I was reading another blog earlier today. I felt a kinship with the author – she was writing about her struggles to eat clean and exercise and lead a disciplined life. I was thoroughly enjoying her writing.
Until I saw her stats.
I felt cheated. Why? Because, going by her stats, she wasn’t “struggling” (in my book) – she was tall and slim with a ridiculously low fat body %. She was clocking 5km runs all the time and loving it. I couldn’t see anywhere on her blog that she had been otherwise at any stage.
And I felt cheated because, in my mind, she’s perfect and I’m here struggling. I started feeling angry for some reason.
I had to stop and think. What gives me the right to judge who’s struggling and who’s not? Why the jealousy? Why the competitive streak?
Everyone starts from a different point and what is intolerable to one person is perfection to another. I remember when I started Weight Watchers 2 years ago or so. There was another girl starting the same night. We did our first weigh in and our assessment and my starting weight ended up being her goal weight. The weight that had made me feel like a heifer (and had prompted a doctor of all people to ask “When are you due?”) was a perfect weight for her.
Why do we compare ourselves to other people? I know that the winner of ANTM, Whitney Thompson, has said she’s a size 10-12 and I’ve read so many comments on blogs and forums about how X commenter is a size 10 and Whitney’s definitely bigger than her or smaller or whatnot. Every body carries weight differently. If you’re pear shaped (like me), you can look tiny on top but have to go up 2 sizes for your pants (thanks childbearing hips, love you too!) but if you’re more apple shaped, you often have amazing legs but have to go up a size for your tops. So technically, you can weigh the same but look completely different.
So the blogger who is perfect by my standards? She has her own struggles and I can’t judge her for that. I’m sure once I post my stats, someone else reading this will think “I’d love to have those stats – what a cow to complain!”.
Weight and body image is such a personal struggle.