Comparisons – by Denise Bennett
My body does not compare to (fill in the blank.) I did not lose as much weight as (fill in the blank.) My ankles do not look like (fill in the blank.) My skin is saggy and did not retract as much as (fill in the blank.)
STOP. You are not (fill in the blank.) You are you. We are all different, and we will all have different results… from surgery, in recovery, on a weight-loss mission, in our physical abilities. So stop with the comparisons already. Stop being so hard on yourself. Stop comparing your results to someone else’s results. Intellectually, we know that it doesn’t work that way and yet we continue to make comparisons.
Your journey is YOUR journey and is unique to YOU. We all seem so prone to engage in some sort of competition and fail to realize THERE IS NO COMPETITION. Repeat that. There is no competition. All I can realistically do is compare myself to my former self. And even with that, have you ever thought about the fact that comparing yourself to your former self doesn’t take into consideration that you have aged, or that your body is not the same body you had even a few years ago?
Many women with lipedema (and even those without) know that weight gain happens, our bodies change as we age and at different points in our lives. Stress and metabolic changes are two of the external factors that will contribute to weight-loss efforts being sabotaged. After surgery, some women seem to lose weight effortlessly, for others the stress of surgery on the body has the opposite effect. Are you comparing your body today with the body you had a year ago, five years ago, and ten years ago? How do you know how lipedema would have advanced if you had never learned you had it and had not intervened with either surgery, or diet, or exercise, or wearing compression or supplements? That’s the thing… we don’t know where we would have been… we only know where we were and where we are now.
My suggestion is this. Comparisons are usually negative. Stay away from negativity. It does not contribute to your wellbeing. If you must make comparisons, please, compare yourself only to your former self. Focus on the positive changes you have made. My legs are not perfect. I focus on how they are better. My arms are not perfect. I try to focus on how they fit into sleeves with ease now. My body is just that… my body. It is a work in progress. I’ll never know where it would be today if I hadn’t had surgery or changed my way of eating. What changes have you made on your journey. Compare where you were to where you are now.. not to someone else.