• Jealousy Versus Inspiration

    January 10, 2011

    Running a marathon is a lifelong goal of mine. In 2002, I added it to my Life’s To Do List, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. But, my list wasn’t the catalyst that pushed me to finally sign up to run a marathon. It was actually the photo below.

    DSC_3481_thumb

    If you read other health blogs, you might recognize Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point and her friend, Lauren. Caitlin ran her first marathon last January with Team In Training. In fact, she completed her first marathon exactly one year ago today.

    Reading Caitlin’s recap of the event on her blog made me so happy for her, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous of her success. Running a marathon was at the top of my life goal list, but I wasn’t sure if I could really run one myself.

    One of the best parts about blogging is that I’ve found a great group of like-minded, active women. The worst part, however, is sometimes I feel a little green with envy and find myself making comparisons to other bloggers. But, not all these comparisons are negative— seeing someone else’s progress is an inspiration to me.

    So instead of dwelling on the negative, I turned my feelings into a positive. Instead of feeling envious of Caitlin, I appreciated her drive and determination to run a marathon. Watching Caitlin achieve her goals made me want to achieve mine even more.

    So, in August 2010, I called Team In Training and registered to run my first marathon. It was Caitlin’s success that gave me the push that I needed to officially commit to working toward my own personal goal. And in just 6 days, I will achieve it. (A crazy twist of fate has Caitlin in Phoenix on the day that I run my marathon, so we have plans to celebrate together afterward. It’s funny how life works out!)

    Breakfast

    For breakfast, I cooked myself an egg sandwich, but it wasn’t very pretty. I used the microwave method to make the egg white patty, and I made it much too large for the English muffin. It tasted fine; it just looked really weird. I also added seriously sharp cheddar cheese and a slice of tomato.

    _MG_7774 (640x426)

    My iced coffee totally made up for the ugly-looking egg sandwich though.

    One of Mal’s students visited Hawaii over winter break and brought him back a bag of Vanilla Macadamia Nut coffee from the Hawaiian Isles Kona Coffee Co. It is so, so, so delicious!

    _MG_7687 (426x640)

    This is one of the best iced coffees I’ve had in awhile!

    _MG_7784 (640x426)

    Question of the Day

    Does the blogging community encourage you to compare yourself to others? Do you feel ever feel jealousy or do channel that feeling into something more positive?

    P.S. Don’t forget to follow Carrots ‘N’ Cakefor your chance to win a Garmin Forerunner 305 this week! Details here.

    Pin It

    { 144 comments… read them below or add one }

    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    The blogging community inspires me a lot!! I usually don’t get jealous of other bloggers, but take their accomplishments and see what I can do for myself!

    Reply

    natalie (the sweets life) January 10, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I can definitely see how blogging can turn into a huge comparison trap, which can be very dangerous. I think it’s important to be self-aware, which it seems you are!!

    Your egg sandwich looks like a ufo :)

    Reply

    Meaghan January 10, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    That coffee sounds divine. I do think it does cause me to compare myself to others — but in addition, it gives me great ideas for new foods and workouts to try.

    Reply

    Jennie @ Designed to be Fit January 10, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve had my moments of jealousy, but for the most part it just inspires me to keep working hard. I want to run a marathon someday, and reading stories of people came from similar fitness backgrounds to me make me inspired to keep training for it.

    The biggest problem I have is comparing speed with other bloggers. I’m not very fast, and sometimes get down on myself for not being able to run 8 minute miles, but then I just remind myself that a year ago I couldn’t run ANY miles, so it’s all about personal accomplishments. :)

    Reply

    Corrie Anne January 10, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I’m very inspired by blogs! Yours in particular! :) I told my fiance the other day that I’m excited for your marathon because I can’t wait to read your posts about it! We’re pre-training for a marathon in October so it will be exciting to read about your experiences.

    Also, that coffee looks AMAZING! :)

    Reply

    Priyanka January 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I think what you infer out of others life experiences is totally a matter of perspective. I have been a bit immature when I have compared myself to others but then the sensible side in me reminds me that I can achieve it too,if I show that much determination. Very few are born with a silver spoon, most of us strive hard for it, so if they can do, I can too!

    I am craving an egg sandwich right about now!

    Reply

    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Blogging is a mixed bag…but if you stay positive and have a good attitude and read blogs for the right reasons, to learn, to be inspired, to grow, then they are awesome!

    But if one is looking to compare, feel jealous, feel insecure, then reading blogs can bring those things out,too.

    For me, I only read blogs and use blogs to feel good…and if it’s ever bordering on not, I dont read that blog anymore. Or unplug a bit.

    Great post, Tina! :)

    Reply

    Lisa January 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    This is a good topic.

