August 23, 2021

With a background in competitive athletics, the idea of being “out of shape” was one that used to make me cringe with anxiety. On more than one occasion, the fear of going more than a couple of days without working out had me heading to the gym late at night. It felt like my body was created for the mere purpose of competing.

When I started exploring the world of body acceptance, this idea of being “in shape” no longer fit my new mindset. I had to question what that phrase really meant to me. Sure, at one point I had been in peak athletic shape, but at that time I was in no shape to support my mental health, or express my creativity, or learn and grow in new ways. I spent so much energy trying to obtain a certain body, that I neglected so many other aspects of my life.

Our bodies are constantly supporting us. Whether that means supporting our need for rest, helping us power through hours of work, grow a baby, or go for a run. Depending on the season of our life, our body adapts and supports us for new tasks. Physical goals are not the only goals. Perhaps your body is supporting you through your PhD program or late night feeding sessions with a new baby.

My point is, we are always in shape for something. Sometimes we are in shape to perform athletically, and other times we are in shape to give the world’s best hugs.

Love on your body regardless of what you are in shape for during this season of your life. She’s always here supporting you.


This blog is re-published with permission from the author, Amy Gartenberg, LPC-MHSP. It was originally published on