Comparisons should be limited to yourself - Tales from 100# Down
Friday, July 12, 2013
Oh how easy it is to look at another person's progress and compare to ourselves. Sometimes that can work against us! As all of you that read my blogs know I am in my ninth round of BLC (a 12 week team based challenge here on Sparkpeople). Every week the spreadsheets are made available with data across all 22 teams. I find myself looking at people of the "same weight" and seeing what they lost or how they performed in a challenge and it "can" be defeating when I come up short.
Here is the thing. No two people are alike. We have different heights, ages, medical conditions, medications, jobs (some sit at a desk, some are on their feet all day in a restaurant) even how long we have been overweight or obese and differing highest weights. ALL of those things affect our "journey".
Having said that where DO we look for comparisons? We look to ourselves! Here are questions you can consider:
1) Where is your weight compared to your highest weight?
2) What is your current "rate" of loss per week (use a % to figure this as the more weight we lose the smaller the poundage of those losses will be). Just divide your weight loss for the CURRENT week by LAST week's weigh in to find this figure.
3) Are you increasing your speed on the treadmill? Are you walking/running further? Are you using heavier weights to do your strength training? Are you increasing the incline on the treadmill? Always push to do a little more FOR YOU. Don't worry if the person next to you is going 4mph if 2.2 mph is an improvement for you then you are doing great!
4) How is your diet? Are you eating healthier than you were a month ago? How about a year ago? Are you adding new fruits and vegetables? Are you using healthier recipes? Have you given up something (soda, candy, fried foods)? Measure your progress against yourself. Yes your friend may be eating tofu and watercress but if you have progressed to eliminating that afternoon candy bar at the check-out lane and the drive-through fries you are making progress for YOU.
5) How about your fitness variety? Are you exploring new ways to be active? Have you tried a DVD? If you have Comcast Cable have you looked at the free videos in the ON DEMAND area? If you only use the treadmill have you tried walking outdoors? What about hiking? Have you moved out of the shallow end of the pool where you walk to swimming a lap or two? Look at how you can step out of your comfort zone and branch out!
6) Tracking - Have you moved from tracking a meal to tracking everything for a day? How about for a week? Tracking is one of those tools that will help you a LOT on this journey.
7) Water - While your co-worker may be downing 140 ounces a day if you have never been a water drinker 40 ounces a day may be an improvement for YOU. Try to increase that to 44 tomorrow.
There is a beautiful young woman on my team that has lost a lot of weight in about a year. It's taken me almost three years to get from 350+ (I don't know what the plus is as my scales would not go higher) to 232.6 and I'm STILL bigger than many people that are STARTING their journey. If I look at it like that I feel defeated but if I compare ONLY TO MYSELF I have come a LONG way --- OVER 100 pounds.
Several young women on my team run half marathons. That's amazing. I am going to WALK my first 5K in 2 weeks. I have to compare ONLY to myself who once was in a wheeled chair and could only walk around the kitchen island holding on for exercise.
I still do not like lots of the healthy food many of my friends are eating. I don't care for most baked fish. I don't like eggplant. I have tried and can't stand greek yogurt BUT I'm not a failure. I have moved from eating the Steak 'n Shake Combo meal (chili, shake, double cheeseburger and fries - almost 2000 calories) to the Spicy Thai Chicken Salad at Panera Bread on the Pick Two for 240 calories with the chicken noodle soup for 80 calories - skip the bread). What a difference.
So look at your OWN journey. Are you making progress? Can you take it a step further?
While we are all heading to that SAME destination "Health & Fitness" we are coming from a variety of starting points and we are in different vehicles (bodies) on many different roads.
If you want to compare - look in the mirror.
We CAN do this!