Women and Weight

Published On: April 1, 2024Categories: Blog

Wondering what this blog post is going to be about with a title like Women and Weight? 

Could be about weight loss or our society’s obsession with it.

Could be about women and weightlifting and the great class offerings we have for women that are interested in getting stronger and toning their bodies. No kidding, (Click here for more information about those class offerings!) 

March is Women’s History month, which got me thinking about the weight that women have had to carry through the course of history but more specifically today. I see evidence of it most profoundly with the many female clients we see in The Greater YMCA’s Everline Counseling program. Women of every age and demographic are presenting to therapy riddled with anxiety and feeling pressure to do and be more for their parents, their spouses, their employers, and themselves; as if who they are is insufficient to be worthy of love, contentment, or joy. 

What I’m describing is not the necessity to get additional education or training or to gain more experience to ascend at work. We have elementary school age young girls that are tiptoeing through the messy vestiges of their divorcing parents’ marriage while struggling with loyalty conflicts as they negotiate their own relationship with their parents. We have young women in their first adult romantic relationships overwhelmed with anxiety that their partner will leave them as they learn how to set appropriate boundaries. We have moms trying to carve out time for themselves as they deal with childhood trauma, substance use issues, and mid-life physical and emotional changes, while managing a career, kids, and partner relationships. We also have active older women that are working to reinvent themselves in the later stage of their lives while grappling with health issues, the death of a close friend or spouse and crippling anxiety and loneliness.  

Of course, men have many of their own things to carry, but the weight of being a woman in our society across the developmental life span is a unique and relentless challenge. Fortunately, the therapists in the Everline Counseling program are highly trained and available to support women and any person that is struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma, and a host of other psychological and emotional concerns.  

One thing I’d love to see more women offer to other women, is a hand – more support, less judgment, and criticism. None of us can outrun the weight of the responsibility and privilege we have of being life givers and the many other hats we wear. Women supporting other women is an important step in helping each other thrive amidst the weight of the expectations placed on us.  

Please stay tuned for information about Everline Counseling’s upcoming Support Groups. 

Kristen Pierce, AAMFT, is the Associate Vice President of Healthy Living at the Greater Austin YMCA and the creator of Everline Counseling, a mental health initiative delivering access to high quality counseling services to people in Central Texas.

All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org