Defining “Out of Shape”

In the blog world it seems like everyone is afraid of losing fitness. Not necessarily afraid of taking one rest day (I think/hope), but afraid of “losing” the benefits from training hard. I get that. It can be frustrating when a certain pace used to be easy and now feels challenging. It can be frustrating when a certain weight in the gym used to be a piece of cake and now it’s hard to lift up.

To avoid just preaching….an 8 minute mile is now fast for me, where in high school that was slow. 10 pound dumbbells are my bicep curl weight now, but I could easily use 15 pound dumbbells last summer. Does the fact that I can’t run as fast or lift as heavy now mean I’m out of shape? Should I be upset that I can’t do those things anymore? I think we (myself included) need to start looking at the bigger picture and stop placing such an importance on maintaining a certain level of fitness.

Thanks to Amanda for letting me Think Out Loud!


Out of curiosity I Googled what regular ol’ people (aka not bloggers or fitness professionals) thought it meant to be physically “in shape.” The most common answers, other than “there’s no one definition” and a few aesthetic descriptions, were eye-opening. I read forums and comments on posts to make this list…

-“Being able to walk up the steps without being out of breath”
-“Being able to do what I want or need to do without a problem”
-“Having a healthy relationship with my mind and body”
-“Performing daily tasks like walking to work and carrying groceries easily”
-“Keeping bone density and flexibility”
-“Running when I want, practicing yoga when I want”

90% of what I read said nothing about running a certain distance or speed, lifting a certain weight, doing crazy inversions or the like. The definitions weren’t based on a number. They were holistic and definitely refreshing to read.

The blog world can throw a lot of things out of perspective, but it’s not just all online. For example, just last week someone at the gym who recently ran the Boston Marathon told me she felt “out of shape.” This was one week post-race. Luckily I’m in a place where I can roll my eyes and laugh to myself. I know her standards out of the norm.

defining out of shape

I’m sure I’ve written something before about feeling out of shape, but I’m making a conscious effort to put my standards into perspective. No, I can’t run a super speedy mile but I can run. No, I can’t lift super heavy but I (try to) lift. Just because a workout that used to be easy for someone (me) is now hard does not mean that person is out of shape. Maybe out of practice, depending on the exercise, but not out of shape. I think some people get anxious about taking time off from exercise because they don’t want to “start from scratch.” Over the years I’ve distanced myself from that mindset, which I’m not saying is inherently good or bad. It’s just healthier for me, especially since I’m not an elite or getting paid to perform at a certain level.

So while our definitions of in shape and out of shape are very individual, I hope we can all stop exaggerating the terms to mean something they’re not. A week or more off from exercise is not the end-all-be-all. So what if the first few workouts back are more challenging than normal? There are more important things that we I should be worried about.

What does being in or out of shape mean to YOU?

WIAW: The Fruit Debate

It’s been a hot-minute since I’ve posted a WIAW recap and I know you’re dying to see my oatmeal again. First, I wanted to talk about something near and dear to my heart….fruit.

I love fruit. In fact, I can count on one hand the fruits I don’t love (pineapple, grapefruit, oranges, kiwi). I can probably out-fruit you on any given day. Yes, I just tried to make out-fruit you a thing. But there are many people, bloggers, health nuts who don’t love fruit. I do believe in “everything in moderation,” but I feel like some people intentionally limit their fruit intake because of the sugar and carbohydrate count.

While I completely understand and have experienced the effects of eating too much fruit, I don’t understand how fruit can be as “feared” as processed foods with added sugar. I’m 100% not an RD but a bowl of melon seems like a better snack than a candy bar, right? Especially when you eat a “normal” serving size and incorporate a variety of foods into your overall diet. I think fruit should be treated like every other food, including vegetables. Too much of anything isn’t good.

Fruit is my go-to snack and because eating it works well for my body it’s not something I plan on limiting anytime soon. How do you feel about the sugar in fruit debate? 

