Throwbacks on comparison and number fixation.

After a most perfect weekend of unplanned-ness, good, quality time with M, and the downtime I’ve been craving (like whoa), I sit here somewhat amazed at a few things I realized about my habits and how they’ve changed.

In particular? Comparison and number fixation. 

These are two things that have dogged me big time in the past year, where I allowed comparing myself to others, including my sister Jess and to well, just about anyone, and my fixation on numbers (namely – the scale) to drag me down and lose sight of my achievements and progress.

There were two instances where I had an amazing a-ha moment that made me realize that I’ve come a lot farther than I really even realized. So, I call this a ‘throwback’ of sorts because I recall it being just about this time last year where I was neck-deep in a downward spiral of self negativity with relation to comparison and number fixation.

The first instance? Running.

At this point last year, I was struggling to embrace running, to love it as much as I proclaimed. To want to run another half marathon. And while I did run another half marathon last year, it was also that experience that made me realize that I am NOT a racer. But deep down? I was comparing myself to my sister. And her amazing PR. And wondering ‘why not me?’ WHY can’t I do it? Why is she better than me?

Fast forward to this weekend. My sister and brother in law ran a kick-ass half marathon…another PR. And I don’t think I could have been prouder if I tried. I was beaming when she texted me her finish. I was excited and proud to see all of the congratulatory tweets and Facebook posts. I reveled in it. And I didn’t feel an ounce of jealousy, frustration or ‘why not me?’ moments. In fact, I channeled her ‘run happy’ mantra on my own run that morning with M, as we spontaneously decided to find a new route. And ya know what? I ran happy.

Compare THAT to last year? I can’t even describe how happy that makes me. I’m not comparing anymore. I’ve released myself of it. And instead? I’m proud of her, and happily running my own way.

~~

The second instance? I decided to weigh myself this weekend, after not weighing myself since December. I honestly had no idea what the scale would say. Of course, I hoped it would be lower than when I weighed in December, but told myself to only do it if I knew I could handle what it said.

So, as I waited to teach my barre n9ne class on Sunday, I stepped on the scale. And looked down. At first, I was happy. It was below my goal weight of that December timeframe. But then my mind automatically started to want to compare. At first, I did. And then I brushed it off. And then I did it again. I started to fixate. But it was half-hearted. I didn’t WANT to compare, or fixate, or obsess. I taught my class, I channeled my frustration (and probably killed my clients, hehe, but hey, what’s a little extra sweat on a Sunday Funday?!). I looked in the mirror. In my brand-new Lululemon outfit that I couldn’t believe I was wearing. Crops I never thought I could rock. And I smiled. I felt good. The number started not to matter so much, or rather, I started to own that number, to be proud of it, and not lose sight of all that I’ve accomplished in the ‘year of barre n9ne’.

On my drive home, I thought about it some more. And I realized something that really drove it home for me. A proportional loss that made me realize that I had, indeed, worked so hard, accomplishing a number that I wanted to own, rather than ‘wish away’ into a lower, phantom number, I embraced it. 100%. 

And that, my friends, are two examples of harnessing two very almost-paralyzing habits – comparison and number fixation – and instead, embracing and celebrating the change, the progress, and the determination that I’ve worked so hard for. There’s no such thing as comparison…to anyone but yourself. 

This one needs zero explanation. Zero.
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34 thoughts on “Throwbacks on comparison and number fixation.

  1. I’m glad that you are feeling this way. There’s always going to be someone faster than you, but there are probably a lot of people out there who are comparing themselves to you, saying why can’t i run half-marathons like her? What I’m trying to say is that you’re right, there’s no use in comparing yourself to anyone because everyone has his or her own strengths and weaknesses.

    1. You are SO right, Lee. Someone will always be faster, someone will always be slower. And someone will always be comparing, and we all have our hangups and quirks, nobody is perfect, right? I am just glad NOT to fall into the trap as much as I used to. It was doing a number on my self-esteem, that’s for sure.

  2. you know, i can so relate. It’s hard not too. I am not a racer. I am supporter, but i love to run, my own race. I will race when i have that desire. But you are gifted my friend, you are the cheerleader that is running along side. That’s IMPORTANT!

