Why Comparing is a Waste of Time

7 Jul

Hello Sugarplums (annoying opening? sorry!) haha.

Hope you are having a great start to your week after the fourth of july weekend extravaganza you may (or may not) have had. I know I personally felt like the holiday was a week-long and i’m pretty beat. My weekend consisted of hanging out with friends, a few sweeeet fireworks, a cookout at mi casa, & chilling in the sunnnn 🙂

Here are a few eats!

overnight oats (that were tooooo runny!!) made 1/3 cup old fashioned oats, plain oikos, & 1/2 cup soymilk.

perfect breakfast 🙂 1/3 cup oat bran, 6 oz fage, kashi puffs, peanut butter, raspberries & a nectarine..yummmm 🙂

wraps = looove- this one had the NEW light laughing cow blue cheese flavor with garlic hummus & turkey! & those are some “not really plain” chips- delicious!

sushi dinner take out from a restaurant called Tora! shrimp california roll & pickled squash roll with a smoked salmon & veggie salad

breakfast this morning was fage 2%, kashi puffs & honey sunshine, peanut butter, blueberries, & banana

love this stuff in my coffee

especially with this flavor I just bought!! a match made in heaven 🙂

I worked at my dad’s office today & got COSI for lunch (one of my favs!!) I ordered the summer mediterranean shrimp salad & had some of the flatbread and a juicy nectarine. perfect lunch


Comparing is something that most people do on a daily basis. I know that, for me, every day I have to make a conscious decision not to compare myself to others when I wake up in the morning. In recovery, it was definitely one of the things that I had the hardest time putting behind me. I remember (but barely.. such a blur) being underweight, still needing to gain about 10-15 pounds, and being hindered because i’d watch other people eat and think “well they are eating less than me, I must not have an eating disorder” or “What if people think i’m eating too healthy? Not eating enough? etc. etc.”

Somewhere down the line though, I had a bit of a revelation. I think it was after I had spent about a week with the same group of people for many hours during the day (if you remember humo, it was during practice the couple weeks before the show). I had the opportunity during this time to see how these people truly eat since we were together so much. Though some of them DO eat smaller meals, many, in fact most, snack frequently throughout the day without even thinking about it. I realized how crazy it was that I was comparing my eating to theres because it is impossible to see what people do when you are not with them.

This realization was hands down one of the best things that happened to me during recovery. It dawned on me that I have a really practical and healthy meal plan, and that it works/is designed for me. It was given to me by a nutritionist, and this is something that most girls don’t have access to. If anything, I should be more confident in my eating plan. I realized that I needed to focus on myself, and let others do what they wanted to do. Even if I had a friend who happened to eat less, why would I want to eat like that? Clearly, eating little amounts didn’t do any good- it only caused problems.

My point? I want us all to try our best to stop comparing. Obviously, it is natural to compare ourselves but it doesn’t have to be in a destructive way. It is great if you have certain people you look up to in a healthy way (say, in the blog world) and want to do things like them, but it is also incredibly important to have the confidence in yourself to know that you are able to take care of yourself & that you don’t need to be just like anyone else. To me, many bloggers appear to eat so little, but I have learned to trust my own decisions & try not to compare my meals to there’s. In the end, comparing is simply a waste of time & the only thing you can do is to focus on your life & your choices.

Tips to help you stop comparing (& love yourself!!): (almost all of these have to do with simply being mindful)

1. Be Rational stop & think about who you are and what you love about  yourself. Realize that you have the control to be who you want to be, and you know how to take care of yourself.

2. Compliment others– instead of silently envying someone else or sizing yourself up, compliment them. I’ve found that when I do, I no longer feel anxious. Instead, I feel glad I made them happy & also feel better about myself.

3. Write it down write down things about you that you are proud of whenever you feel like you may need it (big & little! even if it is something simple like the healthy breakfast you ate that day). By acknowledging these things, you can distract yourself from comparing & rather focus on your positive traits.

4. Judge yourself against yourself – Only focus on what you do each day. It is ok to be a little disappointed if you did something you normally would not, but realize that you have the ability to change your actions and path.

