Are You In Shape?

By Megan Gucwa

Jeremy Brown PostThis past week Jeremy Brown, a member of BSP NOVA, posted a question to Facebook looking for opinions as to what defined “in shape,” spurring a stimulating social media conversation. Almost everyone has a picture in their mind of what “in shape” looks like (to them), often depicted by athletes like Simone Biles or Michael Phelps. Or maybe you believe the men and women that grace popular magazines like Men’s Fitness, GQ, Cosmopolitan, or Women’s Health are the definition of “in shape.” So what do professional athletes, fitness models, your neighbor, and you have in common? Everyone has something they want to accomplish.
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An Ironman wants to complete a grueling endurance race in the shortest amount of time possible. A Strongman wants to be able to lift Atlas Stones weighing a couple hundred pounds. A grandmother may want to get on and off the floor without pain to play with her grandchildren. Others may want to take an exotic vacation, like Machu Picchu, and be ready to hike. All of these people value different things; therefore, their goals are vastly different. Whether they are in shape or not is based on their individual experience and if they are accomplishing their goal they set out to do.
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magazinesThere’s a danger when we let society judge whether we are in shape or not. More often than not, our perceptions are wrong. I’ve personally had many different experiences in my own fitness journey. I received the most praise for my body when I was anorexic in high school and walking around between 115-120 pounds at 5’11”. Many perceived me as “in shape” and praised me on how good I looked. Little did people know the mental instability I had, and the health issues I was beginning to have because I was only eating 700 calories a day.
Coach Megs pulling 275
Coach Megs pulling 275
Nowadays I walk around at 180-190 pounds and I’m (sometimes) called fat. I no longer value society’s opinion of me. Rather, I value my abilities to do the things I love to do. Can I pick up my 100-pound dog and put him in a vehicle when he gets old? You bet I can! Can I hold all three of my nieces when they are climbing on me and be an example for them? Yep! Can I play a pickup soccer game? Yes! I may not be what you see on a magazine cover or in the commercials for the latest fitness fad but I’m in shape according to my goals.
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Kristin!
Kristin!

One of our own clients, Kristin Talastas, shared her viewpoint with us of what “in shape” has been in her own experience. She first didn’t want to come train at BSP NOVA because she thought everyone was going to be “in shape,” and she would be out of place. But luckily her husband, Rob, convinced her to stop by one evening.

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“Rob finally dragged me in to the old gym to meet Chris and a few coaches and just observe….I thought – wow, there are people here of ALL sizes! Not every single soul here is “in-shape” – I could fit in here! And NOW, four years later, I think that I was completely WRONG. Every single soul at BSP that night WAS probably “in shape,” for whatever their own personal definition of that was.”
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As Kristin discovered, we do things differently at Beyond Strength Performance NOVA. We put the individual first. We know that not everyone is the same, and we all want to do different things. These differences are what makes our community amazing. We support each other in our transformations into the best versions of ourselves. Fitness journeys are much like life- sometimes you are on a steady climb upwards, but sometimes you’re on a tiny raft in rough water with a spatula as an oar. We want to help you on your journey to that best version of yourself, with quality programming, to get you there safely and effectively.
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Chris Merritt
Strength Coach/ B.S. Kinesiology, Pennsylvania State University/ Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialist/ FMS/ Strong First Level 1 Certified Kettlebell Instructor/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance, LLC, Beyond Strength Performance NOVA, LLC, and Beyond Strength Performance Tactical, LLC
Chris Merritt

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