As a personal trainer whose business relies heavily on getting people great results, it is probably counterproductive for me to negotiate the validity of before and after photos.
But I care more about people's overall well-being, so I am going to go for it.
So firstly, I am not against 'before and after' photos. I think they are a fantastic measure of achievement and are a great method of tracking how far you have come and how much hard work and dedication you have put in in-between!
However, I prefer my clients to measure their physical achievements through #nonscalevictories such as –
Their clothes fit better
They have more energy
They are sleeping better
They are in a better mood overall
They feel more attractive and confident in themselves and their own bodies
They feel strong #strongnotskinny
Their skin looks better
Their ability to cope with stress improves
Their motivation for things outside of training becomes higher
They become more active in their overall lives
I genuinely recommend throwing the weighing scales out the window. Unless you are someone whose job relies on you weighing a certain amount, i.e. a jockey, a boxer, what use is this to you?
You are allowing a piece of plastic to dictate your happiness and ultimately, determine your level of motivation to continue an exercise regime. With regards to women, in particular, your weight can fluctuate so much on a given DAY due to a number of factors –
Whether you went to the bathroom
What food you ate the day before
The list is endless….
So if you are someone who jumps on the scales every morning and you allow that piece of plastic the power to make or break your day, I recommend you throw it out the window (or into the recycling, preferably)
What I am more concerned with are the clients' testimonials and their overall well-being! How are they sleeping? What are their energy levels like? Stress levels? Are they enjoying the fitness journey they are on? Are they ENJOYING THE PROCESS?
Before & after pictures DO NOT TELL you that! Now, granted, I am a lot happier in my ‘after’ photos above, not because I lost ‘weight’ - FAT, but because the before photos were taken at a really low time, coming off the back of two injuries and being on crutches for 6 weeks!
I don’t look at the photos and think ‘eww, I think, ‘okay, I was going through a pretty bad time, I wasn’t training, I drank a few too many wines, and it’s not the end of the world’.
I’m happy in my ‘after’ photos but it isn’t because I think I’ve reached ‘that point’ that people think they will hit and say to themselves ‘yes, I look perfect now, that’s me done!’
The goalposts are always moving and goals are always changing.
You don’t just wake up one day and think. Yes, that’s it! I’m done now! It’s a journey and you need to enjoy the process.
As a coach, that is my goal. To help people achieve their goals – not with dramatic strict changes such as low-calorie diets and hours of cardio, but with small changes that allow people to change their lives and actually enjoy it!
Facebook: Nerissa Shea