Why am I bringing this up now? because I have honestly not been doing well with my meal plan. I‘m going to lay it out for you all I am supposed to get in 3 meals with these exchanges– 4 carbs, 3 proteins, 2 fats as well as 2 snacks with 2 carbs, 1-2 proteins, 1-2 fats (click ‘exchanges’ link if you want explanation of exchanges). I have been slacking. I think part of this is because I compare those meals to other people’s, whether it be bloggers (who, no offense, tend to eat smaller meals) or others in my life. This isn’t a healthy thing for me; i’m not necessarily losing weight, but my mind isn’t completely at peace. I need to trust that the meal plan i’ve been given is the best for me and will be what will keep me in my healthy weight range. Deep down I know this is true, but executing it has been sort of challenging lately and I’m not entirely sure why. I’m going to get on track NOW.

Questions: 1) how do you stop yourself from comparing yourself to others?

2) are you a grazer/snacker or do you stick to a pretty consistent meal plan?



73 Responses to “Why Comparing is a Waste of Time”

  1. Marina July 7, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I have a hard time trying not to compare with others. Seeing other peoples eating habits, I always think how much I eat, and that I shouldn’t be eating that much. Or I always think how other around me are skinnier, prettier. I try to just appreciate myself for myself, it isn’t important how others are, what they look like and what are their habits. I’m important, I’m unique, and I’m beautiful, right? 🙂

    I’m a total grazer. Ok, I have three bigger meals, but also a lot of snacks during the day. I just love to eat :))

  2. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish July 7, 2010 at 12:55 am #

    Hey girl, I definitely empathize with your situation…I’ve been there. I remember feeling like the amount of food required by my meal plan was much larger than what a “regular” person eats on a day-to-day basis. But you’re so right–when we compare ourself to others, we’re looking at one meal–maybe two–and not the big picture. Plus, what people eat can vary quite a bit on any given day. We need to TRUST that what we’re doing is right for US! Much easier said than done though, I know.

    I often catch myself comparing my eats to other bloggers. However, then I remind myself that they, like me, don’t typically post everything they eat! I probably write about 25% of my meals/snacks–not enough to give anything near the whole picture. I know some people post more–because that’s what works best for them–but doing that doesn’t work well for me because I begin obsessing a bit too much about food.

    I am definitely a snacker, and prefer to eat 6-8 small meals throughout the day. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy a hearty B, L or D every now and then!

    Your tips are great! Thanks for opening up your heart and being so honest! I KNOW you can get back on track! ❤ xoxo

  3. kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com July 7, 2010 at 1:02 am #

    I LOVE when you read certain blogs of people who just ‘GET IT’ uno what i mean? i agree 110% with this post! humans are so naturally engrained to comparison that the first thing we do in almost every situation is compare it or the people in it to how WE are. its REDICULOUS and will set us up for so much pain and unnecessary self abuse. if all we ever are is what we feel we are in comparison to what we view another person to be, then we are only telling ourselves that WE dont matter unless we are better than, have more than, or seem more (fill in blank), etc.

    thank you for being intelligent and sharing this with us all!!! ❤

  4. Little Notes July 7, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    I find it hard not to compare myself to others, Im constantly doing it one way or another.
    With regards to the eating, you need to remember everyone eats differently and has their own way of eating.
    I couldnt for example just eat 3 meals a day, instead I always eat at least 6. Thats 3 main meals and 3 snacks, and sometimes those snacks can end up being almost a meal themselves! Everyones different, I like to constantly nibble and graze at things, Ive just always been like that.
    So yep while you might see someone eat a tiny lunch you need to remember elsewhere during the day they’ve probably eaten a pile of stuff you just havent seen!


  5. Annie July 7, 2010 at 1:15 am #

    Wow! I can relate to this post like 100%. I do so much comparing its crazy. Whether its my meal plan or how I look it really does me no good at all. Thank you for posting this!

  6. Julia July 7, 2010 at 2:23 am #

    Such wise words and I think it’s so important you’re sharing them. But what’s even more important is that you get back to doing what’s right for you and your body. I know you can and I know you will, because you’re strong and I’ve got so much faith in you!

    (And you’re right about comparing! I eat way, WAY more than most bloggers and feel perfectly fine with that!)

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

  7. Esther July 7, 2010 at 2:32 am #

    I love your honesty in this post, I totally agree (as I’m seeing that most people do).
    It is so hard to watch others eat smaller amounts than you, especially when you don’t feel like you need the extra nutrition. But the meal plans are for a reason, and the more we stick to them and realise it is only for our own good, the sooner we are going to further our journey into recovery.
    I was wondering what you usually do for snacks?
    Hope you continue to get back on track; x

  8. tatiannalives July 7, 2010 at 4:34 am #

    I compare myself… a lot and I need to stop. I’ve actually noticed living up here by myself has been good for me. I know it’s not ideal to eat my meals alone, but I eat much more when my mom isn’t with me. I know that sounds horrible.. but it’s the truth. When she’s there I always seem to make my meals smaller because I am constantly comparing myself to her. It’s hard living at the beach too, because I am surrounded by other girls in bikinis and it’s almost impossible to drown out the comparisons.

