The Comparison Trap Revisited

Another night, another internet cafe session in the dark.

Our wifi isn’t installed in the dorms yet (praying that it gets up tomorrow!), so a few of us are outside using our laptops in the nippy air. It may seem like I’m complaining, but I kinda love it. For an hour. Then I can’t move my fingers anymore.

Waking up yesterday was hardddd. I stayed in bed for a while to answer blog comments and search for parks in Dublin where I could work out (and found this awesome link of “The 16 Best Places in Dublin to Do Your Outdoor HIIT Workouts“!). I probably won’t be getting a gym membership here, not because it’s too expensive, but because it will be expensive to pay for transit to get to the gym.

After finally rolling out of bed, a quick warmup and 100 burpees for time was all I had time for.


I have to write down how many burpees I do per set so I don’t lose count lol

Oatmeal cookie dough cereal for breakfast!


This weather has me smitten with Ireland so far, lemme tell ya.


After a shower and couple hours of orientation, we broke for lunch. I made an egg sandwich with white cheddar, spinach, and mustard. The Irish mustard I found is STRONG stuff. I licked a little off the knife at first, and it stung my nose like wasabi.


I love it though.

We had some time to kill between orientation sessions, so I took advantage of the nice day (before it started pouring later) to nap on the lush green grass on campus.

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thanks for the pic, Megan haha

Dinner last night was a simple chicken, tomato, spinach salad with hummus on top. I feel like I’ve been eating less here in Ireland, solely because I have to budget and cook for myself all the time now. Don’t get me wrong— I eat what I need, and I definitely don’t go hungry. However, now that I’m sharing a kitchen with so many people, I’m also observing how little my peers [seem to] eat.

Part of me thinks, “HOW the heck are you not starving!?” And then I get a little self-conscious over how much I eat. Example: my hefty sandwich packed with fats and protein (plus a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie) vs. the other girl’s bowl of yogurt with fruit. Yet I will certainly be more hungry than the other girls by the time dinner rolls around. “What’s wrong with me??”

But then I reel it in again.

a) I don’t know how much other girls actually eat.

b) I know how much I need.

I’ve been doing this eating/recovering/balancing thing for a little while now, and it seems to be working pretty well. So I’ll leave it at that and not let the comparison trap affect how much I eat.

Speaking of balance, a few of us walked a couple miles into Dublin city centre for gelato at Gino’s! It was raining in the evening, but that didn’t stop these ice cream lovers.

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white chocolate pistachio YUM

A lovely evening jaunt if you ask me.

Today we are off to Glendalough for a class field trip (← “Hold on to the rope, kids!”). I’m excited for a little hiking action!

THANK YOU SO DEARLY to all of you for making great suggestions for places to go around here and beyond. I am stoked to adventure everywhere and share the experiences here!

So tell me:

Has the comparison trap snuck up on you recently for anything?

What is your favorite workout outside of the gym?

What did you eat for lunch yesterday?


12 thoughts on “The Comparison Trap Revisited

  1. Hi Alison!
    This is my first time commenting on one of your blogs although I read every single one! I love your energy and your style of writing! I also just came to study abroad in Dublin from Canada (for a year though!) and the funny thing is I went to Gino’s for gelato last night as well! It was incredible (had the belgian chocolate in a waffle cone…although i taste tested the chocolate brownie, rocher, and oreo too haha)! What school are you studying in while in Dublin? Are you homesick at all?

    • Aw thank you so much, Zara! I really appreciate your readership ♥︎
      And WOW those flavors sound amazing. I’m studying health science in Dublin this semester, including ethics, policy and practice, and also sociology of Ireland! Plus we have an internship during the second half of the semester. I’m not too homesick yet, but I do miss my family and friends!

  2. Hope you are having a great time in Ireland so far! It sounds like it. I find I often go through that comparison trap at work – when others are in the kitchen making their lunches – or spending the weekend away with friends. Though often many of my friends are just as active as I am (training for marathons, running crazy endurance races) so they are just as hungry! Haha. I just remind myself like you do above you don’t know how much someone is eating when you don’t see them and you don’t always know their activity level.

  3. I think recognizing that you don’t know what that other person is eating behind closed doors or how much they have already eaten is so important. And focusing on yourself and what you need! That’s what helps me when I find myself falling into the comparison trap. Because boy, it is SO easy to fall into!

  4. Ah, Ireland is absolutely beautiful! Gotta love that cookie dough cereal! Anyways, I’ve definitely fallen victim to the comparison game in almost every aspect of my life: “Why am I not doing as well in school extracurriculars as my peers?” “Why am I not as shredded as that model on Instagram?” “Why doesn’t my food look as pretty as that blogger’s?” But then I realize that I am ME, they are THEM, and I don’t know everyone’s whole story. Sometimes reality is so distorted from the surface, let alone social media! I have to remember to be my authentic self and learn to challenge myself in different ways!

  5. It’s ABSOLUTELY gorgeous; I’m missing all the stone streets and old buildings now. 🙂

    ANd I so so know what the comparison trap feels like; but it’s okay Alison! You are who you are because God made you that way. He gave you different hunger signals from other people, and I know that you know that. It’s awesome to see you analyze and come out of these thoughts with so much truth.

    AND IRISH DAIRY products? Oh wow, I really like them a lot. I think the difference is that they are a bit fresher.

  6. I have made my peace with my appetite and comparisons. I went through a long phase post recovery where I was so aware of how much I was eating compared to people I live with. However, like you say we don’t *actually* know what they’re eating back in their rooms or out at work.

    PS. You can buy ‘American’ mustard in supermarkets I think. I assume it actually is more like American stuff but who knows! 😉

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