This Is Us: Aahhh, it’s all about KATE (the person, not the weight)

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Green Mountain at Fox Run’s Dr. Kari Anderson, Executive Director, and Shiri Macri, Clinical Director, hold weekly discussions about NBC’s hit dramedy This Is Us and the all-too-common struggle around eating, weight and body image that Christy Metz’s character Kate faces from a young age. (Spoiler Alert! Details of weekly episodes are revealed.)


Shiri: “Finally, Kari! Finally, we get to know Kate the PERSON a little more!”

Kari: “Exactly. It was good to get to know more about her and not keep hammering on her weight and size.”

Shiri: “Right. And what a beautiful person she is.”

Kari: “Of course!”

It was a breath of fresh air in this week’s episode of NBC’s This Is Us to see the focus of Kate’s character move from her weight to who she is as a person.

The episode opens with Kate going to Duke’s cabin in what appears to be a moment of self-sabotage and weakness. However, we were pleased to see Kate tell Duke exactly what she thinks of his attempts to sabotage her ongoing growth and healing – not healing related to weight – but healing her emotional well-being.

It was a total moment of YOU GO, GIRL!

Incidentally, for many women who struggle with eating and weight, the absence of these kinds of distractions is one reason why an all-women’s retreat, like Green Mountain at Fox Run, can make a real difference when it comes to healing.

Healing from the Inside Out

When it comes to making peace with all parts of ourselves, healthy relationships and safe spaces are essential components. We know that all too well at Green Mountain at Fox Run. Yes, our program is designed to teach skills related to mindful eating, movement, and stress management and to dig beneath eating and weight to the parts of ourselves that need further exploration.

That said, we also know that much of the magic at Green Mountain happens amongst the participants. Healing happens as women share, commiserate, and open up in a safe, supportive atmosphere.

This was ever so evident with Kate last night. Her healing has little to do with weight, as is most often the case.

Instead, it has to do with having a safe, supportive environment and safe, supportive relationships in which she can open up, share, express and process in a positive way.

Furthermore, Kate’s departure from “fat camp” (which was not at all an inside-out healing experience as we thought it would be) was a blessing in disguise as she was able to open up to Toby, allowing their relationship to strengthen and grow.

Last night we were introduced to who Kate really is – a beautiful, strong, self-confident woman who knows what she wants and is able to eloquently go after it. Self-sabotage…NO THANKS! Personal growth…YES PLEASE!


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Healing Doesn’t Happen Overnight

The episode also included Kate’s struggle to share the story of her dad’s passing with Toby, which initially seemed to impact Kate and Toby’s relationship negatively. But it was quite the opposite.

Kate’s moment of weakness actually allowed them to see that time is exactly what they need to grow as an engaged couple. Kate’s desire but inability to open up showed her ‘real-ness’, not her ‘closed-ness’.

We speculate that Kate’s eating struggles have likely been an attempt to mask those painful feelings she holds regarding her dad’s passing. And getting this close to opening up is a likely the beginning of a breakthrough for her.

Toby wants more of that real Kate and, in turn, offers Kate exactly what she needs…time, space, safety until she’s ready to “let go of the log”, as we like to say here at Green Mountain. (You’ll hear more about the log if you visit us, but essentially, it’s that people need to feel safe before they can let go of unwanted behaviors that are holding them back from truly living.)

In any case, we’re so happy to see such a healthy relationship in Toby and Kate.

It’s Not About the Weight

When people can look past the surface and past societal expectations of body image, hidden struggles are often revealed — struggles that need compassion and patience to heal.

Our work at Green Mountain is to create a safe space and be a container for women to unload their burdens and begin to trust again.

We recognize that everyone has a really good reason for falling into unsupportive behaviors.

And as we learn more about Kate’s loss, we simply say, “Of course”.


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About the Author

Shiri Macri, MA, LCMHC

Since 2004, Shiri’s approach as a therapist for treating binge and emotional eating is holistic, focusing not only on the presented issue at hand, but also considering overall health. Working in this way, often includes mindfulness based approaches. Now as a trained MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher, Shiri’s love of mindfulness and meditation practices are at the forefront of her blog writings and recordings. Shiri is the Lead Therapist at the Women's Center for Binge & Emotional Eating, affiliated with Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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