Stop comparing your life and start living it
Comparing ourselves to others is second nature to most of us. We tend to set goals for ourselves based on looking at, seeing or hearing others - that’s life and it's okay. However, I wanted to write a post to question those behaviours and to truly learn that comparing may not be the best answer. And, I have a pretty good example…
I have an identical twin sister… we are best friends and we grew up sharing everything. We played sports together, we had the same friends, we dressed similar. We were the typical identical twins and now that we have grown up, our paths have taken us very different ways. We are still very alike but also very different .
I am a wife and a mom of 3 busy boys under the age of 4 living on an acreage outside of town that even has chickens!
My sister Brittany is single, no kids, very much focused on her finance career and loves living the downtown life.
Our lives may be different but we are still twins and share that “weird” twin bond. We have ALWAYS been compared as people find it intriguing to figure out the differences.
The funny thing is that the comparisons have mostly been in a negative way; who is the chubbier one, who has the bigger nose, who has better teeth (I knocked mine out biking when I was 12) who is smarter and more athletic and even who is the evil twin. This always left one of us feeling insecure about something. Luckily we tried to balance it out with each having negatives – For example I agreed I had the bigger nose and Brittany accepted she was the chubbier one. Being involved in the health & fitness, I still cannot believe that as young girls we learned to accept differences as if they were flaws.
Our bodies and looks might have started out similar (not the same) but not now. After 3 boys my body certainly will never be quite the same but I don’t compare myself to my sister anymore.
We both workout to maintain a healthy active lifestyle;
Let’s start with Brittany. She works out 6 times/week at the gym for about an hour and a half, does her meal preps on Sundays and she likes the discipline of tracking and following a specific program. She is also at a desk most of the day and she loves her job and her lifestyle so she has a balance that works for her. She is happy.
I, on the other hand, would not be happy with her lifestyle. I love mine; raising my boys, rarely sitting during the day and working out on a less routine schedule. I do prep some meals but it is for my entire growing family, no time to be so particular. Running around after my kids IS part of my workout and I add another 3 or 4 time a week but only for about 30-40 minutes.
We both try to get to a class once a week as we both love fitness and try to enjoy this together but for the most part we do what works for us independently of each other.
Now let’s be realistic, even though we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, it is still hard not to! After every baby, I struggled with my body image and compared myself to my sister. She had no stretch marks, no postpartum hair loss, no extra skin around her tummy or big bags under her eyes from lack of sleep. I tried to cover it up so that I looked like her still and looked like I had no physical traces of having children. I didn’t want to be the twin that let herself go… With our lives being so different it was a struggle to keep up with how I thought I “should look”. I look back now and realize how silly that thought was. Just because I have physical proof that I have had children doesn’t mean I let myself go. I just realized what was truly important and my priorities have changed. She also struggles comparing herself and trying to “catch up” with me as she was labelled the chubby twin. Our goals are different and we grew into supporting those differences, rather than pointing out the flaws of those differences.
If we tried to mimic each other, like we used to, and compete with/compare ourselves constantly, neither one would be happy because that is part of it…….healthy and happy is so different based on each person’s life/interest/balance/ability. No matter how similar people can be, everyone is DIFFERENT. From my own experience, the moment Brittany and I discovered our own independent balances we truly became comfortable in our own skin. Our physical bodies will never be the same and that’s okay! Let’s all stop comparing each other and starting supporting each other xoxo