Do you compare yourself to other fitness bloggers? I did. And, still do.
The blogging world can sometimes be dangerous.
Let me explain what I mean.
This is a topic that I feel deserves addressing and some people can probably relate to on many different levels.
When I first started blogging and getting involved in the fitness and health circles via social media, I was following all the big bloggers and fast runners out there. I idolized many of these runners and healthy living bloggers. There life looked so perfect. (Note: It didn’t help that during this time I was living in Erie, PA while my husband was busy during medical school).
I looked at my life and the time. I was missing with my husband who was studying non-stop and the other stressors we were dealing with. It made me jealous. My husband would warn me over and over again about comparing my life with others whether it was fitness, health, lifestyle, etc. But, I couldn’t help it. It was my motivation but also my curse at times.
For those who have followed my blog since the beginning know that my husband and I got married in between his first and second year of medical school. We never got to “fully” enjoy that post-wedding enjoyment period because he was right back into medical school and all that encompasses.
I was working a 8-5 job, working until almost 7:00 pm every Friday, and having to work every other Saturday. I would see Wes for maybe 1-2 hours a night and a little on the weekend. It was miserable. It was snowing and dark for roughly 6 months of the year. I lost my job our final year in Erie, and went through several major injuries including a femoral stress fracture and tibial stress fracture during this period.
Then came residency and even busier hours many times.
I looked at other bloggers that seemed to paint their life as very stressful. They were struggling to manage their schedule when they didn’t work and had their families around them for support and help. They seemed like they had this great life where things were relaxed, didn’t have to go to work, they had family support, traveled when they wanted, etc. I began to get frustrated. I would have given anything to have their life, and it left me feeling empty at times.
But then all of the sudden I had one of those “light bulb” moments that finally allowed me to see what my husband had been trying to get into my head for so long.
I admittedly envied the beautiful areas they run in, the free time they have (even though it seems they don’t), the support they receive, their seemingly easy ability to make friends on a whim, and the list goes on. I have gotten better at not comparing myself as my life has calmed down and my husband’s schedule has become more regular.
The key however for me was just becoming a little more aware and smarter in aspects of my life.
The problem with comparing yourself to other fitness and health bloggers is multifaceted. First, you don’t see the full story behind everyone. You can’t fully judge based off a series of posts and social network photos. You can’t truly know exactly what is going on the other end of the computer screen regardless of the post and pictures.
Second, some of these bloggers lack perspective. While I often think I’ve had to deal with some bad stressors, I am fortunate in many ways because I could have it SO MUCH worse and many people have it worse than we do. So, I focus on that and realize the great things about my life.
And finally, everyone is so different. This one is what my husband has tried to get me to fully understand for so long. I compare my training with others who are going for similar goals and when it doesn’t seem similar I start to panic. The reality is we are all different. God created us each as unique individuals and what works for one person may completely fail for someone else. Embrace your own uniqueness.
Using other people for motivation and inspiration is not a bad thing, but try not to do what I did for so long and compare yourself and deeply envy what they have. I absolutely love what my husband and I have and built together. Sure, I wish we didn’t have to work and could run whenever we wanted and had the more “liberal” life of other bloggers, but I love what we have and that doesn’t mean we can’t make adjustments in our life as we gain more freedom in our career directions and free up some of the restrictions that Wes’s job places on him with his schedule.
If you’ve made it this far, congrats! I guess my point is, next time you find yourself comparing yourself to another fitness or health blogger: step back, take a deep breath, and gain a bigger perspective and appreciate what you have and realize that your not seeing the full picture on the other side of the computer screen.
Do you ever find yourself comparing?
Do you use social media for inspiration at times?