Why Progress Pictures are Important for Getting Results

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Progress pictures aren't just for #TransformationTuesday or to have an excuse to "show off" your bangin' new bod (but please do!!). Taking "before" pictures, and reviewing them as you are starting and going through a new workout of diet regimen is motivation! As the saying goes, "It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends and 12 weeks for the rest of the world. DON'T QUIT!". Give yourself those 12 weeks, be consistent, challenge yourself and the results WILL come!

One of the most common reasons people start but do not finish a workout program is because they aren't seeing results soon enough. What a lot of people do not understand, is that in order to get results that stick, it takes time. Those skinny teas, wraps and crash diets might make you lose 10 pounds in a month, but unless you are willing to live off of tea, squeeze your internal organs or never eat carbs again, those 10 pounds are going to come back pretty quick! 
It's so easy to get discouraged after a couple weeks of exercising, dieting and not seeing results. But even if you don't see it in the mirror or on the scale, your body IS changing! Whether thats a decrease in BF%, an increase in muscle or cardiovascular endurance, increased energy, increased metabolic rate, decreased cholesterol, your body is changing. And as long as you are being consistent, and true to yourself, you will see longer lasting results in just 12 weeks. 
Adapt to a lifestyle that you know is realistic for you. A routine that you know you can keep up with for the long haul--not a crash diet that sends you right back to your old ways after a few short weeks.

Right: May 5th, 2016. Probably 140-142lbs. Could squat 185lbs but could hardly run 2 miles. Not flexing.
Left: January 5th, 2017. 130-132lbs. Could run 13 miles but could hardly squat 95lbs. Not flexing.
New goal: BALANCE between the two :)
Ok, ok back to progress pictures. I have gotten into the habit over the last 3 or so years to take pictures about once a week in order to track progress. When I first started out exercising "regularly" about 4 years ago, I never took pictures because I hated what I looked like (can you say, "self-esteem issues"? ugh). And when I did take pictures I deleted them. Don't delete them! In my transformation photo above, I had no idea I ever looked like the image on the left, and I am so surprised that I kept the picture on my phone for so long. But I am so happy I did! Throughout the 8 months between these photos, I moved, trained for my first half-marathon, started a new job, and incorporated a lot more cardio to my routine. Throughout half-marathon training I didn't see my body changing at all. Sure, I knew my cardiovascular strength and endurance was increasing since I was running longer distances than ever before, but in the mirror, I saw no changes. Putting these two images side-by-side was so motivating to me! I finally saw what all of the training had done to my body and I felt proud as hell! AND, it made me realize a new goal: to increase strength while keeping endurance. Never settle! But even though I was proud of my progress after putting these two images side-by-side 2 months ago, I was embarrassed of my "before" and did not want to share with the public. Then I realized the importance of progress pictures and new I had to share, just so that I could help ONE person out there. So here I am, sharing this photo in hopes of inspiring someone..

Tips for taking progress pictures:
1. Don't flex. 
2. Choose the same angle/pose.
3. Take them at the same time of day or pre/post-workout.
4. Take them in the same location (I know, my example is different but I moved!).
5. No filters!

Moral of the story: don't quit. Give it 12 weeks. Create a new lifestyle and find the motivation from within. Take your progress pictures, keep them to yourself or show 'em off! Use them as motivation for yourself or others. Imagine how good it will feel to have two pictures, side-by-side, one when you started and one after 12 weeks of hard work. 

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?

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