I'm totally guilty of this, and for the past few weeks have been trying to put a name to it, but it just didn't click until I came across THIS article in Again, Faster. The quote that really hit home was "you don't stare at a chicken and expect an omelette, do you?" It was only when I realized how ludicrous that idea was that I recognized I had been doing that with many fitness/weight loss success stories. I was always so focused on the success, or end result..."wow, they look AMAZING." Versus trying to fathom what the person must have gone through/given up/worked at to get there, or the process. Process is boring. Its also necessary.
The reality is, some of us are going to work harder than others. Some people want things so bad, they put in ridiculous hours and stop at nothing to get what they want. When they do finally get it, we see what they have and want it without all the work. We've all (hopefully) learned at an early age that you don't get something for nothing. Why should it be any different when it comes to ones health/fitness/athleltic capabilities?
I've also experienced being on the "success" side of this equation. I've had many people comment to me at my work about how "dedicated" I am because I go to the gym 4 days a week during lunch. They see me pass up the bread and sweets at our catered lunches and say things like "you are so good, I could never do that." I always smile and brush it off, but in my head, I'm screaming "YOU CAN! YOU CAN DO IT, YOU JUST DON'T WANT TO!"
The bottom line is we will never know what motivates other people, nor will we know what sort of things they are willing to sacrifice to have the things (or body) that we want. There is no point pining over someone else's success or percieved success if you are never going to want what they have bad enough to put in the work that the universe dictates it will take for you to achieve the same.
In many ways this realization is comforting. I have sensed for quite sometime that what I'm doing is a process. Now, I don't need to get frustrated that I can't do a pull-up yet, or that I can't rock a pair of size 4 jeans (which is really a size 6-8 with vanity sizing these days) because I'm putting in the time. I'm not sprinting and dying 10 feet from the finish, I'm moving along at a slow clip and will pass all the sprinters soon enough.