Meet Our Model: Ali
Who Ali Kay
What inspired you to share your wellness journey on social media? I honestly started sharing my wellness journey for somewhat selfish reasons. I posted this very raw photo of myself almost 200 pounds, postpartum, and kind of just put it out there in the world saying that I was going to start working to better myself. There wasn’t any "after" photo to go with that first initial “before” photo. I thought if I put it all out there then it would keep me accountable to follow through with my goals. I quickly found so many people, mostly strangers, sending me positive and uplifting messages. I also received so many messages from women sharing that they were in the same boat, which kept inspiring me to document my entire journey to show that it is possible.
What about fear—were there ever moments of hesitation? Yes, 100%. Even to this day, I question myself if I made a mistake putting myself out there like I have. Sometimes I feel like I am standing naked in front a crowd for anyone and everyone to judge, criticize, and pick apart my imperfections as a person. And sometimes it’s a sucky feeling. But my goal for sharing my journey and being so open and raw has always been to inspire at least one person. And I continuously receive these messages, from women, on a daily basis, who say my journey has given them the inspiration they need to know that they can do it too. And that makes it all worth it.
What motivates you every day? I have found that when I am consciously working on bettering myself mentally, physically and spiritually I am giving my best self to the people I care about most in my life, especially my kids. I think that’s what keeps me motivated. In order to be the best mother, wife, daughter, sister, business owner, and friend, I must keep putting in the work towards myself every single day and that is the “why” that drives my motivation to keep pushing forward.
What’s inspiring you at the moment? Lately, I have been finding so much inspiration by studying interior design on my down time. I love to just scroll beautiful interiors. There’s a Japanese term, “Wabi-sabi" concept that I am drawn to in design which consists of finding the beauty in imperfections. And I think this overall term is something that has been inspiring me in every single area of my life that continues to bring peace in my life and inspires me to strive for authenticity no matter what people or society expects from you.
Where is your dream vacation? The Maldives! It is on my bucket list and I am going to make this trip happen hopefully sooner than later.
Where do you go to find yourself? My long runs. I am someone who needs to recharge at the end of the day and especially as a mother, I don’t always get that alone time, so going on my long runs are very sacred to me.
Where do you feel most energized? After a workout. I honestly feel so high and energized. I truly believe I can do anything after a workout.
Where did you go shopping for your first bra? Victoria's Secret. And it’s funny because I look back on pictures of me during those early years and I can’t help but to notice how padded and unnatural my bras looked in my shirts. The experience was overwhelming. I still get overwhelmed when I go bra shopping. I still don’t really know what size I am, and there’s just too many bras out there which makes it so hard to figure out which one is right for me.
Where do you see your businesses in the next year? The next year for me and my staging business is all about delegating and getting organized. My home staging business has grown substantially over the past 2 years and as a start-up business, I am at a good place where I can now separate myself from the business and do what’s best for the business, which means hiring amazing people to continue to grow and operate it. I am also very excited to focus more on my passion with connecting and motivating others through the "Invest Your Best" podcast & my online coaching business and fitness challenge groups.
Why did you decide to start your podcast? It’s funny because a podcast really wasn’t in the plan. I know I had a desire to build a community and connect more with individuals starting a wellness journey to better themselves, but I didn’t know I’d be doing that through a podcast. Someone approached me about the opportunity, I said yes because I am a “yes” person and the rest is history. I didn’t set any expectations for the podcast and truly didn’t think anyone would listen. But the podcast has been a great way to connect more with individuals and grow that community I’ve always wanted to initiate, plus I truly enjoy it and apparently others enjoy it too because it has reached over 120,000 downloads in the past 5 months.
Why are you excited about Wherewithal? I am so excited about Wherewithal because I don’t have the time in my life to worry about my bra not fitting or supporting me. I have to say I was truly surprised with how great this bra fits and it really doesn’t move...it actually stays in place even when I am lifting my 25 pound child in the air. I think we, as women, have waited far too long for a bra to correctly fit and support us, and I think Wherewithal is going to set the standard very high for all the other bras out there.
You're the owner and founder of Lakeland Staging, you’re studying to be a certified health coach, you have a successful podcast and social media channels, not to mention you’re the mother of two! When do you make time for yourself? I make time for myself every single morning for 30 minutes a day in the gym or outside for a run. Moving my body for 30 minutes a day is the medicine I need for both my physical and mental health, and I continue to make this time a priority in my life no matter how “busy” I am. I truly believe you must prioritize that time for yourself, even if it’s only 30 minutes a day, because this time allows you to give your best self to everyone around you.
When did you last have an uncomfortable / funny / embarrassing bra moment? Oh man, I think I’ve had a lot of uncomfortable and embarrassing bra moments in my life. I recently decided to wear those silicone self-adhesive gel cups with a dress a couple months ago to a holiday brunch with my family, and I went to pick up my 2-year old who was of course having a tantrum and as I picked him up, I could feel the gel cups starting to slip. I went to re-adjust my son on my hip, as he was screaming and kicking, and within seconds my gel cups slid all the way down to the floor. I tried catching them with my knees as they slid down because in that moment I chose my son over saving my gel cups from falling, but I am not that coordinated so couldn’t catch them with my knees... Luckily, no one saw, but that was a very embarrassing moment for me. I had to scoop up my gel cups off the floor, stuff them in my purse, and go the rest of the brunch braless in my dress with a cranky toddler. Not to mention, I am not a cute braless person if you know what I mean.
When did you first feel comfortable in your own skin? I honestly didn’t first feel comfortable in my own skin until after I had my second son. I was 29 and I am 32 now. It has taken me a long time to learn to accept and love myself for who I am and who I strive to be. I feel so empowered, in every aspect of my life, after becoming a mother and even though I have stretch marks, saggy skin etc., I’ve never felt more comfortable being myself today and embracing all my imperfections.
You’ve shared your journey w/ Women’s Health, The DailyMail, and most recently Access Hollywood—What’s next? I really don’t know, and that’s the exciting part. I never planned any of this so I am just going to keep doing what I am doing, hopefully focus more on the podcast, and embracing the doors that open and even the doors that close. The unknown is thrilling for me, and I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.
Do you have a favorite social media channel or type of content you enjoy creating? I am drawn to women on social media who are embracing their authentic selves and empowering and uplifting other women, and that’s the content I enjoy creating too. I really appreciate the creators who are sharing their real-life experiences whether it’s body image struggles, mental health, family life etc.. Because it helps open doors to start important conversations, like mental health, and normalize that it’s okay to not have it all together. I think sharing real life experiences rather than the “highlight reels” can help at least one person who might be struggling in the same area, and that’s where social media can be such a powerful and uplifting tool.