What does beauty mean to you?
The older I get and the more I grow myself spiritually I realize Beauty is everywhere. It’s much more than the perception of the physical form which was a huge lesson for me to learn. The more we look outside ourselves and lose our egos, the world truly becomes more beautiful. Beauty to me is authenticity, confidence, and loving others genuinely for who they are.
When do you feel most beautiful?
When I know I have uplifted and assisted another person. I have had to learn to be comfortable in my skin, which has been a long process in discovering my self-worth. I feel most women have a hard time with this as well. Comparison to our societal mirror of what Beauty is or should be, creates doubt. Loving yourself where you are and being confident in saying I am uniquely beautiful is my wish for everyone.
What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman to me is a blessing of a sisterhood. A life filled with friends, family, and women who become sisters by choice. Women are uniquely compassionate, strong, and challenging (maybe that’s the hormones?). Surrounding myself with amazing women has been the biggest gift of my life.
What do you love about yourself?
I love that I have been blessed with the ability to communicate, uplift, and encourage many people by simply being myself. I love that I am inspiring and challenging to others in their lives.
Tell me your story.
The short version is the person you see today is a successful business owner with multiple streams of income and a desire to assist and inspire others. I was raised and surrounded by good people and great family. BUT, I was overweight as a child. At the age of 10 I was sent with my Grandmother to Weight Watchers. Sending me to meetings with adults was filled with good intentions, but unfortunately it created a belief system in my mind that I simply wasn’t good enough and I needed to be fixed. Instead of creating confidence in myself, it did the opposite. I spent my entire life to this point dieting and trying to fix myself. I have always been a never quit, try everything, keep going person.
At the age of 39 I had become severely depressed which nobody knew on the outside. My health was declining to the point of not being able to move and I was completely out of control. I spent my days in bed all day everyday with no energy to do anything. It was then that the little voice got loud and said it’s time to do something. I had no idea what to do or how to do it. I have failed at every attempt to lose weight and fix myself. I made the decision I would do whatever it took and on my 40th birthday my journey began.
It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t a magic pill; I failed and failed and never gave up. I learned to question why I do what I do and why I believe what I believe. The more I examined myself the more progress came.
I know most are still looking for the magic words or the magic diet. The work on yourself is the key to everything and its the hardest part, much more than food we consume. I have finally found that balance for myself between my thoughts and beliefs, eating and balancing my body through nutritional cleansing and truly fueling my body and mind with what it needs.
As I stand here now proudly 50 and fabulous! The ten years it took me to get it right, to change and adjust the course over and over again, has totally been worth the tears and frustration. I am proud to say I have released a lifetime of negative beliefs about myself, my life and the world.
For me that’s bigger than the physical appearance of releasing 145 pounds but it’s both together that make me proud and excited when I look in the mirror and know that I am here with a purpose to encourage, inspire, uplift, and assist so many others who’s stories are just like mine.
What do you think was the biggest turning point in your life?
The biggest turning point in my life was without a doubt the birth of my nephew who is autistic.
Becoming an aunt of a special-needs child shifted everything in my life. Not having children of my own, my sunshine and my heart have been my niece and my nephew. Autism means everything has to be learned from a different perspective. What we knew didn’t matter, was what we needed to learn for him that created constant change and adaptation. He has been and is my and my family’s biggest teacher.
In life we go through our days thinking what we know is true and never challenging it. When we are forced to ponder the question “what if” what you thought you knew was wrong all this time, is when growth and change occur. This child has given us all the gift of looking at everything from a different perspective.
Please finish the statement- I am a person who…
believes anything is possible and everything is mindset.
Tell me about a goal you are working on.
Professional Goals: to create 5 six-figure earners per year by assisting others in achieving their life’s vision, passion, and goals personally and professionally.
Health Goals: to continue to get better and better and stronger and stronger. Age is just a number.
Personal Goals: to be a light and love in supporting and assisting others who wish to do the work and truly create a healthy mind and body.
Toma Houston Photography is a member of Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Specializing in children’s and portrait photography, serving the Greater Chicagoland area. You can view more of Toma Houston Photography’s portfolio here.