The worst thing you can do for your health this upcoming year is…compare yourself to others. That’s right, it’s not eating too much sugar, skipping your workout bypassing all vegetable, so on and so forth. No, it’s falling into the ever-so-likely and deathly comparison trap. We’ve all done it before. While out to eat with friends, you might really want the burger and fries, but your friends all order salad with grilled chicken so that’s what you make yourself do. You then proceed to eye every cheeseburger that passes your table while you wait for your unappealing bowl of greens and leave the restaurant feeling unsatisfied. Or maybe you notice a fellow gym-goer who does 30 minutes of the stair master before taking an intense 60-minute spin class with you. You begin to think your not doing enough and should add more exercise to your workout.
I find myself doing this too! My first job after graduating was in a hospital and one day I overheard two nurses talking. One of them was pregnant and was complaining to her friend about how she’s been eating SO much lately. “I’m eating every four hours! I feel like a pig”. Ummmmm, I thought, I get hungry and eat almost every 2 hours…does that make me a “pig” if I’m eating more than a pregnant lady?! Of course not, and I know enough to know better. Even so, it is human nature to compare ourselves to others. However, this is extremely counterproductive.
Everyone has different bodies and metabolisms. Some people need 3,000 calories/day to be healthy and some people need half that amount. Some people can workout intensely almost everyday (i.e. fitness competitors, marathoners, gym rats) while for other people that wears their bodies down, decreases their immunity and makes them sick. Everyone has different. Life circumstances are different. Your salad-ordering friend may have had a heavier lunch or was not feeling that hungry. Or maybe, she truly was craving a salad and was listening to her body! If your body on the other hand is craving a cheeseburger, you should listen to it too! Additionally, we are all different ages, have different lifestyles, tastes, preferences and much more. In short, we are all very different so why would we compare ourselves to someone else??
Mimicking what others are doing instead of what is right for you is the worst thing you can do for your health in 2017 or EVER. I say this every post, but your body is REALLY smart and denying it what it needs by doing something else is not going to work in the long run. Eventually, it will rebel and you’ll be back to square one. For instance, after that salad you really didn’t want, your 10X more likely to eat something else to compensate, leading you to consume the same amount of energy that the cheeseburger would have provided in the first place.
So, at this time of year where diet programs are a plenty (“Eat These 5 Foods to Lose all that Belly Fat Once and for All!!!”, “The 1,200 calorie Diet for Weight-loss”) and your tempted to buy in, remember there is no quick fix and there is no cookie-cutter option for everyone. Make small, realistic goals not all-or-nothing resolutions that are right for YOU, not someone else. Happy New Year friends <3!!