One of my biggest downfalls is a tendency to compare myself to other people in exceptionally irrelevant contexts.  Whether consciously or not, I compare their strengths to my weaknesses.  I effectively sign myself up for a competition that I can never win – a fun little game I find myself playing in many other respects as well.  Why is it that in my head, I always lose?

It seems as though we anorexics and bulimics are particularly prone to comparing ourselves unfairly to others.  We enter a room and immediately look for the fattest/skinniest person there.  We watch our peers participate in sports, academics, work, the arts, family development, even housekeeping, and push ourselves to outdo them – or condemn ourselves if we can’t.  In doing so, we forget that we’re of a different genetic programming, already balancing way too much on our schedules or budgets, coping with illnesses or extenuating circumstances, and so on.  We are blind to the truth.

One particularly influential woman in my life gave me this piece of wisdom, and reminds me of it whenever those comparisons pervade my thinking:

the only comparison that matters copyFor me, it’s a gentle reminder of how the rest of the world out there is what it is, and makes no difference to my value as an individual walking through it.  The only comparison I can – and should – make that means anything is my strength, health, and abilities now to the lifeless skeleton I used to be as an active anorexic.  Not only is it much more truthful and realistic, it’s a source of powerful motivation to keep on