The Curse of the Comparison

Emily —  April 10, 2013 — 9 Comments


I hate to start of my blog debut with something heavy (ha! Pun intended), but this is something that has affected all of the Miss Fits, me in particular.  Before I start, let me tell you that the number of positive things I could say about lifting is infinite.  I love it.  I love what it does for me.  There are many days where I feel like going up to random women on the street and telling them that they should lift heavy weights because it’s so awesome. So yes, in general my feelings are very positive…but this issue?  Not so much.

I constantly compare myself to others.  We’re all guilty of it in some way…she’s taller, thinner, smarter, trendier, has a better job and the list goes on.  But lately for me, inside the gym is where it’s the worst.   I’m competitive. Competitive people like to win.  And be the best.  When it comes to weight lifting…I’m not even close.  At our first competition and currently in training (with the Miss Fits that have competed before), I am the lightest lifter.  As in, I have the lowest amount of weight on the bar for my lifts. I thought this was something I could just accept and not obsess over.

That’s easier said than done.  During lifting, I constantly catch myself comparing how my weights and lifts match up to those around me.  Often times, the bar will have to be stripped down when it’s time for my set.  When this happens, my ego stomps her foot and makes a little pouty face.  And then the curse strikes…’well she can do it, why can’t I?  Yeah that squat was great but it would have been better if it were 20 lbs more, like her squat.’  And so on.  But WHY?  Why do I let that happen?  If my form is good and I get the reps at the weight that is right for ME, why does it matter that it’s less than someone else?  I get super excited for a fellow Miss Fit that grinds out a great set, regardless of weight.  However, I can’t seem to do that for myself.  I’m always thinking I should be doing more.

But the funny thing is, I am doing more.  I’m constantly improving my form and my working weights, and I should hit new PRs in our next power lifting meet.  And that’s great.  They’re called PERSONAL records for a reason.  The only person I should be comparing to is myself…and sometimes even my former self will kick my ass if I’m having a bad day.

And THAT’S OK. (I have to tell myself this constantly and so does Jim, our trainer).  If I’m spending my time inside the gym in my own head, being negative, I’m not allowing myself to recognize what I’m accomplishing that day.  I’m selling myself short.  It can turn a great workout into a bad one.  And ultimately, I believe it will affect my progress and my passion for lifting.

So if you’re guilty of this too…do yourself a favor and stop comparing.  Be proud of what you are capable of and be thankful that you have a healthy body that allows you to do it.






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9 responses to The Curse of the Comparison

  1. Great post! I do this myself all the time. Thanks for the reminder that it is okay to be where I am!

  2. Barb-It’s a constant work in progress…But I’m glad the article is helping you stay on track.

  3. Great post, Em! Your English major big sister is proud of your writing! And, overall, proud of you!

  4. U also have to remember u have done this for only 1 year. Every day is another opportunity to get better. It is funny to see u so passionate about lifting. Now u understand why the gym is the one place I would rather be than anywhere else.

  5. Suzanne

    Jason, Thanks for your support. You tried to convince me long ago that lifting is something I could be good at… Didn’t know until now how much fun it is and how amazing it makes me feel. ~Suz

  6. Wonderful post. It is comforting knowing I am not the only one who feels this way. I competed in my first meet this weekend- and was lifting much less than my competitors. I was definitely feeling defeated. I just had to get real with myself, I’ve only been training for 3 months, and I hit PR’s on a weekly basis! I am now looking at it as motivation to just add to my total for my next meet!

    • Emily

      Congrats on your first meet! That alone is a major accomplishment, especially after only training for 3 months! You’ll continue to get stronger over time and continue to hit PR’s and that’s AWESOME. Being a better lifter than you used to be should make you proud. Don’t let the “curse” get you down.


  7. I am so proud of you! love , MOM

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