Why You Should (Finally) Stop Comparing Your Body To Others

comparing your body to others
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Okay, okay, we know — it’s way easier said than done, especially in the age of social media when you can spend hours scrolling through pics of seemingly perfect people. But here’s the thing: Constantly comparing your body to others is really no good for you. Ahead, five different experts weigh in on why it’s time to ditch this detrimental habit.

The therapist says…

“When you’re comparing your body to someone else’s, you may never feel you measure up and can never be content. Many people in our social media-frenzied, airbrushed, Photo-shopped world believe there is a standard that’s usually not realistic. If it isn’t realistic, it’s not achievable or maintainable either. Continuing to chase this can only lead someone to feeling worse about themselves and unfulfilled. It’s a one-way ticket to frustration and disappointment,” says psychotherapist Jason Eric Ross, PhD, LMHC. “It’s one thing to admire someone’s physique, but it’s another to make comparisons,” he adds.  Plus, prolonged comparative thinking has the potential to lead to body image and eating disorders, and sometimes anxiety or depression, too, he notes.

The nutritionist says…

“Comparing your body to others is always a losing game. Nutritionally speaking, what another woman is eating at any point in time is completely useless in evaluating whether she has an overall nourishing diet, a healthy body or a comfortable relationship with food,” explains Georgie Fear, RD, CSSD. “Spend your lunch date getting to know the person you’re with, rather than trying to figure out whether she eats gluten or not.” Yes, there is a positive side to adopting someone else’s eating patterns if you’re trying to follow in a positive role model’s footstep, but it’s not foolproof, she cautions. “Choose role models who seem to eat healthy and varied diets, who choose food happily and enjoy it in a relaxed, joyful way, without defining themselves by what they don’t eat,” she suggests. Above all, let your body give you confirmation, and if you feel sluggish, irritable or stressed out by trying someone else’s diet advice, it’s a good sign it’s just not working for you.

comparing your body to others
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The fitness pro says…

“Too big, too small, too muscular, too curvy…you’ll always be ‘too’ something, so just focus on being the best you,” says fitness expert and psychologist Janine Delaney, PhD. “It’s easy to feel self-conscious with so many social media images promoting physical perfection, but it’s very important to remember that many of these images are Photoshopped and don’t represent reality. Don’t get fooled by smoke and mirrors.” Also important: Keep in mind that nobody responds the same to diet and exercise, so there is no perfect formula for looking a certain way, she adds.

The fashion stylist says…

“I sadly see, more often than not, my clients comparing themselves to a celebrity body and look, an Instagram outfit or a magazine cover, and it breaks my heart,” says celebrity stylist and fashion expert Ali Levine. “Bodies are different and built differently, and when it comes to fashion, everyone looks different in everything. Even if you get the exact same outfit and do your hair and makeup exactly the same way as someone else, the clothes just won’t look the same.” Her advice? Follow trends and be excited about them but realize that not every trend works for everyone. Dress for your body — and your body only.

The physical therapist says…

“We all have a set weight and body type, determined by genetics, environment, and hormones. There’s a certain range in which your body will ‘settle,’ where it can comfortably exist,” explains celebrity physical therapist Dr. Karena Wu, owner of ActiveCare Physical Therapy. “Comparing ourselves to others can lead to dissatisfaction, since we visualize body types that we might desire, but that might not be feasible.” At the end of the day, remember that basic health is what is really needed and what is most important, she points out.

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