Your body is not a competition
You know her.
You see her crossing the street. She walks into the room unexpectedly. She pops up in your feed. Or she sits next to you in class. Her cubicle is next to yours. She’s your best friend. She’s your sister. You workout together.
Or, he works in your office. Goes to your gym. You’re married to him. He sits next to you on the bus, or walks his dog past your building. He’s your boss or your brother.
Their body is different than yours. Your eyes follow them. You linger on their photo. And you start to compare, and feel like you don’t measure up. Like you need to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or order a salad. Or take the stairs and skip lunch altogether. You look at yourself in the mirror and you don’t like what you see, compared to when you look at them. You pull on your shirt, frown at your hair, your skin, you body. You feel like you need to catch up, make some changes, restrict.
Because we live in a world that places our worth on our appearance, this is a normal way to feel. Thin, conventionally attractive bodies are the ones considered the most beautiful, and the most worthy in our culture. And because most people post shiny, happy, altered photos of themselves on the internet these days, it can be difficult not to feel like you need to change yourself, or that your appearance is in competition with someone else’s.
But know this:
Your body is not a competition.
Once more: your body is not a competition.
Not with other men or women.
Not with a younger, smaller, bigger, or future version of yourself.
You are enough, and that’s enough.
At the end of life, no one will receives prizes for the smallest waist, thickest hair, or largest bicep, or the least amount of calories consumed. You won’t look back on your life and think wow, I’m so glad I went on all those diets!
In real life though, it can be so difficult to not compare your body to someone else’s. But in reality, your body has specific, unique needs, that are very different to everyone else’s, and the instagram model trying to sell you on celery juice doesn’t know what your needs are. If you find yourself dreading events, meals, trips, or hangout time with friends because you can’t stop comparing your body to theirs, then it may be a sign you have work to do to heal your body image. Imagine how much more present you could be with these people you love, if you were able to focus on their soul, on your relationship, instead of how your appearance compares to theirs. Imagine how much time and energy we waste competing with others over who looks the best in photos, or wears the smallest jeans.
Imagine: “what if we said: ‘She’s beautiful but so am I’ instead of ‘She’s beautiful and how do I measure up to her?”
(lovely quote sourced here)