Not Mad. Motivated. to Share – Carrie, the Photographer

I was once very thin and it took a random shopping trip for me to figure that out. As a graduate student, I worked in a research laboratory within my department. Somehow, I ended up going shopping with a undergraduate student with whom I worked. She suggested a size 2 pair of jeans for me. I doubtfully tried them on and, surprisingly, I could “fit” them. After reading Carrie, the Photographer, the latest book from author Kira Parris-Moore, I remembered just how difficult it can be to see an honest, unbiased image of one’s self.

Book cover of Carrie, the Photographer

About Carrie, the Photographer

Carrie is a young woman who is forging a successful career as a photographer. Although Carrie takes beautiful pictures of others, she struggles with how she sees herself and develops an eating disorder. This book, for children age 9 and older, follows Carrie’s journey from self-doubt and self-harm to self-love.

Carrie, the Photographer is not just a story, it is a great way to start a conversation with children about body image. Please do not underestimate how important it is to help children develop a healthy image of themselves. A negative body image can lead to many self-destructive behaviors; conversations and modeling healthy behaviors can make a big difference.

After the Book: Let’s talk!

The lack of body confidence as a child or young adult can follow a person for a lifetime. Imagine the negative health impact caused by the mental angst over food and exercise. This is not only an “invitation” for the development of eating disorders, but can also

  • lead to other mental health disorders (including depression and anxiety)
  • affect one’s ability to be an integral part of the community leading to isolation and feeling unaccepted
  • become a building block for toxic relationships with harmful people.

There are direct and indirect messages telling children and young adults that they are not good enough. Play an active role to enforce that they are! Here are a few ways to help:

  • Let them know that every BODY is different and make being different normal – because it is!
  • Help them find beauty everywhere and they will learn to find beauty in themselves.
  • Compliment them often; not just about their looks but on their skills and intelligence, too.
  • Don’t insult anybody’s body – not even as a joke. Children can internalize your words even if your words are not aimed toward them.
  • Love your own body. Be the model that they need!
  • Listen to them. Make their voices matter and help build their self-worth.

Lessons From Carrie, the Photographer

There are many great lessons that you can take away from Carrie, the Photographer. This book is about a young adult named Carrie, but the story is actually told by a younger cousin. This help us remember the need to model healthy behaviors.

Carrie finds strength to get better with support. This lets us know that good support is the key to our success. No matter what your goal is, having support makes it easier to attain that goal. Children need to know that they are never expected to go through any difficulty alone.

We also learn to accept our differences and to focus on what makes us special. Let us make a point to show our children just how special they are to us and to the world.

The final lesson that I want to share is one that I did not expect from a children’s book. Remember: your benchmark for success will change as your self-worth and self-awareness improves! I love this. Too often, we gauge success on the money we make and the things we can buy. However, often, when we value ourselves more, the positive impact we have on others defines our success better than our bank accounts.

I’m Not Mad. I’m Motivated.

I was very active as a teen and a young adult. Running track and participating in marching band, along with many other activities, kept me moving throughout high school. I walked SO MUCH in college and graduated school because I did not start driving until I was 24. And with the diverse group of students I interacted with in graduate school, I also danced a great bit! I stayed active. My body weight was healthy. Yet I found myself worried about how I looked physically many times during those years.

Did my lack of confidence in my appearance leave me vulnerable to a toxic relationship as an adult? Probably likely. But I am Not Mad. I am Motivated. Motivated to share stories like Carrie, the Photographer in the hopes to remind you that you are Beautiful – so that you can remind the children in your life that they are too!

Go tell someone that they are beautiful! This card I made will go to my 16 year old niece.

Faith is. . .

What is Faith to you?

Faith is knowing, even when you are not sure.

Faith is living after you close a door.

Faith is finding joy among your sorrows.

Faith is holding on to hope for all your tomorrows.

Faith doesn’t mean that everything is perfect,

but Faith let’s you know that the work is worth it.

Life comes with hardships. It comes with pain.

Be motivated by Faith and let Faith direct your aim.

Not Mad. Motivated.
Let Faith turn your “Why Me” into “A Better Me”.

A Poem For My Mom

My mother wants to help everyone.

No matter how old. No matter how young.

She cares for family and those known for a while.

Even for a stranger, she’ll go an extra mile.

In times when there’s danger, she never backs down.

Not even when a scary virus is all around town.

She checks for fevers in case someone’s sick.

Being extremely careful and prayer is her helpful trick.

Her job is to help but she never stops there.

There is no limit on when or where she will care.

A Not Mad. Motivated. Store/Story : : : End – of – Inventory Alert

It has been a busy week at Not Mad. Motivated. (NMM) as we recently invested in a WordPress Business Plan. Since the start of NMM in 2018, all of our sells have been made in person. We are now expanding our business to accommodate future customers in more distant regions! As we continue building our online store, we question whether to include one of our three styles of tee shirts, since the style has only seven adult shirts currently available. Instead of excluding these seven shirts from our store, we decided to highlight them in a blog post!

In August of 2017, our son was diagnosed with Autism. Although we had expected the diagnosed, the new certainty had a huge impact. When you think about it, nothing had really changed from one day to the other. However, simultaneously, everything changed! What do we need to know? How do we build our son’s team? What must we do differently to increase our son’s ability to learn and thrive? Will he ever be able to speak? Was his Autism caused by something we did? How do we figure all this out, and more, while balancing a full-time career and two other children? To say the least, there were lots of anxiety that came after his diagnosis. We did not have many answers about the future, but a pause became necessary. And our Not Mad. Motivated. mindset was ignite.

The phrase “Not Mad. Motivated.” was initially inspired by the need to grow from a negative situation. This is not to say that Autism is a negative; instead the negatives were the anxieties and worries that came along with the diagnosis. Thinking forward, we knew that it would be ideal to reduce the need of full-time employment in order to be more flexible for our family’s needs. Before September 2017 was over, the Trademark process to protect the phrase “Not Mad. Motivated.” had been started with the idea of creating a family business that would eventually help supplement us financially.

After our trademark application was submitted, we began to worked on a design to incorporated on our first tee shirts. With a few disappointing attempts for the perfect design, we decided to keep our first shirts simple. Just the words “Not Mad. Motivated.”! We had a few shirts made for the family in 2017, and purchased a larger order in 2018 that were made available to the public. We have seven adults tees left to sell and they are now available at our online store. Although our store is not yet complete, we would like to invite you to view and shop during our soft-opening. We also invite your comments and request for additional sizes and colors.

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Size Small in Maroon (1) ; Size X-Large in Brown (1) and Light Blue (2); Size 3X-Large in Maroon (1), Brown (1), and Royal Blue (1)

You Inspired . . . A Not Mad. Motivated. Poem

You inspired me to grow

by trying to make me feel small.

You inspired me to know

by acting like you knew it all.

You inspired my voice

by telling me to be silent.

You inspired my choice

by you being violent.

– A Not Mad. Motivated. Poem

This poem is not about accepting [domestic] violence; instead, it is about accepting one’s experience of it. This poem is about realization of strength, determination to thrive, and turning someone’s hateful acts into acts of self love because. . .

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

No one deserves to be abused! If you are in an abusive relationship, please find the strength to leave it. It is easier said then done, but you are worth it! If you need help, call your local domestic violence hotline, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for support, resources and advice.