking HARD. On everyone. And I began to realize that I was not being the example I wanted for my children. The last thing I wanted was for them to need to be validated by others to know their worth and potential. I wanted them to know it and believe it with such conviction that NO ONE could tell them otherwise. But how could I teach that if every time someone gave me "advice" I was ready to change myself to fit in? Well the simple answer is – I couldn't. And so I started pushing myself to question why I cared if people liked me, or found me attractive, or wanted to be my friend. And I started focusing on the things that felt right, and good, and easy, and purposeful. And when things got scary, I got scary honest with myself. And I continued to grow into my true soul, little by little. I failed forward SO HARD. I STILL do! And if you want to make a change in any area of your life, you will too. You've spent your entire life believing the lies that society has embedded in you, it will take time…a lot of time, to unlearn that behavior and step into the women you've always been. She's waiting for you, babe….we all are. Just do you Xoxo Allie

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Society makes us feel like if we wear plus-size clothes, we’re not as worthy or deserving of respect and love. It’s hard to shake a lifetime of that way of thinking, when it’s practically ingrained in us.

“You’ve spent your entire life believing the lies society has embedded in you, it will take time…a lot of time, to unlearn that behavior and step into the woman you’ve always been,” she writes.

Do you miss being skinny? People ask me this all the time. But the truth is, I don't miss anything about the girl I was a decade ago…even being 5 dress sizes smaller. I hated my body for so long, no matter what size or shape she was-it was never good enough. And I didn't understand until now that I was putting my holistic health and wellbeing at risk by only focusing on the physical. When we do this, we compartmentalize ourselves instead of seeing the WHOLE being. Yes it's clear that I've gained weight, but what's more important is that I've gained an incomparable freedom that comes from being connected to myself fully through mind, soul AND body. Discovering myself over the last couple of years has allowed me to get in tune with my intuition and tap into my passions and cultivate my strengths. There are still days that I struggle, and times where I wonder how life would be different if I were thinner…and then I remind myself that I am living my best life NOW and will continue to do so no matter the changes my body undergoes over this lifetime. Give me a 💕 If you're working on navigating this whole self love thing. What's the hardest part for you right now? Just do you babes! Xoxo Allie

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As a former “skinny” person myself, I struggle with syncing up how I feel about the person I am now to include the size I am now. Like Kimmey, I’m “living my best life now” and being thinner wouldn’t change a thing.

This #tbt has so much meaning to me. On the left, in 2013, we had just separated from the military. We had no idea the hardest 3 years of our marriage/life were in front of us. We had no idea what was going to happen- do any of us? We made poor choice after poor choice. We went into debt. We were irresponsible with going out constantly. We were drinking too much. We were lost. And yet we were free. But in a way being free was so challenging because no one was there to tell us anymore what was right and what wasn't. And we failed. So hard. But if we hadn't had this time of hitting rock bottom, we would have never gained the perspective that we have now. We would have never built the life that we have now. We would have never strengthened our relationship to each other and to ourselves. We would have never pushed ourselves to places we felt uncomfortable going. And on the right, in 2017, I see so much joy now, so much comfort, so much peace…so much love. We will never have it all figured out, and a huge part of life is surrendering and trusting that God has a plan. But we've come so far, I know that we can handle every valley and appreciate every peak as it comes! ***please note that our happiness did not come from losing weight or having the perfect bodies*** Just do you babes! Xoxo Allie

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Kimmey proves being at peace with yourself is something your size can’t achieve for you.

A few sizes bigger and a million times happier. This can be scary for people, that if they stop dieting and obsessing about their body and everything they hate about it that they will turn out like I did. And to that I say: I could only wish that for you. Because what you see here is so much MORE than a physical change. Weight gain and loss do not and NEVER WILL equal happiness. The transformation I made was on the INSIDE. Something that never clicked with any 30 day program or 3 week quick fix or diet fad. A complete mental shift, a soulful reset. And when I consistently made heart centered choices the pounds and inches didn't matter any more- I have learned they will come and go through the ebbs and flows of life – but finding true peace and passion within yourself…that is immeasurable and will provide a lifetime of joy. Just do you babes! Xoxo Allie __________ #bodypositive #selflove #glitterstripes #nothighgap #nowrongway #bopo #bodypos #bodyimage #bodyconfidence #embracethesquish #everybodyisbeautiful #effyourbeautystandards #transformationtuesday

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How often do we see people touting crash diets and multi-level marketings schemes that only serve to shame and goad us into losing weight?

“Weight gain and loss do not and NEVER WILL equal happiness,” Kimmey writes. “The transformation I made is on the INSIDE. Something that never clicked with any 30 day program or 3 week quick fix or diet fad.”

AMEN. Seriously.Who says crash diets are healthy? How does a “quick fix” help our self-esteem and self-worth for the long haul?

