Compare and Despair

I had been going regularly to the gym for several months, had lost over 22 pounds, was working with a trainer during the weekdays I was still 20 pounds away from my goal and 30 pounds away from my ultimate (stretch) goal – but I was feeling really good about my progress.

This one Saturday morning I had just finished my cardio workout and was in the process of doing my ab crunches to finish off my hour long workout. I was drenched in sweat and feeling so great about my progress on this Saturday morning. As I was coming up while doing my crunches – I noticed a couple ladies in the large room reserved for big group classes – with mirrors on all four walls, floor to ceiling. Each time I raised up to crunch I was catching a glimpse of odd behavior and portions of what I could see of these ladies. I didn’t want to interrupt my own crunches so I was only catching glimpses through the windows and around others walking in front of my view. Then I noticed a lady stopped in her tracks watching the same room as I had noticed. She turned and looked at me and smiled oddly – at what she was seeing. By then I stop my crunches and sit up to get a better view and I see one lady instructing the other with what appeared to be poses. The lady being instructed was holding certain poses and stances – while the instructor circled around her pointing and appearing to give the posing lady instructions…it was then that I saw the posing lady was wearing a G-string bikini with very little G and a LOT of string. Oh my goodness. I was not believing my eyes. This was a gym. People were in here all sweaty and all covered up in sweats, working our butts off – just so we could dream of having bodies like this 20 something, I was seeing in this string bikini. It was at this point I look at the lady across from me who appeared to be in her 50’s and me who was in my late 50’s and the layers of clothes I was wearing covered in sweat and I felt so defeated and deflated. No matter how many hours on the cardio machine I might spend or how many crunches I might do – I was NEVER going to have a body like that one on display on the mirrored room. I was thankful my workout had been completed already or I might have just turned around and walked out of the gym feeling great despair. Gratefully I had done my best that day to create the best me possible. For that I am truly grateful. I texted my trainer and teased I was going for a triple cheeseburger after seeing what I had seen – and he texted me off my ledge of despair. Helping me get my head back on straight and saying “NO Thanks” to the triple cheeseburger. A gift from someone else came weeks later when I shared this story and he told me “Compare and Despair”….I love that line. It is universal for all comparisons. No comparison is healthy or helpful. If I do what is best for me – I can rest knowing I did the best possible thing for me and that’s all that matters. I love being able to say “NO Thanks” to comparisons of any time. I LOVE knowing to say “NO Thanks” to Compare and Despair.