Have you ever found yourself comparing your body and progress to someone else’s? I sure have! (Yes, I’m in good shape, but that doesn’t mean I’m immune to having comparing thoughts)
A lot of social media these days is full of almost naked women and men showing off their amazing bodies. It can sometimes be overwhelming and even intimidating. It’s easy to start thinking thoughts of “I’ll never look like that”, “why can’t I look like that?”, “I’m not good/pretty/lean/cut/sexy… enough”, and so on.
Motivation versus Comparison
There’s a veeerrrrry fine line between motivation and comparison. And it’s easy to cross it. I fully believe in being motivated by others’ achievements to help you feel like you can do it too. Whether it’s seeing someone lose weight/inches or building beautiful muscles, it’s encouraging to know you aren’t the only one struggling and that what you are trying to achieve is possible.
However, what you want to avoid is comparison. Everyone is different and reacts differently to nutrition and exercise. If you took two people and gave them the same meal plan and exercise regime, they would see different results in the same amount of time. So it’s futile to compare yourself to someone else. As well, you don’t know what else is going on in their life (or has gone on) that affects progress and results.
Own Your Story
The best thing to do is own your story. Focus on YOU and doing the best you can that will bring you towards your goals. #youvsyou
Track your progress so you can see how far you’ve come. Take photos of yourself to make comparison collages –> these are sooooo helpful. The mirror doesn’t always tell the story. Log measurements. Some basic ones are: arms, waist (by belly button), hips, thighs.
Keep track of the weights you’re lifting. It’s so fun and encouraging to go back to your old weights and feel great about how light they feel now.
The Fakers and Professional Fitness Models
If you find yourself getting caught in the comparison mindset, there are two things to be aware of.
1. The Fakers. This deserves a full post, but there are many, many ways to manipulate progress pics (lighting, posing, time of day, etc). I’m not trying to be cynical, but if you see some AMAZING progress pics that are said to be [insert very short timeframe here] apart, believe with caution. To be honest, I usually assume it’s fake. Or, it’s because of something extreme (like basically starving yourself) in which case that’s not sustainable. Real progress (weight loss or muscle gain) takes time.
2. The Professional Fitness Models. If you follow a professional fitness model (or wannabe), it’s THEIR JOB to look fantastic all.the.time. That’s how they make a living. Their nutrition and exercise are carefully controlled and part of their job. Likely, they make some sacrifices that you wouldn’t want to (nor should you).
Comparison = Unhappiness
One final comment about comparing yourself to others. If you do, you’ll never be happy because you’ll always feel “less than”.
Learn to love the journey/process rather than just seeking and waiting for happiness once you “arrive”. Because, trust me, even when you arrive, you’ll always want more. So be proud of your accomplishments along the way. Celebrate the little things. They are what adds up to the big thing.
Love your body (and self) every step of the way.
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