The “Best Shape of My Life” Journey: Part 1

As many of you might recall, one of my goals for this year was to be in the best shape of my life by June. The goal wasn’t to get to that point and then stop. It wasn’t about getting my summer body ready, or working hard for six months so I could slack off for the next six. It was about challenging myself — throwing something abstract like “the best shape of my life” on the horizon that I could work toward, rather than “lose X pounds” or “be able to do X pushups”.

Being in the best shape of our lives is great because we will never truly accomplish this — we can always work harder and be stronger and notice little improvements in so many areas of health and fitness. It is such a wide spectrum of growth, and I’m really glad I set this goal for myself because in so many ways I am in the best shape of my life so far.

I stopped feeling self-conscious at the gym and started looking in the mirrors again.

The gym is back to being my happy place.

I can do real push ups. Yes, real manly push ups.

My core is the strongest it has ever been. I am doing core exercises I couldn’t do a few months ago.

I am happier.

I am lifting more weight than I ever have before and hitting new PRs every week.

I am more ambitious and I challenge myself every workout.

I am empowered because I am doing this for me, not for swim practice or soccer practice or hockey practice or for my husband — for me.

I’m no longer in swimming shape — but I’m not a swimmer anymore. I’m probably rusty on my hockey skills — but I’m not playing hockey right now. There are so many things that I’m not “the best” at, and it would be easy to tell myself “well, you’re clearly not in the best shape of your life because you can’t do the high jump”.

But I will never ever ever want to do the high jump, so the point is moot.

I am in my best shape of my life, and I will continue to set goals for myself. I will continue to improve and get stronger and do the workouts that I enjoy doing. And I won’t be comparing myself to anyone else because there’s no way they are doing the exact same workouts I am with the exact same body I have with the exact same goals in mind.

I am going to share some progress photos with all of you, and I love them. I am excited about them. They make me so happy. And yes, I did lose weight over the course of the last six months — and yes, that was a goal I had — but not the goal. There are so many other differences I see in these photos besides weight.

Yes, one is technically a before photo and one is technically an after photo, but the after photo will soon be the before photo for the next goal I set. And eventually (not anytime soon people, okay), eventually that photo will be the beginning of a set of photos documenting my pregnancy. Because how beautiful will that be, to see my progress as I literally create a human being.

Again, not pregnant. Not going to be pregnant until at least the end of 2021, so everyone can just chill out.

The point is that these photos are so much more than “I lost weight” photos. There’s so much more to them than that, and I hope you take the time to notice. And the thing I notice most is that the me on the left is just as happy and smiley as the me on the right, because she loved herself and loved her life and wasn’t putting anything on hold until she “got to her goal weight”.

But the me on the left is just as happy because she fell back in love with fitness. She fell back in love with the gym. She had set some goals aside for awhile to do other things, and she made those goals a priority again and she could not be happier with the results so far:

In summary, we’ve got the same pair of shorts, potentially the same pair of socks, not the same bra, and not the same room — but I did try and recreate all of these poses and, as you can see, I am literally the most awkward progress photo taker in the history of the world! Someone please give me some lessons, this is bad! But on that same note, these are just regular photos, there’s no like weird angle thing going on where I’m sticking my butt out to give myself a thigh gap or something. It’s just me standing there, doing these awkward things with my arms and always doing something weird with my toes.

I haven’t made my next set of fitness goals, but stay tuned because — as my husband put it, I am getting “ripped AF”.

And a special shoutout to my brother, Alex, who has been making my workouts for the last couple of months — you helped me get this far, bro, and I can’t wait to see where we’re at in a couple more months!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the gym.

Wait, off to make breakfast.

Then the gym.

Published by Sami Hertel

Oregon native, current Utah resident, blogging about my adventures on lifeafteroregon.com!

One thought on “The “Best Shape of My Life” Journey: Part 1

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