"I Hate Myself": Tisha"

"I Hate Myself": Tisha"



Tisha has struggled with her weight and self-esteem all of her life. Now she fears that she's passing those problems down to her 8-year-old daughter, Kayla.

"Kayla has extremely low self-esteem," Tisha says. "She can't look at herself and just see the good."

Kayla weighs herself several times a day, and won't wear shorts in the summer because she thinks her legs are too fat. "I tell myself that I feel fat a million, bazillion times a day," says Kayla.

Tisha confesses some of Kayla's self-hatred may come from overhearing Tisha's own negative comments about her body. "I've always had very low self-esteem," she says. Even though Tisha tries to encourage her daughter, she still can't make Kayla believe she's beautiful. "She said, 'I hate myself. I want to die. I look terrible,'" Tisha says. "I don't want my daughter to hate her body the way that I hate mine."


Dr. Phil asks Tisha to expand on her feelings.

"It's hard because sometimes I don't realize she's around, and when she does say things, it does mirror exactly what I say," she replies.

"What do you do about that?" Dr. Phil asks.

She keeps a positive attitude around Kayla to counter her negative comments, she says, but it's not working. "Someone asked her, 'When your mom tells you you're beautiful, how does that make you feel?' and she said, 'Oh, it doesn't mean anything to me.'"

"Doesn't she turn around and try to make you feel better about who you are?" Dr. Phil asks.

Tisha says that Kayla is always complimenting her. "If I try on something and I don't like it, she'll say, 'Mom, you look like a teenager. You look great,'" she says.

When Dr. Phil asks how Tisha responds to that, she says, "Usually, I don't like it. I'll say, 'No, no. It's too tight here. I don't like it there. I'm going to put it back.'"


"I always hear parents talking about, 'Why won't my kids listen?'" Dr. Phil says. "What we need to do is stop worrying about the fact that our kids aren't listening, and worry about the fact that they are constantly watching."

He tells Tisha that she is the most powerful role model in her daughter's life. "You are writing on the slate of who she is," he explains. "If she watches you looking in the mirror saying, 'I look terrible. I look fat. I hate the way I look in this,' and she watches how you cower from life, and don't carry yourself with dignity and pride ... then she is going to learn and mimic those very things."

"I know I have to be more positive and watch what I say," Tisha says.

Referring to Daisy Fuentes in the audience, Dr. Phil says, "You were just saying a few minutes ago that the most important thing to you is that you were a positive force in people's lives. You couldn't do that if you didn't feel positive about yourself inside."

"Absolutely," Daisy says. "My mom was too busy and too crazed trying to find her way in life and to take care of us to worry about whether she looked too fat or too skinny, so I never had any of that. All I saw from my mom was struggling to ... make a life better for everybody and to still be positive for everyone."


Dr. Phil tells Tisha that she can't give away what she doesn't have. "If you don't get at peace with yourself as a parent, you can't give peace to your daughter," he says. "We generate the results in life that we believe we deserve. We live to our level ... It starts with your internal dialogue and what you say to yourself."

Dr. Phil asks Kayla to join them.

"Sometimes you tell your mom she's pretty don't you?" he asks.

Kayla nods. "I say she's pretty the way God made her."

Dr. Phil tells Kayla that he has a surprise for her if she can help him get

Tisha to be more proud of the way she looks. Kayla will attend "The Nutcracker" in Chicago, where she'll get to introduce the Sugar Plum fairies at the show. She'll also receive a dance lesson from the prima ballerina. To Kayla's amazement, Dr. Phil presents her with a pair of ballet slippers signed by the prima ballerina.

"Mom is really going to work on what she's modeling and her internal dialogue," Dr. Phil tells Kayla, as Tisha nods. "She's going to work really hard on getting at peace inside so she can give that away to the people she cares about."