Tuesday, September 12, 2023
The Only Person We Should Measure Up To Is Ourselves.
Too often, we measure our success against the standards set by society.
But the truth is, eventually, you have to finally be able to say to yourself, "I am enough. I measure up to me!"
How often do you see pictures on social media of people who seem to have it so perfectly together? Whereas you count it as a personal victory anytime you leave the house without your skirt tucked into your underwear.
Sure, you want to give yourself credit for losing that weight or finally drinking more water. But how can you do that when the world seems determined to make you feel that it isn't enough no matter what?
How do you feel you measure up to the role that is your life?
We are the mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, career women, the teachers, and the dreamers of this world. Just to name a few roles we fulfill.
At LadyBoss, we believe that each woman is powerful. And we all have something we want to be the best at in life, if not multiple things.
But how many days go by where you feel you don't measure up to your own expectations? In fact, where do those expectations even come from?
How often do you say,
"They do it better than me."
"I wish I could be as good as them."
"If I was thinner/wealthier/had better breasts/had a higher paying job, then..."
I probably don't need to finish that sentence. Your thoughts most likely already did. If so, what did they say?
Have you ever met your gaze in the mirror and wondered, "Am I normal? Is what I do enough? Am I enough? Do I measure up?"
I know I have.
I think it is safe to say that at some point, we all have.
The comparison started early in life for most women... around age 10-12 (if not earlier)!
It was when you became the girl who had breasts too big for your age.
Or, as you grew, you became the girl with uneven breasts!
Or you were like me and watched all of your friends' hips fill in while their moms took them shopping for their first bras. Meanwhile, you could get away with just swim trunks at your local pool.
We Believe “The Girls” Are Perfect Just As They Are
Yes, those girls.
Every time we walk into a store to buy a bra, there are many shapes, sizes, makes, and models. And there are so many options:
• Do you want a lift?
• How about a lift and separate?
• Are you feeling sexy?
• Would you like a shelf?
• Are you just looking for a bralette?
• Or are you in need of some hardcore support and just need it all locked down?
With so many bra options out there, how can we not end up wondering if we are living up to “the standard” for beauty?
• Do I measure up because this fit doesn't look right on me?
• Am I normal because I don't want that bra that everyone seems to want?
• Should I be feeling sexy?
• What if I don't have that much to lift, let alone separate?
• Am I supposed to?
• And a shelf for what?
Heaven forbid someone pulls out the tape measure to check our proper fit for a bra. Those measurements they rattle off, are those normal?
Is that what they are supposed to be? Should they be more like that lady over there?
The answer is no.
No, you are not supposed to be like that lady over there. You are supposed to be the lady you see when you look in the mirror.
You are supposed to be you!
It's about staying true to who you are, accepting who you are, and loving who you are!
If there is one thing you take away from reading this, let it be that you can finally say:
Yes! I am normal.
Yes! I only compare myself to me.
Yes! I measure up to me.
The truth is, we are all the same; we just come with our unique designs. It is all the same parts, just organized differently.
And as for the girls! Well, they also come in their unique glory and are perfect just as they are; however, they are.
Even if your girls aren't anymore.
Fast forward through a victory over cancer, and the girls aren't where they used to be. Fast forward through breastfeeding multiple babies, and they aren't what they used to be.
Or maybe the girls are not made of the same substance they used to be.
No matter what they've gone through, the girls are perfect just as they are.
The Truth is That You Are Winning
The thought that I want you to take away, you are normal, and you are winning.
Yes, you are normal, but if you are going to take things to the next level, you have to realize you are also winning.
We don't give ourselves enough credit; instead, we tend to focus on what we haven't done yet. We feed our energy towards what we need to do, and worse, where we "failed."
It's like what Julia Roberts's character said in Pretty Woman, "The bad stuff is easier to believe, ever notice that?"
Yes, the bad stuff is easier to believe. But, we have the power to change that.
You have to give yourself credit for your wins and accomplishments. I'm not talking about getting out there and completing a 5K-though if you want to, go for it!
I'm talking about the day-to-day wins.
• Did you manage to drink enough water?
• Did you park a little further away when you went to the store?
• Did you take the stairs instead?
• Did you stick to your diet?
• Did you keep your sanity and keep the kids alive another day?
It is the little things, each day, that add up to big wins. Recognizing those small wins is your starting point.
You are winning!
Now begin acknowledging where those wins happen daily in your life.
Measuring Your Success With External Measurements
Personal wins come in all forms, especially when you're on the journey for a healthier lifestyle. There are so many ways to show yourself that you are winning, from how you feel inside to those dreaded external measurements.
