Fitness

One Woman’s Reminder to Not Succumb to “Summer Body” Pressure

If you’ve seen videos floating around on social media urging you to take a photo of yourself now, and then again in six months, Jaimmy Koroma shared this amazing video in response, saying, “There’s nothing wrong with looking exactly the way you do now six months from now.”

Koroma tells POPSUGAR, “As soon as the new year rolls around, we are bombarded from January up until summer to change our bodies, to ‘get ready for summer,’ or that ‘this is the year you finally lose the weight.'” Koroma says that the sheer volume of “film your body now and then again in the summer” videos — from both men and women — broke her heart. “But what if your body doesn’t change? Will you not enjoy your summer? Are you not enough right now? I just had to try to put my video amongst the mix,” Koroma says.

Embracing her body wasn’t always easy for Koroma. “I wish I could say I have always had a positive outlook about my body, but I definitely grew up seeing SlimFast in everyone’s fridge and Jenny Craig during every commercial break.” She adds, “Every summer since I was 13, I would try to lose weight so I could be pretty, and it did not happen. I wish I could tell that little girl that she was pretty, but that she was much more than that.” This turning point didn’t happen for her until about two to three years ago. She admits that if you scroll down long enough on her Instagram page, you’ll see that it used to be a weight-loss account, with pictures of food and before-and-afters. “It’s taken a lot of unlearning and learning to get here,” Koroma says.

To anyone who thinks they need to change or shrink their body to “get ready for summer,” Koroma says, “You don’t. You don’t need to change your body in order to put on a pair of shorts, wear a bikini, or enjoy your life. Life is too short and has so much more to offer if you stop focusing on what you look like. It’s about adventure and making memories. And you, right now, you’re already ready!”

Koroma says a lot of people see her messages and interpret them to mean that she doesn’t want people to improve. But, she says, “You can want to be healthier, stronger, faster, and have more energy without focusing on your physical appearance and the numbers on the scale. I don’t weigh myself anymore. I just go to the gym and say, ‘Wow! I did more push-ups than I did yesterday!’ And that’s enough.”

Koroma captioned another recent post, “I saw a new stretch mark in the mirror yesterday and I winked at it. I’m just so happy in my skin these days — not to say I don’t still have bad days, but self-hate just has no business here anymore!” In the caption of the video above, Koroma says, “You better enjoy your summer body regardless! I’ll meet you at the beach!”

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