In the past couple of days I have been asked a few times: “who is your role model”?
The short answer is: I don’t really have one.
I used to idolize a few women in the fit community: Paige Hathaway, Dana Linn Bailey, Nikki Blackketter. Each one of those women is beautiful and strong. I spent so much time going through their photos thinking “I want to be like them” . But there is a reason that they say ‘comparison is the thief of joy’; the more you compare yourself to others, the less you focus on your own personal positive attributes. I mean, I spent months of looking at their pictures religiously and saying “someday that will be me”.
Now let me take a step back for a moment so I can explain better why and how this changed for me. Because truly, this is the actual picture that started me on my fitness journey:
Beautiful mystery woman with amazing core
This is the first picture I looked at and said “this will be me!”. I remember it seeing it for the first time so well, as I was vegging out on the couch scrolling through Instagram. I was fed up with the way I looked and felt. I believe at that moment, I took the leap into fitness and never looked back. And I don’t regret that. But what I realize now is that I will never be this mystery woman. And I will never be Paige Hathaway, Dana Lynn Bailey, or Nikki Blacketter. We are different people with different lives and different bodies. We are different, right down to our genetics. When you set your sights on being just like someone else, you set yourself up for failure. In comparing my own photo to this one, it is clear that we have completely different bodies. Mystery woman has a tinier waist, and her abs are shaped differently than mine. Her hips are also wider than mine. Check it out:
My fit body, looking nothing like the mystery woman’s
There is not a thing wrong with either of our bodies, we are simply built differently. My fitness looks nothing like her fitness. My best cannot be her best. After realizing this, I decided I would look up to myself. Not myself in the present; myself in the future. I close my eyes and envision the best possible version of myself. I tell myself “that’s the woman I wanna be”. It motivates every day. It’s also a much more positive and realistic way of looking at our bodies and ourselves.
I still look at pictures of other beautiful fit women and think how amazing their lats are, or how much I envy their quads, but I acknowledge that my progress at that point might look a little different, and I’m okay with that. I’m beautiful and I’m only getting better and better.