But external measurements do not have to be dreaded. Let's shift our perspective, shall we?
External measurements can mean smaller numbers from the tape measure, more endurance going up the stairs, a smaller size in your clothes, etc. External measurements are important. They show us where we are winning in tangible ways and, therefore, should not be dreaded.
First of all, any measurement needs to be by your standard of yourself. Remember, "I measure up to myself."
But when it comes to certain external measurements, such as the tape measure or the bathroom scale, you need to know how to measure accurately.
As Maya Angelou once said, "When you know better, you do better."
So let’s learn about how we can measure our wins in various ways to do better at loving ourselves, appreciating ourselves, and measuring up to ourselves.
The Bathroom Scale: Destroying It Once and For All, or Just Learning How to Use It
The bathroom scale causes anxiety and frustration.
I'd like to tell you to take your bathroom scale and smash it with a hammer as I did.
But I won't.
However, I will explain why you don't need to consider the bathroom scale, the judge and the jury.
If you are ready to go all-in and ditch that device, smash it, then throw it away! And opt to use one of the other measurements we'll cover to track your progress.
However, if you plan to keep using your scale, let's make sure you know how to do it right.
There is one main thing you need to know about the ever-so-frustrating bathroom scale: it only measures you as a whole.
I mean, it measures everything together: water, muscle, fat, organs, and clothes. A full bladder? Yeah, it weighs urine too.
So say you are retaining more water, or your digestive system is having a bad day. Well, when you step on the scale, it is going to measure all of that.
So you could weigh yourself one day and be happy with what you see. Then, on the next, you have too much sodium and step on the scale, and you've gained five pounds.
The truth is those five pounds are most likely just water weight from the sodium and not fat. But the scale doesn't tell you it’s just water.
With a standard bathroom scale, consistency is critical. You should weigh yourself the same day of the week at the same time of the day.
For example, say you want to weigh yourself at the start of each week on Monday. As soon as you wake up Monday morning, take care of business – you'd be surprised how much urine can weigh – then before you get into the shower, weigh yourself.
You can do it with or without clothes.
But if you choose to wear clothes, then when you weigh yourself each week, make sure that you are wearing the same clothes or similar.
Yes, clothes make a difference. Wearing different clothes each time can cause variations.
But most importantly, for the sake of your sanity, only weigh yourself once a week. Or better yet, every other week, and on the same day at the same time.
When It Comes To The Tape Measure, Consistency Is Key
There is something you should know about our old friend, the tape measure: it lies.
Well, it can if you do not know how to use a tape measure properly. However, if you do use it correctly, the tape measure can help a lot with measuring your success.
So, let's learn. Lies from the tape measure can come from our inconsistency.
It is hard to measure our body precisely. But to get accurate results, we have to do the best we can.
When you measure with a tape, you have to measure at the same place every time. Here are some tips on how to do so:
• Find a marker on each part of your body you plan to measure regularly. For example, you can measure your waist at your belly button.
• You can put the tape 5-inches down from your belly button to get a measurement of your hips.
• Tattoos, birthmarks, or freckles can come in handy!
Say you have a tattoo on your arm or leg. Use the tattoo as a guide when measuring biceps or quads.
Just make sure you put the tape measure at the same place in relation to the mark each time.
If you measure your thigh, you could also measure up from the top of your knee cap. Just make sure you measure the same distance every time from that point.
As I said with the scale, the key to using the tape measure is consistency. You must measure yourself at the same place each time to ensure that you are getting accurate measurements.
If you don't feel confident with the tape measure, you can have a professional measure with the skin fold caliper. But even skin calipers can leave room for error.
Skin Caliper Readings For Body Fat
Skin caliper readings by professionals are best to get accurate readings.
However, the same healthcare professional must do your reading each time. Because each professional may measure at different parts of the body, measurements could be inconsistent.
Body Fat Readings Instead of Body Mass Index (BMI)
Fun fact: In the 1830s, a Belgium mathematician created what we know today as BMI (Body Mass Index). Since then, healthcare professionals use it as a method for determining body composition.
However, most modern professionals now consider it outdated.
This is because BMI only measures your overall weight against your height. It then gauges if, based on that number, you are underweight, a healthy weight, or obese.
Can you sense the problem with BMI yet?
Well, for starters, muscle is more dense than fat. If you have a lot of muscle on your body, BMI does not take that into account.
So you could be in the best shape of your life, ripped with muscle and less than 15% body fat. But BMI still says you are obese because of the weight of your muscle compared to your height.
The most commonly used measurement used today is body fat percentage.
