WOW. Check out my transformation...
BEFORE : 6.15am 11/12/2014 64kg
Slumped into my knees, hips and shoulders.
Double chin and frown.
AFTER: 6.16am 11/12/2014 64kg
Standing tall. Lifting up and out of my hips.
Open waist. Exhaled with rib to hip connection and belly button to spine
(feel like your in Pilates class anyone!?)
Feet hip width, shoulders back, tits out.
It is ah-mazing what a difference posture and attitude can make!
Please don't get me wrong here. This is not a weight loss transformation bash here. I love weight loss, I think before and after photos can provide incredible motivation when it is required! I am starting to amp up my own training in order to feel a bit stronger, fitter and practicing what i preach - working out and eating well in a balanced, healthy way which will no doubt lead to some weight loss - no one would be grumpy about that!
This isn't about making before and after photos a bad thing, it is merely an example of light, posture and angle. We are completely bombard by transformations on magazine covers, instagram and television - even "news" shows air transformation 'stories'.
We watch, look, read and listen to these all day while feeling shamed into being normal or having our day ruined by a shit photo of us from the weekend being tagged on Facebook (I SWORE I LOOKED GOOD THAT NIGHT AND NOW I FEEL FAT AND DISGUSTING... oh my god - UNTAG!) By just like the two photos here, angle is everything my friends! Lighting and posture also help.
Regardless of the two photos, why would I allow myself to feel good about one and shame from the other. Neither are a sign of your or my worth. Neither make me better or worse at my job... (It might mean that you are more or less likely to want to train with me but ill post more on that another day!)
The biggest difference between the left and right pics is attitude. It was impossible for me to stand with the same expression on my face. I couldn't slump my hips and shoulders while having a pretty little pout... it just didn't work! Also, when standing tall and proud it was nearly impossible to have a sad, double chin face... by standing tall, i felt tall and confident and sexy.
Thats the thing with "transformation" photos. BEFORE: We all frown and look down the camera like "look at me, I'm such a piece of shit" the second pic they stand tall and proud as punch!
While we focus on the results of the 'after' pictures I think the most important part of them is the look of pride!
Perhaps we shift our focus to the face and not the body. The face of pride and accomplishment for the strength of their new, fit body and the fact they can smash out 40 push ups rather than the frame of a thinner gal who is proud of the leaner figure that stares back at her.
We cannot take a photo of someone's self esteem, we can't quite capture what it would look like to help someone find the strength to leave an abusive relationship, leave a toxic workplace or get a snapshot of how you feel when you feel apart of a wider community. We don't take before and after photos of someone's climb out of severe depression and anxiety into a positive and energetic frame of mind... because it isn't as sexy and doesn't 'sell'
This photo doesn't capture or measure my health or happiness; how much fun I had with friends last night, how sexy I feel, how successful I am, how strong I am or how connected or loved I feel by the people around me.
So, why do we allow these photos to have such an impact on us... Either of inspiration and awe or of internal criticism for not having one of our own??
What do you think of this post? Love to hear your thoughts and comments on before and after pics!