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Comparison Kills

by Michelle Sadowitz

Picture this: You’re on a date at a fancy restaurant, feeling pretty good in your nice dress that you just bought. As you’re eating, you notice a woman walk in and sit at a table across the room. All of a sudden you have a million observations about this woman, “Man, her legs are so long and lean! I can’t believe her waist is small enough to fit into that dress, I wish I was brave enough to show my arms like that…" and the thoughts continue.

You leave the restaurant feeling dissatisfied and your confidence shaken. That dress you felt pretty good in, all of a sudden makes you feel self-conscious and embarrassed. 

Maybe you’re out on a run trying to get back into shape and are pretty proud that you put on a pair of sneakers and got your butt out the door! You see some fellow runners out and about and then your eyes spot this guy that looks like he came from a Sports’ Illustrated magazine. He has this 6 pack that has only ever been a dream for you, and not an ounce of fat on his chiseled body. Is that even possible?! Immediately you’re discouraged because you look nothing like that guy and you wonder if you ever will.

If we’re honest, we have all at some point compared ourselves to another person. Whether that was a friend, family member or some mom in the grocery store, we have done it.

What we fail to realize at times is that comparison can lead us down a dangerous path. When you focus on what other people have or what they look like and then compare that to you, it is not going to match up. You will end up being discouraged and unhappy because you don’t feel like you measure up.

When it comes to health and fitness specifically, we tend to get caught up in appearance and performance. Personally, I would always compare myself to “skinny” people and wish I was skinnier and it became a vicious cycle that played into my anorexia as well. Always wanting to look like what we aren’t, we start placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves that of course will not be met because - guess what?! - they are unrealistic.

One person’s healthy weight may not be the same for you. One person’s body type will build muscle faster than you, one person’s genetics predisposes them to look a certain way.

The point is, we are all uniquely designed. Your worth is not measured by your appearance or performance.  There is no need to compare yourself to others. Your health is important, and I believe you should try to work as hard as you can to take care of your body, but don’t be consumed.

If you are reading this, this is what I want you to remember: you are unique, you are beautiful, you are important.  Accept that! 

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