Yes, the skin caliper reading does measure body fat for you. However, there are more accurate ways of measuring body fat that provide a more precise reading.
Most healthcare professionals and personal trainers use machines that take a digital reading of your entire body composition. These machines help you better understand where you are with muscle mass, body fat, water weight, etc.
As with the bathroom scale, don't overdo it. Even body fat readings should only happen once every week or every other week.
Ask your healthcare professional or local gym for a body fat or body composition reading. Most are usually happy to do so for a small fee or for free if you are a member.
External Measurements Are Milestones, They Are Not Roadblocks
At LadyBoss, we are all about milestones.
The main reason for ensuring accurate external measurements is because inaccurate measurements can be extremely discouraging.
Also, you must remember that external measurements are milestones. Do not use them as roadblocks that stop you from winning.
Every single one of us, from the most experienced athlete to the beginner, goes up and down in our external measurements.
We all have days where we are nailing it, and others where cheat meals turn into cheat weekends.
Personal acceptance is more important than external measurements.
Yes! I am normal.
Yes! I only compare myself to me.
Yes! I measure up to me.
Internal Measurements, Keeping Track of The Vitals
What comes to mind when you think about "internal measurements?"
Well, you are correct. You should always be in the know with your health vitals.
Staying on top of your blood sugar can help you avoid becoming diabetic if caught early enough.
Checking blood pressure regularly can help prevent hypertension, which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
I encourage regular visits to your doctor to keep track of your vitals. Routine visits will help address any possible underlying health issues you may not be aware of.
Don't be afraid to speak with your doctor about what you could be doing to track internal measurements at home. Get suggestions on the best methods to do so.
Having the right machines and equipment is essential. Because, as is the case with external measurements, accurate internal measurements are vital.
There is, however, one internal measurement I want to touch on.
Mental Health, What Are You Telling To Yourself?
In the LadyBoss Community, we are one big family. We talk about the wins, the personal victories, and the struggles.
Those struggles come in an array of forms, and one of those forms is mental health. Mental health can appear in your life in a variety of forms, including depression. Unfortunately, mental health is also one of the hardest subjects to talk about openly.
When we begin new journeys outside our comfort zones, what tends to stop us before we can even start is our thoughts or our day-to-day self-talk.
Most successful people, when asked, will tell you that self-talk is a significant factor in success. If your self-talk is discouraging, then you've already defeated yourself before you've even started.
You have to get to a point where you can look at yourself in the mirror and list the things you like instead of the things you don't.
I understand that it is going to be difficult at first. But every day, try to add one more thing you like about yourself to the list.
The goal, eventually, is for the list of likes to be longer than the dislikes.
In fact, don’t list the dislikes at all. Focus solely on the likes.
No matter how tough it is, keep showing up every day and listing something you like about you. Remember, the goal is to list what we like so often that the voice of dislike eventually fades away.
Still, let's take this a step further.
Mental health is a growing issue, especially among women. Yet people still struggle with talking about mental health and seeking help.
Please hear me when I say this: There is nothing wrong with getting help for mental health.
Just because our parents or grandparents may have had a stigma around talking about it, does not mean that we must.
If you battle depression and find that your thoughts are growing darker, it is not a weakness to ask for help. Actually, it’s the ultimate strength.
Mental health is just as, if not more important than physical health. We need our brains to work with us, not against us. To be successful we need all parts of us, inside and out, to be on board. Positive self-talk and a healthy, happy brain is necessary on any wellness journey.
With that said, it's time to tackle that negative self-talk!
Remember, you're never alone; ask for help if you need to. It could be the greatest gift you give yourself in the end.
Your Performance Measurements and NSVs (Non-Scale Victories)
Learn to be all about some NSVs and performance measurements.
Performance measurements and NSVs are where "the internal and the external meet."
Sleep Quantity and Quality Are Essential
The first go-to on the list is sleep.
Sleep is crucial for both physical and mental health, and, yes, we live in a sleep-deprived culture.
There always seems to be something preventing us from getting enough sleep!
And it isn't just the amount of sleep that is important, but the quality of sleep.
You may sleep for eight hours, but if the quality is poor, you'll wake up feeling like you slept two.
Then you will spend the rest of your day dragging. And sorry to tell you this, but no amount of coffee can make up for poor sleep quality.
Become aware of your sleep patterns and check-in with yourself when you wake up to see how you feel. If you got enough hours but still feel tired, what do you think the quality of your sleep was?
Allow yourself to be curious and take action to change hindering habits to improve your overall sleep.
Exercise Performance Measurements For Daily Life
How are you feeling at the gym?
