If you’ve ever convinced yourself that you’ll be happier once you lose 10 pounds or once you’re ‘skinny enough’ to wear your favorite outfits, you’re not alone. For many of us, feeling confident in ourselves and our bodies is a long-term journey. One Instagram influencer we adore who’s inspiring us to love ourselves through life’s ups and downs is Jaimmy Koroma.
Jaimmy knows all too well the struggles of gaining body confidence, but she makes the conscious decision to love herself. Her body positive fitness routine, Pinterest-worthy outfit inspo, and frequent self-love reminders make her one of our favorite women to follow, and we think you’ll love her content as much as we do. “My posts are really just reminders for myself,” Jaimmy says. “But if they inspire others, then that’s pretty freaking great, too!”
Keep reading our Q&A with Jaimmy below where we talk all things self-care, feel-good workouts, and staying body confident.
Hi Jaimmy! We’re so excited to get to know you. Can you share a bit about what inspired you to start your Instagram and blog?
Initially, I started my Instagram and blog as “weight loss journey” inspiration and accountability pages for myself. I took pictures of everything I ate, posted before and after pictures of my “progress,” and set, what I know now, were unattainable goals for myself. I just wanted to be smaller because I believed, at the time, that if I was smaller I would finally get to do all the things I thought my body was holding me back from. I wanted to fall in love and travel and go to the store and grab something off the rack and KNOW it will fit — something I hadn’t done since I was maybe 10. At some point I had gotten down to my lowest weight and I still wasn’t happy. I was working out twice a day and trying to eat in a way that wasn’t sustainable. And as life would have it, I gained a lot of the weight back and that’s when it hit me like a freight train that I couldn’t live my life trying to be smaller. I mean, who’s to say I would be happy then?
How has fitness helped you on your journey to body confidence?
I had to reintroduce myself to fitness after using it as a means of self-hate. I started to do things I enjoyed like skating and riding my bike. The joy I get in seeing what my body can do and the feeling of getting stronger and more energized is just awesome! There’s also those endorphins that kick in after a workout that have helped my mental health.
We love your approach to fitness as a way to strengthen and energize your body! What are your favorite feel-good workouts?
Right now, I love anything that makes me feel like a kid again. No counting calories or crazy intense movements — just FUN. I love riding my bike because it feels like I’m going on an adventure. Jumping on a mini trampoline is a lot of fun and is great at getting the heart pumping. And then there’s dancing! You can find so many dance workouts on Youtube to the best songs and learn choreography! That makes me sweat every time because I am not a dancer, haha!
Has your fitness routine changed at all throughout the pandemic?
Definitely! This pandemic has forced everyone to slow down drastically and I really saw that in my fitness and self care routines because I was no longer on a daily schedule. It wasn’t simply wake up, go to work, go to the gym, go to sleep anymore. There were video calls, weird working hours, having your dog watching you all day being stuck at home — it was different and priorities shifted with the unknown we were all facing. I realized that fitness and self care routines were necessary for my mental health, and I began to add them back into my life. Maybe not as strict or conventional as before, but definitely a priority again.
What do body positivity and body confidence mean to you?
For me, body positivity and body confidence are about freedom. The freedom to live my life so fully, so boldly, and so freely without a care in the world about what my body looks like doing it. If I want to go to the beach, I’m going to throw on a bikini. If I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding, I will wear the dress that fits me and do the YMCA. I won’t apologize for my body when I go on a date. I can eat carbs if I want. For the first time I can just listen to my body.
You have such a positive mindset! How do you maintain this outlook on days that you’re not feeling your best?
On those occasional days that I’m feeling like crap, I have to take a step back and try to acknowledge where those feelings are coming from. 99% of the time it stems from something like I tried on a pair of jeans that fit a few months ago that don’t fit now, or I felt like I ate “a lot” the day before, or I’m going to see a friend I haven’t seen in a long time and I know my body has changed. Once I do that, I can usually talk myself down and say “My body is not the problem. I am still and will always be worthy.” I also try to smile in the mirror once a day before I do anything. It sounds crazy, but before I’ve done my hair or makeup, I just look in the mirror and smile. Most days it’ll feel stupid, especially at the beginning, but soon you’ll be smiling back at the only person whose opinion matters.
Your Pinterest outfit recreation videos are amazing! What inspired you to create this series?
I had seen other mid-size and plus-size bloggers recreating looks and I thought I could take a whack at it. In doing so, I stumbled upon the sad side of Pinterest. Boards titled "Outfits I'd Wear if I Lost Weight" or "If I Were Skinny" are all over the platform and it really bummed me out because fashion is for everybody and EVERY BODY. So I wanted to recreate "trending" looks for the younger generation and infiltrate TikTok. Sadly, there's a lot of weight loss and thinspo targeting people 17 and younger.
Besides fitness, how else do you incorporate self-care into your routine?
I love all things beauty! Doing my makeup is my form of meditation. I just zone out and try to get the best winged eyeliner every time. I love those moments of escape. I started doing my own nails last summer and now I am obsessed. Also, making sure to turn my phone off or leave it in another room and go outside and soak up the sun. Our phones are amazing devices, but they are also an anchor to our lives. I used to grab my phone first thing in the morning and scroll and scroll, but now I grab a book or my journal and jot down my dream from the night before or one thing I want to do that day.
Who are some women who inspire you?
Gosh, there are so many! My mom and my grandma raised me to be as resilient as they are. They have overcome so much adversity and sadness, yet are always so bright and full of hope. Rihanna because she is always so unapologetically herself and marches to the beat of her own drum. We’ve been begging her for another album for years and she does not care! But also her pledge to diversity and inclusivity in her brands has been so inspiring and unprecedented. Serena Williams and Ashley Graham are two other women who are bad-ass in their industries. I’ve admired them for a long time because they face constant criticism yet they’re still amazing at what they do!
With all that you’ve learned so far, if you could give your younger self one piece of advice what would it be?
That’s a hard one. There’s so much I would love to tell her. I think it would be to just live your life and stop doubting who you are and what you can become! My younger self really needed to hear that.
What do you hope your followers take away from your content?
I hope women, and even men, take away that they are not alone in feeling self doubt and thinking they are not good enough because there is another side that CAN be attained which is love and respect for yourself no matter what your body looks like.
Do you have any exciting projects in the works for your social media channels?
Oh, that’s a great question! I hope to make my blog more robust this year and really start writing again. I’ll be continuing the Pinterest recreation looks that I’ve enjoyed doing, and have been well received. People love seeing the same outfit on a different body! I hope to continue to collaborate with some of the other talented creators in this niche.
Last but not least, what will be the first thing on your agenda post pandemic?
TRAVEL!!! Travel, travel, travel! I can’t say that enough. Traveling is one of my favorite things to do and has helped me become more self-accepting over the last few years. When you’re on a glacier in Iceland or drinking a pint in London, who cares what you look like or the size of your jeans! You’re just seeing the world.
Author: Maeve Gesualdi
Last updated on: 8/4/21