≡ Menu

Comparison

in All Posts

I was watching the new HBO series Hung (which is good but not for the faint of heart) last night, and the main character was eating a sprouts and grilled cheese sammie.  I knew right away what I wanted for lunch!

IMG_1175

With shredded corn on the cob and a spinach salad on the side:

 IMG_1176

All together now…

IMG_1174

Earlier I snacked on some dry granola.

IMG_1173

Health Blog Helper

 

You guys know I’m a HUGE fan of Matt from No Meat Athlete (cutest shirts, ever!). 

[white cotton shirt]

Matt has started a new site called Health Blog Helper, on which he will share all the knowledge he has on how to make your food/fitness blog ROCK from a technological prospective.  The site is just getting off the ground, but I know there is going to be tons of good stuff on there soon!  So, add Health Blog Helper to your Google Reader ASAP!

 

Comparison and Blogging

 

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to COMPARSION lately.  I think comparing yourself to other blogs is totally natural and a normal response to reading.  You think, "Hmmm I wouldn’t like that meal" or "Man, I would definitely never want to do yoga first thing in the morning!"

 

But, comparison can be bad.

 

So many of the Southern bloggers are gearing up for race season, logging more and more miles and longer and longer distances.  If you’re new to my blog, I just want to assure you that 10.0 mile runs is NOT normal for me — it’s only because I’m training for a Marathon and several other races. 

 

I fell into the comparison trap last spring when I had to take a running hiatus because of injury.  I’d compare my workouts (no running, only biking) to other bloggers and worried I was "losing" my cardio strength.  It was so silly — and I quickly snapped out of it.  I was doing what was right for me.

 

You can be a runner without doing long runs.  Hell, you can be fit without being a runner!  And you can be healthy without being a dedicated athlete.

 

Comparison occurs with food, too.  I get comments like, "Wow! I could’ve never eaten all that!" (or on the flip side, "I would totally eat that times three!").  I don’t think people mean these comments in a bad way most of the time.  They are just commenting.  But, I just want to stress that everyone is different and everyone’s nutrition needs vary. 

 

Comparison CAN be good!  It can be motivating, encouraging, exciting, and fun.  A little competitive spirit never hurt anyone.  Just don’t take it too far, take what you read with a grain of salt, and remember to do what YOU need to stay happy and healthy.

 

Thoughts?

{ 66 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Diane, Fit to the Finish August 31, 2009, 9:36 am

    Thanks for this really uplifting post! That sandwich looks amazingly delicious.

    Comparison can be positive or negative – depending on who is doing the comparing!

    Reply
  • mags August 31, 2009, 9:52 am

    love your perspective, caitlin! happy monday!!

    Reply
  • Leila August 31, 2009, 10:01 am

    Hells Ya. I think it's funny that we celebrate multi culturalism and yet when we seek to identify with others it's many times in a negative – comparative – fashion.

    Not only are we all uniquely different, but each day for each of us is different. Like food, one day I could eat what I consider my standard fare and then the next be so hungry I just don't get it. But that's your body for you. It doesn't understand time or a calendar, it understands physiological processes which don't correspond with our calendars or our watches.

    thanks for such a great post! Though they're all pretty great :)

    Reply
  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) August 31, 2009, 10:05 am

    sprouts and cheese sammie looks delish! I've never heard of that combo before – will have to try it soon!

    Reply
  • Meganerd August 31, 2009, 10:08 am

    Umm…. totally agree with you.

    I wrote about that on Saturday morning. Even though you ran 10 miles sat, and I was planning 10 for sunday, I felt guilty for still being in my pjs at 10 am.

    It's silly… but it happens!

    We have to do what's right for us!!

    Reply
  • platipus329 August 31, 2009, 10:09 am

    I completely agree. For me, it's great to see what other's are eating and making with their food, but I'm not going to force myself to eat something or a certain way that I don't want to because I saw it online. I'm going to take the tips, tricks, and products I see, give them a try, and see if they are for me

    Reply
  • Britt August 31, 2009, 10:15 am

    Hhmm… may have to try that sandwich combo. Looks yummy!