    For the most part it’s inspiring. Sometimes I feel jealous. Since I injured myself running a few months ago I’ve had to take a break from running and doing races. That was hard. It was even harder when I was reading that everyone else in the blogging world was running races…plus I didn’t do the Vegas Half last month like I had planned because of my injury. So I just skipped all the blogs that DID run it because I knew I’d be in a funk after reading them. :(

    Reply

    Clare @ Fitting It All In January 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    I think that Catch 22 of blogging is unavoidable. I’m currently training for my first marathon, and I credit Blogs with giving me the motivation to start running, but I can’t honestly say if I’m running this marathon out of personal or envious reasons. I think it’s a little of both –the good influence of seeing other achieve such great goals and wanting the same for yourself, and the bad jealousy that is nearly impossible to avoid when you constantly read about others and their awesome feats.

    Reply

    Angela January 10, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Great topic, Tina! For me, reading about other bloggers’ achievements is mainly a source of inspiration – it gives me ideas for new goals to set for myself, and also helps me to see that other people deal with the same obstacles and challenges as me. But of course there’s that little bit of jealousy… like my current jealousy about your Vanilla Macadamia Nut coffee! ;)

    Reply

    Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] January 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Oh wow, that coffee sounds divine!

    Thanks for sharing this post. I’m sure it hit home with a lot of us bloggers =]

    Reply

    Coleen January 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I just back from Hawaii. We stayed in a condo and brewed up a pot of the vanilla macadamia nut coffee every day. So, so good. I brought a bag home to brew up when we are missing Hawaii to get us through until the next trip.

    Reply

    Doc January 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    I don’t feel jealousy as much as I feel pressure…to be perfect, to post consistently, to live up to the image I project. Sometimes that is exhausting!

    On a more cheerful note, my aunt lives in Hawai’i and sends us that coffee too!

    Reply

    Nancy K @ NancysPerfect10 January 10, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Never jealous or envious but I find them encouranging and motivating :)

    I’m lucky to have married a Hawaiian and Kona coffee is a staple in our house ;)

    Reply

    Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free January 10, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    At first when I started reading healthy living blogs I would think these people are crazy and so amazing, I could never do that. Now I feel like they are the people that push me to do better. I just signed up for my first half marathon after watching you train for your first full marathon. Healthy living blogs are my main source of inspiration.

    Great post!

    Reply

    Lynn (The Actors Diet) January 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    i think one of the most dangerous things we can do as women (as human BEINGS) is to compare ourselves to one another. i’ve learned via acting that it just isn’t helpful – b/c rejection and disappointment is part of my job, the first few years i couldn’t help but stack myself up against others to figure out what i was doing “wrong.” that spilled into other areas of my life – with body image, family, everything. it was very destructive. being inspired by others, and being grateful for what we DO have, and owning our individuality is what has helped me embrace my crazy show biz life, and the blog world, in a beautiful and fulfilling way

    Reply

    Taryn January 10, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Sometimes I feel jealousy, but more times I just feel really motivated to be better myself, to improve my life and my blog, all because I’ve seen others do it. I think the blogosphere is extremely motivational if you can manage to put any competitiveness aside!

    Reply

    kate January 10, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    I generally feel inspired by blogs but I have had to remind myself of my goals, intentions, and individuality when Ive become overrun with envy, guilt, and comparision.

    Reply

    Monica January 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I defiantly use to find myself comparing a lot, but as I grew in my own blog writing I learned how different I am from others and was reminded that my journey truly takes a 100% different course than others. The blogs I read are just stops along the road for inspiration sources. :)

    It is so cool that seeing others run a marathon inspired you to do the same!

    Reply

    Emily January 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this, Tina! I will definitely be linking you in a future blog post.

    I try not to get too jealous when I read all of the amazing fitbloggers doing fabulous things that I just can’t do yet. Running marathons, for one! It’s hard not to feel the slight twinge of the green-eyed monster.

    I remember a quote from reading Buddhist scriptures that can be best summed up like this: Acknowledging another’s strength magnifies our own potential. My recognizing and *celebrating* someone else’s success, it helps me realize my own strength and goals. :)

    Reply

    Leng January 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    On some occasions I feel envious of other bloggers successes. However, if I truly wanted what they had (whatever it might be) I would try to accomplish it as well, so my envy is usually very short lived. Often times I feel a sense of admiration instead. :-)

    Reply

    Kim January 10, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I was reading this post and instead of noticing the huge egg on the english muffin I noticed the adorable turtle plate it was sitting on. Where did you get it? I absolutely love turtles and I’ve never seen a plate like that before.
    Kim

    Reply

    Tina January 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm
    Sarah @ sarahrunsinheels.blogspot.com January 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I live in LA so I had to make peace with the fact that there will always be someone prettier, thinner, and more fit than me. I’m not a natural athlete so I have focused on making progress I can be proud of. In fact, I recently started blogging and CarrotsnCake and Healthy Tipping Point are listed as “blogs that inspire me”. You are such a inspiration and due to your success with Team In Training I am going to check it out in order to meet my New Year’s Resolution goal of running a half marathon. Keep doing what you are doing because you are empowering others to believe in themselves as well.

