Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.

Five pound weights. That’s all they were. One in my left hand. One in my right.

I faced the mirror and slowly raised both arms until they were parallel to the ground. Then down again. I looked like a “t” for a second, but I didn’t hold my arms there long. I couldn’t.

Five pound weights. That’s all they were!

After the second or third time, my trainer, Linda, told me to bring my arms back a bit. It was even harder.

I’ve worked out with Linda at One-on-One Fitness for five years. Five years. The weights were only five pounds and lifting them was hard. I was not happy.

When moving to the next station, I mumbled loud enough for my trainer and Ron, another trainer in the area, to hear. “I can’t imagine how much weight you can lift when doing that.”

Without skipping a beat, Ron proclaimed, “It doesn’t even matter. It doesn’t even matter.”

I so appreciated that! I had broken one of my own rules. I know that comparing ourselves to others often hurts us more than helps us. So, why did I do it? I was tired. I don’t know about you, but I’m never at my best when I’m fatigued.

Working out for me has never been about being stronger than someone else. I would have given up a long time ago if that was the case. Rather, it’s been about my health and making consistent progress.

When we returned to those same five weights to repeat that exercise in the second rotation, Linda affirmed me. She made it clear that I can only do this particular exercise now because of the strength produced in my back, shoulders, and upper arms from the hard work I’ve done on other exercises. I believed her and appreciated her encouragement.

It wasn’t as hard to lift the weights in that rotation or in the third.

What about you? Are you making comparisons that are unnecessary, hurtful, and not helpful? They’ll mess with your security and competence. Don’t do it.