I'm going to be completely honest in this post because just now I found myself doing it again: comparing myself to other girls. It happens the most when I'm on Instagram because of the fitness pages I follow or other fit girls for inspiration. Usually it doesn't cause me any problems but just now I found myself saying "wow I wish my abs were leaner like hers" or "my quads don't look nearly as nice and muscular as hers".
I then immediately felt bad about my own abs and quads-- that they weren't as muscular or lean or strong or whatever. It took me a minute to realize that I was doing this because it used to be such a normal habit/part of my day but as soon as I did, I slammed my finger on the home button, closing myself off from the app.
I made myself take a step back, take a deep breath, and remind myself that I am not those girls. I will never look like them because I am me, designed and perfectly crafted just as I am. That is meant to be a wonderful gift and blessing because no one will ever be like me and I will never be like anyone else. We are all our own person with our own personalities, traits, talents, and abilities.
I had to remind myself that I am thankful for my progress and before I had compared myself to those other girls, completely content and at peace with my body. It was only once I let those bad thoughts in that I became insecure and unhappy with my body. It's 100% a mental game and one that I am all too familiar with but I intend to win this time. I refuse to go back to the place I was in last year, restricting then binging then restricting again, punishing myself with extra runs, refusing treats, avoiding carbs, trying to get out of going out to eat because I was afraid of not being able to count calories, not keeping certain trigger foods in the house, I mean the list goes on. It was all one giant mess of anxieties and insecurities that centered around my body image.
So, today, when I found myself comparing my body to other girls I made myself stop and really think it through:
Why was I doing it? It was an old bad habit.
Does it help me at all? Certainly not.
Is there anything to be gained from doing it? Absolutely nothing.
Am I happy with my progress? One hundred percent.
Am I happy with my body? Definitely.
Really and truly am I happy with my body? Honestly yes. I've never been happier with my body.
Then why on earth was I doing it? I wish I could tell you but I can't. I don't know why I can have such disordered thoughts about my body, and it used to really bother me because I thought I was alone. I mean I know there are people who have eating disorders but whenever I was in the middle of everything going on, I felt totally alone. I was ashamed of myself and I was in denial but most importantly I felt as though I couldn't talk about it to any of my family or friends. I was afraid they would think I was really messed up or crazy, that no one else thought those kinds of things.
So that's why I want to be more vocal about my story and the things I went through because the greatest blessing for me during my recovery is finding out I'm not alone. To be able to connect with others who went through similar things is such a gift, and gives me strength. If anyone out there is going through something similar then please know my heart and prayers go out to you. Really and truly I mean that from the bottom of my heart. You are not alone and if you ever need anyone to talk to my door is always open. That's not just an empty gesture because I 100% mean it.
I would love to chat with you, get to know your story, and to be able to go on this journey together. There seems to be so much hate in the world that we can forget what a little bit of love can do. The power that we can have when we come together to support and encourage one another. Together we can overcome those battles of feeling not beautiful enough, thin enough, muscular enough, smart enough, talented enough, or whatever other insecurities might plague us.
You might think it's cheesy but whenever I start comparing myself to others I always remember the wise words of Dr. Seuss: "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You."
I love that quote and it's a great reminder because we are all individually unique and we need to start embracing that as a society. We can't all fit a cookie cutter mold of what women should look like. Instead we should be celebrating our differences because they're what make us, us. So, today, be proud that you are you because that is a wonderful thing.
I decided that I'm going to just stay away from Instagram or any other social media for the rest of the day because I want to focus on just being me. Not to compare myself to anyone else but just appreciate who I am, exactly as God crafted me.