Isn't that the same thing you ask?? To which I'll answer... NO!
Last summer I trained to get fit... what does that mean? To me it meant training my body to endure prolonged physical activity at a high level... ie to not finish the race in last place.
This summer I trained to get into shape... like actual physical shape, I wanted to change the physical shape of my body. Once I was in "shape" though I couldn't do all the things that I was able to do the previous year, such as swim, bike and run. I wasn't able to do as many chins ups, I wasn't able to deadlift the weight I could typically lift and I wasn't able to run up the stairs in my typical spry fashion. I was definitely not fit.
My body was just for show, not for function.
I wanted to take some time to address this topic as many women get very down on themselves for not being what they think is thin, or having abdominal definition or for not being a certain size.... like that actually matters... it doesn't by the way;)
I wanted to address this topic to remind people to be grateful for they have and what they can do.
While training for triathlons I had to remind myself that it wasn't about how I looked in the bathing suit that mattered but that I had the cardiovascular endurance to swim and not drown that was important.
I took pride in knowing that I was able to swim, bike and run, without stopping, as it wasn't something I was able to do just 3 months prior.
After spending all summer this year dieting for fitness competitions I have to say that for me, the later was more fun. Sure I had this great "shaped" body but I wasn't able to do much with it. Now this is my experience, and my take based on my own personal values.
I found more power and self satisfaction in being able to be physically strong and train my body to perform activities that it once couldn't.
So for those who are not in the "shape" that they want I encourage you to focus on the things you can do instead, be grateful for the things you have instead of upset about what you have not.