    I admire you so much Shelley – the fact that you are laying this all down on the table and admitting that you need to work on this is HUGE and you should be so proud. Thank you so much for the tips.. they are great!

    ❤ Tat

  9. Lauren July 7, 2010 at 5:46 am #

    I think the hardest part about comparing myself to others is when they start to analyze what I eat on a day to day basis and the second I eat a brownie they are the first to comment! I hate that!!! It’s like just because I eat healthy 90% of the time, I’m not entitled to a treat every now and then. Ugh, I hear ya girl, it’s frustrating!!

  10. Kiki (Paper Crane Dreams) July 7, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    Comparing is something I have issues with too, but I’m slowly learning that it’s just pointless! Recently I had a marathon sleepover with my friends and got a chance to see how they really eat, which isn’t as structured as how I do but we eat around the same amount. Like they’ll just pick at their lunches (triggering my ED to say “You’re so fat, why are you eating when they aren’t?”), but then a couple hours later eat three big bowls of cereal as a snack. So you can’t assume that the people you know eat far less than you just by watching them for a few hours!

    I think it’s really brave of you to admit that you’re struggling with your exchanges and that you need to get a handle on this comparing deal. Remember, YOU are most important right now, so how other people eat doesn’t matter. xx

  11. theemptynutjar July 7, 2010 at 6:49 am #

    I relate to this more than you know. Its hard. Whether gaining or maintaining or anything, its like always eating more. I basically eat every 2-3 hours…and its hard to see the differences.
    The thing I really have to do is “zone out and inward on me”. Everything else will drive me crazy.

  12. Hedda July 7, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    this was a very good and important post. Comparing ourselves to other is one of the biggest challenges for us in recovery, because let’s face it : most people eat to maintain their weight. If we let our disorded thoughts take control and start comparing our food with the food we see other people eat, we risk to start restricting again and feel guilty for eating more.
    There is no good in this. We eat to become healthy, we eat to make our bodies work again. We eat what make us feel good, what makes our heart beat as it should. That is what is important.

    As you know I have a hard time with this as well, but it is getting better because I remind myself of this several times a day. I feel Great after eating enough, why should I compare my food to other people then? Isn’t it better to focus and appreciate the positive effect food has on me, instead of observing other people and their food?
    As you say- it is impossible to know all of what they eat in a day, and why should we even bother? We should only care about them feeling good, as well as ourself feeling good.

    Keep it up beautiful, you can do this ,

    Hedda 🙂

  13. Taylor July 7, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    this is such a fantastic post. i agree with you totally on how fruitless it is, and yet comparing is still one of my biggest challenges.

    i just try to force myself not to examine everyone else’s eating habits and remind myself that even if i DO eat differently, it’s because I’m in a different place physically and my body has different needs. and when i catch myself thinking “she’s eating less than me, i need to eat less,” i try to turn it into “she’s eating less than me, poor girl. look at me, i get to eat more than her!”

    i never graze. ever. in fact, it’s something i should probably loosen the reins on a bit just so i’m not SO zealous about my meal plan and eating at specific times.

  14. dmcgirl37 July 7, 2010 at 7:01 am #

    Oh girl comparing gets us no where but it sounds like you ‘know’ that already. Yesterday Im pretty sure my boyfriend ate like half of the amount of calories I had for the day. It kind of sent me into a panic at first to be honest. How could a MAN eat so much less then me? Does that mean im eating too much? Anyway I just decided that I need to stop comparing. Yes, I homered my hunger signals yesterday and I ate when I was hungry. I need to stop getting made at myself for being a super hungry person. I was telling my dietitian I generally get hungry every 3 hours even if i eat a decent sized me. I’m guessing my metabolism is just revived up. Part of me WISHES that I dint get this hungry but I think it has something to do with me viewing hunger as something bad. Like I said I feel guilty if im hungrier then say my dad or my friends at school. We are all so different though and this is SUCH a stupid way of looking at things. To be honest comparing myself to people who eat a lot helped me up my calories a lot! I’m really trying to move away from my meal plan and just honor my bodies hunger. I think I did pretty well yesterday. I am eating a ton of food though lol 🙂 oh whatever.. If you ever need to chat you know how to find me!

