Stop Staring Over Your Shoulder

That was the name of the last session at the Healthy Living Summit, and also some good life advice. (It’s also a good way to avoid a crick in your neck, but that’s neither here nor there.)

It’s really easy to get caught up in what you “should” be doing, or what everyone else is doing—both in the blog world and the real world. A lot of bloggers have ads on their sites and OpenSky shops, and so do I.

A lot of bloggers hand out business cards with their blog name and information on it. I totally made fun of those bloggers a few months ago; last week I ordered some Losing Weight in the City cards before heading to Chicago. I’m actually really glad I did—I’ve put a lot of myself into this blog in the past year and a half, and I’m really proud of it, so it makes me smile every time I hand out the business card I designed that reflects an important part of my life.

But on the subway tonight, I started thinking about all the posts I *should* write. About how I *should* switch to WordPress. I thought about Heather’s point about how she hates self-promoting. I do, too, but that’s another trap that’s easy to get caught up in. I thought about the how-much-free-stuff-can-I-get that’s rampant in the blogosphere. And all the conferences everyone attends. And then the pressure makes the blogging less fun. I started this blog to keep living healthy fun. It’s awesome that a lot of people read it now and I can make a little bit of money off of my ads, but it’s not my job. And that’s fine!

The panel was definitely my favorite at the Healthy Living Summit. When I sat down, I thought “sure, easy for them [Caitlin and Gena, the panelists] to say.” They both have wildly successful blogs. Caitlin’s job is to blog. She just published her first book. Then I realized that she didn’t start off her blog as her job. She worked her ass off and got a book deal (for an inspiring book, I might add) before her blog became her job. 

Comparing yourself is such a waste of time. As I wrote this post, I read a beautiful post from another Heather about the comparison game. I put myself in someone else’s shoes and was reminded of how far I’ve come; just a few years ago, I’d roll out of bed hungover on vacation. Just this time last year, I’d berate myself a bit for missing a workout.

This weekend, I allowed myself to skip an early morning run in favor of a Zumba class later in the day, and then I ran close to 16 miles while on vacation. I gave myself a bit of a hard time for not doing the 17 on my schedule, or the 16 everyone else in the group did. I wondered why I couldn’t run as fast as everyone else. 

I lost sight of the fact that I RAN NEARLY 16 MILES. Longer than I’ve ever run. Longer than most people have ever run.

I had a goal to lose weight for my friend’s wedding, but it turned into something so much bigger than that. It’s such a big part of my life now that I spent my hard-earned money to go to a health blogger conference in Chicago.

Often, when I find myself comparing myself to others or berating myself, I try to step outside of myself and put myself in someone else’s shoes and think “what would they think?” When I read Heather’s post and saw how she was inspired by the group of bloggers that ran 16 miles on Sunday, I looked at my ponytail swinging in the wind and the sweat dripping down my body and thought of what a strong body and mind I have.

There will always be someone that’s faster/thinner/makes more money than you. You’ll never win at the comparison game, so don’t play it! 

Anyway, do you really want to be like everyone else? No! 

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