Comparison

Hi, Hey, Hello!

I’m talking about fitness stuff again, it got its own category this year for a reason.

Anyway, this year I decided that I was going to try and focus wayyyy more on quality of movement then getting more reps in. I will not really compromise on where I get my workout in one because it’s working and two because it makes me work way harder when I have to focus on that 45 minutes (or an hour) and won’t get distracted, so shoutout to Frame for that.

But back to the point, quality over quantity is where I’m at right now. There is no point in doing a shit ton of squats if I’m not doing them properly and if I try to do a lot of reps I just let form go out of the window and that makes it pointless. I have long ass legs, it takes a while for me to get into a proper squat and then push back up, I can’t do that quickly. And so I’ve stopped doing that. And it has made a difference. Same goes for my lunges, I mean come through two 90 degree angles in my legs and glute engagement on the way back up. All this means that in a class environment where people are keeping up with the instructor and I’m doing one squat/lunge for everyone else’s two it makes it really easy to get in my own head and start comparing myself to everyone around me and how I must not be working hard enough.

Except that’s bullshit. I’m 5ft 10 and like I said I’ve got long legs (37 inches) they do not move as quickly as everyone else who are all what would be considered a relatively average height for a woman, and so the best I can do is what works best for me and moving slowly but properly is what works best for me. And it’s something that I am slowly trying to become more content with, moving at my own pace while everyone around me seems to be going a lot quicker.

But I’m not there yet and there is something in my head that is always looking around at the other people in the class wondering what they are doing (and in some cases wondering if they are feeling as much of a burn as I am, I went to barre on Thursday night and for the first time in the year that I have been doing barre my legs reached a shaky point where I almost physically could not hold it up behind me and pulse. The shake was real. As was the burn. I was not alone. Thankfully) and then comparing what I am doing to them.

But I am getting better at ignoring that voice in my head that is basically telling me that I’m shit and that I should quit will I’m so clearly behind. The realisation of this truly became apparent a few weeks back when I was finally getting my ass to a Lift class because my body felt like it was finally up for it again.

And in said class there was a pregnant woman. Who was lifting wayyyyy heavier than me. And there was a part of my brain that was like, ‘well why are you even trying?’ but for the most part I cold shut it up and just be like, ‘well that’s where she’s at with this, and this is where you’re at.’ I had weight trained properly once (maybe twice, I can’t actually remember) this year at that point. I had also not done it for a while over Christmas and all that. I was effectively starting from square one again (I mean not quite, because my weights stayed the same as they were prior to my little break and they felt fine (I talked about here) and overall I knew that I had to be kind to myself.

The revelation that I could actively stop myself from comparing myself to others in that moment felt monumental. I had really shitty mental health year last year where I spent more time beating myself up about almost everything then I did giving myself credit for the things that I managed to deal with quite well. And there is still remnants of that in existence in my brain but because it adapted to everything else to the point where it has now become second nature it’s now apparently decided that it wants to turn on me in other ways.

And well, it hadn’t turned on me when it came to exercise and body image yet (well it had, but again I’ve already been there and done that, I guess with exercise entering the equation I’ve changed the game) and so it is slowly starting to do that.

But here’s the great thing about exercise for me. It’s my time to just fully disconnect and sweat it out. And feel really fucking good about it. I work out for me and all the rest of it is just a bonus (like the muscles, hello baby biceps and abs) and it’s really freeing to go into it with that attitude and to not worry so much about what other people are doing. This is about them. It’s about me.

So it’s really freeing to know that that element of comparison is slowly leaving my life and I’m becoming much more comfortable and confident with who I am as a person.

Parentheses count: 6. See you tomorrow!

 

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Sophie

Sophie, twenty-something, avid reader, writer, really good at watching whole seasons of TV shows in one weekend and using 10 words where 5 will do, overzealous user of the ellipsis and parentheses, starts too many sentences with ‘and’ and ‘so’, living in a continual state of Wanderlust.

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