Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Pit of Comparison

Last night I sat down to watch the premiere of the new run of "The Biggest Loser" on TV.  Of all the many years this particular show has been on, I've only watched one or two seasons of it.  With as busy as my schedule tends to be, I just don't have the ability to watch any show on a regular basis, but that's not the only reason.  If I'm truthful with myself, another reason I haven't watched it in the past is because I had a hard time watching other people do what I longed to do myself, but had not done, which was lose weight. 

When I decided to watch the show yesterday, I approached it from a different perspective.  I thought that maybe I could learn a few things about various approaches to working out and pick up some pointers.  Or maybe I would feel encouraged, because I am working my own path to fitness, and maybe some contestant's story would ring similar to my own.  Instead, however, I experienced something I was not prepared each of the contestants weighed in, I started comparing myself to each of them.  What was their starting weight?  What was my starting weight compared to theirs?  Was I really as big when I started as they look on TV at their starting point?  On and on it went, and by the end of the show, I was starting to feel depressed and felt like I had not accomplished much, if anything, in the last six months because they had lost so much in just one week (never mind the fact that they are secluded away with their only responsibilities being to work out and learn to eat right, alongside of professional trainers and unrestricted gym access!!!)

Wow!  What a mind trap that is brought on when you start comparing yourself to others!  I had to stop and re-focus myself before I let my thoughts take me too far.  When it comes to weight loss (and many, many other things in life, for that matter), you just cannot compare your progress with anyone else.  Each person's journey is as different and unique as each different body.  The foods and food habits I struggle with and am learning to overcome are different from other people's.  In addition, I had to reach a certain place in my own life before I was ready to committ to the changes that are necessary to bring my body into a healthy place, and each person has to do that themselves, in their own way.  No one can force it on anyone else, just like no one can expect their body to react the exact same way as anyone else's. 

Going forward, I refuse to make comparisons any more.  I will cheer for the accomplishments of others, and will not let their victories steal away my own!

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