Jealousy Versus Inspiration

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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

147 Comments

  1. I think the blogging community has definitely inspired me to do things I’ve always wanting to but thought I couldn’t. Seeing other people, like me, who accomplished these goals makes me realize I can do it too, which is definitely a positive thing.

  2. I certainly have bouts of envy, but I think recently I realized I needed to stop negatively comparing myself to others and do what it best for *me*, because really, not all my readers are like other bloggers, and sometimes they’re looking for someone who is more like me for inspiration, and I’d be no good if I was trying to be someone else.

    Though, yes, I consider a bit of healthy peer pressure and inspiration to be perfectly fine. 🙂

  3. What a great perspective–and it applies not just to blogging but to all of the people we encounter in movies, magazines, our friends, and so on. I admire your perspective, which seems healthy and balanced and thoughtful!

  4. I don’t think I have jealousy as much as I am just really impatient. It is exciting to see the success that is possible from blogging and the various outlets it leads to, but it does take time and work. While I am always willing to put in the work x 100, I am not good at being patient. But putting the work in always leads to something good, so it’s worth it!

  5. I am always so inspired by reading other people’s blogs. I think that if there IS something that makes me feel jealous or inadequate, it makes me probe a little deeper into why I am feeling that way and what positive things I can do about it – aka your signing up for a marathon and realizing your goal! Congrats!

  6. I did not read ALL of the other comments, so if someone else already said this, then I’ll apologize for the redundancy.
    I am sometimes envious, in a mild sense, however (I know, jealous vs. envious, not much of a difference, but still). This envy stems from the fact that I am injury-prone, and I have to accept that there are some FANTASTIC adventures and experiences that I have had and some that I can still have, but I do have to be careful.
    That said, I don’t feel overly inadequate nor do I compare myself too much. I have a great life and there are VERY few things that I would change.

  7. Not really. Up until recently I belonged to the “board” community. As a breast cancer survivor I read a lot of other survivor stories. They inspired me to do more for my health. In 2010 I ran my first marathon and plan to run two half marathons in 2011. I can’t remember I how I found your blog but I’m glad I did b/c you’ve inspired me to continue eating healthy.

  8. the blogging community definitely encourages me to compare myself, in good and bad ways. It was reading about Caitlin and Meghann which inspired me to run my first marathon last year, which was amazing! But sometimes I get jealous of the amazing balance some bloggers have/marathon ability and times/cooking skills….but overall, it’s a positive thing 🙂

  9. i do get jealous when i look at bloggers who can run pain free (bad case of shin splints have caused me to take a long break) and run back to back marathons…difficult to read, but i also dont like it when people talk about how they do an “easy workout” on an elliptical, for some people an elliptical or other exercise machine may be the only option when dealing with an injury, and it can make those who have to use those machines feel inferior to those who run as much as they want, and then do an “easy” workout on a machine

  10. Tina – I am inspired by people like you . You had a goal and have worked so hard to achieve it . It gives the rest of us – your readers-the inspiration to to keep on trying ….. of course sometimes I envy the accomplishments but then I have to remember that I could do it too. I’m proud of you and will be cheering you on from Ohio this weekend . Good Luck to you and Mal !

  11. I do feel so inspired by the blogging community! Though I think it’s impossible not to compare myself to others, it is motivating to keep chugging along when I feel unmotivated or for those ‘why am I doing this?’ moments.

  12. I’ve caught myself being jealous of other bloggers, but usually I try to turn that jealousy into a push to make myself achieve my goals. Watching everyone in the blogging community achieve their goals makes me want to go out there an achieve mine. I think it’s a healthy jealousy.

  13. I don’t feel jealous!!! I count myself as lucky to be able to brush virtual shoulders with those who do better than me. It’s not that I’m not competitive or train well or aspire to do better. I guess, at my age – 43, I appreciate there are always those who know more about my sport and better than me at running. I’m not able to know someone’s story at how they got there unless through friendship or blogging. So, I say thank you, thank you. How else could appreciate or learn?

  14. I have only recently started reading blogs and writing my own blog. In reading some of the blogs I do feel envy for the progress they have made which inspires me to try new things to achieve my own goals. Running a marathon sounds exciting and I will live vicariously through your eyes due to the fact that past knee injuries prevent me from running. Good Luck!

  15. That is so cool that Caitlin will be there to watch you! 🙂

    Sometimes I do feel envy reading blogs, but I think that is usually more of a difference in personalities between myself and the personality shining through on the other person’s blog. For that reason, I choose only to read blogs that inspire me. I think you can feel envious and inspired at the same time.

    I think you mean to say envy? I just learned the difference recently so thought I would share….jealousy is when you want to guard something you already have (like you might be jealous of Murphy gives more attention to a friend than to you because he is YOUR dog) but envy is when you want something someone else has or has done (like you were envious of Caitlin because she had done something you wanted, but what she had done was hers so you are envious). Okay sorry, I just learned that like I said. 😉

  16. I think in the food community, there are definitely comparisons made. I sometimes feel like I should be having breakfast bowls every morning and going Vegetarian. I try to channel that into trying new foods. I remember how much I’ve learned from other bloggers and that trumps any jealousy or comparison I might feel!

