Just like we can get trapped in the life sucking chains of food comparison, it’s really easy to find ourselves trapped in a vortex of exercise comparison. Let’s call it movement comparison..because I like that word better.
Maybe you were feeling tired, so you slept in…and then your friend told you about her amazing 5 mile morning run…and now you’re beating yourself up for sleeping in. And thinking you need to cancel dinner plans and hit the gym instead.
breakfast the past few days // leftover apple crisp over cooked rolled oats in almond milk
snack // more apple on my way to spin class
Maybe you felt awesome after an incredible yoga class, but then you overheard a co-worker talking about her sweaty spin class…and now you wonder if yoga was a hard enough workout? Maybe your friend is training for a marathon…and even though you hate running…you question if you should train for one too? Or maybe it’s as simple as comparing yourself to the girl on the treadmill next to you. You look over and see she’s running at 8.5 speed…and now suddenly your 6.0 pace makes you feel like you’re not good enough.
lunch // ezekiel toast with butter and jam + 2 fried eggs with kale + clementines
Our minds can be our worst enemy. And comparison can rob us of our joy in point five seconds.
When we live in a world with relentless messages to do more and work harder, it can be an uphill battle not to fall into the trap of self comparison. There’s this underlying narrative saying, measure up….because you’re not quite there yet. So how do we escape the self destruction that comes with comparison? How do we become content, at peace, and satisfied where we are right now? How do we find rest in knowing that what we’re doing right now is enough? Because unless we do, we will be infinitely exhausted.
Stop looking outward for validation and instruction on what to do. And instead look inward, choosing to do things that feel good and actually serve you.
Which I know, is much easier said than done. But really, when you think about it, how silly is it to think your body can do the same as the girl next to you when you both have completely different bodies? And you are not living the same life as everyone around you.
You didn’t do the exact same workout yesterday that the girl on the treadmill next to you did. You didn’t go to sleep at the same time or have the same kind of day as your co-worker. You don’t have the same level of stress as your friend. Your goals and aspirations are not the same as all your friends. And your body is your body – so what might be right for one person isn’t always what’s right for YOU.
Individuality is the beauty of humanity. And when we compare ourselves to everyone else, we ignore that.
Each of our days are different. Differnt eating patterns, different sleeping habits, different stress levels, and different body physiology. Your body is your best personal trainer – if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. If it leaves you feeling exhausted mentally and emotionally, don’t do it. If you’re dreading it, don’t do it.
When you move in a way that you loathe and don’t enjoy, that’s stressful. And your body releases even more stress hormones (aka cortisol) so not only are you hating your workout, but you body isn’t actually reaping all the potential benefits in the first place. Crazy, right? So why do it?
What’s healthy for one person, isn’t healthy for another. Moving how we think we should rather than how our body wants to is not only physically damaging, but mentally exhausting. And then you might begin resenting something you actually enjoy. Our days are too short to do things that we don’t like and don’t make us feel good. Do what matters.
Liz @ I Heart Vegetables says
I feel like we’re on the same wavelength today! I’ve been thinking a lot about balance and what I need to do to be healthy & happy! Sometimes I’m too rigid and it definitely isn’t living intuitively! Love this post 🙂
I love this!! Exactly what everyone needs to hear <3 I completely agree, movement is personal and meant to make you feel GOOD not guilty or shameful. Thanks for sharing!
I really needed this today thank you so much! Your posts are always so encouraging to be happy with where I am right now whereas sometimes I get caught up in too many articles and social media pages that make me feel like I am just not doing enough.
I love this. For me, it’s easier to say it than actually do it. Work in progress. My pastor talked about comparison this week and it was so helpful. He said the person sitting next to you may look like they have it all together, but we have no idea what their day or week looked like and comparison isn’t helpful. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement.
Congrats on finishing your last clinical day too! So exciting!
Love love love this message today! Such a great reminder to be more intuitive in everything we do; eating, exercise… Everyone’s needs are different, and those needs change on a daily basis. We just need to listen to our own bodies and stop the comparison games!
Erin Ramsay says
Such a relevant message. In the midst of my restrictive eating-binge patterns, I would use ‘hard exercise’ as a way to ‘undo’ my horrible eating habits. I have worked hard to change my thinking patterns and completely separate eating from exercise. For me personally, linking the two was destructive. Thank you for this piece, keep talking Robyn, your a bright light to follow.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”…so true! Thank you for this post and for all of your posts really. Your blog is a “safe space” for me to come whenever my disordered eating/exercise obsessed mind tries to take over my life. It’s a constant battle, but blogs like yours help so SO much. So please keep on keepin’ on 🙂
Heather McClees says
I have always loved your blog and it’s because of posts like this. I totally agree with you on everything. I used to see girls who lifted and were “cut” and wanted to be like that back in the day. Then I realized my body hates all that and it didn’t make me feel good either. I realized I was a yogi and liked walking instead. Boring, but it works for my body and keeps me healthy mentally and physically. Anyway, thanks for this post and for the delicious food ideas! So many of my fave foods in this post too!
Aw, once again your posts is full of sweetness, reassurance, and is genuine. Thank you thank you for keeping me level during times of uncertainty with my training and nutrition.
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
This is beautiful and spot on! I so often am guilty of looking outward for validation…why!? If I’m feeling my personal best and feeling healthy in my own way, that should be enough validation!