I’m sure you have noticed that a big part of fitness journeys online revolve around the classic before and after photos. You see them time and time again in your newsfeeds. A less than confident before picture right next to a confident and beaming after picture. Now don’t get me wrong. I applaud the efforts of anyone who is on a journey to better themselves. But I’ve come to realize that the before and after pictures are no longer for me and here is why.
I’ve gone round and round the cycle of before and after photos. Take the before picture after I have just spent a month fallen off the wagon before I start a new workout program. Take the after photo after I have finished the workout program and cleaned up my act. Round and round the circle we go.
Here’s the deal. Yes, workout programs work if you do them. And yes, you will lose weight and tone up if you follow the meal plan that goes along with the program. But the fact is, most before and after photos are gimmicks. Go ahead, throw tomatoes at me and yell at me if you must, but it’s true.
I’m not saying the before and after photos aren’t real. A lot of them are. I’ve done before and after photos and I can tell you my photos are real. The reason I say most before and after photos are gimmicks is because they are trying to get you to buy something. It might be a workout program, a shake, a wrap or some pills. The weight loss industry is a huge money maker.
And in all fairness I will disclose that I have been and still am a Beachbody coach. That is part of why I know this industry so well and the before and after tactics. If you want to see how programs really work and how weight loss/gain really works don’t focus so much on the before and after. Focus on the journey that leads to the after photo. The journey is where the work is.
And the journey doesn’t end with that after photo. The journey has to continue. If you start eating junk food again and stop working out you will get right back to that before photo. Round and round we go.
That is exactly why I think we need to stop focusing on before and after photos and keep the focus on the long term journey. And that is why I have stopped posting before and after photos. My health is a journey that can not be summed up in 2 little pictures.
Are you on a health and fitness journey? How do you feel about before and after photos?
I was and still am considering a post with a before and after pregnancy. haha! I wanted to inspire a lot of women who went through pregnancy that they can love and reclaim their body once again. Only after I reclaim mine. haha! but yes, I do agree that a lot of before and after have gimmicks of their own. Being healthy is a life long journey. 🙂
This is such a good point! It’s especially relevant given all the camera tricks, special angles, and other tomfoolery that goes along with before and after pictures. You can’t possibly tell from one snapshot.
I total agree. I also did take photo before and after my diet and was happy. Then suddenly I feel tired taking photos. What I do now is taking note of before and after of my laboratory results for sugar level. =)
Very on the spot, to the point post, I must say. However. However, you are so fit and I am fat which makes me sad…..
Some of the before and after photos I’ve seen are obviously fake. No one can lose that much weight and get so totally toned after a few weeks on a diet/exercise program. I have a niece who works for an advertising agency and she can attest to the truth that those photos are “made” to break into a highly competitive market.
I’m also doubtful about the before and after photos especially when they are selling a certain product. It’s great to read a fresh idea about it.
True. I also love fitness. But most before and after photos are obviously fake. They are just trying to sell you something. I like the way you said it, to just focus on the process. This is very inspiring. Thanks!
Spot on. I have come across many before and after fake photos. The before photos usually has a very dull look but the after are usually edited ones. It’s all about making money and popularity.
This is a great perspective. I don’t post photos of myself online period. I am not in any fitness program now but I’ve been very fit in the past.
I don’t like taking before and after photos. I want to live a healthy lifestyle and not just look good for the after photo. Great read by the way. Thanks for sharing!