No Shame: Let’s Talk About Counseling

I go to such a beautiful school!

A wonderful Wednesday to you all!

Guess what I did yesterday? Shouldn’t be too challenging of an assumption, considering my title. After having to change my appointment because of school related busyness, I finally went to the nutritional counselor at our school.

It was scary. The half hour before I went, I was very anxious–heart pounding, slightly nauseated, wanting to run away anxious. But I went, was greeted kindly, and talked to her for over an hour. She affirmed me in many ways, listened, and offered hope. She encouraged me greatly, and told me I was brave, and in the process of healing. I didn’t feel very brave, but I did feel hopeful, and slightly regretful that I hadn’t gone earlier.

Sometimes, we can’t get through things on our own. Seeking help doesn’t mean that we are weak–it means that we are strong, and brave, and willing to do hard things to help ourselves. Seeing a counselor should not be a source of embarrassment, but I’ll admit that I was a little worried. What if someone sees me go in? What if they assume I’m crazy? I responded, Really, self, it sounds like a very sane thing indeed to do anything and everything to make us all better. And if someone does see you, then maybe that will be an encouragement to them to get help if they need it. 

So, let this be an encouragement if you need to get help. I know it took the encouragement of some of my friends to go see our nutritional counselor. Maybe your struggle is very different than mine, or maybe it isn’t. We all have our different obstacles and trials. Maybe your help won’t be in the form of a counselor–maybe it will be finally opening up to friends and loved ones. That’s what I had to do first, a little over a year ago. And if you do go see a counselor and it doesn’t feel right, don’t assume that it’s counseling that’s wrong. Maybe you and your counselor aren’t a good fit–they’ll understand. In high school, I saw a counselor twice before I stopped going. It wasn’t that I disliked her, something about our sessions just felt off. Unfortunately, it’s taken me this long to go again.

On a check in for my focus on flexibility this week…let’s just say I haven’t been as intentional as I should be. Good thing it’s early in the week!

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Dare to (Not Compare) Check in Day 6

Good Morning! Happy Sunday!

I am so grateful that this is how I started off Pit Stop Mondays–I think it has definitely set the tone for the rest of the challenges. Now, one week after intentionally not comparing myself to others, I can see that it has definitely made an impact. Since I’m not constantly looking to others to see how I measure up, I’m better able to assess my own abilities and appreciate myself.

Because of this week, I’ve noticed a few patterns that were probably very apparent but that I hadn’t connected before. First, comparison–> a more negative body image, whereas refusing to compare–>more appreciation of my body. When I appreciate my body, I treat it better and listen to its needs–whether it needs food, rest, exercise, etc. I’ve also noticed this week that there has been a drastic decrease in my temptation to binge. Because I’ve been encouraging rather than disparaging myself, I’ve been happier and have had a more realistic (and optimistic) view of myself, and I think that is what has lessened the impact of what has historically been triggering.

One of my close friends with who I have dialogued constructively about these issues shared a parenting practice a mother she knows uses. When her daughter was a baby and toddler, every time she bathed her she would say “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful” as she moved the washcloth over her body. Now that the little girl is starting to bathe herself, she too echoes that she is “beautiful, beautiful, beautiful” as she washes herself. What would happen if we adopted this practice–affirming every part of ourselves as beautiful, beautiful, beautiful?

Another realization: in my quest to avoid comparison, I’ve been focusing primarily on bodies. After going on a run with a guy friend of mine and getting discouraged that he was seemingly fitter than me (after months of only sporadic exercise and running because of an  injury, whereas I’ve been exercising consistently), I realized that I also can’t compare myself to others in terms of performance. I can do my best and no one else’s.

This is a pit stop Monday week practice that I’m going to continue. Many of the others will last only a week, but I’m keeping this around for the long haul.

Have a great week! See you tomorrow for Pit Stop Monday, Week 2!

Have you noticed a subsequent increase in happiness because of a decrease in comparisons? 
What is one challenge you could practice for a week to increase your overall health?