Have you ever looked at a girl in the mall and envied her toned arms, wished you could trade your “thunder thighs” for her nicely sculpted legs or wondered how you’d look with her tiny waist? This week I finally realized that I’m constantly comparing my body to the bodies of women around me. I also realized that these silly comparisons may actually be hurting my chances of losing weight!
This week I finally realized that I’m constantly comparing my body to the bodies of women around me. I also realized that these silly comparisons may actually be hurting my chances of losing weight!
Sure, we habitually compare ourselves to the stars we envy. Some of us may even post pictures of these stars in their bikinis as fridge decor to deter us from overeating or indulging. But what I found myself doing is comparing my body to real women around me at the most random times, like while shopping at the mall or in the hallway at work. I’d wonder if my outfit would look better on them, if they were thinner than me or how much they weighed compared to me, especially if they were around my age. I caught myself thinking these things and was stunned at how obsessed I had become with weight.
Are we too critical?
As I’m sure many have done this, I’m going to be completely honest and admit I’m guilty of comparing my weight with another girl’s and even getting a tad bit of comfort if the women around me were my size or larger. What kind of perspective did I find myself in? Was I actually getting some sort of relief or confirmation of my weight loss if I happened to stand next to a heavier woman? Did my being subconsciously critical of her weight or my pity for her (since I knew how it felt to once be that size) give me more gratification for my own weight loss? Think about it: Have we become so critical that we are somewhat relieved and feel better about ourselves if we’re around heavier people?
Constant comparisons can ruin your progress
I believe a lot of these feelings and thoughts have to do with insecurities about our own weight issues. If I was fine with my weight, I wouldn’t even think to compare it to another’s. If you find yourself becoming more secure about your weight when comparing yourself to heavier women, it’s interesting to note that your security can sometimes pause or detract from your weight loss journey. For example, you may realize you’re much thinner than the women around you and give up on going to the gym so rigorously — which isn’t a good idea if your aim is to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
On the other hand, you may find yourself scrutinizing everything about your body because it doesn’t look like the body of the thin women at work who you envy every day. Your jeans don’t hug you like hers hug her butt. Your arms aren’t as toned as hers are, and she probably has abs while you don’t. This constant criticism of yourself will not only stress you out, but can hinder your progress to a healthier and happier you. When was stress ever a good addition in accomplishing a goal? Constant self-deprecation and self-doubt may even turn to self-hate. This growing insecurity within yourself will eventually spill into other parts of your life, like your work life and love life.
A different approach
This isn’t to say you should eliminate any comparing, because it’s simply human nature. It may even be healthy if you don’t do it constantly or with a negative outlook. For example, you may admire someone at the gym so much that you’d like to try to do some of the same exercises they do for similar results.
Finally, in all of your comparisons with that toned, petite, very feminine and thin woman, have you ever thought this: that she might look at you and envy your nicely rounded butt?