I bet you've seen them.
Before and after weight loss pictures that is.
Most Weight Loss Coaches, Personal Trainers and Nutritionists use them on their websites to show off their successful clients.
Usually there's an accompanying exclamation of 'This Could Be You in Just 3 Months'.
With their help of course.
It's easy to be allured by these pictures.
Even in this day and age where we know all too well about the wonders of Photoshop, effective lighting and lets' face it, sucking in of the belly.
I've succumbed myself.
Buying a DVD, diet plan, and yes even a weight loss product or two, in the vain hope that one day, maybe one day, I will have my own after photo.
So, if I know the power of a strategically placed before and after shot, why am I writing about my hate for them?
Well, I'm going to tell you ...
It's just a photograph.
Showing anything but a brief moment in time in one photograph is difficult. Impossible.
But the thing is, and I'm letting you into a secret here ... getting some kind of result in a set amount of time, is not that difficult.
Even if you're not quite at your dream body at that point. You can be well on your way.
The difficult bit is keeping the weight off.
Maintaining the lifestyle that achieved the after picture 3 years, 5 years down the line.
That's the challenge. And that's what coaches don't advertise.
In today's world of no waiting, we want everything now.
So, fast, dramatic results are very attractive.
But don't be fooled, or drawn in. When it comes to weight loss it's the long term that matters. Or you'll just be looking at before ad after pictures again in a years' time. Wishing you could once again have that magical moment.
Yes, it's easy to be attracted by evidence of dramatic transformations. Especially if you think you can be there in just three months (see point 1).
But what you don't know is what it has taken to get there.
What if it involved eating nothing but cabbage soup?
What if it involved spending 24 hours a week in the gym?
What if it involved trying to survive on 1000 calories a day?
Maybe all it needed was some creative lighting and a tan.
All of those will help you get astonishing results in just 3 months. But are they healthy? Are they sustainable? Do they encourage a well-rounded, balanced lifestyle that you can sustain for 3 years, 5 years, forever?
If you saw a before and after picture that looked like this, what would you think?
Would you struggle for a while to see what the difference is?
It is subtle. And has nothing to do with how she looks.
She's happy. She's happy just as she is. She's learned to accept herself. Just as she is.
That is, without a shadow of a doubt, the hardest change, and the one that takes the longest. But most coaches never deal with it.
They might give you a meal plan. An exercise plan.
They might give you someone to be accountable to.
They might give you encouragement, motivations. Tips to turn your negative thinking around to thoughts of you can.
But if they don't deal with how you feel about your body, about yourself, then your before and after pictures will, more realistically look like this ...
Because even if you get to your ideal physique, you'll just find something else you're not happy with.
Being overweight isn't the reason you're unhappy. It's a symptom. And, as with any symptom, until you treat the underlying cause, it's going to come back.
Once you've faced the true cause of your unhappiness, and overcome that battle, everything else will be easier.
Exercise is no longer a chore, because your body wants and deserves it.
Healthy eating is no longer about deprivation, it's about giving your body the best.
Your thoughts are no longer about hatred and anger, they're positive and reassuring.
You'll have a happy, healthy lifestyle that will lead to weight loss. And eventually to a change in your appearance. But you haven't done it because you hate yourself. Or you can't stand the person staring back at you in the mirror.
You've done it because, as L'Oréal would say, you're worth it.
My last little rant about using before and after pictures to promote a coach is, they're not the coach's achievement.
Ok yes, they may have helped, guided, and motivated, but you've done the hard work.
You've changed your life around.
You've made the sacrifices to get what you want.
You've put the time and effort in to preparing meals, getting to the gym.
And how you look shouldn't be the only testimony to what you've achieved.
Feel free to be incredibly proud of the six pack you've always wanted and finally got.
Feel free to be incredibly proud of the fact you've realised you're completely happy with the way you look, you don't really want a six pack.
Feel free to be incredibly proud of the fact that your balanced life is allowing you more time to spend with friends and family. Doing things you enjoy.
Be proud of who you are, what you've achieved and what your body can do.
So, next time you see before and after weight loss pictures stop yourself wishing that was you.
Remember, you don't know what it has taken. You don't know how long it's going to last. And you don't know if they are truly happy.
Close the website and consider how you can make changes to your lifestyle that will make you healthier and happier.
The rest will come.
© e-Slimmer 2021
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