    Agreed, there is the good and bad. It is all in how you view and use that comparison.

    I'd like to think I maybe admire some bloggers rather than compare myself to them at times…..admire their dedication, their creativity, their attempt at trying something new, etc. Hopefully I can use it as inspiration or motivation in some way!

    Reply
  • Kristin August 31, 2009, 10:16 am

    I agree, I always have trouble with comparing myself to others, and I know I shouldn't- because we are all individuals and what works for us, works for us and us alone!! Thanks for the inspiration!!

    xo
    K

    Reply
  • Susan August 31, 2009, 10:16 am

    I try really hard not to compare myself to other bloggers. If someone is doing something better, faster, more often than me, I use that for motivation and be sure to remind myself that I have to make goals that suit my own individual needs.

    As for the biking thing, I took up road biking this summer and I 100% believe it made me a better runner. You probably benefited more from that haitus than the people who were still out there running 5 days a week!

    Reply
  • Leianna August 31, 2009, 10:19 am

    Your comparison bit totally hit the nail on the head for me. I find myself comparing myself to others aall the time on these blogs, but know I'm my own person and what I do works for me!

    Reply
  • Sarah August 31, 2009, 10:20 am

    That shirt is so cute!

    I think comparison is a no-no. Everyone is different.

    Reply
  • Hallie (Healthy Twists) August 31, 2009, 10:23 am

    You write about such refreshing topics! Love it.

    I am TERRIBLE about this…I think it's related to my self-esteem, which I freely admit is not always what it should be. I compare myself to everyone and always feel like I'm not measuring up. I'm doing this strict diet/fitness program right now and I'm feeling bummed because I think the other girls in the program are progressing faster (i.e. more stamina during the workouts and losing more weight at our 2x a month weigh-ins) and I know I should just focus on my progress but I can't. Another example is my BF who has recently taken up running and has been on a workout tear this summer (ah student life). He's up to 8 miles and I still struggle through 3, and I'm stoked for him but it also gets me down on my own progress.

    I'd say with food it's a little less. I do compare my eats with bloggers, but it doesn't seem to bum me out like exercise comparison does. Especially since most of the blogs I read (like yours) do have the occasional splurge and most seem to have a healthy attitude about it.

    Phew! Sorry for the long comment but clearly…I have issues with this :-)

    Reply
  • Emily August 31, 2009, 10:27 am

    I think you're right on with this post. Since I started my blog, its really given me more confidence in my habits, food choices, etc. I've also gained some great friends. Despite this, its definitely easy to get lost in what other bloggers are doing or eating. Its a definite must to make sure you're doing what is right for you!

    Reply
  • RhodeyGirl August 31, 2009, 10:28 am

    I always think it is interesting to see how much or how little someone with a similar body type or lifestyle to me eats, and to me commenting on it is just a comment. I know that I eat a lot more than a lot of my friends- I also know that I can run farther and naturally carry more muscle (and I am not skinny like some of them are). I like having something to compare to to help understand if I am doing something right or wrong, but I try not to ever judge myself or the other person when comparing the two.

    When I first started dating PB I would be embarrassed that I would need to eat something every 2.5-3 hours, but then I noted that we are just different eaters. I would prefer a bunch of small meals while he prefers larger ones. We're just different and there is nothing wrong with that!

    Reply
  • Nicci@NiftyEats August 31, 2009, 10:35 am

    Great advice Caitlin, everyone is different and yes, it's hard to not compare. What makes everyone unique is our differences!

    Reply
  • Jenny August 31, 2009, 10:39 am

    i'll admit — i have been known to compare my eating/workout habits to other blogettes. As a girl who's only form of exercise is yoga – surrounded by a blogosphere of avid runners.. there were times when i felt a little inadequate… but, as you said – it's important to put our own needs as our number one priority!

    Reply
  • Sheri August 31, 2009, 10:49 am

    Great post. Compairing for me is not something I do…because I know what works for me and what works for others is different.

    I love to run but I know that the most I like to do is 10k and I am fine with that. Where other people aspire to do more than that. I do find it inspiring to read about!

