Monday, 7 April 2014

compete with yourself, not others

When it comes go health and fitness, I find it so easy to fall into the trap of feeling like I'm making little to no progress by comparing myself to others and then, as a result of feeling rubbish and losing my motivation, slacking at the gym and eating badly.

With so many fitspo bloggers and instagrammers around it's easy to get sucked into stories of dramatic transformations (from overweight to sporting a 6 pack in 3 months, really?!) to following food diaries of people who seem to live on a never ending supply of green smoothies, chia seeds and clean foods with not a square of chocolate or sneaky side of fries in sight.

But are these people really living this seemingly 'perfect' lifestyle? Do they really go to the gym 7 days a week? And do they never give in to (or even get) temptations for bad foods? The truth is, that whilst some people really do eat breathe and sleep health and fitness, the majority of will be painting the picture of perfection for their followers - meaning that you (and I) can chill out about that cookie we just ate with lunch.

People, including myself, choose what to share and what to hide online. I choose to blog about certain subjects whilst keep other things personal - and there's nothing wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with choosing not to include the photos of your cheat meals, the days where you skip the gym in favour of lazing around in your pyjamas or the days where a can of Diet Coke replaced your green smoothie.

The important thing is to stop comparing yourself to others and to remember that everyone is human, everyone likes the odd piece of chocolate/cake and sure, eating these foods daily will slow your progress down but that it's only natural to want to eat these things on occasion and a treat once every now and then never hurt anyone. So what if you only made the gym three days this week because you skipped it to hang out with friends on the 4th? Who cares if you had a slice of cheesecake? As long as you're making progress and working towards your goals then you've got nothing to worry about.

My sense of achievement and motivation might have been dented with the amount of clean eats and six packs appearing on my Instagram feed lately, and the people that once inspired me sometimes made me feel insignificant and a bit of a failure for a while but I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's time to stop comparing myself to others sharing selective snippets of their life and focus on the progress I'm making myself.

And I'll forever be Instagramming photos of cake, don't worry.



  1. Love this post Charlene, it's so so true! These lifestyle instagrammers posting endless pics of salads and green smoothies are enough to put me off my chocolate chip muffin... but not quite! Love your blog, I'm a newbie and have just started my own page :-) it would be great if you could check it out xx

  2. Love this! It is so easy to compare ourselves to others, but we have always got to remember that everyone has things they don't like about themselves - we just need to try to be the best version of ourselves that we can. The quote is so true! We're all allowed treats and cheat meal won't make you put on weight, just like one healthy meal won't make you suddenly lose weight! You're very inspirational Charlene - a lot more than some of those instagrammers - so keep it up xx

  3. I follow a girl on Instagram who I used to go to school with, and she looks amazing. She's always on amazing holidays, showing off her super toned six-pack, drinking champers and basically living the life. I was totally jealous, until I found out that she apparently now up to her eyeballs in debt. She lost her job and can't find another one, so spends all her time in the gym. Then she's been putting all these trips on her credit card.

    So it just shows you shouldn't lust after what other people apparently have, as it might not be all it's cracked up to be! And even if they do have a perfect life, well comparison is the thief of joy. You just have to get on with your own life and not worry about what other people are doing.

    Victoria, x

  4. You are inspiring Charlene! I have lost 5 stone through sheer pain and effort. I still have 3 to go and it's tough.
    I'm so glad you are being honest with your readers because it is motivating and keeps me going.

    Keep it up xx

  5. This is a very good, inspirational quote. Recently I've been changing my outlook to become more positive and reading certain things really has helped me to focus on improving myself instead of comparing myself to others.

  6. I definitely find this hard. I follow a lot of instagrammers from the US who are mega into fitness, meaning every day when I wake up it's a full on stream of tans and six packs! I find it hard to fit fitness into my life at the moment where I have a lot of work (and blog) commitments so I'm envious of bloggers and instagrammers who seem to be able to spend their life at the gym and then hours in the kitchen whipping up nutritious treats! It's good to remember to better myself rather than striving for a lifestyle that someone else has that's actually pretty unnattinable for me! xo

    Rosie | A Rosie Outlook

  7. I have been going through your blog and just wanted to say that I really like it :)

  8. Thank you for this very honest post. I sometimes become too hard on myself, especially when I see fitspo posts all over. But you are right, the important thing is too look at your progress more than your set backs, and to enjoy life throughout the journey.