What does it mean to be “in shape”?

One of my broad resolutions for this year was to get in shape. I mentioned before that after having Christian, I gained quite a bit of weight. Part of that may also be due to taking Zoloft daily – but I’m guessing it’s mostly due to grief-eating and my body changing as I get older. (I turn 30 this year! Hooray!) This is the first time in my life I’ve had to actually consider the benefits or ill effects of what I eat. I’m not a fan. I loved my old metabolism.

At any rate, I had to buy new pants. I donated too-small clothes that I wasn’t very attached to and boxed up the ones I love, as motivation to be smaller.

Many times I was getting ready to go out, even just to the grocery store, and ended up in tears because I hated my shape. It isn’t the shape I used to be. It isn’t what “attractive” people look like. I felt miserable because I needed to be smaller, and slimmer, and to weigh less.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. If I eat well and am active, do I really need to be smaller? Am I allowed to just be the size and shape I am? Aren’t there better things I can do with my life than struggle with body image issues? I’ve had 3 children. I’m almost 30. Of course I don’t look like a teenager. Of course I don’t look like a young twentysomething with no kids and no major stress. And of course I don’t look like a model – from what I’ve seen of retouching, even models don’t look like models.

That being said, I still want to change something. I don’t think the number on the scale is nearly as important as how I feel about myself. So my resolution isn’t necessarily “Lose 10 pounds” or “Fit into a pair of pre-Christian jeans” or “Do a workout every morning before the kids get up.” That last one is the most unlikely of the three!

Here’s the resolution I’ve made, at least for now:
Eat dessert only once a week (Monday night), with no sweets any other time; and take Ender on a 30-minute walk at least twice a week.

Now, I realize this won’t significantly change anything about my body. But it’s where I can start to form healthier habits without feeling like I’m being starved – or that I need to be starved.

I guess I don’t have a really clear definition of “in shape.” That’s more or less intentional. Instead of saying I want to get in shape, maybe I should just be trying to be comfortable with my shape while making healthy choices. What do you think?