“I chose to stop wasting my life believing that it couldn’t start until I had the perfect body and start believing that I am worthy of joy, love, opportunity, and respect right now.”

I started my account on a platform that challenged the status quo. That said you don't have to be thin to be happy. That said there is nothing waiting on the other side of weightloss that you can't achieve RIGHT NOW by embracing a self loving journey. And it started with #transformationtuesday But it hasn't always been this way. I spent most of my adolescence as an overweight, shy teen trying to avoid any situation that pushed me outside my comfort zone or put me in front of people. (And spent way too much time in chat rooms!) I worked desperately hard to lose weight at the age of 14, when I began my first diets, restricted eating and over exercising habits. I equated happiness to thinness. That once I was able to fit into hollister jeans I'd be the popular outgoing girl I thought I wanted to be. For 12 years I spent my existence completely consumed by my size. Fluctuating 100 pounds over the decade. Constantly comparing myself to others and never feeling enough or worthy. Even as a size 2/4 on my wedding and honeymoon, I could only see my perceived flaws. After the birth of my daughter in 2012 I had visions of her growing up and looking exactly like me. I verbally said that I wished that she wouldn't look like me. And at that moment I realized that I needed to change…not only for myself, but for my entire family- especially my children. And so I took the first steps to trying to find myself again, uncover my purpose, and retrain my mind to see beauty instead of imperfection. Over the course of the next 3 years I poured myself into WHY I felt the way I did and how I could get back to who I truly was. I constantly pushed myself to do exactly the things that scared me most, and the more times I immersed myself into the things I had been avoiding, it became my new normal. And one day, after seeing one too many transformation Tuesday photos of a grumpy fat woman turning into a happy thin woman, I looked back at my own journey and realized it happened to be exactly the opposite of what we are taught to believe. My hope is that my journey will inspire women to stop defining themselves by only their bodies and that we'll never succeed by hating ourselves! JDY Xo

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Most, if not all, “transformation” photos we see plastered all over social media are of the “look how hard I worked to get super thin” variety. Kimmey is singlehandedly changing the status quo, proving that stereotypically thin people don’t own the transformation space on Instagram.

“After seeing one too many transformation Tuesday photos of a grumpy fat woman turning into a happy thin woman, I looked back at my own journey and realized it happened to be exactly the opposite of what we are taught to believe.”

✋🏼STOP SCROLLING✋🏼Hey babes!! Up bright and early with a very important message that you NEED to hear! Sometimes I get all cozy and snuggled up in my little body positive and self love bubble. It's warm there, and there's rainbows and the best jams and only the most magical people. I have worked tirelessly to make this little bubble for myself. But sometimes I have to take a day trip to "real world" and get a little dose of what I call *this is why I do what you do* What I mean by that is: there's a lot of hate in this world…and people are ready to bring you down at any chance of finally feeling more worthy themselves. I see aggression in people but I see pain too. I'm not here to educate the unwilling or make excuses for the ignorant- but I am constantly reminded that I am here for you, beautiful soul, the one that doesn't have your impenetrable self love bubble built yet and can't see a way out of judgement and self depreciating thoughts. And there's something I need you to know: no matter how much you change- your circumstances, your body, your finances, your job, your relationship status – You are worthy of JOY, LOVE, OPPORTUNITY, and probably the most important and least received: RESPECT. NOW. NEXT MONTH. NEXT YEAR. THIS ENTIRE LIFETIME. IN ANOTHER LIFE. FOREVER. INFINITY. And on that same note, allowing others to shine in THEIR light will never dim what only YOU can offer to the world. So let's light it up! The whole dam world. With love, and kindness, and pure joy, and respect! And babe, if you want to come inside my self love bubble- there's an invitation waiting for you with the link in my profile! Isn't it time you started allowing yourself to feel worthy of these things? Just do you babes! Xoxo Allie _______ #justdoyoucrew #bopo #bodypos #bodypositive #selflove #transformationtuesday #confidence #youareworthy #embracethesquish #everybodyisbeautiful

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I’ve been fat-shamed. Recently, in fact. I know that sickening, gut-punch feeling of humiliation when someone points out that you “like food” a lot more than you used to. (Which is not true at all; I’ve always loved food the same amount. My body just processes it differently now thanks to aging metabolism and a PCOS diagnosis). I know what it’s like to feel like you can’t “pull off” certain trends because of your body shape. I know what it’s like to sit next to a thin person and agonize over the size of my thighs compared to theirs and feel the heat of shame flush my cheeks.

I also know that, as Kimmey puts it, “having fat” doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on the kind of mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend I am. I’m a much better human being now and in a much better place in my life now at a size 14 than I ever was at a size 6.

We can all take a note from the inspiring, beautiful Allison Kimmey and simply just love ourselves, exactly as we are.