Something I used to find myself doing almost every day was comparing myself to other people.
An example of this was when I was in the gym wearing some new clothes which made me feel really confident. Until a woman walked in looking fantastic: she had a much better body than mine, was wearing a killer outfit and oozed with confidence. Straight away, that great feeling I had was washed away and the insecurity hit. I just wanted to leave there and then and had all of these doubts stampede into my head: I’m not as good as she is; I look horrendous compared to her; I wish I was her.
Why does this happen? Someone else’s appearance or achievements shouldn’t take away from our own. What’s made me think that that woman’s body was ‘better’ than mine? Where did the image in my head of the ‘perfect’ body come from?
We are exposed to the media’s depiction of an ideal image constantly, it’s hard not to get caught up in it. It used to just be in magazines or on the TV but with social media, we can never get away. I see so many images of personal trainers with sculpted body’s promoting that that’s what you should aim for; promising that you can have the same body if you use their e-book.
They’re probably right, you can. But look at it like this: an accountant (you) and a builder (the Instagram PT). If you asked an accountant to build a house in the time that he’s not at work, it will take him a lot longer to do than a builder who has had the training and works all day everyday on it. However, it’s not impossible for the accountant to build the house – it will just take longer. Meanwhile, the accountant is happy with the house he lives in now but feels so much pressure from other people to build a new one, more like the builders, that he starts believe that he should. This is the case when it comes to comparing yourself to models and people on Instagram, and the pressure that is on us from society to look a certain way.
Fitness is the personal trainers life. They spend all day every day in the gym and are educated to know what to eat, when to eat and how much of it. They work HARD for their figures; it’s their career. So it’s just not fair for us to compare our body’s to theirs; or expect results in a few weeks. We need to be more kind to ourselves.
It’s equally important to do this in other situations: if you see a woman that looks particularly lovely – it doesn’t take away from your loveliness; nothing about you has changed just because she has walked in the room. And you never know, she might be feeling the same way about you.
As women, we need to lift each other up and celebrate the fact that we are all individuals, with our own personalities, looks and attributes that make us who we are. Learning to be comfortable with who you are is the best gift you can give yourself.
I know it’s not that easy – I’m not there yet. But when I look back to this time last year, the love I have for myself has grown so much. I continue to work on me every day because I believe that achieving true happiness starts with yourself.
The only competition you should have is with the woman in the mirror.