    I also like to read what other people are doing for the tips, tricks and new stuff to try for myself and I keep what works and what does not.

    Reply
  • Mel -Tall Mom on the Run August 31, 2009, 10:52 am

    GReat post and very TRUE! Wow tha lunch makes me HUNGRY..

    FYI I have a Pearl Izumi Running shorts Giveaway on my Blog if you are interested…not sure of your size but the shorts run a bit snug, have medium and large to give.

    Best of luck with Marathon training

    Reply
  • Katherine August 31, 2009, 10:53 am

    So true! I was thinking about that all last week! Thanks for addressing it.

    Reply
  • Runeatrepeat August 31, 2009, 10:54 am

    The comparison post is totally needed.It is so hard not to compare yourself to other bloggers! I feel bad when other bloggers call something a "cheat" or "splurge" when I eat that all the time!
    I think it's also hard to stick with listening to your body when people comment on how much you eat! It's all part of putting yourself out there, we just have to stick with being true to ourselves :)

    Reply
  • brandi August 31, 2009, 10:55 am

    i think comparison can be good or bad. It can push you to do your best or try new things, but it can also just make you feel bad for not doing what someone else is doing.

    I definitely think you just need to find out what makes you healthy and happy and stick to it!

    Reply
  • leslie August 31, 2009, 10:55 am

    i think comparison is natural in any aspect of life, blogging or not. certain trends do seem to sweep the health blogging world , and in some ways that can be wonderful that everyone has a place where others motivate them to push farther or do something new. but it can also make people take on too much, or too much too soon. and it can make those who don't participate feel inadequate, like you said.

    i know i've had that feeling often – thinking, oh, x blogger ate x amount and ran x miles, while i only do yoga and walk and ate a heck of a lot more. but i've been living the way i am for a while, and i know what works for me. at the end of the day, we have to remember to do what works best for ourselves!

    that was a book, but good topic! :)

    Reply
  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life August 31, 2009, 11:00 am

    For me the whole comparing thing has been a positive experience.. When I first stumbled upon blogging I had no idea how to/ what to eat and comparing my food to all of you bloggers completely changed the way I eat. I now know what to eat, how to eat, and even started my own blog :-) I always had the running part just was missing the other half.

    Reply
  • Annamarina (Running Tails) August 31, 2009, 11:03 am

    I loved your thoughts on comparisons. I often find myself doing that…looking at what someone else is eating and thinking, "why can't I eat that way all the time." I really need to focus more on my daily accomplishments and the healthy changes I've made in my life, instead of worrying about how I compare to others. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
  • elliebelle August 31, 2009, 11:12 am

    I love how positive you are about everything. I, like everybody else, do compare myself – too much I'm sure. But I love visiting your site so much because you offer a more realistic viewpoint in my mind. You are a very inspiring person and do a great job at helping people realize what works for them, rather than what you do, or other food bloggers, etc. Great post!

    Reply
  • Devan Geselle. N August 31, 2009, 11:13 am

    such a great post!!

    every body is differant :) and everyone as differant perspectives!!

    Happy Monday!

    Reply
  • Glo August 31, 2009, 11:14 am

    Thank you!!! I've been comparing my running (or lack thereof because i'm resting an injured knee) to others a lot lately and it's really been getting me down. Your post definitely brought me a few steps back to reality :)

    Reply
  • Jenna August 31, 2009, 11:32 am

    thanks for matt's new website, can't wait to check it outt!

    you are so true! everyone is different! thanks for a great post :)

    Reply
  • Elsa August 31, 2009, 11:35 am

    Great post (again). I try to use the blogs for ideas not from a competitive stand point, but at times it is hard. It is so easy to get in the comparison trap but you have to keep in mind that everyone is different, you are different. A little push is good but not everyone can do/eat the same thing.

    Reply
  • Jolene - EverydayFoodie August 31, 2009, 11:36 am

    Haha – I love that show "Hung." I like the beginning song SO much!

    What a cool grilled cheese sammy – I taped that episode, must watch it now!

