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Healthy Decisions

August 10, 2010

I compare myself to others and question if I’m doing enough.  Not enough miles. Not enough vegetables.  Not enough time spent on my yoga mat; let alone the fact that I don’t actually have a yoga mat.

Not thin enough. Not strong enough. Not defined enough. Not fast enough.  Not enough progress. Not enough of a scale deficit. Not enough of a difference.

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I realize that comparison is unhealthy, and I remind myself, often, that I am doing what I can, when I can, and that is good enough for me. I needed to make a decision.  A decision to only compare myself with one person; myself.

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This picture is from just over a year ago. 

A year ago, I struggled to run a mile without stopping.  I had never run a race.  I feared yoga, and Pilates, and classes at the gym with punny names

A year ago, I was just learning about moderation, trying to talk myself out of devouring entire bags of BBQ kettle chips in one sitting.  I was more concerned with how many calories I could cut out of my day and rarely cared about fueling my body in the best way necessary.

A year ago, I didn’t have any local friends.  I kept to myself in my apartment.  I spent most of my time feeling sorry for myself, and not very much time living for myself.

A year ago, I was full of fear.  I was full of doubt. I was full of wonder if I could do more, live more, prove more.

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Today is different.
I walk, run, or bike to and from work every week day, logging 15 miles a week just in commute.  Each weekend, I spend 7-12 miles on the trail.  I am faster. I am stronger. I have endurance and a desire to pound the pavement.

I drink my coffee black.  I crave vegetables over potato chips.  I can allow myself one slice of pizza, or just a few fries without feeling like I need to finish the entire load in front of me to cover for some other emotion I am trying to hide.

My nights are filled with coffee shop dates, long discussions about beliefs and dreams and ways to save the world.  Evenings spent pursuing passion, and getting to know one another one question at a time.  Weekends consist of movie marathons and trips to the park to play and drenched in laughter at game nights. 

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It’s so easy to compare ourselves to those around us.  It’s easy to feel not enough, or even at times, too much.  It’s easy for us to look around and see all we want to be in other people.  To forget all that we want to be that lies in ourselves. 

I’m making a decision to thank my body for where it has taken me in the past year.  Looking back and remembering where I was before, celebrating the progress of the last year and using it as motivation to continue on a journey of more.  More confidence, more inner strength and outer, too.  More time spent with people I love and moments getting to know people I will come to love.  More healthy choices, one at a time.  More smiling, more laughter, more miles, and tears, and conquered fears. 

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2010 6:00 am

    What a fabulous post!! You really are so inspirational with how far you have come. It’s always important to remember our own progress and not focus on someone else’s. You are awesome.

  2. August 10, 2010 6:36 am

    You have no idea how much I relate to this post .. I’ve driven myself crazy over the years comparing myself to others.

    At one point, I felt comforted when I walked in a room and found a girl bigger than me: Pathetic.

    This is hard. But if you can find an inner strenght that is fueled by your own victories, then I applaud you, because that is exactly what every single person really tries to find!

    Keep on rollin’

  3. August 10, 2010 8:27 am

    Such a great post! I think it’s something we all struggle with (even the confidant, outgoing, happy people, trust me…)

    None of us are alone in this and putting it out there reminds us. Thank you!

  4. August 10, 2010 9:10 am

    Thank you for this post! I was actually struggling a lot this weekend after comparing myself to several of the bloggers I follow, and several ultra-fit women I know in real life. But I never take the time to step back and see how much I’ve changed compared to “me a year ago”, or even 6 months ago! Thanks for snapping me out of it and making me look back at all I’ve accomplished.

  5. August 10, 2010 9:12 am

    You’re beautiful and you are enough. 🙂 I love seeing the progress you’ve made on your healthy lifestyle journey, and I look forward to seeing where it takes you in the future!

  6. August 10, 2010 9:16 am

    Wonderful post. No doubt that I and many others can relate to the feeling of doing “enough”. Comparing is unhealthy, and should be no part of healthy living. Congrats on the past year! 🙂

  7. August 10, 2010 9:16 am

    No need to compare yourself to anyone else because I think you are completely awesome as you! Great post Heather and a great reminder for me to be me and not who I think others want me to be 🙂

  8. August 10, 2010 9:17 am

    What a fantastic post. I really needed this today too. We all struggle with comparisons. We are enough, we are beautiful, and we all ROCK!

  9. August 10, 2010 9:57 am

    You are so fabulous, Heather! I’m so glad I found you on Spark. It’s so very hard not to compare yourself to others; I know that as well. But look at you—you are absolutely radiant!

  10. August 10, 2010 10:15 am

    SO awesome to hear about all that has changed/improved in your life in the past year! Can you even imagine where you’ll be by this time next year?! (Besides hopefully preparing for HLS 2011!) You are an inspiration.

  11. August 10, 2010 12:21 pm

    First time commenter here!

    I really love this post. I think we all get caught up in the comparison trap now and then, and no good ever comes of it. “Compare and despair.” There will always be someone smarter, prettier, faster, funnier, etc. than I am. It’s a losing battle, and a completely unnecessary one. But you’re totally right that when you change it around and instead use YOURSELF as the barometer, then real progress can be seen.

  12. August 10, 2010 5:54 pm

    what a great and inspiring post! 🙂 a year seems like a long time, but then it goes by so quickly, and it’s amazing how one can change in such a short time.

  13. August 10, 2010 6:55 pm

    Hi Heather,

    What a beautiful post! I recently found your blog when I was looking up people who will be attending the HLS – I’m glad I found it and I look forward to meeting you this weekend! 🙂

    Val

  14. August 10, 2010 6:57 pm

    Wonderful post and a great reminder. Thank you!

  15. August 10, 2010 7:00 pm

    what a beautiful post. happy to have found your blog. thank you.

  16. August 10, 2010 7:21 pm

    what a beautiful and inspiring post. i fall into the comparison trap all the time too and i need to stop and constantly remind myself that i will NEVER be anyone but myself, so being the best-me i can be, is all i can strive for. thank you for writing this…it has added some heat to my fire. 🙂

  17. August 10, 2010 7:36 pm

    What a wonderful post! Your words are a much needed reminder! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  18. August 10, 2010 7:42 pm

    i just wrote a post on this too! you rock girl!
    -r

  19. August 10, 2010 8:18 pm

    Thank you, I needed this post! You are an inspiration 🙂

  20. August 11, 2010 3:11 pm

    Beautiful, beautiful story. You look great, and your outside continues to reflect your amazing inner qualities.

  21. Sara permalink
    August 12, 2010 11:38 am

    GREAT post. This is how I feel–I’m still stuck with you a year ago … feeling like I need to compare myself to this and that and being disappointed when I can’t be the perfect dieter or exerciser. But I need to learn to take it one step at a time and just be the best me I can be–without comparing to others. If we were all the same life would be boring, colorless and dull. Thanks for the great post 🙂

  22. August 12, 2010 1:07 pm

    I LOVE this post. I’ve fallen into this horrible trap of constantly comparing myself to others especially after reading other healthy living blogs! I’m always thinking about how I could run another mile, lift heavier weights, eat cleaner food, eat less food, eat butter in moderation…aka drive myself CRAZY! I’m hoping to adopt your attitude in only comparing myself to myself 🙂

    Thank you for the excellent post!! I’ve really enjoyed your blog and you are such an inspiration.

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