Friday, October 10, 2014

Hot Coco Interview with Author Haley Hatch Freeman


Q1. Tell us a little about what made you write “From Head to Tummy”

 A. While speaking professionally, I found mother after mother confiding in me with their

concerns, not only for their teens, which my book A Future for Tomorrow helps, but for their

younger, elementary-aged daughters. As society’s confused messages about dieting and beauty

increase, I agree there is a great need to address these issues for a younger audience. My hope

is that this book will be a tool for parents in helping them build a stronger foundation of truth

for their young girls, giving them a shield of defense when faced with potentially damaging life

situations.


Q2. I noticed while reading “From Head to Tummy” that one of the issues you bring to

the forefront was commercial advertisement, what are your thoughts about what today’s

society and the ads young girls see?


A. I wrote about how personally these things affected me as a teenager in my first

book, A Future for Tomorrow: Surviving Anorexia, My Spiritual Journey. And how

it lead to my near fatal eating disorder. Media can be absolute poison if we don’t

build a stronger foundation of truth and debunk the lies we see in the media with

our children. I understand why some parents completely don’t allow tv, I personally

am not that extreme but I do discuss anything I don’t like. I feel it is impossible

to completely shield our children from all media between computers, magazines,

movies, tv, or just going to the store, so I would rather empower my children with

knowledge and give them ammunition of their own internalized worth and stability

to fight against societies pressures to be a certain way. (Of course I’m not saying

don’t protect them from spiritually harmful material I’m speaking about media

messages in general that they will be exposed to throughout their life even while

just watching a children’s channel during a commercial break or walking through a

mall.)


Q3. Another issue you bring up is bullying, in the book you can see Ashley being bullied,

they approach you used was great, but what is your advice if a young girl does not feel

comfortable talking to her parents about the mixed signals and being bullied?


A. The first draft of my book didn’t have the bullying incident in it. I added it after

a close friend came to me searching for help for her seven year old daughter. Her

sweet second grader was told she “had too much fat on her body” to be friends

with a girl at school and the bullying continued. It broke my heart and to hear the

details of the bullying blew me away that this kind of fat phobia was being strewn

from a seven year old’s mouth –so young, yet so judgmental and aware of body size

already. It inspired me to add this issue in my book.

My advice for a girl obviously would to be to go to someone if not her parents then a

teacher or other trusted adult at first if necessary, but hopefully eventually she would

be comfortable to go to her parents. I would tell her and hope she could understand

that no one else on earth loves her more or is more invested in her happiness than

her parents. Perhaps more important advice would be for how parents can recognize

when their child is hiding being bullied?

According to Dr. Joel Haber, bullying expert and author of Bullyproof Your Child for

Life, your child could be a victim of bullying if he/she:

• Is reluctant or refuses to go to school

• Clams up when you try to discuss school

• Demands some sort of change in a long-standing routine, like riding the bus to

school or going to the park on Saturdays

• Does not want to participate in after-school activities or play with old friends

• Seems hungrier than usual after school - it might be a sign that someone is

stealing his lunch money or that he is unwilling to brave the cafeteria at lunchtime

• Shows signs of physical distress such as headaches, stomach-aches, or nausea

• Goes to the nurse in order to avoid going to class

• Performance in school (grades, homework, attendance) suddenly declines

• Acts sullen, angry, and frequently wants to be left alone

• Uncharacteristically uses bad language

• Shows marked behavior change after computer time or a phone call

• Starts asking for more lunch or transportation money without a clear explanation

of why it is needed

• Has unexplained bruises or injuries


Q4. From learning about your story, I feel that you are a very inspirational person for

young girls to look up to as someone that has been through the war of peer pressures,

mixed social signals and emotional barriers, my question is; do you ever do public

speeches about your journey with anorexia and the emotional barriers that kept you from

loving yourself? Also what is the one thing you always tell your audience about your

journey?


A. YES! I am a trained professional speaker. I am a keynote speaker for women’s

conferences as well as a presenter for schools, church groups, treatment centers,

and many more events. To learn more about booking me for your event please visit

www.haleyhfreeman.com or email me at www.haleyshearttoheart.com Here’s a

little info from my website to answer you follow up question:

Haley’s unique presentation will make your event unforgettable. Your

audience will realize the destruction of anorexia, and will be filled with

hope to overcome their own obstacles after hearing Haley’s extraordinary

recovery. They will leave with a desire to love and take care of their bodies

as well as gain a new appreciation for their own. With tools in hand to

debunk media’s falsehoods and appreciate real beauty your audience will be

edified and ready to face the world with a new strength.


Q5. In your book, little Ashley learns that it is okay to love yourself and offer the same

advice to everyone around her, but sometimes in life it is not that simple, what should

someone do if they know someone is fighting these battles within? How can the “outside”

crowd learn to accept and deal with the negative thoughts and pressure their loved ones is

putting their selves though?


A. There is power in our thoughts, often it truly is about choosing that you are

not going to beat yourself up anymore and deciding you are going to be kinder

to yourself. One of my tips in the book helps with changing this type of inner

dialog. After a prolonged, critical case of negative thoughts and even depression

professional help is often needed. I am an advocate for seeking counseling and help

if it is from a trusted and knowledgeable professional.

Far as your second question, we have to accept we can’t change the crowd, but we can

work on ourselves and hopefully influence those around us. If we hold on to what is

eternally true tight enough then the “outside crowd” will have less and no effect on us.


Q6. In your book, Ashley’s mom takes her to see the family doctor, the advice the doctor

gives Ashley makes Ashley feel better about herself, what would your advice be if

someone is fighting these same mixed signals and still are unsure what is right from what

is wrong?

A. That’s why I wrote this book for this exact problem. I’m hoping parents can use my

book as a tool. Reading this book and completing the assignments in the back is the

perfect place to start!


Q7. At the end of your book, you offer parenting tips and guidance, what else would you

have to offer parents of young girls that may be facing these same pressures?


A. It was extremely hard for me to limit myself to just the tips I did put in the book. I

had to select the ones I thought were the most vital and most impactful, but there

are many other tips that I share in my parenting presentations at my speaking

events. Now days there are great resources out there, I would suggest not giving up

and to keep searching for materials to aid in the fight.


Q9. Do you think your book could be used to target the eating disorders young boys face

as well?


 A. This is a great question since 10% of those with eating disorders are boys. The tips

to build a healthy, common sense method of eating and trusting our own body’s signals

when it comes to foods and eating applies to anyone and everyone. The parenting tips can

be applied to both genders so in those areas it can apply to boys too.


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