Mom's Viral Post Reminds Us We're So Much More Than A Clothing Size

Mom’s Side By Side Photos Remind Us ‘Thin’ Doesn’t Mean ‘Happy’

Image via Instagram/ Allison Kimmey

Body positive author and speaker shares personal story of weight struggles

So often when we hear a story of someone reaching total self-acceptance with their body, they focus on the triumph only. They spotlight their success. Their weight loss is screamed from the internet rooftops. But one woman is sharing what happened before she found peace with herself and her body, and it’s so relatable because this is real life.

Allison Kimmey, a body positive author, speaker, and mom shared side-by-side photos of herself on Instagram to tell a powerful story. On the left, is a photo of her as a teenager at a size six, and on the right is a photo of her recently at size 18. “At the age of 15 I saw an infomercial for a workout tape system. It guaranteed results in 10 workouts or less. I begged my mom to call and order it for me since I was under 18,” she writes.

At the age of 15 I saw an infomercial for a workout tape system. It guaranteed results in 10 workouts or less. I begged my mom to call and order it for me since I was under 18. 5 weeks later it arrived on my doorstep. Tapes in hand and the Atkins diet plan in mind, I made a promise to myself to lose 50 pounds before my sophomore year began so that I could be like the popular girls. I remember eating a lot of carrots that summer…and as school shopping time rolled around I was able to get a new smaller wardrobe and even buy shorts at Hollister and American Eagle. But when I went back to school in single digit sizes expecting to find popularity, I was met with nothing new. I still didn't fit in. I still felt like the fat girl that I spent all summer trying to erase. The next 7 years I would obsessively work to stay that size while trying to figure out how to fit in with a crowd. I never did. I spent many lonely days trying to find my place. But when I finally stopped trying to be like other people, I started to see who I truly was. I discovered strengths and hobbies, interests and new friends. When I think back, I can see glimpses of my true self peeking through, but I was so scared of what a big personality I had hiding inside. I was afraid to stand out for so long. And now, at 30 years old, I know that it was never about the size in my jeans. It wasn't about who I associated with in high school. Or how many carbs I ate in college. Those things never defined me, and when I let those measures of my former self go, I was able to see that my worth was not tied to anything anyone else could weigh, but instead my ability to unapologetically be my authentic self. Just do you babes and give me a 🙌🏻 if you can relate! Xoxo Allie

A post shared by ALLIE 🌸 Just Do You, Babe! (@allisonkimmey) on

She explains that five weeks later, the tapes arrived on her doorstep.

“Tapes in hand and the Atkins diet plan in mind, I made a promise to myself to lose 50 pounds before my sophomore year began so that I could be like the popular girls.”

“I remember eating a lot of carrots that summer…and as school shopping time rolled around I was able to get a new smaller wardrobe and even buy shorts at Hollister and American Eagle,” she writes.

The problem was, when she got back to school, her new single digit sizes didn’t even matter. Popularity didn’t find her at her new weight.

“I still didn’t fit in. I still felt like the fat girl that I spent all summer trying to erase,” she writes.

Kimmey says that for the next seven years, she obsessively worked to stay in that small size and fit in with the crowd.

“I never did. I spent many lonely days trying to find my place,” she writes. That’s when Kimmey realized that fitting in with certain people, in certain dress sizes, or just fitting in period is a fruitless endeavor. She determined it was time for her to focus on her whole self, not just her body.

“…when I finally stopped trying to be like other people, I started to see who I truly was. I discovered strengths and hobbies, interests and new friends,” she writes. “When I think back, I can see glimpses of my true self peeking through, but I was so scared of what a big personality I had hiding inside. I was afraid to stand out for so long.”

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Kimmey’s journey is truly inspiring because not only is she an advocate for body positivity within herself and other women, she gives inspiration to fellow moms who want to instill self-love in their daughters. Over the summer, she shared a brilliant response to her daughter calling her “fat” in a previous Instagram post.

My daughter called me fat today. She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat. Me: "what did you say about me?" Her: "I said you were fat, mama, im sorry" Me: "let's talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It's not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy. Do you have fat?" Her: "yes! I have some here on my tummy" Me: "that's right! So do I and so does your brother!" Her brother: "I don't have any fat, I'm the skinniest, I just have muscles" Me: "actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts." Her brother: " oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me" Me: "Yes, that's true. Some people have a lot, and others don't have very much. But that doesn't mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand? Both: "yes, mama" Me: "so can you repeat what I said" Them: "yes! I shouldn't say someone is fat because you can't be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it's okay to have different fat" Me: "exactly right!" Them: "can we go back to the pool now?" Me: no 🤣🤣 __________________ Each moment these topics come up i have to choose how I'm going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don't call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school- ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest. Give me a 🙌🏻 if this resonated w u! Just do you! Xoxo Allie

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Kimmey is keeping the conversation around body positivity going, and she’s giving us tools to use in our own lives. As much as she’s triumphant (as she should be) she’s also honest in her reflections and the hard lessons she’s had to learn along the way.

“And now, at 30 years old, I know that it was never about the size in my jeans. It wasn’t about who I associated with in high school. Or how many carbs I ate in college.

“Those things never defined me, and when I let those measures of my former self go, I was able to see that my worth was not tied to anything anyone else could weigh, but instead my ability to unapologetically be my authentic self.”