Well, it’s been a bit since I’ve been here sharing my heart with you all. Alas, today is the day that I break my blogging silence. There has been a LOT that has transpired since my last post, and an update is definitely in the books. This post however, is not so much a personal update, but an announcement. A new blogging series that has presented itself to me. EmpowerHER. A unique look into feminine self love, acceptance, truth, and one small business owner striving to empower.
As you may or may not be aware, I am a LuLaRoe Retailer. My job is not solely to sell clothing, my job is to also uplift other women, boost confidence and take my opportunities and bless the lives of others. Since September I have seen first hand how something as seemingly insignificant, as in a clothing brand, has created a wave of confidence among the women that surround me. Every day I see the amazing power of self love and I want to share it with you all.
Today I interview myself, Tami Elizabeth.
How old are you?
I am 32 years young.
What is your profession?
I am a bachelors prepared nurse, but I currently do not work as a nurse, I am a LuLaRoe Retailer and a owner of a small business, Sugs’ Shoppe.
What is your passion?
Advocacy, empowering women, sewing, being a supportive wife and mother.
Are you a mother?
If yes, how many children and ages.
I have two boys, Graeme age 3 and Adler age 1.
If yes, how has MOTHERHOOD changed your self-image?
Motherhood is a bit of a rollercoaster for me, I have struggled with my lack of weight for, well..forever. When I became pregnant, both times, although I had hyperemesis gravidarum, I gained between 50-60 pounds. I loved my new found curves, curves I had never encompassed before. The thickness of my thighs was a welcoming feature. Once I had my boys, the weight slipped off me through breastfeeding. Both times I came out of the fourth trimester weighing less than I did when I had become pregnant in the first place. I have been left with diastasis recti (separation of abdominal muscles during the stretching of pregnancy), empty breasts replacing the full and voluptuous ones of my past, and a desire to gain 15 pounds.
Describe characteristics of a beautiful woman.
I find beauty in all sizes, shapes and colors. I believe the most attractive assets a woman can embody have to do with her level of empathy, confidence and treatment of those who come in contact with her.
Do you believe that you are beautiful?
Have you dealt with body shaming?
Yes, as a woman who is “skinny” I have been shamed for it. I have heard “eat a hamburger why don’t you?” “You’re too skinny Tami, go eat something…” I have met resistance as a retailer because, how could someone with my body understand a woman who has a pear shape, or hour glass or so on and so on…
Have you ever dealt with a mental health disorder? (ie: eating disorders, anxiety, depression, PTSD…)
Yes, I have depression, anxiety, and most likely struggle with an eating disorder. Yikes. It takes a great deal of reminding to nourish myself. My children and husband are fed, but I may have skipped breakfast and lunch. It’s not entirely intentional, as most mental disorders are far from “controllable.” I am commonly ashamed of my weight as I step on the scale to see that I have again, dropped pounds. A common issue I have found is when my mind is filled with anxiety and stress I don’t eat. It’s not a healthy way to work through my anxiety, I know, but it’s what my brain resorts to.
If yes, how have you overcome or how are you working on healing?
It is a daily struggle for me. I am currently taking medications for depression, anxiety, and appetite suppression. As a nurse you would assume that I am very good at medication regimens, but that assumption is false. I am horrible at this area of self-care. Luckily I have an amazing husband that supports me and understands my struggles. He ensures I have taken my nightly medications and also chirps in through text messages throughout the day asking about what I have eaten for breakfast or lunch. Where, oh where would I be without him? I also have stopped talking negatively in regards to myself, no more standing in the mirror examining my body and exclaiming “you’re too skinny,” instead I look in the mirror and see my empty breasts and remember what great sacrifices I gave to nourish my children’s bodies.
As a busy woman, what steps do you take towards SELF CARE?
I have daily positive affirmations “I am an amazing wife. I am an amazing mother. I am a successful business woman.” I take my medications as directed. I go out and get my hair dyed in crazy colors, because well… I LOVE IT! I take time almost every day to put on something that makes me feel pretty, and most days I will take a photo of myself looking put together, because ya… sometimes I need a reminder that I’m not always covered in baby snot with a mom bun!
What is your most challenging feature?
I’d say it’s my diastasis recti. I have always been a muscular person (mostly because I have very little fat), my muscles end abruptly as you go to the center of my abdomen, there is an interesting soft squishy portion in the center that always brings a twinge of self-loathing… oh and we can’t forget the empty breasts, I am slowly starting to love them again.
What do you LOVE about your body?
I love my hair, my eyes, my lips, my booty, my muscular arms, calves & thighs, but most of all my heart.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Throwing on a dress like the Julia or Ana, as they hug my little curves, putting on some firey red lipstick and mascara!
What was your first LuLaRoe piece you purchased?
A black pair of One Size leggings, that ended up not fitting. Needless to say my skinny booty appreciates the Tween size leggings.
What is your favorite style/s to wear?
My favorite style to wear is the Ana, it has a form shaping top, three quarter length sleeves and a scoop neck, the skirt is maxi length and is so flowy, makes me feel “regal.” I also truly enjoy the Julia dress, a bodycon fit that accentuates the little bit that I have!
Has LuLaRoe affected your self-image, your confidence?
Absolutely. Remember? Skinny shaming? LuLaRoe has a plethora of styles and sizing, one of my favorite ways to wear my pretties is OVERSIZED. Wearing an oversized Irma (tunic) for example, hides my rail thin appearance, doesn’t hug my body and instead of getting flooded with comments on how thin I am, I am getting commentary about how nice I look, or how fun an outfit is I have put together. Plus, what a better confidence boost, then to be a Retailer and HELP other women feel as gorgeous as they already are!
How does LuLaRoe fit into your everyday life?
It is my every day. I wake up and throw on a pair of leggings with my Patrick T I slept in the night before, cook my kiddos breakfast. I clean in my LuLaRoe, I chase children in my LuLaRoe, and I easily transition from mama to sexy wife with a quick change into a Julia dress. I wear LuLaRoe every day. It easily fits into my bohemian inspired style with the long maxi length skirts, interesting patterns to mix with, and complete and utter comfort!
In a world where it is so very easy to have self doubt, choose to love yourself instead.
Peace & Self Love y’all