  17. OMG best coffee ever. I went to Hawaii when I was younger and I fell in love with that exact kind and have been hooked on coffee ever since! I don’t think jealousy is a bad thing, as long as you turn it into a positive like you have. Reading other blogger’s marathon journeys was part of what inspired me to train for one as well. Mine’s in a few weeks so I’ve been especially interested in reading your blog lately since we’ve been in a similar place in training the whole time. Good luck, you’re going to rock it! (And I can’t wait to read all about it).

  18. I definitely find inspiration in other bloggers, but I don’t feel jealous. If I stumble on a blog that makes me feel that way, then I usually stop reading it.

  19. I am inspired to push myself harder when I read other blogs because I see what is achievable. I know this might sound wierd but I never think real people achieve things like running marathons, only super athletes. But then I read these blogs and see women that eat oatmeal for breakfast and hang out on the weekends and drink beer or wine like I do and I think, “They are just like me. I can do this.” I have gotten jealous before but then I remember that these people had to start somehwhere, just like me. It’s really encouraging.

  20. It’s definitely inspired me to try new things in terms of cooking already–yes I’m jealous of you ladies’ mad cooking skills, but you also have great information to offer!

  21. I occasionally have twinges of envy, but more than anything I try to celebrate our differences and recognize the beauty in the difference in all of us. The blog community is so uplifting and supportive, and the positivity shared among everyone is truly a beautiful thing!

  22. I have learned so much from following and reading a lot of the healthy blogs out there. It inspires and pushes me to do better as far as taking charge of my health. BUt I do try and balance what I read to what will work for me. Honestly, I wouldn’t have signed up for my first half-marathon last year if not for encouraging blogs like yours.

    I try not to compare myself to others but I’d be lying if I said, “I never do”. It’s human nature but I know I can only be ME. And that’s OK.

  23. Every now and then I feel envious of other bloggers but I’m happy where I am in life and I try to appreciate that feeling everyday. But it’s normal to feel envious sometimes. But just like you did, you need to do something about it. If there’s something you want…go out and get it! 🙂

  24. I think I definitely do feel some level of jealousy (or inadequacy?) when I read the blogs of women so successful. I feel bad for my lack of resolve in my running training or disappointed in myself for not finding a way to have a career that I really love, vs. one that just pays the bills.

    On the other hand, although I haven’t quite found a serious level of dedication, reading the blogs convinced me that I was capable of running a 5K and not only did I run one in 2010, but I ran 4 between the months of September and December.

    Similarly, I still may not have enough of an idea of what I want to do (aside from the broad label of “be a writer”), but I was encouraged to start a blog and at least get the juices flowing again. I had pretty much stopped writing since I got my degree (ironically enough in creative writing) 5 years ago. Now I write everyday. Is it a career? No. But it makes me really happy and who knows, maybe it will point me in a new direction that will ultimately make me happy.

    Congrats on your marathon training! 🙂

  25. I’m really glad you brought this up. I also struggle with the jealousy vs. inspiration in reading some blogs. While not a blogger, I find myself being envious of many bloggers who get to make their own work schedule (as opposed to my 8:00-5:30 office job and graduate night classes). However, I’ve gained so much more inspiration through people’s stories, successes, recipes, etc. that it MORE than makes up for it. Comparing ourselves to others is HUMAN, but we just need to be able to acknowledge the feelings (I often say, “Who wouldn’t be jealous of those who make their own schedule? But it’s not right for me. I’m following my own path.”), and then move on. Thanks Tina!

  26. I can totally relate to feeling envious of others, especially blogs. I tend to be jealous of other peoples creativity!! I love being crafty and creative but I am not very good at it. When I stumbled upon blogs with an amazing website design or detail, with amazing crafts and projects, great photography, recipes, fashion… really anything that has room for creative freedom, it inspires me but also makes me feel a bit of jealousy or sadness for not being at that level!

  27. Ahhh yes, I do get blog envy. I’m jealous of the full-time bloggers, those that can bake all the time, those that seem to have a slew of followers, etc.

    But in the end, I’m blogging for me and the people I know and love. Anyone that wants to join the ride is welcome with open arms 😉

  28. I TOTALLY find inspiration in other blogs. If it weren’t for blogs like yours there is no way I would have the goals I have now. I used to be scared of the mile in P.E. class, and now I am trying to get better at running because I actually LIKE IT! 🙂 So thank you!
    And a million times good luck to you in six days. I’m so excited for you. I’ll be waiting anxiously for your recap 🙂

  29. it’s easy to feel envious when i see other bloggers accomplishing so much, but it’s also very motivational. starting my own blog has increased my motivation to do all the things i see other bloggers doing. i want to be able to write about my own experiences running races and trying delicious new recipes and attending blog conferences too! so i’m doing it. 🙂 thanks for the inspiration!

