body image workshops - Raleigh, NC - Counselor Kate

Bathing Suit Shopping: Talking your teen (and yourself) off the ledge of body hate

Bathing suits and I have a sordid history. I was wearing a swimsuit the first time I noticed other girls had different body shapes. I was 10. Here’s what I wish I could say to her.

I have always loved swimming and never used to mind bathing suits. I remember being very proud of my first bikini. It made me feel older, imagining myself like the young women I’d see on the beach in their bikinis. I loved the freedom of my bare belly in the ocean and TBH how easy it was to pee without a one-piece.

Swimming came easily to me. I loved (and still do) the freedom of the water gliding against my skin. The feeling of weightlessness (not because of weight, just because it felt like I was in space…but under water). The white noise echo of the city pool that made me feel like I was in my own world.

Bathing suits became more challenging, however. When I was 10 years old, at a swim meet, I remember looking at the other girls and noticed my belly stuck out beyond my chest. I remember thinking there was something wrong with that, but not knowing why.

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So You’re Looking For a Therapist

Finding a new counselor can be overwhelming and confusing. So many choices! Too many therapist-y words! Here are my tips for shopping around.

Maybe you’re just getting started looking for a therapist or you’ve already been working with someone but it’s not the right fit. It’s time for you to find someone you’ll enjoy working with, who can help you with your mental health, and hopefully help you on your way to dealing better with the challenges in your life.*A note about “right” fit: Your relationship with your therapist (i.e. not romantically speaking, but the way you two work together on the issues you bring up, the synergy in the room, feeling comfortable in the therapist’s office) is probably one of the most important parts of seeing a counselor. If you don’t feel comfortable working with that person, you’re probably not going to trust sharing a bunch of personal stuff, so the counseling work–your inner self work–isn’t going to go as far. You’re paying a therapist for their expertise and *hopefully* are willing to figure your shit out, so make sure that person is someone you want to work with!

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I’m CONSUMED with feelings of anxiety…

We’re adding a new segment: Ask Me A Question! Things get much more interesting when I hear from others and give practical suggestions for dealing with anxiety and eating disorders. No guarantees about tidy answers, short-form writing, and no f-bombs. Let’s dive in! (Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. I’m not a doctor, consult your own therapist, read and take suggestions at your own risk).

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Saturday Morning Pancakes

Growing up, pancakes held a special place at my house. They signified Dad or my grandfather (Papa) cooking breakfast and time spent together in the kitchen before everyone else was downstairs. Always an early riser, I’d come down to a glass of Donald Duck orange juice and either of them sharing the “secrets” to a perfect pancake. Admittedly, I never knew anyone who made pancakes as good as my dad and Papa. No burns. Always an even light brown on both sides. The perfect amount of fluffiness without being too cake-like.

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Strong is (not) the new skinny

“Strong is the new skinny” is just another number. A level of achievement. A nebulous idea of what “strong” can be with the accompanying visual garbage like #fitspiration. It’s like our thin obsessed culture says, “Look, shiny object to achieve!” But striving for strong (and what we see in those images: healthy/skinny/fit/able-bodied/light skinned/able to afford the gym, “clean food,” etc.) is a distraction from the real issue: our culture says fat folks (and all other marginalized/unseen groups) don’t matter.

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