The comparison game is something we all play. We look at fitness models on the cover of magazines. We see Instagram posts of healthy dinners that someone made. We compare our arms to the girl next to us at the dumbbell rack. We get jealous. Our self-esteem receives another lowering blow.
We are consistently shown that the grass is greener on the other side. We want to believe that if we can change one thing or achieve this look that we’ll finally be happy with our lives. However, the comparison games get us into trouble. Everyone is a unique individual. Everyone is made different, thinks different, and looks different.
From the health and fitness focus alone, we do a lot of comparing ourselves to others and it’s not always healthy to do so. Here are 6 reasons to stop comparing yourself to others.
Let’s start with the basics, we all have different genetics. This may seem like an obvious reason, but it’s something we tend to forget about it. Seeing women’s bodies on magazines makes us want to work to look that way, aside from the photo being edited you may not have the same body type as the person you admire. While you may hate your legs for being thicker than you like, the girl across the room hates her waist for her tendency to gain fat there. Some people can easily get muscle definition, while others may struggle at doing so. We have to remember to be realistic and remind ourselves that we don’t have the same genes as the person beside us.
Be grateful for the body you have and what it’s capable of.
Though we wish we could control our results we can’t. It may take some people only a month to lose the extra weight, while for others it can take months upon months. We live in an age where we can get most things instantly or within a couple of days. It distracts us from the fact that achieving results takes time and dedication. If only working out and eating healthy worked that fast, then everyone would look like magazine cover material.
We think that if we can just get those perfectly defined abs we’ll finally be happy with our bodies. Ultimately we’ll only end up wanting more and wanting to push ourselves further towards our idea of perfection. Just because people have six pack abs or perfectly defined shoulders does not mean that they are instantly happier than you are.
Not everyone has the same access to resources. That celebrity who you stalk on Instagram may have hours to be at the gym training. They could have a personal chef who can cook them the healthy food they need to eat.
Some people can afford a heftier gym membership than you can. Others don’t mind splurging their money at the health food store, while some would prefer to spend their money on a new purse. Working 60 hours a week will make it harder to have time to spend at the gym and eat healthy, so you may have to take a different approach to a healthy lifestyle. Everyone has a different set of resources available to them. Take advantage of the opportunities you have and be thankful for them.
We have to remember that every one of us is on an individual journey towards different health and fitness goals. One person may have begun their fitness journey in high school. Yours may have started only a year ago. It’s a continual journey towards becoming a better version of who you were yesterday.
You Are You’re Biggest Critic
It’s a quote we’ve all heard, but there is truth in it. People are always harder on themselves. The biggest opponent in your way of achieving your health/fitness goals is yourself.
Celebrate Your Progress
Think back to where you were this time last year. Even last month. What types of improvements or changes have you made? What accomplishments can you celebrate?
Maybe you can now run one mile non-stop. Or you checked a marathon off your bucket list. You can squat 20 pounds heavier than you were able to 6 months ago. Often we forget about the little steps of progress we have made. Those are things to celebrate and get excited about.
You’ll never get anywhere wishing your body looked like that or wishing that you lived closer to a Whole Foods. Everyone is on their own personal journey towards progressing towards their health and fitness goals. Once you stop comparing yourself to others, you’ll start recognizing your achievements.