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Skin I'm In Series, Feature #1: Tomi Simisola Sodimu

Simisola Naturals' Skin I'm In is an empowerment series that is designed to gather a variety of people to share:

1) a story of their journey with an insecurity

2) how they work to combat it daily

3) any tips & tricks that have helped them on their journey to self-acceptance

Our hope, is that this honest display of vulnerability will encourage others to embrace the skin they are in, and work to actively be kinder to themselves, and others.

Our first feature in this series is our Founder & CEO Tomi Simisola Sodimu. Below, she discusses her struggles with weight and body image:

One of my biggest insecurities - and the one I’ve struggled with the longest - centers around my weight and body image. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a tough and toxic relationship with myself & my body. In my eyes, I’ve been fat for most of my life, and it has honestly been a struggle. I’ve cried, thrown up my food, binge eaten, done fad diets… the works, and somehow I always end up at a crossroads, dissatisfied.

It’s been hard trying to understand my relationship with my body and food. I’ve convinced myself not to go to certain places, not to wear certain things, and robbed myself of happiness and so many memories because I felt so insecure. Do you ever look back at photos and think ‘omg I was so beautiful’ or ‘I want to get back to this weight’ or ‘ooohhhh I was sooo cute’, but then realize in that same moment that you didn’t think so at the time? It’s actually heartbreaking to look back and realize that you deprived yourself of so much because of things you eventually came to start accepting. Despite feeling so unhappy then, I was perfectly healthy and a lot thinner than I am now. This made me realize that there’s no set goal that will make me happy with my body, it’s a journey. A journey of waking up, and accepting/loving ALL of myself daily, regardless of how I show up that day.

To improve my relationship with my body, I’m trying to redefine my relationship with food and fitness by focusing on living a healthy and balanced life, instead of just trying to hit a fitness goal. I find that I feel so much better physically and mentally when I work out, so that has become my why. I’m still not super consistent with it yet, but I’ve made a lot of progress that I’m proud of. I’m also trying to track my binge & emotional eating, and figure out my triggers. I’m hoping by understanding myself better, I will learn better coping mechanisms to help alter those behaviors.

I try to thank my body, as often as I remember. I thank it for sticking with me, and for continuing to function, even on the hardest days. I am also trying to incorporate more affirmations into my life. So, whenever I think something negative about myself, I can combat that with something positive. Grounding myself in God and His word has also really helped. I try to remind myself of who I am in Him and of how much He loves me, whenever I feel sad or insecure about my body.

Ultimately, it’s a process - a hard and long one - but focusing on taking gradual steps, and trying to love yourself no matter how you show up on a particular day, is key. Our bodies are constantly changing, so you cannot base your self-love or contentment with yourself on your looks. I guess my advice would be: show up for yourself, and try to focus on simply living a happy and healthy life.

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