    Reply

    Carol January 10, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I am totally inspired by those whose blogs I follow. I love reading racing tips and healthy food options! The stories really motivate me when I just don’t want to run one more mile or feel that I don’t have the energy to run.

    Reply

    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 10, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I sometimes get jealous too, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. If your jealously causes you to compare yourself to the other person and make yourself feel bad, then it’s definitely a negative thing. But I think jealously can also be a positive if you use it to motivate you to work on your own goals, like you did! :)

    Reply

    Shila January 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Great discussion Tina! I read a lot of food/nutrition blogs for ideas and often find them. But sometimes I feel insecure about how my meals (or even life) stacks up to what I see on the screen.

    I’ve definitely found it helpful like you to turn my jealousy into inspiration. If I see someone have an awesome day out or vacation, I try to think about incorporating more of that into my life instead of dwelling on what I don’t have.

    Question on the egg white sandwich–I tried to make an egg white patty in the microwave (60 seconds) and mine exploded! Any advice?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    Tina January 10, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I’ve never had that happen. Did you use liquid egg whites from a carton?

    Reply

    Mary @ Bites and Bliss January 10, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I did compare myself to others at first. I would read their workout recaps of “running 15 miles” one morning and think “WHOA!! Will I ever be able to do that?!”..but before long, I was on the other side of the fence with people saying how great my workouts are and what not..then I realized the grass is always greener and there’s no sense in comparing. But yes, it has motivated me to better myself. Like, running a marathon for instance!! :)

    Reply

    whitney January 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Yes the blogging community is a major source for jealousy. Since my pelvis injury I am growing to really just enjoy the stories more and not be so caught up in what others are doing and I’m not. It has def. made me a stronger person.

    Reply

    Kristin January 10, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    These blogs are such an inspiration to me! The fact that the women writing them are everyday “normal” people (as opposed to celebrities or trained athletes) makes the things they are doing seem more attainable. I also find that in my job and in everyday life there aren’t as many people who really value fitness and healthy living so its fun to read the blogs of people like me who do! Your blog in particular has been a big inspiration, thanks Tina :)

    Reply

    Shannon at Her Dog Blog January 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Best. Coffee. Ever. Please, please, please order the Toasted Coconut! It is the BEST! My fiance and I are addicted. Luckily my grandmother can buy these for us for just $4 a bag at the local commissary. Mmmmmmmm!

    Reply

    Lisa {smart food and fit} January 10, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I think the blogging community gives me motivation for the most part. I love reading what inspires people and their tips.
    In your case, you used that negative feeling of jealousy ( I think it’s more of being envious) into a positive by commiting to your goal.

    Reply

    Hannah January 10, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    I think this is something that everyone needs to monitor for themselves. Personally, I’ve found that there are certian blogs I need to avoid for my own sake because I can’t manage my jealousy, which is often when I’m envious of the person but also don’t really like how they come across, if that makes sense? With blogs like yours, I can be envious of your food or your achievements, but because I really like who you are as a person, it’s inspirational rather than disheartening! :)

    Reply

    Lacey @ Lake Life January 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    All of the blogs I read are more inspirational than anything! Whenever I’m feeling like I can’t do something I always turn to the blogs and think “if so-and-so could do it, so can I”!

    Reply

    Raya @ RayaRuns January 11, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Hi Tina! So I must be living in a hole b/c I just realized this morning that the marathon you’re running is in Phoenix. And I just moved to Phoenix!!! Literally-9 days ago. And I signed up to volunteer with the American Cancer Society, who has cheering stations at the race!!!!!!!

    Reply

    Angela@spinachtiger January 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

    You pose a good question. The key that lies between jealousy and inspiration is the relationship I form with that blogger. There is a certain blogger who has the life I would most want to have and the traffic she deserves. I am so inspired and not jealous at all. But, that’s due to her warm personality, visiting my blog often and appreciating her readers. I have been inspired to try harder, cook more challenging recipes or even go in directions I never thought possible. Okay, every now and again that color green does show itself and I’ll have a moment where I think I can’t keep going. But that is a moment and that’s more about me than anyone else. Blogging is helping me to go that last mile. I did a marathon; it was on my bucket list. I often refer back to that achievement. Congratulations to you for going for it.

    Reply

    Emma February 12, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Wow! So many people let their jealousy ruin relationships and effect them in negative ways, it’s nice to see someone using their feelings as motivation! I recently read another article on this topic that had some really valuable information about the causes of jealousy http://www.psychalive.org/2011/09/are-you-the-cause-of-your-jealousy/, I highly recommend it.

    Reply

    Leave a Comment

    { 3 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post: