Fitstream is a storytelling platform for your body, so it may seem strange to write an article about not comparing yourself to others.
This is an important point to address because our purpose is not to compare and contrast your body, but to inspire, motivate and educate people to be healthier. We’re building a like-minded community that collectively assists each other in the simple pursuit of being healthy and happy with their body.
When you’re looking through our public Livestream and seeing the photos and measurements filtering through it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap but doing this often leads to feelings of envy and worthlessness as the unhealthy “I wish…” thoughts creep in - “I wish I had her legs”, “…his chest”, “...those arms”. It can also kill your motivation by highlighting just how far you have to go to reach your goals.
...but you're not seeing the full picture.
When you peer into someone’s social media posts and glance at their selfies you’re only seeing the distilled, filtered version of what they’re choosing to share.
Don’t compare what you see in the mirror to what’s shown on screen. Photos are easily altered and improved and bodies are rarely as perfect as they seem on the surface.
The media has helped cement these unrealistic expectations of our bodies. An article, called "Keeping it Real” by professional runner, Lauren Fleshman illustrates the point perfectly by comparing a professional photoshoot against an average day for her body.
So what we propose is that you avoid the "comparison mindset" and start to cultivate a different set of values and way of thinking...
Let’s start with individuality.
Everyone is different
We all have varied body shapes and sizes and your individual genetics will determine how your body responds to certain lifestyles. Mimicking someone’s diet and activity won’t necessarily yield the same results for you.
You need to work out what works for your body!
Focus on progress, not perfection
One of the bigger problems with health and fitness today is the quick fix culture; with diet and exercise fads being the norm. Your goals should be a guiding force in what should be considered a constant journey of continual growth, rather than short-term corrective thinking. Aim for long lasting, sustainable lifestyle changes.
Keep in mind that the people around you with bodies that you admire won't have achieved those results overnight, but with consistent work and building healthy habits that inched them towards their goals day by day. Don’t compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 10. Concentrate on daily improvement and ignore the bigger picture for now.
Progress motivates you and gives you momentum, which in turn builds confidence and accelerates progress. This whole cycle compounds as you rapidly start to make changes to your body and health. Recognise that there is no perfect diet, training regime or body and instead focus on continual progress and gradually moving toward your goal.
Regularly tracking your health and fitness progress (by taking weekly body measurements and body photos) will highlight the small changes that are taking place, which, over time will add up to an incredible transformation. Take a time out, review your Stream and take pride in how far you’ve come and in your own journey to date.
As Lao Tzu once said - “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.
Develop a community mindset
Fitstream is built on community because we know that a positive and supportive community is a strong driver for change and inspiration.
At times, during your transformation you’ll need support, be it words of encouragement when you’re feeling low, or a critical piece of advice from someone who’s been where you are right now.
Learn from one another, encourage each other through times of difficulty and seek out people that have achieved what you’re going through.
If you see someone making an effort to improve themselves, say something sincere and supportive. You’ll not only lift that person but yourself too.
Recognise that comparing yourself can be negative and demotivating and instead:
- Experiment regularly and test what works for you
- Draw inspiration and learn from those that have walked your path
- Focus on progress, rather than perfection
- Track your results regularly and review your progress monthly
- Work together as a positive community