Now for the food, including lots of fruit, from yesterday.


Two bowls of oatmeal with Wild Friend’s Honey Sunflower Butter and strawberries

fruit debate


A big bowl of grapes (in my dirty oatmeal bowl)

fruit debate


Big salad bowls are still a thing at home. I literally cleaned out the fridge with this one. Romaine + raw zucchini noodles + full avocado, grilled chicken, tomatoes, spaghetti squash and carrots with balsamic vinaigrette.

fruit debate


Un-pictured apple and kombucha


Courtesy of my rockin’ mom. If we’re being honest, I ate 3 servings of this dinner. Quinoa (cooked in vanilla almond milk), zoodles, cashews, avocado, raw salmon with a honey-lime sauce.

fruit debate

Followed by a big plate of watermelon. Unfortunately it was shared.

fruit debate



Many spoonfuls of almond butter. Perfect end to a great day.

Back to Miami I go…for just a little longer :)

What is your favorite fruit?
What did you have for dinner last night?

Workout Recaps: The Good & Bad

Every Sunday since I started blogging I’ve posted my workouts from the previous week. It was something I noticed a bunch of bloggers did weekly so I thought it was a good segment to add to my rotation. Almost every week since then I’ve had a mental debate before publishing those posts. To post or not to post? Are these beneficial? Self-indulgent? Does anyone care? 

I think these workout recaps can be both good and bad, depending on a few factors. Those factors? They boil down to comparison on both sides of the computer: the reader and the blogger. The reader must take some responsibility to not compare their workouts to those of the blogger. The blogger must not think that every week is a competition, that every week must be better or harder or “good” for that matter.

workout recaps

I think a lot of people consider workout recaps to be a source of motivation. Whether the reader or the blogger, reading or writing a recap can provide workout ideas and inspiration to kick up or continue a routine. Those things can be good. We all need some motivation once in a while, right?

However, I believe these posts become a problem when comparison comes into play. Oh, she ran 30 miles this week and I only ran 5…I’m so lazy. She worked out almost every day and I took four rest days…I didn’t do enough. When that starts to happen, these recaps can lead to dangerous behavior and unhealthy mindsets. That is not something that I (the blogger) can control, but it is something I always keep in mind. I’m still unsure how to handle this situation, or if I even can.

workout recap

Personally, I’ve found writing and reading these recaps to be beneficial for a few reasons.

1) I sometimes need workout inspiration/motivation. Running the same distance/speed or doing the same strength circuit every week can get boring. I often use other people’s recaps (like Jen at Peanut Butter Runner) for strength training ideas. If I’m ever in a running rut, reading about running sometimes spurs my desire to get out there (not that a running rut/break is a bad thing).

2) I use my OWN recaps to gain some perspective. Look, not every week is going to be “good.” But, guess what? Life goes on. Some weeks I feel great and others, like last week, I take more rest/easy days than normal. That balance (I tried not to use that word but it worked) keeps me healthy and happy. Plus, I try to note how I felt during the week to put everything in context for my reflection, if that makes sense.

3) It helps keep track of my mileage and what worked/didn’t work in training. A selfish reason for posting recaps. Also, it can be helpful to read about some tough workouts I had weeks/months ago as proof that I CAN do hard things.

workout recap

My workout recaps from August – October (marathon training) are much different than they have been in 2015. Some people could view those months as “too much” or “too little” and the same goes for my more recent posts. I personally think variety is healthy, mentally and physically.

Also, a final (random) note: Let’s be honest. Not every workout is good. Even if you “felt the burn” or “pushed through” (my favorite description), some runs/workouts plain ol’ suck. Oh, and rest CAN feel good. Some people say that they were itching to workout on a scheduled rest day, which is fine, but so is the opposite feeling. #endrant

As a reader and a blogger, I see both sides of the issue. I will continue posting my recaps for now but I will always be cautious of what I’m portraying.

I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please share them in the comments!