Don't Let Comparison Steal Your Joy
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Every day we spend time comparing things. Whether we are comparing items to purchase, documents, or even people and lives, we spend a great deal of our time comparing.
Each and every person who is on a weight loss journey has at one time or another struggled with the idea of comparison. It could be that we had a bad week and despite doing everything right our weight has stayed the same while watching someone who seems to have it so easy shouting to the roof that they have lost x pounds.
I admit that I struggle with the idea of comparing my journey with that of those around me. In doing this one day I had a great friend tell me something that really hit home. She said, “I know you get frustrated when you are doing everything right and you aren’t seeing the numbers on the scale, but think about it. These people who are constantly saying how they are losing 5 pounds a week without effort, how much weight are they actually losing.” I really had to think about that one because when I sat back it was true. Here I was, frustrated beyond belief, because the scale isn’t changing the way I want it to despite my daily workouts and rigid eating schedule, while I had to listen to coworkers claiming to have lost 5 pounds the previous week by simply walking on the treadmill for 20 minutes. My friend was right, these people might have lost the 5 pounds that week, but these same people have been saying this on and off over the course of this year, but in actuality have not lost any sustained amount of weight. While it may be frustrating, my 1-2 pounds lost a week is adding up and the weeks when the scale isn’t cooperating I’m losing inches. Does that mean that I’m not frustrated, definitely not, but I do know that I can’t compare my journey with that of those around me.
The problem we all face is that it is so tempting to compare ourselves with others. If I am doing this and this other person is doing the same thing then we should get the same results. It doesn’t work like that. My body and metabolism is different than someone who is just starting out and has a lot more weight to lose. Therefore what is working for someone else isn’t going to necessarily work for me in the same manner.
If we are going to compare things we need to make comparisons to where we have been. I know I can run further, train harder, overall do more than I could when I first began my weight loss journey. So when I get frustrated I need to remember that while it was easier to lose weight when I was significantly heavier, that was because my body had more fat to lose. Now, sometimes unfortunately, my body is creating muscle instead of just losing fat so while the weight is not necessarily dropping, that doesn’t mean that I’m not progressing. We need to choose to be happy with where we are today and not worry about others. Look how far you have come and remember that comparing yourself to others will do nothing but make you want to give up if their journey seems to be easier than yours. Life is hard, but it is what we make of it. We need to choose happiness.