Stop Playing the Comparison Game

I will admit it, I am a chronic player of the comparison game. Anyone with a heartbeat is fair game for me to compare myself to. Whether it is their outfit, their personality, their makeup, and especially their body, I cannot help but compare myself to others. It is what brings me the greatest amount of stress and pain in my life. Comparing myself to others is the reason why I feel disappointed with my body and myself.

I will look it another woman and see a flatter stomach or better arms and cuter hair and find myself worthless and useless. I use those comparisons to bring myself down. I hurt myself over and over again with these comparisons and it needs to stop.IMG_2716

You are you uniquely you. You have traits and features that others would kill for and that makes those around you love you, so embrace them. Why be someone else when you can be yourself. I try to remind myself of these things every time I play the comparison game.

Today I came to the realization that every body is different and that is a great thing. We are all designed differently and that what makes us unique. Yes, you can build muscles, and abs, and create definition in your body, but we are all built a different way. Some people are built slender, they can eat and eat and eat and gain no weight and remain thin. While others are built heavier and with more curves.

I know that I was not built to be skinny. My body has never taken to that and it would take a lot of effort for me to get to the same level as someone who is built slender or someone with a really flat stomach.

Yes, I want to lose weight, and yes, I want to craft a more fit body, but I have to stop comparing myself to others. We are all designed differently and our different compositions make us beautiful and strong. I love having a big booty, it is one of my favorite things about myself, and I can recognize that without comparing it to anyone else.

Focus on embracing the beauty in your differences instead of looking at others as a way to compare your progress. We are all built differently, remember that!

Find Your Center

Running has always been the thing that centers me. In the middle of the hectic day, I always find calm in a run. I like to start my day by lacing up my sneakers and hitting the road. There is something about the crisp air and refreshing feeling of the breaking day that centers me.

Lately, I have been struggling with my runs. I have had a hard time finding the bliss in a run. I have been focusing too much on my strained breathing and not enough on the quiet that enters my mind as the road slips away under my feet. Monday, however, was different. 

As soon as I stepped into the cool, rainy, morning air I felt different. I felt at ease, I felt calm.

Lately my life has been hectic, stressful, and not in a way that makes my heart pump excitedly, but rather in a way that caused my stress migraines to kick in. What I needed was a way to center myself, and running was the trick.

On Monday it felt like a breath of fresh air, it felt right, and at last things clicked into place. Running is my puzzle piece. It is the thing that fits into the center of the big picture and makes it come together perfectly.

This summer, I am dedicated to finding more things that help center me, that help me fit all the pieces together. I encourage you to do the same. I am going to try yoga, kickboxing, and am tempted to join a new gym so that I can commit to swimming regularly.

Find what centers you, and you will add so much more life to your days.

Beautiful Runs

I have had the opportunity to run outside a lot lately so I wanted to share some of the pictures I’ve taken on my runs with you!  These beautiful views also make my runs even more wonderful.

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My favorite running route along the Charles River in Boston.

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All of my spring break runs took place in the lovely state of Florida.

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This Florida pic is my favorite.  What a beautiful place.

 

IMG_5791Running on the bridge from Cambridge back to my beautiful Boston.

 

The Little Changes

Lately I have been focusing on embracing the little changes in my body.  I have not been getting the results I desire on the scale so I have instead decided to focus on the small changes that I can see.

I have seen a difference in my arms recently.  I have noticed more definition in my biceps and triceps.  I know that I still have a long way to go to get to the arms I want but I already feel stronger.  I can see more definition and that they are thinner.  I’m enjoying the change even though my overall weight goals aren’t were I want them to be.

I am also reveling in the muscularity of my legs.  I have noticed much more muscle in my thighs, and while I still don’t love my thighs, it makes me happy that the bulk of them is muscle, not fat.

Enjoying these small changes are what helps me get through the day.  No I am not at my goal weight.  No I do not have my dream body.  But I am making changes.  I am pushing myself and I can see changes in my body.  I am headed in the right direction and I can embrace that and revel in that for now.

