Topic Tuesday: Comparisons
Over the weekend I saw a great post on my Instagram feed from @beatingeatingdisorders that said, “Friendly reminder that “doing your best” does not mean pushing yourself to the limits of endurance, but only doing the best you can without hurting yourself. Further, even friendlier reminder that it’s completely fine if that means you don’t do as much as someone else. They’re not you, and your contribution is just as valid as theirs.”
I’m training for a half marathon with a couple of girlfriends and naturally, it requires some weekly dedication to get my runs in. I love routines so in the past when I’ve gotten into one, whether it be for a race or simply a friend that insisted I join them at the gym multiple times a week, I ended up putting so much pressure on myself, I found myself slowly pulled back into the downward spiral of neglecting my husband and children, restricting food and over-exercising. I know now this is a very slippery slope for me personally and a place I do not want to travel.
How did I find balance this time around? To be honest, I almost decided to forgo the race altogether. My husband was certainly hoping I would skip it. But then I decided to share my stress, frustration and sorry-for-myselfness in a private group on Facebook comprised of some friends I’d made in a prior ED support group and they were more than supportive of any decision I chose. Borrowing their strength and wisdom to look at the situation in a different way meant I could look at this race and weekly runs as time spent getting to know new friends in my new town or use the time focused on my body, the competition and the overwhelming self-imposed guilt and pressure to always do “better”. Coming across that post on Instagram truly gave me validation that I was allowed to choose the former. I had the ability make the runs about building friendships and less about obtaining my personal best.