19We are all socially driven and have compared ourselves to others for centuries. Society has taken an advanced role with the availability of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reels and apps that target improvement in our lives.

It is important to understand that what you see exemplifies the highlight in someone’s life without the mention of what they may not be good at.

Healthy looks different for everybody and is not a bottled cookie cutter look we often see in print, commercials and on social media.

Info commercials may be the worst touting a new you in six weeks. Seeing continued perfection can lead us to feel that we can never obtain the look that we want.

That person running next to you on the treadmill may have incredible legs. The person next to them may have remarkable stamina. Your friend may be able to eat everything they want and never gain a pound while you feel you gain weight simply by looking at food.

Two people that are the same age, weight, height and sex will respond differently to exercise and diet. It is easy to compare yourself to someone else when you are working towards a goal and do not see your progress advancing as quickly as theirs.

It can be easy to compare the worst that we know of ourselves to something better in someone else. What we do not see is the duration or natural ability in their progression.

Teaching group fitness classes is an insight into performance in others. For example, I have a participant who can do a baby doll split and place her chest on the floor with little effort. I applaud her for her ability.

There are all different levels of fitness, stamina, flexibility, and endurance in class. It can be easy to look around and compare yourself to their levels. It is important to remember that no one runs a marathon on the first day. Well-being is gained from the joy of your accomplishments without a timeline.

Comparison can be a good catalyst for change when it comes to health and lifestyle. If you see yourself as not active as your friends, it may be a good time to think about your movement and mobility.

There are five stages of change:
Precontemplation — You know the risk involved with your present health and begin thinking about your activity level.
Contemplation — You want to get involved in some sort of activity and you begin to ask questions and advice for different types of exercises and ways to begin a healthier lifestyle.
Preparation — You begin to be active and look for the opportunity and do not listen to excuses. You begin to feel good about what you are doing and begin to see some progress.
Action — You begin regular activity and begin to adjust to a schedule suitable for you.
Maintenance — Maintain your activity, enjoy what you are doing, try something new and adjust for any lapses.

My mother always told me., "You may be prettier, smarter or more talented than someone but the next person may be prettier, smarter and more talented than you.”

Those words of wisdom have always been important when I thought about comparing myself to other people.

Being happy with yourself is important in the way you feel about yourself, and others see you. Once you begin to feel the progression in your abilities your confidence begins to grow and the need to compare begins to diminish.

Live, love life and like what you see in the mirror.

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