What does the term "In Shape" Mean?

Has no one really ever defined it?



2/28/20222 min read

This is such a weird one. I'd say it's best left up to the speaker.

Being in shape could mean one or all of a few different things.

First, we could look at this objectively and say that at a "normal" BMI, this is what your body is supposed to look like. This is how you were genetically created and how your body's shape is supposed to be.

Uh-oh. I mentioned the evil acronym, BMI.

BMI is your Body Mass Index. It's the number, based on your height, gender and weight that tells you whether you're normal, underweight, overweight or obese.

There is so much controversy surrounding the use of a BMI number between doctors and their patients, and many people call the use of this number fat-shaming.

I get it. It might look like label bias. But what a BMI actually indicates is a level of body fat that is connected to the increased risk of developing chronic illnesses.

Your doctor does not want you to have chronic illnesses. It's good for their psyche to see you and tell you that you are in perfect health. They want to see your BMI in the normal range.

I personally don't have a problem with doctor's using BMI measurements; I have had problems with how they have delivered that information and their support or lack thereof afterward.

Anyhow, that's one definition of being "in shape."

Another is related to fitness. How is your stamina? Can you jog a mile? Can you do a few proper pushups? Can you get through your sets and reps of experience-appropriate strength training exercises? Does an hour long exercise class make you feel dead for the rest of the day or energized?

Depending on how you answered some of these questions, you could use that to decide whether or not you've gotten or stayed "in shape."

Then there's the third definition. Your opinion. Your comfort zone.

Is your body exactly where you want it right now? Are you honestly content with how you look in the mirror and not wishing for something different that you're able to change, like body weight? Are you at peace with your weight gain/loss/maintenance and do not desire to tweak anything? Are you confident that during your next physical your doctor won't disagree?

Then I'd like to believe that you're in shape also.

It isn't always about the numbers. It's about you being happy with you.

And if you're not there yet, don't lose sight of it. There's no reason to settle for less. There's also no reason to worry about it too, especially if you're taking consistent action.

If you read this post all the way to the bottom, you're already doing yourself a favor.

Now go get 'em!

And if you're not sure how, email me! Because seeking support when you want to know how best to proceed is also how to do right by yourself.

pafenutritionandfitness@gmail.com or owner@pafenutritionandfitness.com