Is anyone else going to puke if they see one more weight loss before and after pic?
We all know by now that these before and after pics do not properly show what it takes to achieve this kind of change nor does it show where these people end up (2/3 of people who diet gain back MORE weight than they lost...)
But here's the conundrum; weight loss before and after are so damn EASY to sell! Show someone one image and BOOM they're in. Whatever it was that achieved this big change must be amazing right? It has to work, we can see the proof right in front of our eyes!
These images are so seductive. Usually in the before, women are sullen and sad, just hoping for something to change because they're so miserable. In the after this same person is fit, looks more like the girl in the magazine AND has a big ol' smile on her face, I mean what more could a gal ask for?
This is why it's so hard. This is why it is hard to sell the idea that you could go through a process where your body looks the same at the "end" but your entire mindset, mood and life are changed for the rest of your life. Who would want this when it looks like you can achieve the same thing with a simple 21 day program?
This is what I want to make clear. Before and afters only show a snippet in time. You don't see the hours and hours of intensive exercise, the measured amounts of brocolli and chicken breast for days on end, the waking up just to see if the numbers on the scale have budged at all, the crying after a binge, the low self esteem and the point 6 months later when all the weight has returned (usually).
We need to start showing the entire picture! I know we live in a world of Instagram feeds and highlight reels but honestly, it's enough already.
It was all of these thoughts and emotions that made me want to create a visual for the change that occurs on the inside when you go through a journey of body positivity, self love, and ditching the diet. We are visual creatures, we love film, pictures and PROOF, so I decided to create some.
This is MY before and after:
The Before depicts my dieting years; the entire decade that I spent in the dieting cycle, hating my body, judging every imperfection with a magnifying glass and feeling ashamed of who I was. It really felt like I was looking through a plastic surgeon's eyes. I saw every tiny thing that I would change if I could. I looked at the girls in the magazine (I even was one once, check out my story HERE if you're interested), and only saw what I wasn't.
This way of living looked "healthy" and "determined" on the outside, I mean come on, I was always watching what I ate and spent hours at the gym, that's health right? But on the inside it was hell. I really only ever saw myself as something to be looked at, all I had to offer was my beauty (or what felt like a lack there of). Luckily one day when I was heading to my workout I woke up to the realization that exercising was the last thing I wanted to be doing just then but I HAD to go.
I had set so many rules for myself that it felt like I was a kid again. I couldn't eat this, couldn't eat that, couldn't eat at restaurants, had to go to the gym every day, had to skip out on social events to meal prep. But, bloody hell, wait a minute... no I didn't! I didn't have to do any of this, it was all rules in my head that I had deemed the right thing to do. Does the "right thing" make you miserable? I personally don't think it does.
I discovered the right thing for me and it was a life of self love, one of pure joy and one that is healthy AND fun at the same time.
The "after" is me now. I live in a world with no rules (and therefore there are no rules to break; bye bye bingeing). I eat what I want, I eat when I'm hungry and I stop when I'm full. I don't have cravings because I honor them, I don't cry over my body or "imperfections" because this dang body is keeping me ALIVE! I feel vibrant and healthy, I feel beautiful and perfect just the way I am. Ready to feel this way too?
Which life would you rather? One of torture and the future hope that MAYBE one day you'll achieve that dream body, that body that will make you good enough, pretty enough, sexy enough, worthy enough? The thing is even if you attain this body, you'll still feel the same way you did before. If you don't love your body now, you still won't 20, 30, 50 lbs from now.