****Subscribe above for freebies to be sent to your inbox. I will never spam you or send junk.***
There’s a game I’ve been playing for years that I never should’ve started and today I officially quit! Whew it feels great to get that out. Now let me explain. I didn’t intentionally jump into this trap full blast, but oh boy, I sure did. And once I got into it, I was there for the long haul. I couldn’t find my way out until recently because this kind of trap is one of the worst kinds…the kind we create for ourselves.
The game I’m talking about is social media comparison. Yeah, yeah, we’ve all seen the articles and blog posts warning people about the dangers of comparing our lives to those we see online through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. We all KNOW not to allow ourselves to head down the rabbit hole of thinking our lives should look more like so-and-so, but for some of us, KNOWING is far different from DOING. Social comparison has the potential for these:
- Creating unrealistic expectations for your life
- Can cause depression and anxiety
- Can damage your self-esteem (I’m not talking about pride here)
- It can cause your children to grow up doing the same as the above
- It LIES to you about who God says you really are and Whose you are
- It causes us to focus on ourselves instead of serving others
- It can cause us to have unrealistic expectations of others which damages friendships
I’m not even sure how it started but I can tell you exactly when. It was early spring 2007. I had been keeping a Xanga (anyone else?) blog since early 2004 and had documented losing 70 pounds after I had Erick and Ethan. The boys are 13 months apart so I had a lot to lose. I was so happy with what I’d been doing. Eating until I was satisfied and walking inside using Leslie Sansone DVD’s. The boys were so little and we were on a very tight budget so these dvd’s were the only way I could workout. Leslie’s attitude and explanation of exercise made me SO VERY HAPPY! The weight came off and stayed off because the habits I had formed were easy to keep up. Until I discovered Facebook and newer bloggers.
That’s when I got myself into a destructive trap of social media comparison. I started thinking I needed to be doing the tough, hardcore workouts others were doing. I needed to be running 8 miles per day. I needed to be eating clean. I needed to follow super strict diets in order to be considered “healthy.” I needed more muscle definition. And on and on it went. I only participated in these maddening cycles so that I could keep up with what everyone else was doing. Until now.
I officially quit this game. I will NOT trap myself into comparing my life, my choices, my food, my exercise, my parenting, my choice to homeschool our kids, or my marriage to what I’m seeing online. I refuse to live like this anymore. It’s not worth the heartache. It’s not worth the damaging thoughts that go through my head. I turned 38 a few weeks ago and I suddenly realized that if I don’t change how I live my life, I will stay miserable. So, I’m putting it ALL out there…the wonderful, the hurtful and the in-between.
My current weight is 195 (shocker, I know). My height is 5’10”. My Dr’s tell me my blood work is book perfect down to every tiny detail. BUT, I know my higher weight is keeping me from enjoying some things in my life so I’m ready to go back to what I know works AND makes me happy. Using Leslie’s DVD’s and eating until I’m satisfied (WITHOUT the pressure of following a certain eating plan).
This is a full length pic I would normally crop or never show anyone! I’m over that from now on!
I’ll be posting every Wednesday how I’m doing which will include weigh-in’s for my own accountability, but it’s more for being vulnerable and honest about not comparing myself or my life to other people…even people I highly respect and admire.
Going along with posting “real” pics, I usually hide my growing gray hairs from pics but not anymore. I honestly just don’t care anymore:
I want to say that social media is a wonderful part of my life as a Navy wife. I stay connected to those I love and miss, and Pinterest has really helped me with lots of areas in my life. But I must find a balance. And it has to begin NOW. Pray for me during this process and please allow me to pray for you. We are in the trenches together and together, we can put an end to this insane game.
**Please do not comment with products you sell.**