One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

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2 Active Ways to Stop the Comparison Monster and Shut Up Your Inner Mean Girl

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I saw this on Humans of New York a few days ago and had to share…

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 6.49.26 PM

She nails it for me.

In #wycwyc we have a chapter call Compare Yourself to No One and it includes your former self.

Yesterday I turned 39 (I’ll update my bucket list soon — I was too busy living it up to do it on my actual birthday) and sometimes I still catch myself comparing my body to other women. I also often ponder if I was better off just dieting and being super skinny instead of CrossFitting and building muscle especially since I’m a size bigger now. When you have a lifelong goal of simply “skinny” it’s hard to reprogram your brain to not feel like a failure if you aren’t as thin as you once were.

But it’s possible — like a lot of other things.

There are two things I actively do that help stop the comparison monster and shut up my inner mean girl:

1. I compliment other women ALL the time. Complete strangers, friends, family, any woman (anybody really). When I notice they look good, wear something well, has awesome shoes, rocks a new haircut, anything, I let them know.

It’s hard to feel jealousy when you are constantly in a state of building other people up.

As with most things, this didn’t come naturally to me. I wasn’t always as outgoing as I am now. A few years ago I was on a bus and there was a woman wearing the cutest shoes. It took me almost the whole ride to build up enough nerve to blurt out, “I love your shoes!” and when I did she immediately smiled and said “Thanks!” I felt amazing and, frankly, proud of myself. I used to be scared shitless to talk to a stranger that way but the more I did it the easier it got. Now I do it all the time and it makes me happy and happy people tend not to compare themselves to other people because they are too busy being happy.

2. I DO things instead of thinking (or talking) about doing things. This is the key to a lot of things but in regards to jealously it’s simple:

If you are too busy living YOUR life you tend not to notice anyone else or care what they do, look like or have.

When I’m feeling down or a little depressed I notice I spend more time perusing Facebook peering into the highlight reels of other peoples’ lives wondering if I’m doing enough, if I am enough. That’s comparison at its worst and it only fuels that fire. Now, when I catch myself going down that path I recognize it and take action to refocus on the things that are important to me.

You’ll notice these two tips aren’t simple or easy. They require you to step out of your comfort zone and be a lot more self aware, but if you want to get better at telling your inner mean girl to shut the hell up it’s going to take work, work that’s worth it because there will always be someone fitter (skinnier, faster, stronger, richer, whatever) than you.

There just will be.

comparing

Note: I can’t accurately credit this cartoon. If you know the original creator please let me know so I can link!



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Discussion

There are 4 comments so far.

    Caron

    July 25, 2015

    Happy birthday! Great post. After 12 years in maintenance, I still learn great things from others. Thanks for sharing.

    cheryl

    July 25, 2015

    ;-)

    Sarah

    July 27, 2015

    Love this post! I think puting positive compliments out in the world only brings positive compliments back to you, which is always a good thing! :)

    Jessica

    July 27, 2015

    I was just thinking to myself the other day- before I got into running, I weighed less than I do now. My booty was smaller, I didn’t crave carbs like a maniac, and I was thin. My first go-round with weight watchers, I lost 15 pounds in three months and was so happy with my body, but I wasn’t exercising at all. I was eating a fair amount of processed/prepackaged foods, and was WAY less healthy than I am now. Back then I was chasing the skinny- my actions were driven by reaching weight loss goals. Now, I’m driven by what makes my runs faster, what makes my distances longer, what keeps my heart rate up. My focus has shifted, but sometimes there’s still that little voice in my head that says, “maybe you should shift it back…..”

    that’s a really long way of saying- “i get it! thanks for understanding how my brain works!” ;)