Leading up to our family Florida trip, I was hyperventilating over the fat/weight/bloat I wanted to lose before donning a two-piece swimsuit. A month before, I would faithfully count my macros, weigh myself, workout intensely and then pout when I wasn't where I wanted to be. So, I would cut more, weigh more, workout more, pout more.The truth is, I sought after the results I had a year ago when I gained 5 pounds of muscle after working a challenging 8-month program. I was trim and looked fit and felt strong. But it was 8 months of hard hard work I expected to get done in 4 weeks.And so it is with athletes. We come off an injury or a pregnancy and expect to be in the same shape as before we left. If not right away, at least pretty close after."I used to have a sub-4 Fran time. I used to deadlift 300 pounds. I used to have a 6-pack," we say. And the apples-to-oranges comparison of former and current selves becomes the true thief of joy.We must remember to be fair -- and realistic. If we know not to compare ourselves to the CrossFit Games elite or even the fastest, strongest athletes in our own gym, we must also be gentle when comparing ourselves to ourselves.We can't look back on ourselves a year or even a month ago to gauge results. We must ask ourselves, "am I better than yesterday?"If the answer is yes, we know we're moving in the right direction.