It’s easy to get caught up in all of the hype whenever we start our fitness journeys. We research what other people have done to get results and see that this person saw results doing one diet and workout, while someone else recommends trying another method, like supplements. It can become overwhelming and you start to feel like you need to keep up with everyone else or you’re going to be left behind.
On the other hand, you may feel like you’re as fit as everyone else or doing the same things, so you should already be at their level. At this point, you start comparing your own routine to what someone else is doing or how your body looks compared to theirs. This can be a dangerous place if overdone or an exciting and motivating one if you think about it in the right way.
Everyone has their own journey and everyone’s journey takes them in different directions. Not one body is alike. We were all born different and unique and we will all continue to grow in different ways. Just because your favorite fitness model on Instagram is eating something and saying how much it helps her body doesn’t mean it will work the same way for you. That’s okay!
You have to remember that any fitness model, or whoever your fitness role model is, has directed their life to be around fitness and that is their job. Many get there from connections with people they know or put themselves out there online and a big company found them, which allows them to follow that career path.
However, comparing your body to your favorite fitness role model can be dangerous. Like I said before, no two bodies are alike. You can’t follow the exact fitness regimen as someone else and expect to look identical to them. We are all different. We have different structures and builds. Our muscles are all different lengths and shapes. That’s all genetics!
There are people you will see on social media who are completely lean all the time, all year round. But it’s unrealistic to always look that way. If you have a cheat meal and intake a lot of salty or sweet foods, you will be bloated in some form for a little while. It’s not normal to have a six-pack 24/7.
That’s why social media can be so dangerous: it’s so easy for us to compare ourselves to others who are seemingly perfect all the time. We don’t walk around with those people all day long to know what they are doing to look that way. But we don’t need to because all that matters is how you feel and how you think you look compared to yourself a year ago.
Be happy with who you are and take your training to a whole new level for yourself and only yourself. Otherwise, you’ll get to a point where you’re only exercising for imagined approval of others, and that’s not the point. I’ve seen people get to the point where they are so unhappy with themselves because they believe they are supposed to look like someone they’re not.
That’s not to say that comparing yourself to others is all bad news. If you need motivation to get your fitness journey started, you can use your favorite fitness role model as inspiration.
For example, if your fitness role model lifts a certain amount of weight or can do a movement that you can’t yet perform, you could strive to lift the same amount and improve your skills. There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition – just be sure not to overdo it and stress out if you don’t make the same progress.
When you stop comparing yourself to others in an unhealthy way, you are free to make your own goals for yourself. Make goals that are going to make you better in your overall health and fitness. You may have to start off small, but eventually you may pass that person in volume and strive toward other goals because you didn’t know your true potential in the beginning. The kicker is that your body is going to change in amazing ways all on it’s own as you push more to hit those kinds of goals.
Be your own person and work hard for yourself, not for an image of someone else you think is “perfect”. It’s hard not to keep comparing yourself to someone you aspire to be — especially if you look at their social feeds every day.
Stop comparing aesthetically. It’s so mentally unhealthy for us to do that. It takes focus away from our true goals and gets them all jumbled into someone else’s. That’s not our life and that’s not us. Focus on what you need to be doing to improve yourself.