I've been thinking a lot recently about my fitness progress and what drives me. I'd love to say it's just simply about looking & feeling better, but there's a strong competitive side to me and I've realised when it comes to comparing myself to my online 'fit idols', being inspired is fine but I need to calm down a bit. Here's why.
Trying to compare your progress, your body, your optimum diet, the best exercise for you, the best time of day to eat, the right amount of sleep to ANYONE ELSE is just not right. It's a bit like decorating a house. We all have different requirements, tastes, desires, turn-offs. We all need and indeed want to fine tune things to meet these. Imagine if you tried decorating your house to someone else's requirements and taste? You'd have no joy doing it and a hard job living in it afterwards. The same applies to your body. How can you be sure someone else's training regime or food intake is actually right for you?
I'm inspired by some incredibly fit people I follow on Instagram, Twitter, magazines, trainers at the gym, the list goes on. It would be easy to get caught up in wanting to live someone else's lifestyle because they look the way you (and in this case, I) want to. But ultimately you have to find what works for you for anything to be realistically achieved and most importantly, sustainable. Take bits of advice, meal plans, training plans etc but do adapt these to fit your own needs. Especially if you're starting out, this advice is crucial to your progress. If you're in any doubt, seek advice from a personal trainer or a nutritionist who will help establish what your goals are, what your lifestyle is like, any dietary requirements etc and help create a plan that ensures you don't put yourself in any danger from under-eating or over-training (or worse, both).
I often see people asking my 'fit idols' what their macros are and I can only assume that's in an attempt to try and replicate. To me, that's a crazy question, like trying to compare apples and pears. But some become consumed by how others work out, what they eat. But they're not considering their whole lifestyle... Do you sit at a desk whereas they are on their feet all day? They get 8 hours of sleep, you might be lucky to get 5. See where I'm headed with this?
I look at people who regularly do their main workout into late in the night - that would never work for me. I'm a morning person. I need 8 hours sleep or I'm basically like Oscar the grouch. I need a bit of something nice to eat every day, or I will turn into the Cookie Monster. So I've built my plan around what works for me.
Sure, try something new, switch things up; but don't focus on wanting to look exactly like someone else. As cheesy as it sounds, the best you can be is the best version of you. Decorate your house the way you want it to look and fulfil your needs, not for someone else.