Worrying less about what your body looks like compared to others will help you achieve your personal goals faster. Here are some tips to stop comparing and make health and fitness work for you.
We’ve all done it—scrolled through Instagram to view image after image of “perfect” influencers, coaches, celebrities, and athletes.
Heck, if we’re being real, we even compare ourselves with our closest friends and family members. We try hard to prove that we’re enough to ourselves and others.
But no matter who you compare yourself to, the inevitable result is a stream of self-loathing that washes over you. And along with it comes a running monologue of every negative thing you’ve ever told yourself: not dedicated enough, talented enough, and just plain not good enough. Otherwise, we’d be just like the people we see and admire so much online and in our lives.
As you can imagine, this kind of comparison doesn’t help you achieve your health and fitness goals. If anything it makes achieving them harder and often takes the fun out of getting there.
So let’s break down why you don’t help yourself by comparing yourself to others. And how to make goals based on your unique situation that have nothing to do with anyone else.
It’s certainly useful to learn from observing the habits of the people you admire. But this shouldn’t be used to put yourself down for not being where you believe you should be in your goals.
The danger of focusing too much on the actions of others is that it takes away from your focus on yourself and creates a mess of internal struggles that set you back in your goals.
We all know that when we constantly worry, we feel more stressed. So when you spend time each day picking yourself apart for being “too” anything, you add to your stress.
Comparing yourself to others means you spend too much time focusing on the worst aspects of yourself (aspects that are often imagined). This constant focus on the negative doesn’t help you get out of that mindset. If anything it keeps you in a negative feedback loop that prevents you from seeing the right way forward for you.
It stops you from stepping back, trusting the process, and enjoying your health and fitness lifestyle the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.
Plus, your comparisons to others brings down your mood. And it makes sense. If you feel like you aren’t enough, and regularly stress about your appearance—chances are you won’t feel happy most of the time.
Then it becomes a chore to work on health and fitness goals. And worse, a punishment.
It’s hard enough to achieve your goals without comparing yourself to other people. So leave that out of the equation and focus on what’s right for you. Because shame into change just doesn’t work.
Ultimately, comparing yourself with others wastes your precious time.
Well, the first reason is sounds so cliché now that it’s easy to overlook it as sound advice. But the truth is that your body is unique. Truly, it is. No one’s body looks like yours. Just like your body isn’t the same as anyone else’s.
So you could spend years comparing your body to someone else. You could follow the same exercise and diet regime. And your body will never look just like theirs.
And on top of that—your health and fitness success is never the same as anyone else’s.
You truly never know where someone started from and what their end goal is. You don’t know where someone else is in their journey, what their challenges are.
Some people struggle to lose weight and others will struggle to gain weight. You never know where someone started or where they’re working towards. The only thing you can know and really invest in is where you are and where you want to go with your goals and on your journey.
To worry about your fitness journey in comparison to someone else’s wastes your time, because it doesn’t result in any progress for you.
Because the truth is, the only life you have any control over is your own. And thinking deeply about the life and experiences of another in comparison to your own does not get you anywhere. It distracts you from achieving any of the goals you set out for yourself.
So how can you set goals that are right for you?
So, just because you accept who you are and refuse to compare yourself to others, doesn’t mean you have decided to stop growing for the better. Instead, it puts you in a position to make the kinds of goals and changes that are right for you.
You do it for yourself, not to be like other people.
So how can you make goals that aren’t rooted in comparison against a famous fit person?
Your goals could be anything. But they should be specific and unique to you. And not grounded in what anyone else or our cultural norms tell you that you must look like.
Think about what you’re doing when you feel best. What kind of diet do you follow? What type of exercise do you enjoy the most? Are there major events like a marathon you’ve always wanted to compete in?
The most important thing is to focus on what you want. Whether it’s what a fit celebrity does or not is irrelevant. This is about making goals to fit your life, not anyone else’s.
Maybe you want to introduce more veggies into your diet to get all the many health benefits of fiber and micronutrients. And for exercise, you want to to simply find consistency in getting in 3 workouts a week.
Whether it’s to run in a marathon, hit a big PR in the gym, lose weight, or even gain weight—you want to have a plan.
Even for diet-related goals, like sticking with a certain meal plan for 30 days or eating more fresh fruits and veggies every day, a plan is essential.
So once you’ve chosen your main goal (it’s always easier to focus on one to start) then you want to break that goal down into steps or time frames.
A big goal without the smaller steps to get there is unwieldy. It begins to feel too difficult to take on. And it’s easy to get frustrated when you don’t reach your goal fast enough.
So instead, break down the steps it will take to get to your endpoint. In other words, you create a process that gets you to your goal.
Create plans you can follow for 2-3 weeks at a time, and once you hit the benchmarks you want, check them off and adjust your plan for the next chunk of time. Work on the next milestone in reaching your goals. You want your process, or plan, to be set up so you make steady progress you can experience and celebrate regularly.
We compare ourselves to others in our quest to be perfect. But when you remember that you never have to be perfect, that with consistent effort and a rock-solid plan you will make steady progress to achieve any of your health and fitness goals.
Seriously, for any fitness goal, all you need is the right process and a regular stream of motivation to keep going.
But I know taking the time to create that plan is time-consuming and even daunting! And it’s hard to stay motivated if you’re going it alone.
This is why I have programs to help clients achieve all kinds of goals—getting stronger, weight loss, and increased flexibility, and more. And I’m there to cheer you on along the way!
When we train together, it’s never about fitting a certain image. It’s never about trying to be perfect. Your overall health and fitness are what matter. And enjoying the process of being fit always comes first.
Check out my programs to find the right training plan for you. Show yourself some LOVE and get started today with my February Gift Card Promotion. Enter in the code TKLOVE to get $25 off a TK30 Program for yourself OR a loved one!
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