Bad With Numbers – The #1 Way to Quit the Comparison Game


Photo by John Evans

Saw a mom at a PTA meeting last week.  She commented on how nice and fit I looked…and in a less than self-appreciating manner, I responded: “Wow, thanks, girl…though I’m not liking the number on the scale right now.”

Seriously, Kim?  A simple “thank you” would’ve truly sufficed.

But, I’ve been dealing with some Woman, Mama, Life stress lately, learning to quit the diabolic attraction to Lay’s and Cheetos. I’m doing better this week; but there was something about her reply that stuck to me like a leech, sucking every self-deprecating thought from my brain…

Really? Well, I don’t do numbers. I never get on scale…haven’t weighed myself in years.

What the what?  Years?  How does she keep track of how she’s doing? If she’s on point or not? How does she gauge herself against doctor recommendations? Or public approval (hmm)?

She went on to share how she just eats healthy, without guilt, and enjoys her freedom to responsibly evolve without all the pressure.

Well, 2 snaps for you, lady!

And then it hit me.

If you’re really tired of the Comparison Game…comparing yourself to others, comparing yourself to your “personal best” and “once upon a times”…. wait for it…..

You’ve got to QUIT playing the NUMBERS game! With no numbers, it’s like trying to play Poker with blank printer paper… how fun is that?!

We are bad with numbers…How much do you weigh?  How long can you plank?  How much money do you have in the bank?  How many houses or cars do you own, and how much do they cost? How many pairs of shoes/bags do you own? How many friends on Facebook? How fast did you finish your degree? How many people came to your party?  How many years have you been on the job, married, single? How many countries have you visited?

For Love’s sake, QUIT emphasizing quantity and embrace quality!

As humans, we like for stuff to come easy.  The numbers game takes little work and plays right into comparisons.  We learn fairly early how to value ourselves by some number, then we take our scorecard and line it up with society’s Comparison Charts of Shoulds.  The more favorable we are told our numbers are, the more we feel good about ourselves and advertise our measured greatness.  As a result of missing a should, we have feelings of inadequacy, envy, and the chase begins as we gotta have their “number” to feel whole.

Well, the quality game isn’t so easy to play.  There are no hard and fast rules, a ton of subjectivity depending on the players (no 1 size fits), and no quick metric to say you win or lose. Quality takes relationship – with yourself and others, and relationship takes time and work – not a scoreboard – to grow and develop.

Let’s get good with quality…How do you respond to stressful situations? How have you impacted the life of others with your resources? How are you perceived in that long-time job, marriage, relationship?  How do you make a person feel when s/he comes in your presence?  How have you helped others become successful?

See how we can shift “how manys” (quantity) to “How do/have you’s” (quality)?

Quitters, in the end, it’s not so much about your numbers – it’s about the excellence of your contribution to and responsibility with the numbers.  Your excellence is guided by the Love-plan, your purpose in life, and only God sees your heart and actions and measures you accordingly.

It’s funny, I haven’t been back on the scale since.  But honestly, yeah…I’ll weigh again.  But, Love is at work now in my Accounting Dept…teaching me not to embrace the numbers of life, but the notion of excellence and responsible stewardship over what I’ve been given…big or small.

[AND, how to say “Thank you” and shut up :-)! ]

Do you have trouble with numbers?
How do you keep yourself out of the comparison game?
“Dear Love, I quit getting so hung up on the numbers.  I will pursue quality with the quantity I’ve been blessed with.”

5 responses to “Bad With Numbers – The #1 Way to Quit the Comparison Game

  1. Your blog posts continually amaze me, Kim! This was a great read. I am guilty of being overly concerned with the scale and the numbers of life in general. This post challenges me to take a step back and relax. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Ebony! Thanks so much for the kind words and sharing with your peeps :-)! I’m gonna have to tell that Mom how her perspective has inspired us all; may we all begin to embrace a quality, abundant life moving forward…that sure is my intention, thanks again!

  3. I do love the idea of never stepping on the scale again! Unfortunately, if I don’t have the accountability of that number, I have a tendency to slide into very unhealthy eating habits. However, I think that balance is the key–and not just with weight. In all things, I must strive to find that place where Jesus wants me to be, not where others are or where others want me to be. Then to balance accountability with realistic expectations. Slowly I am learning–maybe someday I will be so on track with following Jesus’ plan for my eating habits that I can throw the darned scale out the window! Very nice post!

    • Hey there, Rebeca! Oh that those scales would crash and burn lol :-)! You bring up a good point that made me think about the title of this post – Bad “with” numbers. It’s not that numbers are inherently bad, it’s what we do WITH them. Numbers are guideposts, warning signs, and boundaries that let us know when we’re inching into harmful territory. But I love your point to let Jesus be the “ruler” that sets our out-of-bounds or out-of-balance points – not others, super-ness! Our Love-plans are all about balance, in every area of life, and I’m striving, too, to not only hear/see the plan, but DO it! Let’s keep goin’, thx 4 sharing!

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