thoughts on comparing ourselves to others

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Yes, this means the one seven deadly sin that I’m sure we’re all guilty of on occasion: jealousy.

As I’ve said before, I’m a work in progress. I believe that I am self-aware enough to pin-point certain emotions and turn them around before they wreck my self-esteem.

Case and point: coming from my eating disordered past, I have an awful habit of looking people up and down the second I see them. It’s awful, it’s unfair, but it is a reflection of my own insecurity. I judge people by whether or not they are “skinnier” than me — and yeah, sometimes they are… and if not, I often perceived them as such because of my body dysmorphia. In the past it would have caused an immense amount of stress not to be the skinniest girl in the room. Illogical, yes. Eating disorders are mental illnesses. However, it’s still a habit that I am trying to break. I now have a better understanding that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and my size just happens to be slim but sturdy: I have muscular runners legs and a slight upper body. I can stare at my legs in the mirror all day long and pinpoint exactly what I hate about them — how my narrow waist emphasizes their width, how despite the size skinny jeans I wear, they feel anything but skinny. But I’m working on it. And by it, I mean my perception of myself.

In the blog world, there’s a lot of comparison: She’s thinner is often replaced by “she’s more fit,” but the same sentiment rings true. She ran further, or faster, or lifts heavier, or spent x amount of time at the gym today, ate healthier, cleaner, less, etc. are all real issues that I see regularly while reading the blogs of other “fitness-minded women.” I really don’t see the distinction here versus what I wrote about above.

My biggest word of advice would be to just work on being at peace with yourself. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. The girl who you think is perfect is not perfect. Growing up I was always ok with not fitting in, so it let me see things from the outside perspective. I wish I carried more of that confidence with me through adulthood, but I am working really diligently on rekindling my unique flame.

I wasted too much time trying to put up a facade of perfection, but a perfect body doesn’t mean anything without a joyful mind. Remember that.

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