    Reply
  • Erica August 31, 2009, 11:37 am

    Owww grilled cheese and sprouts sounds yummy! Josh is a MONSTER sprouts fan- I bet he'd love this combo. Love the shredded corn on the cob on the side (I haven't had nearly enough corn on the cob this summer!). Love NMA and his new website. Totally ordering one of his shirts.

    Great thoughts on comparison. I try to keep in mind that everyones food choices, exercise abilities, etc are different. I def lean on other bloggers for inspiration though and I think its done great things for me (both in terms of new recipes and on increasing my mileage/training). But everyone HAS to keep in mind that we're all different and wonderful in our own ways :)

    Reply
  • Rosey Rebecca August 31, 2009, 11:42 am

    I totally agree with you about the comparison thing. I think different things work for different people and you should do something because it feels right for you, no just because other bloggers are doing it.

    That being said, your grilled cheese looks awesome

    Reply
  • Jenna August 31, 2009, 11:44 am

    Caitlin-

    Health Blog Helper is EXACTLY what I need as a new blogger. I am technologically stupid, so I need all the help I can get :)

    You and Jenna are full of inspiration today. It is SO easy to get caught up in comparison. I, like you, have pushed myself beyond what is right for ME, because I thought I had to live up to what other bloggers do. Bad choice Jenna, bad choice. Love your words of wisdom. Have a great afternoon!

    -Jenna

    Reply
  • Bernadette August 31, 2009, 11:50 am

    That sandwich looks amazing!! Please post what kind of cheese you used- I'm guessing it's Lauging Cow wedges but that's just a guess….? Keep up the great work, you are truly an inspiration!

    Reply
  • Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point August 31, 2009, 11:50 am

    bernadette – its cabot 3 year aged cheddar :)

    Reply
  • Haleigh August 31, 2009, 11:53 am

    that sounds delicious, the funny thing is that i just finished watching that episode about 20 min ago and thought the sandwich looked yummy!

    Reply
  • lilybeans August 31, 2009, 11:53 am

    Love the comparison on blogging bit. It reminded me of when I started reading blogs and felt so far out of health from everyone else. I thought I was doing a good job, but now I know I could have been doing a lot better! The blog world has helped me put my life in persepctive…seeing how others deal with the same issues as I has really been amazing!

    Reply
  • emily August 31, 2009, 11:53 am

    I did a comparison! I thought about your lunch and what I had planned this week and I'm totally moving a meal for a sprout grilled cheese! But that's kind of an awesome result from a comparison :)

    Reply
  • angieinatlanta August 31, 2009, 11:58 am

    AWESOME post!

    I find myself comparing mostly in the workout area – like if she can do it, I can do it! I have to remember that everyone else different bodies and capabilities and it's sooo important to respect that!

    Likewise, my peers often tell me I don't eat enough but I feel great and properly fueled so clearly, I have found what works for me!

    Bottom line – we have to respect each others' differences! It's what makes us wonderfully different!

    Reply
  • Amelia (AC/DC: Highways to Health) August 31, 2009, 12:02 pm

    You bring up a very good point. I think it's tough not to compare yourself while reading/writing blogs.
    I think the hardest part is not getting ahead of yourself. I read about someone running two marathons in a weekend and think Oh I neeeeed to do that! Meanwhile I've never even run one! I think it can be tough because you don't always see the training that people go through and the time it takes them. The focus should be more on what you as an individual are capable of and what you need to do to reach your goals, no matter what they are.

    Reply
  • Nellie August 31, 2009, 12:03 pm

    as always, thank you for an refreshing and encouraging post that all ladies need to hear! it's easy to understand that comparison is normal, but it can definitely get obsessive (as i know all too well.) you gotta do whatever floats your boat!

    that sammie looks so good. i'm always intimidated by sprouts, but now i want to try them!

    Reply
  • Laura August 31, 2009, 12:12 pm

    I totally agree with you on the "comparsions"! I do the same all the time, but I do not think it is bad….it gets you thinking and motivates you too! =)

    P.S. Thank you for telling us about http://www.healthbloghelper.com/blog/ I just started my own health & fitness blog after reading many all year and falling in love with them…..it is very overwhelming so his advise will be greatly needed.

