Both men and women struggle with the comparison game:
"I'm not as thin as she is."
"Why don't my arms look like his?"
"She's healthy because she has a six-pack. I won't be healthy until I have one too."
"It's a soul-sucking game that never seems to end"
It never seems to matter where I end up in my health and fitness journey, I just never seem to be satisfied with the way that I look and completely disregard how good I actually feel. The comparison game sucks me in and is really hard to climb out of.
This happens to everyone. It is scientifically proven that the comparison game is real and normal. So, that "I am not where I want to be, everyone else is doing better than me, my best effort is not good enough' kind of stuff is NORMAL.
No matter how 'normal' it is, it's a soul-sucking game that never seems to end. That is why we have come up with 5 strategies that we like our members to use to help combat the comparison game.
Inspired by our friends at Precision Nutrition we give you the five strategies to stop comparing and start loving your body:
Strategy #1 - Don't Focus on the End Results, Focus on Your Daily Actions
No matter what your goal; losing 15 pounds, getting your first pull up, or benching more than you did when you were 20, these are always a sure way to start comparing yourself to others. For some people, these goals will be achievable, but for others, they can be what starts the rabbit hole of comparison.
The problem? You cannot always control how your body will respond to your training program or nutrition plan. It gets even worse when you start to see others succeed and you feel like you're getting nowhere.
The solution: focus on your daily actions and take it one small step at a time. Working on small healthy habits that are in service of your goals allows you to celebrate your successful efforts. If your goals is to lose weight start with eating lean protein with every meal, exercising for at least 30 minutes three days a week, and getting good quality sleep each night.
Strategy #2 - Journal Each Day to Transform Your Mindset
We all need to take a minute to put things into perspective each day. It is easy to obsess over what we don't like about ourselves (I.e. the cellulite on our thighs, the flab we see on our underarm, or how skinny our legs look in the mirror). These thoughts end up taking up way too much headspace and then we forget what really matters in life.
How do you stop the negative thoughts? By journaling each day! Now, don't think of it as another thing on your to-do list, think of it as a way to clear headspace and get some perspective.
We want you to write simply write this every day:
-Three things you are grateful for
-One thing you are excited about
-One thing you are proud of today or from yesterday
This list can make a major difference in your mental energy and can transform your mindset!
Strategy #3 - Eliminate Your Comparison Triggers
Is there a place that is supposed to be aimed at making you healthier but leaves you feeling inadequate or like you're not good enough?
It could be:
-an Instagram feed that makes you feel like you don't have your life together
-a fitness class where you struggle to keep up
-a diet challenge you joined with friends that makes you feel like you're always "cheating"
-a weight loss group at work
-a Social Media Influencer that has it all and your life is just not "like hers"
We suggest leaving the space that triggers the self-comparison, give yourself a chance to re-evaluate your situation and what you really want. Then return to it with a clear headspace and realistic expectations for yourself.
If you know you can't go back because it will just be a trigger again, find a new space that supports what a healthy mindset means to you, and build your community there.
Strategy #4 - "Marie Kondo" Your Newsfeed
This also applies to your friend circle. Take a minute to go through your Instagram feed, Facebook feed, email list, friend list, and ask yourself, "do these people bring joy into my life?". If not, we suggest you unfriend or unfollow.
You want to custom-build your peer group that brings love, good vibes, and a healthy perspective on life, body image, and your goals.
Strategy #5 - Seek Out Meaningful Connections
Whether you do it online or in real life, sharing your struggles and stories with others can help you build meaningful connects and learn that you are not alone in your journey. Share the real you with others and you'll be surprised at how many other men and women are going through the SAME THING.
So, remember my dear, there will always be someone skinnier, fitter, faster, stronger, or prettier out there. We all know this is true.
Start focusing on what brings you joy, makes you healthier, and makes you feel loved.
Anything else is just a waste of your time and energy.