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Monday, February 5, 2018

This week's thought: February 6, 2018

Last week I was talking with one of my girlfriends who was sad/angry/annoyed that she and her husband had started a weight loss program together and his loss had already tripled hers and he wasn't really even trying. She was upset that she was waking up early every day to do 30 minutes on their elliptical machine and the most he did was hang his shirt on it at the end of the day.

When I asked how much she had lost since January first, she said "I don't even want to say. Fine. I've lost 13 pounds. Big deal. I have to lose 60." I tried reminding her that that equaled out to about 3 pounds a week and that she showed no signs of stopping. She stuck to her program through nights out with friends and dinners with her husband and even on the several cross country work trips. I congratulated her on those successes. "You know," I said. "By the first day of summer you're going to be so proud of yourself." "Yeah," she sighed. "But he is going to look so much better."

Two of my friends are in such competition with each other with everything from how much they make to how many Instagram likes they get, that it's hard to be around them. They're both successful, generally happy people but they set their own personal bar according to what the other one is doing.

I don't know why we do this to ourselves. Those of us who do this have probably done this our whole lives. You get a 92 on a paper in high school  that you worked really hard on but your best friend got a 95.  "You could have scored better of you had tried harder," you think to yourself. Your colleague's FitBit is at 6000 steps but yours is at 4500 but you thought you did the same amount of steps during your morning walk around campus. We do this. We judge ourselves compared to the success of someone else, when the healthier option would be to compete against our past or current self, to push ourselves harder.

I'm guilty of this. It's something I am working on. As I start this new fitness/lifestyle/weight loss program today, I am making a vow to compete with just myself. It doesn't matter what anyone else around me is doing. I will cheer them on and be their support system. As for me, my goal is to exceed my past success by staying on this program even through the frustrating moments when I want to quit. I've done that before. Quitting is something I know how to do. However, when I close my eyes and remember the successes that I had before (my jeans sliding down past my hips when I put my phone in my pocket at Home Depot, being more comfortable in an airplane seat, enjoying the way my body feels when I'm kickboxing. . .) I want to replicate that and stick with it. I want that satisfied, proud feeling of meeting goals. My goals.

This week, I hope that whatever gal you set for yourself, that you do it for you because being a champion of yourself feels a whole lot better than being second best to anyone else.

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