We compare. That’s what we do. You can read that quote “comparison is the thief of joy” a hundred times, but I doubt it’s ever yet stopped you from sizing yourself up against somebody – a friend, a relative, a celebrity, the person in line in front of you at the store.
But what are you basing your comparison on? Recently I was talking to a woman I haven’t seen in quite a while, but we’re connected on social media. She mentioned all my workout pictures during pregnancy and now that I’ve been exercising postpartum. “You’re so disciplined!” she said to me. “I wish I had made time to be so fit while I was pregnant. I guess I just didn’t have the same drive you do.” What she didn’t have that I did, I pointed out to her, was the luxury of working part-time hours, in a profession that basically meant if I wanted to workout, I could turn around in my workplace and pick up a set of weights.
It wasn’t fair for her to make that comparison. But she believed it. And she felt bad as a result.
The next time you compare yourself to someone, stop for a moment and analyze their situation. Do they work the same hours as you? Have the same number of kids? How much does their partner contribute to their workload? How much money do they make? That last question is important too – we may have the same number of hours in the day as Beyoncé, but I certainly don’t have the money she does to delegate certain tasks to others, like cleaning, cooking, organizing appointments and schedules. (Seriously, do you know how often I’ve wished I had a personal assistant?? How amazing would that be?) So maybe, just maybe, Beyoncé’s 24 hours can be spent a little more freely, productively and creatively than ours.
Remember, too, that social media is a highlights reel. (I recently gave you a glimpse once into the not-so-perfect behind the scenes of my Instagram feed.) What you’re seeing is the best of that person’s life, especially in bloggers’ feeds, where it’s not just our personal life you’re looking at, but a brand. The thing is, fitness isn’t being perfect. Nobody is doing it all.
So today, in the spirit of sharing that behind the curtain look into the life of a fitness professional, I want to tell you guys what the “all” is that I’m not doing well right now.
Here’s what I’m NOT doing right now:
- Food prep and planning. I was on a roll with this during pregnancy but it was the first thing to go when life got busy with two kids. It’s the one thing I want desperately to get back on track with, because it works – not just from a health perspective, but also because it’s way less expensive to have your meals planned out and know exactly what you’ll need for the week.
- Being great with my diet. See above. Planning/prep and a healthy way of eating go hand in hand. I’m not going crazy, but there’s occasional pizza when I just don’t have anything planned or enough to throw together for a pantry meal.
- Programming and tracking my workouts. The irony here is that this is what I do daily for my clients. I spend time, energy and love to put into their programs; to make sure I’m tracking exactly what they can do; what is and isn’t working for them; what’s going to be best suited for their goals. I’m working out, as many days of the week as I can, but most of the time it’s off-the-cuff, what do I have time for today? kinds of workouts. That’s working in my favor right now, while my metabolic needs are higher because I am carrying extra weight and using more calories thanks to breastfeeding, but it won’t work forever. I have to take some of my time and make my own workout program a priority for my goals and my needs.
- Sleeping and stress – oh my. Sleeping has always been an issue for me. I’m a natural night owl with a morning job. I don’t like to nap because I want to use every minute of my time without the boys awake to do all my blogging/programming work. It’s a work in progress. And stress, this year has been a doozy. Lots has been going on over the past 12 months and the icing on the cake was my husband losing his job on Friday. Honestly, we’re both looking at it as an opportunity rather than a disaster and we’re using it to take action on something we’ve wanted to do for a long time (I promise there’ll be more details on that soon!)
I know you’re not doing it all, either. Nobody can – so spill. Let’s hear it – what’s your sticking point, what’s the part you’re struggling with right now? Let’s hear it, in the comments, on your own blog, on social media, wherever you want to share:
What is your struggle?
What are you NOT doing?