    1. I would love to run, our ‘own race’ together – how fun would that be? And I love that we see eye to eye on this and being the cheerleader and sherpa (in your case!) is equally as important as the one racing!

  3. Aww sis, this made me a little teary, not gonna lie. Just as you were so proud of me yesterday? I was so proud of you when we started texting back and forth after your class yesterday. The flip had instanty switched — you were NOT comparing, you were truly embracing. It felt like such a huge turning point and it made ME the proud sister. I love this, all of it. Never letting anything or anyone steal your joy. Ever, ever.

    1. I WAS and still AM so proud of you sis!! I knew you could do it, and the fact that I was so proud made me realize just how far I’d come, with the comparing and crap. And then the other incident too, made me realize the change in me, in fixation and obsessing over numbers. It felt so triumphant! Love you sis!

    1. Thank you Amanda! I really feel that I have too, and it just feels so worth it, ya know? And thank you dear! YOU are looking amazing yourself ;-)

    1. Isn’t it?! One of my favorites. I finally do feel like I am embracing my own everything, and it’s making such a difference!!

  4. It is so hard to let go of comparing yourself to someone else, especially someone who you love so much. My sister and I have had fights because of this. We love each other, but get jealous so easily. In January when I PR’d at Disney, I was proud of us both because we took each other’s feelings into mind when she didn’t PR. I didn’t get overly excited because I didn’t want to hurt her but she wouldn’t let me forget that I PR’d. It was a huge step in our relationship. Great post. I am happy for both you and Jess!

    1. Wow, I actually love that you can relate to this too!! It sucks to fight over this stuff, ya know? And I know I have fought with Jess, and internally, with myself, over the running vs. racing thing and why I was doing it. Before, it was for the wrong reasons. If I ever want to run a race again, it’ll only be for me, nothing else. Thank you!

  5. Comparison and number fixation are tough ones for me too but I loved reading this. You have made huge progress over the past year and I am so happy for you. Being comfortable owning the number, your accomplishments and all that you are capable is so huge. For me, I know that one of the biggest things I’m trying to work on is embracing myself, scars and all :-)

    1. They’re SO tough, aren’t they? I am glad you liked reading this too and realize that you too need to EMBRACE yourself!! You can do it, you are amazing, and strong, and capable!!

  6. We’re our toughest critic. I think I’m careful about announcing weight and PRs, but I know some people embrace it; I’m just hesitant because everyone’s situation is vastly different.

    I definitely am the same as you about the weight, I hardly get on a scale. But it takes awhile to get comfortable in your skin.

    This is an awesome reflection of what an inspiration you are!

    1. I completely agree, our own worst critic and weight is definitely one thing that is sensitive, no matter what, and a topic of opinion, anyway, and for me, it’s just always been sensitive. BUT I am learning to embrace it, and not focus so much on what it means, but just what it means to my journey, and the progress I’ve made more than anything! And thank you for saying I am inspiring, that is so sweet. XO

  7. You are in such a good place right now and I’m happy for you :) I definitely need to paste this on my ceiling and read it every night before I go to sleep because I’m struggling hard with those exact two examples: running and weight. It helps coming out and being open on my blog instead of pretending I’m the person I WANT to be, but some days, it’s tough to look in the mirror.

    1. Thank you so much, Katrina! I am so glad that you found this inspiring, and at a time when you needed it. Be you, be only you, and trust yourself. It’s hard to do, but from my perspective, you are an amazing runner, and look great, to boot. Hang in there.

  8. I know all about this. I’m constantly comparing myself to others. But I need to work at my own pace and be comfortable in MY skin…not anyone else’s. It’s a journey, but we can do this. We are FAB!

  9. I am so proud of you for all of this. You are a strong, amazing woman, in such a great place. I need to pick your brain more about overcoming, I’ve been having a few moments like what you are discussing here. XOXO

  10. thank you thank you thank you SO SO SO MUCH for this post! so inspiring! I am an identical twin and my entire life has been one big comparison but I, too, am working to break free from this!

    1. Aw! Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by and I am so glad you can relate to this! You can break free, I promise. It is hard to do, but once you do and be ok with differences, it starts to get a lot easier!

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