Getting in shape


It’s resolution season and the top resolutions I usually hear are to lose weight and get in shape.


I like to challenge my clients by asking, “What does getting in shape mean to you?”  How do you define being in shape?


That can be a tough question.  To help generate some ideas, I thought I’d list the small ways I’ve gotten in shape in the past year.


Small Ways I’ve Gotten In Shape

  • If you’ve been following my blog recently, you may have read that I began following The Miller Method in March 2016.  To read more about that, click here.  It’s an eating plan based on your metabolism.  So let’s get the weight loss out of the way first.  I’ve lost 12 pounds according to the scale. Though I should note that I don’t think weight loss is a good measure of getting in shape because it doesn’t speak to improvements during your workouts.


  • However, I go back to have my body composition retested in February.  I’m pretty sure it will say I’ve lost more fat than 12 pounds because I’ve gained several pounds of muscle as well.  Hence proving that the scale is not the whole picture!


  • My muscles function way better than they did when I began lifting weights.  I would find my hip flexors trying to grip my butt to the bench.  I literally could not shut them off even though I was aware of them.  Now I can do a heavy lat pull down using my lats and core.  I feel nothing in my hip flexors.  So just notice these little nuances in your workouts as well.


  • My alignment is better.  I used to flare my ribs/poof out my chest when lifting.  Definitely a compensation for weak muscles.  I was aware of it and could correct it immediately.  But now, it’s not a focus in my mind.  I can set up in good alignment (and maintain it) without having to think about it.


  • I’ve gotten so much stronger.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I love pushups.  Starting out, I could do about 10 and be totally fatigued.  Now I can do around 20 before I need a rest.  But the more important point is that I have to switch to chest press with dumbbells for the exercise to be effective.  I need more stimulus than what the pushup can provide.  I’m not saying this to brag!  It’s just where I am in my fitness journey and things I’ve noticed.


What Does Getting In Shape Mean To You

So what does getting in shape mean for you?  I’d say it has something to do with improved work capacity.  Your body has to function better first.  Then you can really explore how hard you can work.  Going up stairs without getting winded, lifting more weight than you ever thought possible, being able to do two pushups on your toes.


To really dive deep and connect with your goal of getting in shape, I encourage you to identify what it is you’re able to do when you’re “in shape.”



I do feel like I’m in shape now.  Mostly because I exercise 2-3 times per week consistently and I’m stronger.  It took me about 8 months of lifting weights twice a week to really notice these changes….and they’re small…..but meaningful.


These are the small things I want you to notice too.  It’s easy to fizzle out when you feel like you aren’t making progress.  But if you look closer, the signs are there.  Keep at it.  Working out is about making incremental improvements.