The Thief of Joy.
In the fitness world, we are constantly exposed to picture-perfect people, and in turn we often do one of two things: 1.) we put down ourselves and belittle our worth or 2.) we try to lift ourselves up by putting that person down. Neither one of these reactions are the solution to this equation. If we want to be happy, why do we think we need to put others down? There is enough room for all types of beauty. If someone does look super fit, lift them up. And in the process of lifting them up, do not put yourself down. "You look so [strong], I wish I was as [strong] as you" Replace [strong] with anything: skinny, fit, happy, rich, organized, positive. Instead of immediately putting yourself down in the same breath as complimenting someone, try just complimenting people with a genuine heart that does not envy, but simply elevates.
I worked, lived, and breathed the GYM for years throughout some of the most self-conscious years of my life, and all I did while on the elliptical was stare at women in the gym and looked at what they had that I lack. "Comparison is the thief of joy." Theodore Roosevelt said this and I'm sure he was talking about relationships between women and being body positive.
We need to stop assuming we know someone's story just by looking at them. It is not fair to assume that if someone is overweight, then they are lazy and do not try. I have worked with some AMAZING women who were trying to lose weight and they are at a point where they needed to for their health. They did not get to this point from lack of trying, but rather they had been sexually assaulted and their way of coping with this was through creating a physical barrier between themselves and the world. They were even afraid to lose the weight because it made them feel exposed. They were raw with me and so I told them they were creating armor for themselves by working to become strong from the outside in. This empowered them to feel able to lose the weight and build armor that made them feel strong instead of vulnerable in this world. I have also trained some AMAZING men and women who deal with thyroid issues and developed a "what's the point" mentality. Once they were able to mentally realize fitness is SO much more than just weight loss, their goals changed to more than just a number and they saw results faster. I have some WOMEN who deal with the loss of a loved one, whether it is a child, parent, partner, or friend. This loss left them feeling empty and the way to fill the void was through food. It takes time for them to see that they need to live their BEST life and continue to live out the legacy of those lost.
Everyone's story is different. And if you people watch from the elliptical with envy or judgment, you will never get to learn the stories of those around you. And because you are always trying to be someone else, it will be hard for you to truly know yourself. Elevate don't envy. Lift don't crush. Strengthen don't belittle. Assuming you already know someone's story makes you seem ignorant and that is not a good look. It's hard not to compare yourself when we are always on Instagram for #fitspiration (which can sometimes be a sick habit but that's for another time) But maybe try to fill yourself with positive vibes. Get off your phone and TALK to people around you. People who look like they have it all together may really be struggling and need some TLC. And people may look like they "aren't trying" but they are really just struggling with something in their life that is making getting out of bed every morning seem almost impossible.
Break out of the gym and find a fitness group that is supportive and lifts each other up. Break through to the people who may be struggling to connect or feel uncomfortable in a typical gym/fitness setting. Break the norm of comparing ourselves to others by celebrating those differences.
Remember fitness if more than just physical. Your mind, body & soul deserve to be lifted up by yourself and others. Once you learn to give yourself grace, extend that same grace to those around you.
Inspired By :
John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."