    Dana xo

  15. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine July 7, 2010 at 7:16 am #

    This is SUCH a good post Shelley, because I know so many of us feel exactly the same way!! I always compare my meals to my friends’ or family’s, which is bad in every way. A friend once told me that “I eat so much” because I’m always grazing, which absolutely horrified me, but rationally I know that my meals are usually pretty small BECAUSE I love to graze between them. Plus, so many girls our age undereat and then stuff themselves every once in awhile…it’s so sad to see how many people have issues with food, even if it’s not really an ED. I always remind myself that I am maintaining my current weight well, so this is what my body NEEDS!

  16. Amanda @ . seek . July 7, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    Oh, girl, I’m sure so many of us can relate to this post; I know I certainly can. I used to compare myself to others so much and it was something that really held me back in recovery. It’s an extremely hard habit to break, but I just started approaching it rationally, and reminding myself that what I’m doing is best for me, and if it’s working then I’m going to keep doing it. Comparing is so useless because everyone is different, and like you said, we don’t see/know everything about others, so we don’t really have a proper grounds for comparison. The only person we can compare ourselves with is ourselves… are we making progress? If yes, then we’re doing well 🙂

  17. Rachel July 7, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    Can really relate to this post…and thank you so much, Shelley! Those reflections and tips on what to do/think instead of comparing…I’m hoping to put them into good use tomorrow! Comparison with what my friends eat and what I’m supposed to eat has always been one of the biggest obstacles in eating ‘alone’ (without supervision from my mum)…and well, yes. Who are THEY to judge what we eat when our meal plans are prescribed by a proper dietician? And who are WE to assume things about our friends based on what we see (or don’t see!) them eat? Thank you, Shelley:)

    I hope you get back on track with your exchanges…you can do it, lovie<3

  18. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self July 7, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    I’m so glad you wrote this post. Comparing myself to others is definitely something I have struggled with (and still do). For me the biggest thing is just being aware of it. For so long I compared myself to others without even realizing I was doing it – and you can’t catch yourself and challenge those thoughts if they’re so automatic! So becoming more mindful of comparison thoughts allowed me to question them.

  19. blueeyedheart July 7, 2010 at 8:25 am #

    I am definitely guilty of comparing myself to other people… so much so, in fact, that most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing it!! I appreciated this post because it’s a reminder to me that I really need to be more aware of this annoying behavior in order to curtail it.

    I hope that writing this out will help you to get back on track!

    ❤ ❤

  20. Katey July 7, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    You are such an intelligent and strong person Shelley! It is great that you can realize these things about yourself, you know what is right for you, and I know you will succeed!

  21. Molly July 7, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    ah I love this post! You are amazing girly! I think its in human nature, especially for girls, to compare the crap out of themselves with others. I hate that I do it, I always always do. but in the end it gets me no where, because we ARE all different. Even if we did eat all the same things our bodies would react differently or one of us would be more active than the other. You really can never tell.

    Glad things are going better for you! Have a fabulous week.

    P.s. your breakfasts look AMAZING!


  22. Meg July 7, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    Amen sister. Comparing is probably one of the dumbest things you can do, no one benefits from it, and it only makes people upset and/or completely irrational in their thoughs. You are in control of YOUR life and YOUR life only, and that’s the only thing you can remember, and make changes regarding your feelings. When we compare, we risk our happiness for another’s that we see, and cannot have, we must create our OWN happiness 😀 and woman you do a damn good job of it. Love you!

    Ew I hate it when my oats get runny, haha gross. I hope you still salvaged them 😉 They look good anyway! And SUSHI!?!? I could sooo go for a good roll right now.

    Enjoy your week girl. Text me sometime, I miss you 🙂

  23. Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) July 7, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Great, honest post girl. I think it’s a female thing. We always compare… on eating habits, clothes, boyfriends, jobs… I wish it wasn’t so, but I think you’re on the right track. Once you recognize it, it’s easier to not do it as much.

    I also just read your “my story” and am so inspired by your courage to put your story out there. It was a little scary to see the changes as you lost so much weight, and then I can’t explain how awesome you look in your latest picture (6/1/10)… you look fit, and healthy and beautiful. Keep it up, and keep blogging… it’s therapeutic 🙂

  24. Jenna July 7, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    What a great post Shelley!
    During recovery I find it so hard not to compare myself to others but I have been trying real well not to and to be happy with myself and not want to be someone else that I am not!
    I hope you can get back on track and follow your meal plan because you have been trough so much in recovery and you did an amazzzzing job!
    Loves yaaaa!

