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I’ve never considered myself a particularly competitive person. I guess when I think of someone who is competitive, I get a little scared of that person. :-) But the truth is, now I realize I CAN be competitive when someone gets competitive with me. For example, I am never – EVER – competitive with my sisters, because they aren’t competitive people by nature.
I think competition can DEFinitely be a good thing. Just look at the "Biggest Loser" – not only are the contestants competing against each other, but the trainers (um….Jillian) make them compete against THEMSELVES. This creates positive change, and encourages them to go beyond what they think their limits are.
That said, I also know from experience that competition can turn bad. Particularly with those who are struggling or recovering from an ED. I HATE to admit it, but I am very sensitive to comments about weight and fitness because I ALWAYS ask myself, "Am I doing enough? They are doing more than me – should I be doing more?" (*This is amplified when I’m not able to run because of an injury, which is the case currently).
Thankfully most of my friends are aware of my sensitivity (and many don’t workout or eat healthy, actually), so recently I haven’t had any issues. However, one of my best friends started working out vigorously about a month ago. She has 50-60 pounds to lose, and I am SO proud of her for creating this change. She is a stay at home mom, and has absolutely fallen in love with eating healthy and working out -for the first time in her life!
I feel like an absolutely HORRIBLE friend for even admitting this, but sometimes when she "reports" things to me, it’s too much. For example, I was telling her how much I loved spinning and suggested she give it a whirl. She did and absolutely fell in love with it, too. I know she feels a "connection" with me because she knows my passion for fitness, but now she reports to me frequently and tells me of her workouts almost daily.
One day last week, she called me in the morning to tell me she was going to spin class. I congratulated her and told her how awesome it was that she was doing it again! But then she texted me that night and said, "Hey, guess what I’m doing now? I’m going to spin – again!" I wrote her back with, "Wow, girl – you are crazy! That is awesome, though!" But deep down inside, I felt immediately disgusted with myself. It was my "rest" day, and hearing from her lit off that spark inside me. Right away I told myself I should do 2 classes the next day, to make up for my rest day. (*Don’t worry, I didn’t!)
How crazy is that? I mean – I am TRULY happy for my friend. She has eaten unhealthy foods and never worked out her whole life, and after having 3 kids she is finally turning over a new leaf. But having her call/text/post on FB all of her intense workouts, well…it just makes me feel SO bad about myself. And it makes me want to do as much – maybe more – than she is doing.
In my head I know that I’m not trying to lose weight so I don’t NEED to do frequent and intense cardio, but we all know how the brains of people with EDs work. They are NOT rational. It just makes me so sad in this case because, while I WANT to ask her to not constantly tell me of her workouts – wouldn’t that make me a selfish, horrible friend?
Are you a competitive person by nature? Have you ever been in a situation when competition has turned bad?
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