Have you met the Joneses? They are fabulously wealthy, have all the latest gadgets, and the biggest house on the block. Also, their kids have competed in the Olympics and are being actively pursed by Harvard (their ages are 1 1/2 and 3). Mr. and Mrs. Jones have 3% body fat, a wall of trophies, and Nike asked them to be their next spokes models.
Oh wait! I’m getting them mixed up with another family – the Stepfords. See, no one, not even the Joneses are perfect, so why make yourself crazy?
That said…I’m totally guilty of comparing myself to others at the gym! When I first entered the fitness scene with 50 lbs to lose, I signed up for a boot camp and immediately sized up the other people in the group to see where I fit in.
Comparing yourself to your neighbors let’s you know your social caste ranking and where you stand on the material scale, and sometimes you just can’t compete. Comparing yourself to the Gym Joneses can be a likewise humbling experience.
But it can also be helpful. I used to look at the really ripped women training for the Shredder and tell myself that I would be there someday. I watched another woman do a chin up and decided that would be my next goal. Each bodybuilding competition I enter (and lose) I remind myself where I was two years ago and look at the winners to see where I want to be.
I guess the main thing to remember is to compare yourself to someone on the same level as you. Why compare yourself to Jaime Eason (winner of the World’s Fittest Model) when you’re pushing 40 and only recently joined the gym, right?
What about you? Do you try keep up with the Gym Joneses? Do you feel demoralized or are you inspired to improve?
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