By Tina Haupert
One of the best parts of blogging about my weight loss and healthy lifestyle is that I've found a great group of like-minded, active women. The worst part? Sometimes I get green with envy—and it isn't always pretty.
A couple of months ago, my blog buddy Caitlin ran her first marathon. Reading her recap of the event on her blog made me so happy for her, but at the same time, I couldn't help but feel jealous of her success. Running a marathon is at the top of my life goal list, but unfortunately, a nagging hip injury prevents me from running long distances.
Following the lives of strong, independent, and intelligent women in their blogs every day makes it easy to compare myself. And sometimes as a result, I become my own worst critic. Reading about Caitlin's marathon success put a dent in my self-esteem—I only run a handful of miles at a time! I even considered signing up for my own marathon, despite my health problems.
But not all these comparisons to other bloggers are negative—sometimes seeing their progress is an inspiration. So instead of dwelling on the negative—how right now my hip simply won't allow me to train for a marathon—I've turned my observations into a positive. So now when I see a blogger finish a race, I appreciate her athleticism and determination instead of dwelling on the fact that it's something I may never accomplish.
Admittedly I still feel a twinge of jealousy from time to time, but I've learned to channel that into something positive. When I visited my blogger friend Kath in North Carolina, for example, we spent a lot of time chatting about her career. Kath felt the typical 9–5 lifestyle just wasn't for her (sounds familiar!), and ultimately she wanted to work for herself. She's achieved that by writing a popular blog, and soon she and her husband will open a bakery. Seeing Kath's success inspired me to focus more energy into my blog and the things that I love, which eventually led me to quit my full-time job and work for myself—and I'm all the happier for it!
Jealously can certainly mess with your mind. While the blogging community has helped me make healthier choices, sometimes comparing myself to other bloggers makes me wonder whether I'm healthy enough. Do you ever have similar insecurities around your health-minded friends?