Just kidding! We all do it – even the healthiest of us fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others from time to time. If we’re using food to cope or any other harmful coping strategy, I guarantee you, you are spending far more time than is helpful or necessary comparing yourself to others. This exercise will help you notice when you’re getting caught in the comparison game and help you to understand why you do it and how to step free.
Below are some suggestions of things to be noticing over the next week. Email me and tell me what you notice and we’ll have a dialogue about some simple things you can do to feel more confident in your own skin and less attached to what others have or do or think or feel.
We can’t be free of our use of food to cope with stress until we understand where our stress comes from and create effective, life-enhancing ways of thinking and behaving in stressful situations. So, let’s go!
For this week I encourage you to notice, in the moment or after the fact, when you’ve been comparing yourself to someone else in any way. Then take a few minutes to answer the following questions and see what you turn up.
- What are you telling yourself it means about them that they have X or look like Y?
- What are you telling yourself it means about you that they have X or look like Y?
- What difference does it make to your life what someone else’s body looks like?
- How does someone else’s intellect or (seemingly) natural ability in a certain area affect you? What are you telling yourself you can’t have do or be until you’re like that or have that?
- How does their financial situation or their romantic situation impact you? What are you telling yourself about yourself and your future and past based on where they are at? How does it really affect your happiness? Your life?
- Would you truly be happy if everyone on the planet were fatter than you? Uglier than you? Stupider than you? Less successful than you?
- How does his/her body image or diet, or even what they are eating at this meal, impact your health and wellness?
- What difference will their self-care or lack thereof make to your health and wellness? If you get diabetes, heart disease, cancer etc. is that in some way going to make them right or wrong or somehow be there fault? Will it make you feel better about your body/illness/longevity or lack thereof if someone else is also ill? Will it make you feel worse if you’re sick and they are not? What difference does it make to your life? How does their health has no ramification whatsoever on the health or longevity of your body? And do you want to continue to be motivated by those thoughts and stories?
Run through these questions at least once this week. You’ll learn a lot. And please do share the outcome and insights you gain with me. Let’s take the stigma out of being imperfect and acknowledge the reality of where we are in our healing and growth and let it be a springboard to learn and grow and heal together.