October 1, 2014

...Health & Happiness: The Power of Comparison...

Happy Wednesday Brave Ones! 

I wanted to share something that happened this morning with all of you.  I've been feeling kind of off the past two days.  Just really overwhelmed by all the changes happening in my life mixed with frustration that I'm not where I want to be yet.  Don't get me wrong, all the changes are GREAT ones.  But it can be a bit much for someone who loves to bask in their comfort zone. 

So needless to say, I was really looking forward to my Insanity class this morning.  Just a good hour of sweating, jumping, muscle pumping craziness.  Before class started, I looked to my right and got a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I smiled thinking: "Dang, I'm lookin' pretty good!"  It kind of pumped me up a bit.  Then I looked to my right and saw the TINY woman next to me.  I mean... tiny.  Probably 5'1" and maybe 105 lbs.  I then made a big mistake.

I turned back to my right and looked at my reflection next to hers. 

Immediately that pumped up feeling left my body and I was filled with a sense of defeat and overwhelming gloom. 

What happened in those 10 seconds?  Where did that happy, proud, strong woman go?

I'll tell you where.  She was beaten down by the ugly monster that is COMPARISON.
(my dear friend, Crystal: -60lbs)
As human beings (and especially women) we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others around us. We're kind of forced to, unfortunately.  Our society is packed full of images telling us how we should look, dress, walk, act, and what shape we should have. For people who struggle with their weight or struggle with food problems, this is detrimental.
(Sharee of Funeral for my Fat: -118lbs)
I'm slowly learning that despite the fact that my body is getting smaller and I am feeling more confident and happy about how I look in my clothes, that "fat kid" mentality is always lingering in the back of my mind, waiting for the next opportunity to poke it's mean little face through.  This happens when situations like this morning occur.  
(Andie of Can You Stay for Dinner?:- 135lbs)
You see, weight loss and a journey to better health are more than just learning to eat right or getting your butt moving.  It's a complete mental shift!  It's an undoing of years and sometimes decades, of self mental abuse, negative self talk, comparison, and previous failure.  It is a choice to deal with those issues.  Confront them face to face and tell them: You do not have a place here anymore!  It is a choice to love yourself as you are in this moment.
As I did this morning, I often get side tracked and brought down by the thoughts of how far I have left to go or by the things I don't like about my body.  The remaining pounds, the loose skin, the stretch marks, my body structure, what ever!  But when I do that, I'm only hurting myself and preventing myself from moving forward.   And it's going to happen!  I have to be prepared to combat those moments with every pound I've lost, every benefit I've gained, and with the support of my army of warriors!

(My good friend and fellow WW, Michelle: Before and Now)

Something that I want other women to know, understand, believe, and breathe is this:
You don't have to look like that tiny woman at the gym, or that fitness expert on TV, or your best friend, or that airbrushed model in your favorite magazine.  You only have to look like YOU.  And believe me, this IS something I have to work on.  I accept that I will never have a "womanly figure".  I have narrow hips and that won't change.  I'm not going to post pictures of Victoria Secret models on my fridge because my bone structure will NEVER be that way.  And that's OK!!!  
(My rockstar of a friend, Heather: -210lbs)
So try this... only compare yourself to YOU. Don't compare the body you have to one that you want, but belongs to someone else. Instead, picture yourself; your body at a smaller size. Visualize your bone structure, your face, your body and slowly peel the pounds away in your mind. Engrain that image in your mind. Now go out and do what you can to get there.  Everyone is going to have "fat days" where you feel like nothing works, and/or you have so far to go, and/or are discouraged.  But don't give in.  You want to achieve those goals.  So achieve them.  You are strong enough.  You are beautiful.  You are enough.

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