Happiness

Happiness Quote
Lately I have been ridiculously happy.  I have been thrilled with the life I have and the choices I have made and where they have brought me in my life.  I have been happy.  So very, unbelievably happy.  But I have bad days.  I have bad body days or school days or days when I absolutely hate boys and want to throw them out of a window, but all those days are worth it because right now I am so happy.
This morning I woke up and went for an amazing run along the Charles River and I felt so alive.  I felt so alive and happy and full of all the most beautiful and wondrous feelings in life.  I feel love and joy and a certain amount of euphoria about being alive.  I feel blessed to be here and to be living.  There is something insanely special to me about the fact that I am alive.  I am alive and I get to choose the life I create, and I love that life.  It is a special and magical and wonderful thing to me that I am responsible for the happiness I feel.
It is because of my thinking and the way in which I choose to live my life that I am happy.  I have that power.  I have the power to choose to treat my body well.  I have the power to go and spend an hour working out and treating myself to all those happy endorphins.  I have the power to eat a wonderfully delicious salad full of all the things that make my body happy.  I have the power to place the people in my life who make me happy.  I have the power to create my happiness and that is wonderful.
So choose to create happiness because you can.  If you’re unhappy you can fix it.  That is a special thing.  Don’t throw away all the power that you have.  Hold on to it and revel in the fact that you are in control of creating your happiness.  At the heart of my happiness is health and fitness and the people in my life who make it full and special.  Find the things that fill your life with happiness and hold onto them, tightly.

Sometimes You Just Need to Take a Breath

I’ve been pushing myself really hard.  Not just in the gym or during what can only be described as intensely painful cardio sessions, but also within my life.  I am so confident about what I want from my life.  I am so certain about my goals and how to achieve them that it is as if I have had blinders on.

When I look at my life I see myself with my head down, pushing forward towards what I want.  I see myself reaching my goal weight and getting the flat abs that I so ardently crave, but I also see myself getting that internship that I want so badly.

Within my blinders I see my dreams and I see myself achieving them.  I see myself working, and working, and working this summer as I stay in Boston and take two classes and an internship so that I can graduate a year early.  I see myself excelling at my dream internship and me finding a place there for a long time.  I see myself successful and that is wonderful, that is a bliss filled thing, but I am failing to enjoy it.  I’m missing out on the beautiful and glorious moments in my life because I am so driven.  I need to pause and take a breath.

I need to take a breath and look around me and see the life that I have created for myself.  I need to see the accomplishments that I have and the person I have become, and if even for a moment, revel in that.  I need to just stop for a minute.

I need to stop and revel in the joy that I didn’t gain a single pound over winter break.  I maintained, and am at the exact same weight as when I left school in mid-December.  That is glorious to me.  A month of chocolates and mashed potatoes and hard workouts and I have managed to remain myself.  I am so proud of that fact.

I need to pause and congratulate myself on a finished semester with a 3.93 GPA and the fact that I tackled 6 classes and came away victorious.  I am also officially a junior now which is fabulous because I have a plan to graduate a year early.

I need to breathe in the fact that I have applied to the internship of my dreams and that I actually have a chance to get it.  I need to breathe in the fact that I have done things that will make my future beautiful.  I need to just breathe.

I have created a lovely life for myself.  I should take a breath and revel in that.  I am so proud of who I have become and the life that I have created for myself and I wish that feeling for every person.

Fight to achieve your goals and someday you’ll get to look at them as accomplishments.  It is such a beautiful thing.  Life is such a beautiful thing.  Happiness is such a beautiful thing.  Choice is such a beautiful thing.  So choose to build a beautiful life filled with beautiful goals and dreams, but don’t forget to take a breath and enjoy it.  You deserve it.

The Journey

After every workout I revel in the fact that I am one step closer to my dream body.  I get so excited at the thought of taking my “after” picture like the one above.  I have dreams of what my body will look like when I finally reach my goal.  I can almost feel the flat abs I’ve been working so hard at and the slender thighs and toned arms that I have been working towards.  I cannot wait for the day when that photo can be taken and I can write the caption and share it with the world.  But today, I remember to enjoy the journey.

Today while I was on the treadmill doing my interval training I took a minute and thought about the body that was running.  I thought about my strong core and my tight butt and my muscular form and I looked to my right into the mirror on the gym wall and I was insanely proud of what I was looking at.  Today I was thankful for my workouts, and my body, and how far I’ve come.

Today, I took a moment to bask in the journey.  Today, I thoroughly enjoyed my workout.  I enjoyed it not because it was getting me closer to my dream body, but rather because it made me feel good.  Today, while running on the treadmill I felt alive and happy with my body.  Today was just another step on my journey towards my goal body but I could feel that step instead of just feeling the road to my destination.  Today I enjoyed the journey and that made me feel so good.

I loved the feeling of success in completing a workout and doing something for me, for my body.  I loved the feeling of adrenaline and happiness that was rushing through me as I pushed my body harder and harder.  Today I fell in love with the journey, not the destination, not the results, not the six pack abs, but the road there and all the steps I get to take.  I’ve never felt happier than right now, then on this journey.

So, fall in love with the journey.  Don’t stop fighting like hell for your goals and your dreams and the body and health that you want, but enjoy the journey.  Love your journey because the changes you make on this journey are the ones that change you and make you love being alive.