    Reply
  • Angharad August 31, 2009, 12:16 pm

    Yum to the max on that grilled cheese and sprout delight! Love Matt's blog too – can't wait for some awesome tips on the new one!
    Also, well said on the comparison thing. It's virtually impossible not to compare yourself/your blog in some way to other people's but whenever I catch myself doing it I try and remember why I started doing this – for ME with my interests and loves at heart.
    Have a great Monday!

    Reply
  • chipped nails and all August 31, 2009, 12:19 pm

    it's funny you ate a sprouts sandwich…I was watching the show last night and thought to myself, "I could never eat a sprouts sandwich!" lol. Maybe I'll have to take the leap and try it sometime :)

    Reply
  • thefitbride August 31, 2009, 12:21 pm

    What a great post!

    I just started my blog the same way you did–getting in shape for my wedding. I often think "I'm not eating as healthy as/not running every day like Jenna/Kath/Meghann!" and feel bad. But the more I think about it…I just don't like running outside, and that's okay! No comparisons!

    And Health Blog Helper will really help me out. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Pam (Highway to Health) August 31, 2009, 12:34 pm

    Awesome post! I have been doing a lot of comparing and it has made me feel really defeated. I can't run 10 miles right now. I would get injured – I need to work my way up there slowly but surely.

    I've also felt guilty about posting meals with meat. Why? I don't eat that much of it and when I do I buy ethically treated meat. It's my choice..

    Wow! That felt good to vent!

    Reply
  • Beth @ CrossBorderCravings August 31, 2009, 12:59 pm

    Great post on comparison! I think I'm certainly guilty of this at times. Like you said, it's best to just do what your body needs and not worry about being the same as other people. I try to take tips and ideas from other people and apply them in a way that works for me.

    Reply
  • tracik August 31, 2009, 1:06 pm

    Caitlin: As usual awesome post. You have such a clear thought process. I feel the exact same way. If it makes you happy go with it. Being competive is good to a degree and helps us all achieve our goals, but we need to know when enough is enough. Thanks for being a great blogger!

    Reply
  • Lizzy August 31, 2009, 1:27 pm

    i'm right with you caitlin, everyone is certainly different, no 2 people are the same! way to put it :)

    Your sammie looked amazing. its fun to actually make something on tv that you see! :)

    Reply
  • Niki August 31, 2009, 1:37 pm

    I think comparison can get out of hand but i agree that you need to not let it and be true to yourself. It is motivating to see girls just like me go out for runs or cook interesting meals, it makes me want to do it also.
    ps check out my blog :-)

    Reply
  • joelle (The Pancake Girl) August 31, 2009, 2:26 pm

    OMG amen to this post! Thanks for sharing such a good perspective!

    Reply
  • Lainie August 31, 2009, 2:28 pm

    Your sandwich looks good – never would've thought to combine grilled cheese and sprouts, but it sounds like it works!!!

    Comparison, to me, is both good and bad. It motivates and demotivates me…hard to explain, really. Overall, it's all about balance…

    Reply
  • K from ksgoodeats August 31, 2009, 2:29 pm

    The house/lake that Hung is filmed at is on my friends lake :)

    One thing that I've tried to make clear in real life and on the blogs is that people just need to eat what they want. If you want white bread, eat it. If you want a hunk of steak, eat it. If you want that cupcake, eat it. Comparison is a bad thing sometimes!

    Reply
  • Matt (No Meat Athlete) August 31, 2009, 2:41 pm

    Thanks for the mentions Caitlin, especially for your help in getting this new idea off the ground. A link from your site on the first day of a new blog is never a bad thing! :)

    Love the comparison talk. Comparison can be a great thing to inspire and motivate us to change something we don't like. But it's so easy to take it too far and make it an obsession!

    Reply
  • Jamie August 31, 2009, 3:07 pm

    I think comparison is a great thing as long as you are happy for what others accomplish and what you accomplish yourself. You can get great ideas from other people and they can get great ideas from you. For the most part, everyone whose blogs you read and everyone who reads your blog probably have a similar goal for blogging or reading blogs.

