EmpowerHER || Heidi

I was incredibly lucky to have met this woman back when we were in high school, playing sports together. She was a firecracker and so much fun! As time went on distance grew between us, my interactions with her being solely through social media–little tid bits from status updates, until recently. As I have embarked on this LuLaRoe Retailer trek I have found support from women I haven’t spoken to or seen in a long time. I am blessed to have such amazing women in my world. I am pleased to introduce you to my friend Heidi, her “mom-bod” and her journey to finding self love.

Irma + Cassie
Photography by Tami Elizabeth
How old are you?

33

What is your profession?

Probationary Case Manager for Juveniles

What is your passion?

My children, the legal system, and working with kids (primarily kids that are labeled “bad”).

Are you a mother?

Yes!

If yes, how many children and ages.

2 wild and crazy kids! 1 girl and 1 boy! Rosalyn (Rose-a-lyn) 4, who is a SPITFIRE! And Gabriel who is 3 and is my little handy man!

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

Oh wow! What a loaded question! I have definitely struggled with the mom-bod! I had two c-sections. The first one was an emergency c-section. Rose was born two months premature because I had pre-eclampsia. I used to be a pretty fit and slender person. Now, I cannot seem to keep/get the weight off. There are days that I lock myself in the bathroom and cry because I hate the way I look. Even though my body created two beautiful miracles, my mind still cannot come to peace with the fact that I may never have that cute, petite, athletic body back. I will be honest, somedays, I HATE my body. But I am working on it.

Irma + Cassie
Photography by Tami Elizabeth
Describe characteristics of a beautiful woman.

Someone who is confident, regardless of the shape of size of their body. Someone who goes out and reaches for the “unobtainable”. The only way we can rise, is if we rise together. We will never rise if we are constantly putting each other down and pitting one another against each other.

Do you believe that you are beautiful?

It depends on the day you ask me. Again, this is something I work on every day. I have two children that observe EVERYTHING I do every day. It is not always easy being positive telling myself I look beautiful even when I feel like I look like I should crawl back under the covers and wait for tomorrow to come. I want my children to love their body and to love and respect everyone else, regardless of what they look like.

Have you dealt with body shaming?

I will stick up for others body shamming themselves or when people body shame someone else. I think I need to take a lesson out of my own book. It is NOT ok for me to body shame myself. But again, I am working on it. It isn’t easy. I work around many women who are always dieting and exercising and complaining about how it is not working for them. There is always that voice in the back of my mind that says “Wow, if they think that of themselves, what in the hell do they say of me? “ I do not exercise, aside from chasing around my wild and crazy kids, but I do eat healthy for the most part.

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

Since 2004 I have been dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and General Depression that is often accompanied by panic attacks. I went through a traumatic experience in 2007, when I was 23, where my boyfriend was killed in a motorcycle accident. His parents were unable to identify the body because it was really hard on them (can you blame them?) so I made the decision to identify the body for them. My life spiraled downward from there for quite some time. My depression gripped a hold of me like a vice on a piece of wood. Which, looking back, was to be expected, but I didn’t know what was up and what was down. I just constantly felt like I was drowning. I also felt like I was being left behind by all of my friends because they were moving forward with their lives (as they should have!) and I was stuck in that ONE moment (or maybe it was several hours in one day?) and I kept reliving it EVERY single day. My best friend was doing everything in her power to keep me sane and stable while managing her own life. I still struggle with anxiety and depression to this day. But I am ok with that…most days.

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

It is a challenge every day. I have my family, my best friends, my husband (who is also my best friend…most of the time, lol), my children, and my dogs. I have to remind myself that life is not perfect and it will never be perfect. I also have to remind myself that social media can give us false ideas that someone’s life is perfect. I have news for everyone reading this…people only allow you to see/read what they WANT you to see and read. Everyone has struggles and difficulties. So never lose hope. Everyone struggles. Everyone has bad days/weeks/months/years, etc.

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

I like to take long, hot baths with lavender oil. I also love to get lost in a good book. It is so easy for me to get lost in a book.

What is your most challenging feature?

My most challenging feature for me is my stomach.

What do you LOVE about your body?

My eyes, my natural dark blond hair (I like to get highlights and play around with it- sometimes with some auburn). And this is weird, but I love my feet! They are small and cute.

Irma + Cassie Photography by Tami Elizabeth
What makes you feel beautiful?

Lately, LuLaRoe makes me feel beautiful. I put on ANYTHING LuLaRoe, and I feel so different about myself. My confidence level rises and I feel more secure with the body that I now have. It doesn’t matter if I am in a pair of leggings, or a Cassie, or a Carly, I just feel classy, and confident.

What was your first LuLaRoe piece you purchased?

I actually purchased three pieces the first time. I bought a Cassie Skirt, a pair of leggings, and an Irma!

What is your favorite style/s to wear?

When I am at work, I wear my Cassie Skirts to court (they looks very professional, but are so completely comfortable!) paired with my Irma’s. I have always worn my Carly with my black leggings. I do not really have a favorite, because it all depends on my mood that day.

Has LuLaRoe affected your self-image, your confidence?

For me, LuLaRoe has helped me forget the things that make me feel self-conscious. I can put on any item of LuLaRoe and I feel good. I feel good about the way I look, I feel confident that I look beautiful, flaws and all. Most importantly, it makes me want to tell other women that they are beautiful! There is such a stigma that we have to judge each other in a negative manner. I feel like LuLaRoe has broken that barrier and said “Yes! Judge each other, but in a positive manner! Share positive things with other women! Tell other women that they look beautiful!” We are not competing with each other. We are here to life each other up and empower one another. LuLaRoe does that.

How does LuLaRoe fit into your everyday life?

I can be a mom, a professional, a wife, and a friend in my LuLaRoe. The outfit I wore to work, I can switch it up a little and wear to wedding or out to movie with my husband. I can wear that same outfit and play with my kids in and be completely comfortable.

 

Peace & Self Love y’all

Tami Elizabeth