  25. Kelsey July 7, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Shelley thank you for being so honest and open! As someone experiencing treatment now, I can’t tell you what an inspiration you are to see that there IS in fact light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s all just a means to an end! Stick with it and get it girl!

  26. lowandbhold July 7, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    I love your tips! I definitely have a hard time with comparing, but I try not to.

    And I’m 100% a grazer!

  27. Coco July 7, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    comparing is SO hard to do, but it i absolutely true that even people who seem to eat less than me really don’t. everyone has different habits. living with roommates and taking long trips with people makes me realize this. sometimes, my friends don’t eat anything until 2pm and it makes it hard for me to do breakfast and lunch. but then i see them graze all afternoon and all night, and i realize that it all balances out. plus, you’re right–having a nutritionist should make us feel MORE confident in our meal plans, not LESS.

    i also agree that bloggers tend to eat smaller meals. Plus, when people show pictures, it really is difficult to see what the serving sizes are. What is “healthy” for one person is not necessarily “healthy” for another. That’s what I try to tell myself when I find myself comparing. I know what works for me, regardless of what anyone else does.

  28. sophia July 7, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    This is SUCH a powerful revelation, Shelley! You are awesome and wise in realizing all of these truths, and beautiful for sharing them with us.

    And hee hee, I wouldn’t mind being called Sugarplums….makes me feel sweet! >__<

  29. clem July 7, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Thankyou for sharing such a helpful message! I too have a real struggle when it comes to comparing myself with others… i find myself doing it almost without noticing, whether its comparing body shape or food intake. I always think that i dont need as much food as i do, which is why i got myself into such a mess with my ED. i have tried to untangle these negative thoughts, but i still find it hard not to compare what i eat with that of others, which is impossible, as you said, because you are never able to see exactly what someone eats on a day-today basis.
    i have found it helps to try and be more relaxed about what is considered normal. there IS no such thing as normal, it is all dependant on your personal situation. what one person might gain on, another may lose on… its too personal to try and copy one persons diet. trust your nutrionist to know what is good for you and eventually your body will be able to do the job for you 🙂

    take care and good luck! xxx

  30. ~Jessica Zara~ July 7, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    I thought it looked as though your meals were getting smaller and more salad-based…and your breakfasts really are tiny! 1/3 cup of oats isn’t enough to be honest.

    I completely understand where you’re coming from though ~ but with people in real life as you say, you’re not with them all the time. When I was pushing overweight I ate LESS in public because I was so ashamed of myself and my appearance/worried about being judged, but I’d pig out all evening as a result.

    Bloggers are a tricky one: I’ll be honest, there are so many that make me feel horribly insecure, particularly those that DO post everything they eat. The ones that are active and blabber on about eating 1500-1800kcals a day royally p*ss me off in all seriousness.

    But you know what? Yay for them. Yay for eating a stupidly low amount of calories and bragging/being ‘virtuous’ about it. The root cause of all of these problems is seeing eating more as something negative. Why does a person eating less make them ‘better’ than anyone else, regardless of their weight?

    I really hope you get back on track with your plan and I think you’re a star for having the strength to admit your struggles on the blog.


  31. debbiecutieface July 7, 2010 at 11:45 am #

    agreedddd mamacita…no more comparing for you! Or either of us, actually. I hope I’m not one of the ones you saw as eating “too little” – I hardly post anything I eat on my blog 🙂 Plus, hardly anything I have is “diet” – the ice cream I had the other day was full fat. Keep in mind that many other bloggers may do the same!

    love you girl!


  32. land animal July 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this post. I struggle with comparing myself to others a lot. I read recently that if I want to stop judging myself, I have to stop judging others too. And I think it all goes hand in hand. It is so hard to do. I think with how celebrity-crazy the media is right now we kind of learn to compare ourselves to others and judge others. I am trying to break the habit. Reminding myself that I don’t know what is unseen, like you are saying, is a good idea.

  33. Crystal July 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I am SO bad when it comes to comparing myself with others. I compare everything; how often and how long I exercise, how much and what I eat, how I look, how much tv I watch, you name it! This post is SO true that everyone is different and different things work for different people. All I can do is know that I am doing what is best for me and stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.

    And I am definitely a snacker! I have a small breakfast, small lunch, and small dinner, but I snack in between. I don’t like to be hungry, but I also don’t like to feel stuffed and tired from eating a lot at one time. 🙂

  34. Emily July 7, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    I compare myself to others, but then I stop myself and think “they are just like me”..because I guarantee nearly all the people I compare myself to are thinking the same thing I am. Whether be about eating, your body, or anything else, everyone compares themselves to someone else, but if you just take the time to come back to reality..you’ll be much better off 🙂

    I pretty much eat three square meals a day, with snacks in between. But my schedule can be set off course sometimes, so it all depends on what’s going on!


  35. Naomi (onefitfoodie) July 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    its hard NOT to compare yourself to others esp with you work with people all day long, read magazines, watch tv etc. I think you hjave to be confident in your own skin to not let ‘being to compared to others’ make you feel down about yourself

    i pretty much eat 3 square meals but always graze in between!!

  36. Samantha July 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

    oh my gosh, i love newmans own! totally going to try their coffee 🙂

  37. Alexa July 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    I really related to ALL ( i mean literally each and every word) I still struggle with this on a daily basis, and it does sometimes win. It drives me absolutely bonkers, but its something i’m fortunate enough to vent about and have reassurance from my therapist and wonderful ppl like you. I ‘m going to use more of your tips. I hope it helps to know I’m the exact same way. I also have gotten off track a couple days this summer with meal planning.. it can just be so hard when your satisfied with what you did eat. Anyways.. thanks for letting me vent a little on your comments.. hehe. hang in there girl, you are an amazing girl! 🙂


  38. thehungryscholar July 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Great post. I used to compare myself to people (and still find myself doing it at times) because my parents did it…compared me to others. It is a bad habit. Thanks for getting me to think about it again.

  39. Emily July 7, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comment!

    I agree that not comparing is super hard to do, but it’s usually more hurtful than helpful. I try to remember that everyone’s body/metabolism and exercise habits are different, and my eating doesn’t have to look like someone else’s to be healthy!

    I’m making sushi for dinner tonight. 🙂

  40. Holly July 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    !!!I thought I was the only one who did this!!! Wow your realization is really interesting… I always suspected as much, but I’ve still been really paranoid about other people’s eating habits being less than mine. Thank you so much for sharing that… I can definitely see the logic in it, now that you mention it. So many people, especially those watching their weight, try to deny themselves proper meals and then wind up snacking because they feel they’ve done enough. I also think people sometimes try to eat less when they are around me, either because they know about my ED or because they see how little I (used to) eat.

  41. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin July 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    All your oats and yogurt bowls look so yummy. They are my favourite way to start off my day!

    This is such an awesome post – I love that you brought up this topic! I know exactly what you mean about comparing eating habits. I used to constantly pay attention to what my friends would eat and think that I was eating too much. But as you said, I’ve learned that we all have different eating habits, and we need to focus on what is right for us!

    Good luck getting back on track! 🙂

  42. highonhealthy July 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    Great post, Shelley!

    It’s weird but I don’t really compare myself to others. In fact, I’ve thought about it a lot and I know that I truly love myself and my body and would never want to be ANYONE else. This confuses me because regardless of me knowing that.. I still struggle with an ED. For those that do struggle with comparing, I think the only thing you can do is gain confidence in yourself because once you have that, you won’t have the desire to compare.

    I use to be a snacker all day but now I’m trying to switch it up a bit and eat 5-6 small/medium meals every 2 hours or so. Large definitely doesn’t work for me but I’m also starting to think that a bunch of tiny meals eaten continuously throughout the day may not be right for me either.

  43. Kelly July 7, 2010 at 4:41 pm #

    Comparing yourself to others is so hard because I think we have all done it for as long as we can even remember. Even unconsiously I think we do it. But the bottom line is we are all unique and we all need different things. We need different foods, different amounts, different amounts of sleep, of exercise or down time. We are all our own person and what is right for us isn’t what right for someone else. I know it is easier said than done…I am proud of you for recognizing it! 🙂

  44. vanessa July 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    actually comparing yourself to other’s can be beneficial for you because it might strive you to be something better. like if you are an athlete and compare yourself with another athlete, it will strive to make you better if the other person is better. i guess it can be good or bad, but in most cases, i think it’s better for you because it makes you want to become more than what you already are.

  45. Leah @ Why Deprive? July 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    Im a total snacker. Im almost always eating, or about to eat something. But you’re right, we’re all different, and comparing doesnt do any good. Just because someone else does something one way doesnt mean thats the right thing for you. Its hard to realize that sometimes. I mean, I eat more than my 6’4 boss, but thats what works for me.

  46. betterwhenweretogether July 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    Hey! wow im so glad to have read your blog right now bc i have the WORST problem with comparing like thats my largest issue with ED since i have a sister who also has an ed and i cant keep my eyes off “skinnier” people. btw my names ashley (: im a daily reader of your blog and you inspire me so so so much! your eats look yummy as always
    you can check me out at chewingoncherries.wordpress.com
    keep your head up! ❤

  47. Kate July 7, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    when thing i’ve realizes as i get older is that EVERYBODY had their issues and insecurities and has different ways in which they handle them. suddenly my stuff doesn’t seem like such a big deal. how do i know the girl at the bar that i am comparing myself to doesn’t compulsively shop or have three children at home or ………? does that make sense? we are all different which is what make us awesome and keeps life interesting!

  48. Kait July 8, 2010 at 8:24 am #

    It is so great of you to address this…I constantly compare and I wish I didn’t. I honestly hate that I do and feel guilty for it. I am going to take your little tips into account and think about how what is right for me isn’t right for everyone else (even though I already know that, its just hard to keep up with the mentality/reality). And I definitely get my 3 meals in a day, but usually they are smaller so grazing/snacking is bound to happen sometimes…
    I hope you are having a great week!

  49. ragazzasana July 8, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Your breakfast bowls look so good.. I need to get the stuff to make those…

  50. izzy July 8, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Oh, man. I think comparing myself to others has been one of my biggest downfalls during ED and in recovery. Body-wise, food-wise (like you wrote about) and even internally. It makes NO SENSE when you think about it rationally – we’re all different, with different needs and different backgrounds and different futures. Still, ED likes to fool us by comparing us to others around us. Loving your tips to stop comparing ourselves – esspecially the compliment one! It never occurred to me, but it makes so much sense!

    I hope youre doing better with following your meal plan. Don’t let ED stop you from having an amazing summer, and remember, you need to back to school in the Fall strong to have more good times! (Oh, and get an education…or whatevs ;P)


  51. chocolate pickle July 8, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Sorry to see you’ve been struggling a bit, but props to you for recognizing it and trying to get back on track! Comparing ourselves to others can be devastating for someone who is trying to recover and stay that way! I have actually pretty much stopped blogging and only follow a few blogs now because it was getting too frustrating seeing how other bloggers eat or “claim” to eat. I knew that it would put my mind in a restless place so I took a break. If you ever need affirmation that your meal plan is great for you, just let me know:) I eat more than my husband (who is 6’3″ tall and 200lbs) so I’m proof that eating a lot more than others can be perfectly healthy:) Have you ever heard that absurd quote “nothing tastes as good as thin feels”? Well, I try to rephrase that and think “EVERYTHING tastes better than how being too thin feels…it feels lonely and empty.” It helps keep me on track when I have negative thoughts.

    Hope that you enjoy the rest of your summer and stay strong!:)

  52. mapledreams July 8, 2010 at 2:02 pm #

    this is a really relevant post to me right now as i think that comparing myself to others is the thing that is MOST hindering me in recovery. i have a couple of close friends who are naturally really thin, yet eat lots, and what they do eat is really unhealthily! i get extremely jealous, yet i know that there ARE other people who are much bigger than me! it’s so annoying. i can’t go ANYWHERE without checking each and every persons body/weight out. i think once i get over that, recovery will be 10x easier for me:)

    some yummy looking eats…and a really thought provoking post:) xx

  53. Aletheia July 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    Hey Shelley–

    Great post on the social/eating comparison. I do that all the time, and sometimes, when I’m in a particularly bad mood, or if I’m having a really bad body-image day, reading some blogs just destroys me. I think it’s so funny that you pointed out how little bloggers tend to eat–even while proclaiming that they eat a lot–and agree completely. I often compare myself with them, not only in quantity, but also in aesthetics (how pretty their meal is arranged), in nutrition (for example, I’m pretty sure some people are addicted to eating superfoods like spirulina and hemp and cacao nibs), and it’s hard for everything not to overwhelm me. At that point, I realize that I need to live a life that extends beyond my blogging world. I’m still learning, and it’s very difficult, but like you, I realize that it’s a weak spot for me. (This social comparison thing.) Hopefully, we’ll make both make it there. 🙂 You’re an inspiration to me for sure, Shelley.


  54. Chelsea July 8, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    How are the new blue cheese Laughing Cows? They sound good and I haven’t seen them yet.


  55. Sarah July 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Love this post Shelley! It’s really hard not to compare, and I constantly have to tell myself that I only need/should worry about what’s best for me. Good luck with your meal plan. I know you can get back on track.

  56. The Candid RD July 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    I still remember thinking it was strange and akward when I was eating more than others who were heavier than me. Those thoughts went through my mind all the time.
    Regarding your meal plan, I think it’s ok to stumble a few times when you are recovering, and it’s normal. When people are trying to LOSE weight, they stumble all the time, and go off their meal plan, so it’s ok for you to do that too. Those who are successful are those who stumble, then get right back up and don’t let it keep them down. You will be one of those people who are successful (you’ve already come so far!). I know you will.

    Last thought….I have to try the new laughing cow flavor!

  57. justjac July 9, 2010 at 2:35 am #

    I totally agree about the comparison trap thing–too often we get into that but really what’s the point? Plus maybe she is *insert whatever* here, but then again I have xx quality that she doesnt.. basically what I’m trying to say is that everyone is a package, the good, the bad, etc. so no need to compare. its been a long road but ive finally comea round the realize that!

    Love the sushi girl, I am the no.1 sushi fan haha 😀

  58. -t1nG July 9, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    I would like to let you know that I admire that you are so forthcoming in your struggles during your recovery process. You are strong and brave in admitting your fears and it’s always the best start towards taking a larger leap forward. Keep on fighting.

    Personally, I also struggle with comparing. Comparing my meals to the others that I eat with is killing me. I also have to work on this. Comparing that fuels ED is bad. We have to both work harder to kick it in the ass!

    Fight on, fight on!!

  59. Lola July 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    I’ve been really hungry these days, and when I compare my meals with those of my friends or fmily, I feel like I eat a lot. I have to wrap my head around the fact that if I want to run as much as I do, i need to eat.

  60. Danielle (Runs on Green) July 9, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    I loved this post & yes, it’s way to easy to get caught in the comparison trap! You’re right, everyone is completely different and we should all eat/exercise/live the way that works best for us.

    Future openings: “Hello sugarplum fairies” hahaaa

  61. cardiopizza July 10, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    I don’t have any kind of meal plan, I just go with my cravings (keeping nutrition in mind too).

    Some days I eat bigger meals and sometimes I graze. Yesterday I ate 3 square meals, a snack, and ice cream for dessert after dinner. I was satisfied with each meal!

    I have compared myself to others and sometimes still do. It’s tough, especially if I am having a mopey kind of day, but I just try and rationalize with myself. We’re all different and unique and to truly be happy and at peace we must be happy and love ourselves first.

  62. crazylittlethingneela July 10, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    i love your realizations. after i have come out of the treatment centre i feel like i eat so much more thanevery one else. but now i know that my body needs this much and if other want to starve their body then that is their choice. we only have onebody and should treat it well

  63. imaginenamaste July 10, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    I like your words about comparisons. And, I really question–especially when ED is there, even just a little bit–if the comparisons we think in our heads are really realistic. I’ve come to a realization that a lot of mine–esp the food/body related ones are really not accurate!

  64. Salah July 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    I love this post! This is something that I catch myself doing a lot b/c I play beach volleyball. I see all these women with great bodies and I compare my body to theirs but at the end of the day there is just so much more to life than that 🙂

  65. Kristin July 12, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    I love your blog and your posts so much…I always look forward to them and your words are a huge source of inspiration, support, and comfort. I hope you make a blog post again soon! 🙂

  66. malpaz July 12, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    hah girl i hear you on the comparing….if i actually used my blog for food and showing what all i eat in a day…i think i would feel like a cow! i literally eat 3 times more food than 99% of bloggers….when i started my blog, i made it a point to be ‘okay’ with triggering foodie blogs and such and made sure my blog was not food based to keep me from comparing ! ❤

  67. Bekah July 19, 2010 at 9:33 am #

    Loved reading this Shelley- as late as I am reading it, haha. Also though, my dear, you have to remember that the bloggers also may not post everything they eat or they may not post every single bite they have during the day, so while it may look like they’re not eating enough (I got you though, some just don’t eat enough) they may be eating more outside of the blog.

    I remember the first few months living with my two roommates, and comparing myself to them.. but now I just am like “whatever, they’re different than i am, why should i care”.

  68. Charmian July 29, 2010 at 3:18 am #

    You are inspiring 🙂

  69. gloriousgreens August 14, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    So excited to find another Madison blogger! I’m very new to blogging but already love it! I love your blog and just found the Newman’s Own coffee over vacation and I’m over the moon about it. 🙂


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