    Reply
  • Tay August 31, 2009, 3:17 pm

    Oooh thanks for the new blog update!! I'll be sure to check it out. I'm really on the lookout for improving/revamping up my blog.

    And spot on with the comparing. It's so hard sometimes, but EVERYONE is different. My friend was telling me that anyone can run long distances all the time if they train right. Hmmm…training right is a HUGE part, but everyone is also built differently. Different bone structures, hips, feet, etc. Same goes with everything else! Do what's right for YOU!

    Reply
  • Lauren August 31, 2009, 3:58 pm

    Haha… I watched Hung last night too, and noticed that Ray took the sprouts out of his sandwich with a look of disdain on his face. Your sandwich looks yummy!

    I couldn't agree more with your comments about comparison. We are all different, so constantly comparing yourself to others can be damaging. On the flip side, comparison can lead to healthy lifestyle changes!

    Reply
  • eatingRD August 31, 2009, 4:05 pm

    I couldn't agree with you more on this post! I recently had a comparison attack, I guess you could call it and posted about it awhile ago. I focused on perfection and how my perfectionist nature gets the best of me sometimes. I saw my blog as not being good enough sometimes or comparing myself to other, 'better' bloggers and blah, blah, blah and honestly it's not really worth it. This is what I enjoy and what works for me :) Thanks!
    -kristen

    Reply
  • Gab* August 31, 2009, 5:16 pm

    That sandwich looks delicious! Comparisons can definitely be detrimental, not just in blogging but in general. A friend of mine is constantly comparing herself to me, our friends, people she works with, it’s become an obsession for her and it’s not good.

    Reply
  • randomlymikey August 31, 2009, 6:23 pm

    thank you so much for writing the comparison notes. i think i've mentioned toyou before that i struggle with this all the time. but you are so right. it can be good and bad. you just need to remember to what is right for YOU. and that lunch looks sooo yummy!

    Reply
  • Steph (Steph Runs The City) August 31, 2009, 8:21 pm

    About running in the rain… I was never a fan, but I did a long run in the rain for the first time on Saturday, and I have to say it wasn't bad, in fact I kind of liked it :) It was refreshing since it was so hot out, but I imagine it might not be as nice once the weather gets colder.

    My biggest fear is that it will rain during the NYC Marathon in November, and be cold! So I'm glad I'm getting to practice running in it just in case!

    Reply
  • NYgirl@heart September 1, 2009, 6:10 am

    You're absolutely right. Comparing is normal, especially if you're new to the blogging world. I went through it too! We all do! I think when you start anything new you get waaay too into it at first, and then you realize it's OK to be YOU. I've learned a lot from reading blogs–from awesome (and not so awesome) recipes to different workout ideas. But I don't feel the need (anymore) to keep up with what everyone else is doing. I listen to my body because that's all we can do!!

    Also, I think we're all great eaters. When you're an athlete, you NEED to eat, so hell yeah to everything you eat and more! CHEERS!

    Reply
  • Caroline September 1, 2009, 11:04 am

    Thank you for your wise words Caitlin. I just started my blog three weeks ago and have found myself doing a Loy of comparison both negative and positive about other food blogs. This post just reminded me why I started to blog in the first place, to have fun! I am going to focus on what works for me rather than worry about what everyone else is doing!

    Reply
  • Eliza September 1, 2009, 11:06 pm

    i know this is an older post, but i was browsing your blog today and just wanted to stay that this post actually sticks with me and is certainly something I think about. As an ED sufferer, i spend alot of my time comparing and feeling bad about myself based on other people, and looking at blogs of super healthy eaters and intense athletes isn't always beneficial. This was a very interesting perspective and one that everyone, especially myself, should take to heart. Thanks for the inspiring post!

    Reply
  • Jess September 7, 2009, 6:36 pm

    I totally agree. That is why I subscribe to all kinds of blogs, runners, yogis, dancers and bikers; vegans to omnivores like myself. It helps to put everything in perspective, not a mirror image! Of course my wide range of interests explains why I'm just now commenting on your post, nearly a week belated! :)

    PS. Awesome sandwich. I think I might have to whip one up myself soon!

    Reply

Previous post:

Next post: