EmpowerHER || Christy

Building Confidence with LuLaRoe

I traveled to Grand Rapids this past weekend to have a Boutique Pop Up at my dear friend Christy’s house. We have known each other since middle school, in fact we were the perfect awkward pair. Short hair, glasses, crazy…it’s just how we rolled. I giggle thinking about the none sense the two of us spoke of, what we laughed about, the clothes we wore, the things we did. Now fast forward and you find us knee deep in toddler toys, screaming and grunting little boys, and husbands that adore us. We haven’t always been in touch, it’s the typical, we graduated and split ways, and found each other later on this world wide web. Facebook brought me snippets of Christy’s life, with her handsome son and hubby she is obviously madly in love with. With my venture into LuLaRoe, I invited Christy to my group and introduced her to the brand that she has described to me, as life changing.

I am so very honored to have been able to immerse myself into the Long family, giggling with their baby boy, roaming around downtown Alger and reconnecting with an “old friend.” Now, without further delay, I introduce you to Christy.

Ana + Sarah
Photography by Tami Elizabeth

How old are you?

31 years old.

What is your profession?

Stay at Home Mommy. I have my dream job and although it can be stressful some days, I enjoy every moment of it! (I am also waiting in the Queue to become a LuLaRoe Retailer!!)

What is your passion?

Being a Wife and Mother. Making people laugh. LuLaRoe.

Are you a mother?

I sure am! If yes, how many children and ages. I have one active and sweet boy named Gideon. He is almost 20 months.

If yes, how has MOTHERHOOD changed your self-image?

Although many days I struggle to comprehend what giving birth to a child has done to my body and … my hormones to boot, I ultimately feel more beautiful having given birth to my son and even though many days it doesn’t feel like it, I know I am strong.

Describe characteristics of a beautiful woman.

I truly believe that beauty lies within. Honesty, thoughtfulness, genuineness, and strength are a few things that I feel make a beautiful woman.

Do you believe that you are beautiful?

I know I am beautiful. Especially after I answered the last question. However, many days I am not able to see it. I have always struggled with poor self confidence and some days all I can see is the negative aspects of my body and mind.

Have you dealt with body shaming?

Unfortunately, Yes, yes, and YES! I have been overweight most of my life, with periods of weight loss and then weight gain. I was one of the fat kids in school and as much as I value them (because they make me, me!) now, my chubby cheeks and dimples did not help. Sadly, my weight usually gets the best of me, even when I was a weight that I would LOVE to be at now. There have been a few times in my life that my body has cooperated and I have lost weight. When that would happen, people would tell me how huge I was prior to losing the weight and how great I looked after losing it. Some people even treat you differently when you lose weight. Now, at the biggest I have ever been, despite taking better care of me than I ever have, I feel like everyone is judging my weight. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to body shaming. I learned to make fun of myself before anyone else could. I am now trying to break that awful habit.

Have you ever dealt with a mental health disorder? (ie: eating disorders, anxiety, depression, PTSD … )

Absofreakinglutely. I am tempted to write a book.. but will try to keep this somewhat short and simple. I had Anxiety as a child, although I am just now figuring that out. I started to see a therapist at the age of 12 due to social anxiety and was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder as a teenager and hospitalized 4 times throughout high school for self mutilation, suicidal thoughts, etc. I made it through my late teens and early twenties, not making the best choices, but I made it through. I thought I knew it all. Ha. In 2012 I had a “breakdown” and ended up admitting myself into a partial/day hospitalization program at a local mental health facility. Sometimes that is the only way to see psychiatrist and/or therapist fast, due to the lack of mental health care professionals. Ever since, I have not stopped advocating and pushing to get better, to learn more, to do my very best, and always make progress. I have since learned that I may have been misdiagnosed as Bipolar, as I currently am only showing the symptoms of depression and anxiety. I also struggled with some pretty nasty postpartum depression and anxiety after having my son.

If yes, how have you overcome or how are you working on healing?

I am always, and always will be, a work in progress. I have had to be strong and advocate for myself along the way, but am so thankful that I can do that. I now have an absolutely AMAZING therapist who I highly recommend to everyone I can. I am so thankful for her knowledge. I see her monthly. I also still have appointments with my midwife to help me keep my wonky hormones in check as much as is possible. My Midwife is also such a beautiful, inspiring, and empowering lady. They are my care team and I constantly put forth effort and hard work to be as strong of a wife, mother, and individual as I can. I have decided that currently medication is not the best option for me, after having been on it for a huge portion of my life, and I am using holistic alternatives. 4 years after that my initial breakdown, I am finally starting to find me. I could not have done it without my supportive and patient husband who is always there to listen to me and not pass judgement. I use the tools my therapist gives me and strive to be my very best and very strongest me every single moment of every single day. Things like not watching the news have been huge for me too.

Reinspired Treasures Alger, MI

As a busy woman, what steps do you take towards SELF CARE?

As mentioned, I visit my therapist and my midwife. I do guided meditation from time to time and would like to do it more. I take vitamins and supplements. I do my very best to recognize intrusive and negative thinking and be as positive as I can. I try to take time for me and time for date nights . I also do small things like dabbing on some essential oils!

What is your most challenging feature?

My stomach. I have an “apron” belly and I despise it. It is somewhat common but for some reason I always feel like I am the only woman that has one. It has had many nicknames and it has always been my most loathed part of my body. My “bingo wings” come in second.

Ana + Sarah
Photography by Tami Elizabeth

What do you LOVE about your body?

My thick and healthy hair is my favorite. I haven’t always , but I now love my dimples. For some strange reason I like my neck too.

What makes you feel beautiful?

My Husband, my Son, and LuLaRoe. A good hair day and some make up go a long way too!

Joshua & Christy || Patrick T + Ana + Sarah

What was your first LuLaRoe piece you purchased?

A pair of floral leggings from Flor. After wondering what the heck LuLaRoe was for a while, I gave in and was hooked!

What is your favorite style/s to wear?

My favorite style to wear, that I own, is the Carly dress. It is so versatile and I can wear a variety of sizes. I love that I can wear it as pajamas after a long day and continue that comfort! I also like that a hair tie or a belt can transform the Carly. Fun , cute, and comfortable! … update: Got an Ana and a Sarah at my most recent pop up with Tami. It is a 3 way tie! LOVE!!!

Has LuLaRoe affected your self-image, your confidence?

In so many ways. The biggest being that LuLaRoe has brought me out of my comfort zone. I have never been one to be excited about clothes and now I am like.. ooohh look at that print.. feel this fabric. I feel like it has changed me for the better and is improving my confidence. LuLaRoe has helped me connect to old friends such as Tami, new people, myself, and created a new bond within current friendships and relationships. Yay for all the Lula Lovers!

How does LuLaRoe fit into your everyday life?

LuLaRoe really is a huge part my everyday life. I do not shut up about it and it is rare to catch me in anything besides LuLaRoe. I have an area on my stomach that is still sore from my c section, so the comfort of LuLaRoe is a lovely thing for me. I can chase my kiddo around, jump, dance, and do the laundry, all while not feeling restricted.

 

Peace & Self Love Y’all,

Tami Elizabeth