Part 1: Comparing Ourself to Others: Why We Have to Stop

Self love is key to self acceptance.

Self love is key to self acceptance.

Hi guys! This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for a while. It’s a little personal, but I think a struggle a lot of people are familiar with, so I wanted to share.

Here it is: comparing yourself to others. It’s an issue that’s been around forever, but in today’s age of social media, it’s gotten even easier to do. Social media provides hundreds of thousands of images of others every second, leaving us with a virtually unlimited number of options to compare ourselves to. And, to make it worse, this process usually happens automatically! 

It’s definitely something I’ve experienced myself, and in order to change the narrative on what healthy really looks like, we need to be honest about when this stuff happens. Bringing awareness to and opening up about these problems is one step in the right direction to solving them.

So, here I go, being open! When I was preparing a hip flexion and rotations post for you guys, I sent a video to my best friend and ask her if the angle was “too unflattering” to upload. This made me pause. Not just pause—be kind of freaked out! I’m a healthy woman. I eat well and work out consistently, so why was I doubting myself? My body does countless amazing things for me everyday and I’m so grateful for all it’s able to do. Plus, not to mention, I’ve worked hard for years to create a body I love, and—more importantly—a mind that loves that body. 

Start owning your hard work and victories!

Start owning your hard work and victories!

And yet, before posting, I hesitated. I had to ask myself and my friend if I looked okay enough to show to other people. Will that skin roll cause a hemorrhage of followers? Will I suddenly be not as good at my job? Less qualified? Less respected in my industry? It’s a scary thought-process, and one I’m not always able to control. 

So, this month—and always—I want to bring awareness to the promotion of self acceptance and self love. If you’re here for unrealistic goals, rock-hard abs, or miserable diets and workouts, then I need to break it to you now. It’s just not going to happen. I want real. I want the good stuff. 

That video was what a healthy body sometimes looks like in a bikini on the beach. And we need more of this. I need more of this. So we can stop asking our friends and partners and even ourselves if we “look alright”—and instead start owning all our hard work and victories. It is our job to redefine what health looks like. Studies have found that when women are forced to think about the incredible things that their bodies can accomplish, rather than how their bodies appear to others, they are more satisfied with their body and themselves. We, as a society, have a responsibility to promote self acceptance. So, if you love your body, raise your hand. And post that pic!

Continue following my self-love journey next week as I dive deeper into a topic I’ve had some experience with: fitspiration. And remember, even if it is cliche, comparison truly IS the thief of joy. Let's love what we've got and support one another. It may be a process—but we can get there together.

Have a question? ! I’d love to hear from you by email at Ashley@AshleyBrownFitnessNutrition.com OR on Instagram at @ashleybrownfitnessnutrition.