I’ve been thinking a lot about why it is that I have a bit of an inadequacy complex. My weight is completely healthy, I wear the same size I have for years (granted, pants fit differently within the spectrum of my happy weight), and I’m what most people I know would consider an athlete. I think what starts the train of thought is that when I was unhealthy or at my largest, I was surrounded by similar people. My ex and I ate highly processed food, I went to the gym a few times a week, and thought I was doing great. Then I went through a breakup, looked at my habits, and completely revamped everything. Ate more salad, fruits, and whole foods. Focused my training efforts at the gym. Looked into completing my first triathlon. And then things got confusing.
I’m an athlete, but by no means am I a superstar. I can run a half marathon, do an adventure race, or even a half ironman triathlon. But I probably won’t be the fastest person there. And in my past life, that would have been good enough. But as you compete in more and more races, you’re around like minded people. You make friends. You get impressed and inspired by their achievements. And then you instinctively do a comparison and come up short. I know some pretty accomplished bicyclists. My former hairstylist was a fitness model. I have another friend who instinctively excels at every sport she tries. And if you compare yourself to those people, as I’m really prone to doing, you’re going to feel not good enough. Does that mean my accomplishments don’t mean as much as theirs? Not to the people that love me, and they shouldn’t mean less to me either. But it’s easy to lose sight of your own victories when you’re celebrating someone’s actual, total victory.
So how do you adjust your self-talk to remind yourself that your only race is against yourself? It takes a lot of retraining and conscious thought. It takes your own personal mantra. And it takes a good, hard look at your goals, desires, and means or motives to achieving them. And when in doubt, just remember: