Comparison Complex During Pregnancy
Today’s guest post is brought to you by my lovely friend Becky over at The Balance Method. She’s got an awesome business and website. I would definitely recommend checking her out! She’s recently become a new mom so make sure to show her some love!
“I help woman find BALANCE in health & fitness so they can move through life with more confidence & create more success in life!” -Becky Jennings
When I became pregnant I finally got a front row seat to the amazing things women’s bodies can do. Watching my body change every single day as my belly grew was fascinating and humbling.
Admittedly I was nervous about how I would respond to these changes. For many years of my life I struggled with anorexia, body dysmorphia and comparison complex.
What I learned through recovery is in the game of comparison…you will never win.
We build the other person up so big in our minds that there is no way we can ever compare. And so we feel badly about ourselves. We diminish the amazing things we are actually doing and we delay our progress as a result.
When I was pregnant I recognized how easy it is to compare your pregnancy to other women: bump size, energy level, weight gain, sleep pattern, you name it – we can compare it. Now being 7 weeks postpartum I realize the comparison game doesn’t just live with others…we play it very well with our former selves.
This weekend my husband and I went to a wedding; and for the first time since Hunter’s birth, I had to search my closet and find a dress that would fit. After what seemed like a mini fashion show gone wrong, I landed on one stretchy dress that hid what needed to be hid and accentuated what needed to be accentuated (thanks breastfeeding :))!
My husband pulled me aside at the wedding and said “I just want to tell you how beautiful you look!” My first reaction wasn’t to say, “Thank you.” Nope, my first reaction was to grab my stomach and say, “But I really need to lose this…”
The second I did it, I realized how wrong it was for how far I’ve come in this game of comparison. I slipped and allowed myself to go there.
Why would I immediately diminish the amazing thing I had just done and downgrade the work I’m doing now?
Did that make me feel good?
NO! In that moment of pinching my stomach and letting those words fall out of my mouth, I realized I had a problem taking a compliment in the new body I am in.
I realized I wasn’t comparing my journey to another person’s but I was comparing my body now to what it used to be.
Comparison complex isn’t just a game of us vs. them. It’s a game we can play on ourselves. I coach so many women who share with me that they were in the best shape of their life at age 20, and how they can’t believe they thought they were fat then!?
They also compare where they are now to that person so it seems impossible to even start their journey. So how do we fix this game we play with others and with ourselves?
There are two things that have helped me reverse this negative conversation. The first is the “Highlight Reel” and the second is my “If-Then Policy.”
First, the “Highlight Reel” is this amazing list of everything you’ve accomplished. This list is evidence of your incredible skills, heart, spirit and more.
On this list you include everything: personal and professional victories, loves, achievements, you name it!
When we start to go down the road of comparison it’s time to take out that list and remind yourself of how wonderful you truly are.
Second, The “If-Then Policy” is my way of retraining my brain. When I recognize I’m playing the comparison game, I have a fall back.
If I start playing the game, then I immediately switch course. That’s what I did at the wedding. I recognized I had given in to comparison and was allowing myself to solidify the negative vs. the positive in my subconscious.
So I stopped, held my husband’s hand and said, “Let me change my response – thank you, I appreciate that.”
We as women are incredibly capable, powerful and amazing. As we build up those around us lets take some time daily to build up ourselves. We might stumble and fall on our journey but lets get up faster each time.
Let’s love our bodies just as they are because of what they’ve done for us. And lets take the compliment and heck, even give ourselves a compliment!
Let me finish by reminding you that you are beautiful, you deserve the world and no one is like you, so shine bright my friend!
Have you ever dealt with comparison complex?
Alesia is a working mom who fights her way through life, depression, and just plain stupidity. She strives to show others that it is possible to be a bad-ass while you feel like you’re losing your mind. A Bottle of Sanity is a space in which working moms may find easy recipes, parenting tips, and sanity.