Do you find that you can go for longer on the treadmill?
Can you lift more weight than before?
Let's take it outside the gym.
Are you able to climb those stairs at work without getting winded?
Can you carry more groceries from the car to the house than before?
Do you find it easier to keep up with your kids?
Are you able to walk longer without as many breaks?
You should always be looking for those little things and give yourself the congratulations you deserve.
Personal Organization, The Benefits of Getting it Together
How about your personal organization? How is that going?
Don't worry, I'm not about to ask you to throw out everything that doesn't bring you joy.
Though, did you know a disorganized and cluttered environment can have psychological effects on you personally?
How do you feel you are doing with keeping your environment clean and organized?
How about your work life? Do you utilize a calendar to keep track of important meetings and such?
If not, I strongly encourage you to begin doing so.
If you are already utilizing a calendar, or begin doing so, give yourself some well-deserved praise. If you haven't, try it for two weeks, and you'll start to feel the mental benefits sooner than later.
Personal Experiences, Growth From Trying Something New
What new things have you tried in your personal experiences?
I know you've heard this before, but it deserves endless repetition: sometimes, one of the best things you could ever do is step out of your comfort zone.
What is something new that you have tried?
We are creatures of habit, and that can be a good thing sometimes. But it could also lead to our downfall.
Humans are prone to sinking into routines that can leave us afraid to try something new over time. We can forget how to experience life!
Never be afraid to do something new. It could lead down a path you never realized you were meant to go down.
Dare to leave those comfort zones, because usually, that's when we grow as people the most.
Keep Yourself in Check with Dedicated Self Care
Here at LadyBoss, we are champions for self-care. That is for a good reason: Self-care is crucial.
However, a lot of people, women especially, tend to forget about taking care of themselves.
Let’s talk about some self-care and figure out where to use it as milestones of success.
First, let's check in with your diet. How are you handling your cravings and cheat meals? Are you struggling? If so, that is all right, we’ve all been there.
Be honest with yourself.
Are you able to keep yourself from succumbing to cravings? Or are you still overeating?
If you are overeating, do not feel bad or guilty! Everything is an opportunity, and you should see it as such. We’ve all struggled with cravings, and that’s one of the reasons we created LadyBoss LEAN: to help you conquer cravings instead of cravings conquering you.
If you find that you're keeping cravings under control, then be proud of yourself; I know it isn't easy. It does, eventually, get more comfortable.
While we are on the subject of cravings and cheat meals, let's talk about vices. Do you have anything you are looking to give up?
How's that going? Have you started to cut back and reduce your consumption?
If you have begun to cut back, congratulations, you're on your way to overcoming your vice!
Are you in the process of eliminating the vice? Great, keep going!
Eliminating our vices is not easy. That battle can be both physically and emotionally challenging.
So make sure to be easy on yourself and to give yourself the deserved credit for your effort.
What about your water intake?
Have you set out to increase your water intake? Because frankly, almost all of us could improve in that department.
Are you making progress? What are you doing to track how much water you are drinking in a day?
Increasing your water intake will have so many positive benefits, from having an overall feeling of well being to clearer skin and better digestion.
These are just a few performance measurements or NSVs. You can use many more to check in with yourself and see where you are indeed winning.
A couple of other non-scale victory measurements to use are:
How are your rings fitting?
How are your clothes fitting?
Do both rings and clothes feel any looser?
Find a few that work best for you and start measuring your wins immediately.
At LadyBoss We Believe That We Are All Winning
Whether it be external or internal measurements, performance measurements, or non-scale victories, remember one thing: The goal is for you to stand tall and say, "I am winning!"
It is also a chance to remember what I said before.
We are all a unique design of the same parts, just organized differently. From the girls to everything else inside and out, we are as alike as we are unique.
On this journey, it is essential to remember that each of us has battles that are distinctly our own.
We all need support.
We all need encouragement.
We all need each other.
You are not alone. Never be afraid to extend a hand out to help or receive help.
And even if the help you need looks different from the help I need, that's ok. We are in this together.
Therefore, it is not that you are just winning. All of us are winning together.
I want us all to be able to stand up together, hand in hand, and say, "We are winning!” I feel that will be our most significant win once that happens!
There is no time like the present to start. So stand up and say it with me now:
Yes! We are normal.
Yes! We compare ourselves only to who we were yesterday.
Yes! We measure up to ourselves.
Yes! We are doing more than 'good enough.'
Yes! We are winning!
And remember, it doesn't matter how many times you leave the house with your skirt tucked in your underwear.
You are still a winner.