I was sitting at the kitchen table after just finishing a 17 oz Ribeye, a huge pile of potatoes, green beans and corn on the cob. My mom, looks at me and goes “Ryan you are really in shape.” I kind of laughed and just thanked her. I still had about 1000 calories of cake and ice cream to eat for my birthday, I didn’t feel too “in shape.” I knew what she meant though, I am “skinny,” “naturally lean,” “I don’t have a beer gut.” This is “in shape” to her, which is totally cool!

This got me thinking, everyone has a different concept of what is “in shape.” My concept of “in shape” is much different than what my mom’s concept is and that is truly OK. Our concepts of what is “in shape” are developed by our age, gender, exercise history, exercise interests, who we interact with (what they think “in shape” is), what we read in magazines, what we see on TV etc. YOU need to figure out what your “in shape” is and run (not necessarily run if you don’t want to) with it! Work hard at getting to your “in shape,” and be happy with the results

I am not razzing on my Mom by any means, but I want to use her as an example in this post. Being a woman in her 60s being “in shape” means not having a pooch, getting rid of flab under the arms, being able to move pain free, having healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Those are all great!! These are things I hear from my clients on a daily basis. I have 7 clients over the age of 60 who have these same goals and they are all in better “shape” than in their 50s.

Being a 25 year old guy, my goals and ideas of being “in shape” are much different. I used to be in very good running shape…not so much anymore. Now, at least in my own opinion, I am in much better aesthetic shape. When I got out of college and stopped running track I had a view in my mind of how I wanted to look. It was always hard for me to build muscle, but I wanted to put on some weight and have more muscle. Having more upper body muscle and abs is my current idea of being “in shape.” Vain? Maybe. Confident? Definitely. It is not a crime to want to look good…I have said that before To me, “being skinny” doesn’t mean I am in “good shape.” But, I am also obviously aware of my overall health, like keeping my blood pressure and cholesterol levels in healthy ranges, keeping stress to a minimum, getting enough sleep etc.

This doesn’t mean this will be my idea of “in shape” the rest of my life. I mean I am taking advantage of my 25 year old metabolism right now to look as good as possible. In 10 years I might be back to running and my “in shape” will be how fast I can run a 5k.

Moral  (s) of the story, don’t judge others for what their “in shape” is, but also be realistic about what YOUR “in shape” should be. If you are 65 and wanting to look how you did when were 25, that miiiiightt  not be realistic. That doesn’t mean you can’t be “in shape” though! YOUR “in shape” is relative to YOU and only YOU. Remember, the chick on the magazine cover in a bikini looks like that for her one day photo shoot, not year round, and she most likely doesn’t even look like that in real life since the picture is probably photo shopped.

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