  30. Hey Tina! I am so excited for you! You will do great! I know it! as for the other topic it think it is very easy for me to compare myself with other bloggers when I read their blog (specially if you are as competitive as me). The key is to channel those feelings towards working hard to accomplish a goal (like you did) rather than to let it make us feel like we are not as good as they are.

  31. I Love Kona Coffee… Hawaii in a cup makes a person extra happy!

    I don’t get jealous as much as I get envious of other bloggers. I try not to compare my life to theirs but it is hard sometimes. I’m training my body for the first time for only a 5K and although I wish I could have the strength to do a marathon, I know that it takes time and consistency to get there. I turn my envy into admiration and inspiration. If it weren’t for your blog and the like, I would still be making excuses not to exercise.

  32. I LOVE being part of the blogging community. Of course it’s hard not to compare yourself to others, but overall, it is a really positive and supportive channel for our healthy journeys. I get inspiration from those who reach their goals and thier stories motivate me to keep going!

  33. I love Kona coffee too! I don’t know if you have the store World Market in your area, but you can buy Kona coffee there. I was so excited when I found it and didn’t have to order it online. Enjoy!

  34. Of course there is the urge to feel jealous, but then everyone has different circumstances and obstacles. Not everyone has the luxury to take the time to train for a marathon or have the knees or whatnot. I know getting that sub-4 marathon is a giant leap away (19 minutes), but I’ve got a full-time job and am pretty close to getting a doctorate. And then there’s gonna be that day when I can’t do any of those things for a while because of parenthood. All of these sorts of things are enviable. =D

  35. I personally just started reading healthy living blogs about a year ago and they really have inspired me to change my life for the better. I attribute blog, such as Carrots N’ Cake, as a HUGE reason as to why I have become a more active, healthy, and happy person!

  36. healthy blogs (your’s included) is what got me running in races! I’m so happy but I also get envious also. I’m working on the C25K program now so hopefully one day soon I’ll do a half and be half way to what you’ve accomplished. You’re gonna rock out that marathon!

  37. I have found that I’ve compared myself to others in the blogging community, but only because most of my favorite blogs aren’t in my own blog’s community. I’ve focused my blog on my outdoors adventures, which has also crossed into my own health and fitness. However, my blog doesn’t really seem to fit in the health/foodie blog community, which is much more vibrant than the outdoors blog community. I’m sometimes envious of the strong community that you are a part of.

    However, I believe I’m turning that envy into inspiration. I’m trying to connect with the small outdoors blogger communities out there. I’m also pushing myself to make my blog unique. It’s my blog and my voice, so it can be what I want it to be – a look into the health and fitness benefits of being fabulous in the outdoors 🙂

  38. I definitely feel the pressure sometimes from the blogging community. It’s not that one person puts the pressure on me, but it’s like, “oh, if they can do it, why can’t I?”

    Oddly enough, Caitlin running in the Disney Marathon drove me to run the Disney Half this past Saturday. If I had not found her blog back in October, I probably would have never ran the half.

    Since I have started blogging, I continue to be inspired by so many people (like you!). I have a few more half- marathons coming up this spring and then the summer will be spent training for the Chicago Marathon- my first marathon!

    I know that you are going to ROCK your marathon! When I was at Disney this past weekend, the TNT people were SO supportive of me and cheering me on! 😀

  39. Yay! Just signed up for my first half marathon. Have been running a few 10ks but it was time to push myself. MORE half marathon sign-ups are today – and NOW (noon). Do it for the quarter!!!

  40. I totally understand what you mean…jealousy versus inspiration is a fine line. I had wanted to run a half marathon (hadn’t aspired to the full)…when I saw the Biggest Loser contestants running the marathon (cheesy, I know)….I thought, “if they can do it, I can,” and signed up for a 10 k right away. A few weeks after completing it, my friend told me she was training for a marathon and asked if I would be interested in joining her….it took me a couple of weeks to decide but I went for it and am SO GLAD I did….all the best in Phoenix….you will do awesome!

  41. Jealousy , no! Inspiration from other blogs, Yes!

    Im so happy for you Tina and excited for you to rock out your first marathon, and it is AWESOME that Catilin will be in Phoenix at the same time ( Crazy ! ) and you girls can celebrate! Have a great day !xoxo

  42. Great question, Tina. I do find myself jealous of other bloggers from time to time, because I envy their success (including yours!!) and wish that I was at the point where I could make this my full-time career. However, I know that I have a long way to go, and it does inspire me to know that it IS possible to blog for a living.

    Best of luck on the marathon – you rock!!!

  43. The blogging community encourages me to hit the gym after reading about other workouts, but sometimes I compare too much. I’m not made to run a marathon – I’m just not a runner and that’s okay – but it took me a while to realize that I don’t have to do all the things that other bloggers do. I think its wonderful that you found encouragement to run a marathon through the blogging community and know you’ll do amazingly well!Can’t wait to read about it!

  44. Great question! I read a lot of design and general visual inspiration blogs and sometimes get down on myself for not living a similarly beautiful life or not having the best design taste. In an odd way, it does kind of push me forward to bringing out my design sense a bit more.

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