If you’re a skinny girl, you know that it’s common for other girls to compare their physiques to yours—and let’s face it, it’s not very flattering. Unless you’re already a size 2, you probably feel a little bit like you don’t fit in because you’re not a size 0 with a flat stomach and tiny waist and butt. The good news is that you don’t have to compare your body to anyone else’s, and that there are many other ways to measure your success. Here are some things to keep in mind, especially if you’re a girl who’s worried about her body:
When you compare yourself to others, it can be hard to let that one person go. We all feel the need to compare ourselves to others, but the sense of belonging to a group can make us feel better about ourselves and develop a sense of identity. However, research has shown that comparing ourselves to others can be detrimental to our mental health. In comparison studies, scientists have found that people who compare themselves to others are more likely to report negative feelings, such as anxiety or depression.
As a teenager, I constantly compared myself to other people, especially girls. I thought I was fat, ugly, and pretty. If other girls were skinny, I felt guilty. If I had a lot of friends, I felt I was a loser. If other girls had guys on dates, I felt I was a loser. If other girls were fit, I felt fat.
Have you ever felt as though the physique you want is always just out of reach? Do you ever feel like you’ll never be slim, strong, fit, or healthy enough? Or that someone is always “better” than you? Here’s how to quit disliking your physique and get rid of the annoyance of continuous comparing.
Over the course of 11 months, Caron Adderley dropped 55 pounds.
And for a while, she was pleased with the outcomes.
Despite the fact that her family and friends (and the rest of the world) thought she was wonderful, she quickly grew unsatisfied. “Even though I was the leanest I’d ever been, I wanted six-pack abs,” Caron says.
After all, do individuals who are really fit have washboards?
But no matter how slim or powerful she became, or what new objectives she set for herself, there was always someone “better” to compare herself to.
She constantly seeking more instead of recognizing her own growth.
Does this ring a bell?
I’ve heard many tales like Caron’s throughout my ten years of coaching. Both men and women are involved.
It’s natural to feel the following ways, no matter where you (or your clients) are in your health and fitness journey:
- You’re never exactly in the right place.
- Everyone else is outperforming you.
- Even your greatest efforts are insufficient.
This is what I refer to as the comparison game.
And if you’re trapped in it, you’re well aware of how draining it is.
You don’t have to keep playing, however. (Neither do your customers.)
We’ll explain why you can’t seem to stop comparing yourself to others—and why you always feel like you don’t measure up in this post. (Spoiler alert: According to science, it’s perfectly normal.)
More significantly, we’ll offer you five methods for permanently overcoming your comparison complex—because a healthy lifestyle should empower you, not deplete you.
A little-known fact about comparison: it’s something that everyone does.
Comparing oneself to others is a natural human trait.
The phrase “social comparison theory” was created by renowned psychologist Leon Festinger, Ph.D. in the 1950s.
The concept: We turn to one another for points of comparison in order to evaluate our “success” in any given area of life—career success, intellect, and yes, attractiveness.
We don’t rely on just anybody, however.
According to Karen North, Ph.D., clinical professor of communications at the University of Southern California, we compare ourselves to our “relevant peer group.”
According to Dr. North, this group is made up of individuals we believe to be on the same level as ourselves in any particular characteristic.
If you’re a high school basketball great, for example, you’re more likely to compare yourself to the best players in your district than to NBA all-stars.
It should come as no surprise that your friends, neighbors, and coworkers often find themselves in your comparison bucket.
However, you may be affected by individuals with whom you have no direct contact, such as a movie star, a CrossFit champion, or an Instagram influencer.
“Celebrities may become part of our peer group to the point that we believe we know them,” says Krista Scott-Dixon, Ph.D., Director of Curriculum at and a counselling psychology specialist.
“Think of how you could get connected to the characters after binge-watching a Netflix series,” she adds. “It works in a similar way: if you spend time watching or reading about particular individuals, you may feel as though they are a member of your peer group, even if you have never met them.”
We tend to feel good about ourselves when we believe we’re in the top third of the group, regardless of who we consider our peers.
What is the major issue? We transfer groups when we think we are “better” than two-thirds of our colleagues. The cycle then repeats itself.
When it came to Caron’s physical composition, this is what occurred.
She didn’t start out with the goal of having six-pack abs. She began to connect with a new set of individuals who were even thinner, fitter, and stronger than she was once she viewed herself as a “fit person.”
Surprisingly, all of those people seemed to have noticeable abs.
How can we ever feel good about our bodies if we are wired to compare ourselves to others?
The five methods that follow may assist you right now, no matter where you are. They may also force you to explore new methods and make difficult choices.
But, don’t you think you’re worth it?
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5 strategies to avoid physically comparing yourself to others.
The first strategy is to concentrate on the acts rather than the results.
Perhaps you’d like to be a size 4. Alternatively, bench 300 pounds. Alternatively, run a mile in under six minutes.
These kind of standards often seem to be significant. Perhaps because they allow us to compare ourselves to others in a neutral manner. (Warning: red flag!) You won’t have to worry how you compare to your peers since the statistics will tell you.
These objectives are attainable for some individuals. But what about the rest of us? They have the potential to be very discouraging.
After all, we can’t predict how our bodies will react to a diet or exercise regimen. And, if you establish objectives that demand a certain result, anything that doesn’t meet those expectations may seem like a failure.
Especially when we watch others achieve their goals.
Rather of concentrating on the ultimate goal, focus on doing everyday activities that will help you lose weight, gain strength, and run faster. Habit-based objectives are what we call them.
If you want to reduce weight, for example, you could establish objectives like:
- Every meal should include lean protein.
- 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day
- Three days a week, 30 minutes of exercise
These activities, when carried out on a regular basis, are examples of how to lose weight. They’re also under your command.
Goals change your perspective away from comparison and provide you more chances to appreciate your accomplishments rather than worrying about what you haven’t done yet.
To be sure, concentrating on activities rather than results may require a mindset shift. However, with repetition, it will begin to seem natural and correct.
You may begin right now by using the same goal-setting methods that we use at.
Put things in perspective (Strategy #2). (every single day).
It’s all too easy to get caught up in what we don’t like about our bodies.
- On the backs of our legs, we have cellulite.
- When we don’t keep our stomachs in, this is how it appears.
- We believe some body portions are overly slim or flabby.
You can definitely name at least a few, no matter who you are. And, all too frequently, these ideas consume much more mental real estate than they should.
However, by reminding ourselves of what truly matters in life, we can dilute and weaken these unpleasant emotions.
How? By just keeping a daily diary.
This isn’t something you should add to your to-do list. Consider it a fast and simple method to gain some perspective on a daily basis.
Simply write the following every day:
- Three things for which you are thankful
- Something you’re looking forward to
- Something you’re particularly proud of (from that day or the day before)
Making this list may provide you with a significant mental boost. If you do it on a regular basis, your attitude will shift from one of comparison to one of appreciation. You may also check back on past entries to see how far you’ve progressed.
Eliminate your comparison triggers with Strategy #3.
Consider a habit, activity, or location that will assist you in being healthy. Do you have any that make you feel insufficient?
It might be the website of your favorite meal-prep blogger… because she seems to have an inexhaustible supply of time to try out new and tasty macro-friendly dishes
And that isn’t the case in your life.
It may also be:
- That difficult spin class when you’re having a hard time keeping up
- A diet that makes you feel bad because you’re always “cheating”
- You joined a weight-loss challenge club at work.
For example, when my client Kim began training, her objectives were to be in shape, feel good about herself, and be at ease in her own skin. She soon became slimmer and stronger, and she entered the gym’s competitors program, where she began working alongside very fit athletes.
Kim suddenly felt as though she wasn’t doing enough. She claims she felt like a fake since she wasn’t willing to live the life of a highly disciplined athlete.
The rivals program had become a source of comparison for Kim. Her initial aim, though, was not to become a disciplined athlete.
Consider the following questions:
Is there a location, person, or habit that makes you feel “not good enough” all of the time?
You can obtain the space you need to evaluate your circumstances and determine what you truly want if you can put your “trigger” for self-comparison on wait. If you choose to go on, you can go back to that scenario with a clear mind and reasonable expectations if you want to.
Transform your social networks (Strategy #4).
Go ahead and tidy up your newsfeed, Marie Kondo.
Examine your friends and “following” lists, and consider if each person or account gives you pleasure. Unfriend or unfollow if this is the case. (We warned you there would be difficult choices.)
Begin following individuals that motivate, educate, or just make you giggle.
These may be individuals you know, as well as celebrities and influencers who make you happy. Your aim is to create a peer group that encourages you to appreciate yourself and your physique.
When I assign this job to clients, they often remark that social media has become a joyful place for them for the first time—a place that is now helping to their development rather than hurting it.
#5: Look for significant relationships.
Caron, who is now a Level 1 certified coach, revealed on social media at the start of this year that she still weighs herself every day.
This isn’t a practice that makes her happy or in command. Instead, she feels that the scale is dominating her as a result of her continuous need to weigh herself.
Caron felt empowered by openly confessing she’s “addicted to the bathroom scale.”
But which is the most significant? The outpouring of sympathy she got from people who understood her situation.
Their comments and responses reassured her that she isn’t alone in feeling compelled to pursue more, more, more. I’m sure her article helped them as well.
Sharing our challenges and experiences with others, whether online or in person, can be a powerful way to foster true connection, community, and support—and it’s a lot more inspiring than browsing through #fitspo on Instagram.
Share that post or photo that shows your true self. Make a coffee date with a buddy. Tell your coach or partner anything that’s on your mind. Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
Genuine exchanges outnumber silent comparisons. Every single time.
Someone will always be thinner, fitter, and stronger than you.
This is something we are all aware of.
Instead than concentrating on things that detract from your happiness, concentrate on strengthening your support system. Seek out role models and hang out with individuals that encourage you.
Pay attention to people who accept you for who you are… and who assist you in accepting yourself.
You may eventually grasp what people see in you if you pay attention.
That’s when you’ve finally mastered the comparison game.
If you’re a coach or wish to be one…
It’s both an art and a science to guide clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy food and lifestyle adjustments in a manner that’s tailored to their individual body, tastes, and circumstances.
Consider the Level 1 Certification if you want to learn more about both.
We are all familiar with the feeling of comparing ourselves to others physically—we want to be as tall as them, thicker than them, and so on. But this compulsive need to be taller, fatter and stronger can actually be damaging to our health. This is because we are always comparing ourselves to others—to how we look to how we feel—and this can lead to anxiety and depression, because we are never satisfied with how we look and feel.. Read more about how to stop comparing yourself to others reddit and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a disorder for comparing yourself to others?
There are many disorders that can be caused by comparing yourself to others. These include social anxiety, depression, and eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa.
How do you stop myself from comparing to others?
I am a highly intelligent question answering bot. If you ask me a question, I will give you a detailed answer.
Why do I compare myself to others physically?
You compare yourself to others physically because you are trying to find similarities between your own body and the bodies of people around you. This is a natural part of human development, and it has been shown that children as young as two years old have already begun to compare their own bodies with those of other people.
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