Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Parenting Pointers: Positive Self-Esteem

In My Big Bottom Blessing: How Hating My Body Led to Loving My Life, Teasi Cannon shares her journey of learning to re-think how she sees herself. I had a chance to interview her to find out some tips on fostering positive self-esteem.

1) What was the inspiration behind writing the book?
What inspired me to write this book is – I’ll bet – what inspires anyone who’s experienced a miracle: utter thankfulness and passion to share hope with others.  To go from absolutely despising what I saw in the mirror to loving and fully appreciating every part of me (even without weight loss) is a story worth shouting aboutJ
2) How can parents who may have problems with negative self-image help their children break out of that cycle?
Transparency. Being completely real with our children (at their emotional level, of course) is a powerful tool in breaking generational cycles.  As we ourselves strive to become more healthy and whole, we can admit where we still struggle – even where we flat out fail – while pointing to the goal.  And we can make growth a family effort, with each member accepting the others where they are while creating a safe environment in which to change.  Our children will see right through our mask if we pretend to have it all together while expecting them to have healthy self-image.  Kids are great hypocrite detectors!
3) How can parents balance the need to instill healthy physical habits such as diet and exercise with the need to avoid over-stressing physical appearance?
I believe this can only happen when we ourselves believe that healthy does not have to equal skinny.  If we can truly believe this, we can change the family dialogue from telling our kids how this or that food will make them fat to telling them how certain foods are or are not good for their bodies.  We can enjoy family walks because of the benefits to our hearts and lungs, talking along the way about how good it feels to make healthy decisions rather than focusing on how many calories you’re burning. 
4) Can you share a little bit about your journey of hating your body and learning to love your life?
Well, telling just a little of my journey is tough because the entire thing is so amazing, but the basic gist of it is that for years and years I was desperate to change how I looked, but God wanted to change how I see.  And He did.  He changed how I see Him, He changed how I see you; and He changed how I see myself.  I spent much of my life believing lies about my value, about the purpose of my life, and about the intentions of my God.  My faith played a very important role in this journey – in fact, the most important role.  My heart was touched in such a life-changing way that every part of my life was transformed.  Part of the journey involved taking a look at some pretty serious heart wounds caused by some abuse in my childhood, but it also involved me needing forgiveness for some of my own actions.  It’s really a story of freedom: from lies, from despair, and from the scale!

No comments:

Post a Comment