Friday, February 21, 2014

Stop Comparing Yourself

I got on facebook this morning to see a picture of Adele and T-Swift side by side that said something like, "Same age, one is a mother, one is stuck in middle school." I didn't find it funny. Why are we comparing these two very talented and accomplished women? Why? Because everyday we are comparing ourselves to other people. "Wow, we had a baby at the same time, she's already lost all the baby weight," or "He/She's got a great job and career and I'm still struggling," or "Why can't I be more like so and so," "Why can't I be married/have kids yet," "I wish I were young again", "I wish my relationship/friendships were like theirs."

STOP IT!

These are terrible thoughts and they eat at you. I know this because I've had so many of them. Here's a silly one. In high school, most of the time I weighed 105 pounds. I was always fine with this until I heard of some girls who weighed 102 lbs. No matter how much I tried (with the exception of an eating disorder) I could NOT weigh 102 lbs. consistently. Why did I care so much? I felt a little better when my friends weighed 110 lbs. This is silly! I didn't even stop to think that my 110 lb friend was also an inch taller then I was and that the 102 lb girl was a tad shorter than me. So essentially we all were VERY skinny!

Or when I thought I looked cute but went out and there was another girl who's outfit I liked better or her hair and makeup looked better and then I didn't feel so good about myself. Sometimes that girl would come up to me and tell me that I looked good or she liked something about me. Why did it take that for me to feel better about myself? Because we always think the grass is greener on the other side.

This might sound silly because it is from a rap song but I LOVE this line, "The grass ain't always greener on the other side, it's green where you water it."

How do you water it? One day a week write 10 things down that you like about yourself. Also one day a week just write down 10 things you are grateful for. I started by writing 3 things a day, try this if you think it would work better for you. I say 10 once a week due to a book, "The How of Happiness" by Lyubomirsky I had the pleasure of reading in my positive psychology class a few years ago. Make goals, long-term and short-term. Also if you think someone else has it all, I suggest you get to know them better. Everyone has their struggles and insecurities. A lot of the closest friends I've had, I once held on pedestals. I still think very highly of them but no longer in an envious way.

Most of us are doing the best we can. Take pride in that! Enjoy your life right now. I didn't get married until I was 25.. In Utah County that is OLD! My single life felt miserable after age 23 because all I wanted was to be married and have kids like all the other girls. Terrible thought process!! I wish I had more fun the last 2 years before I was married. I will never be single again and although I am grateful for that, I wish I had enjoyed that time and learned more.

The last suggestion I have for "How do you water it" is Exercise!

What is the difference in me in these two pictures?


**This top picture is a girl who looks fantastic. She's in shape. Her hair looks great. She's about to have a blast snowboarding. Her legs and arms are strong and she's feeling confident even though after all the snowboarding gear no one is going to tell how good she looks. As you can see you're already losing some her after putting on the sweater and snow pants.


**This bottom picture is a girl who needs to lose some weight. Her arms aren't toned. Her thighs are too big, and her hair is a mess. It doesn't matter that her soon to be fiance thinks she looks gorgeous. She actually requested this picture be retaken so she could suck her 'fat' stomach in. This is the retake. 

You know the real difference between the two? Weight wise.. NOTHING! I decided to start exercising regularly in the top picture and stop drinking so much Mt. Dew... I stopped exercising in the bottom picture. I saw myself completely different once I started taking care of my body. On the days I skipped the gym I did not feel as good about myself. Then I felt like a rockstar the next day when I did go running. I actually had a hard time finding the bottom picture because who takes and post pictures of themselves when they think they look terrible? Exercise isn't always running. I hate just running most of the time. It can be playing a sport, pilates,  yoga, going on walks, and so much more. The type of exercise you like to do tends to be the one that works the best for you! I hate going to gym, but I sure love leaving it.

I hate all these "quick ways to slim down" or "how to get rich fast" ads, suggesting that you are not good enough right now as you are. YOU are a child of God. HE Loves YOU. You ARE good enough. Stop comparing yourself to other people. There are things about you someone else wants. You have envious qualities. Stop comparing yourself to the 'smaller' or 'better' version you used to be. Of course we can all become better. Life is about growing and progressing. Work to build your self efficacy not try to be like someone else. Take care of your body, the number on the scale doesn't define you. Be grateful for what you have now. Making more money later, losing more weight, looking better, or buying the things you want down the road won't bring you happiness if you can't learn to love yourself first.

I hope that all makes sense.

Yours Truly,
A.