Have you ever had one of those weeks where you were really “good” all week, did all your workouts, ate really healthy, you’re feeling really good, and then you step on the scale at the end of the week and… nothing? It can be really demoralizing, so I want to share a tip to help you get through those inevitable plateaus.
Taking pictures of yourself can offer a great alternative to the scale for measuring your progress. This is especially useful if you don’t have your own scale at home. Or, if you do have a scale, sometimes the numbers might not be going down, but your body composition is changing. Your pants are looser, you feel better, and even if the scale doesn’t reflect the changes, the photos will. Even after a significant weight loss, many people still report feeling “fat”. Since the weight loss is gradual, they see themselves as looking the same as they always have. Comparing how you look now to a picture you took months ago can show you just how far you’ve come.
Taking a before picture can be very uncomfortable, especially one where you strip down to your underwear and take a full body shot. It forces you to confront how you truly look right now. Don’t let that deter you. Summon up a few seconds of courage to snap some front and side shots. On various internet forums, I’ve seen many people say they regret not having taken a before picture once they reach their goal weight, so learn from their mistake and take a few selfies.
Set a reminder to periodically go back and look at that before picture. It will remind you of just how far you’ve come in your journey. Be proud of the progress you’ve made! Let the picture serve as a reminder to make a permanent lifestyle change so you don’t end up back at your starting point. You can also use the pictures as motivation to keep moving forward.
Don’t forget to periodically take “during” pictures, as well! A good rule of thumb is to take pictures once a month.
I do want to caution you about comparing your pictures to others. Sometimes people will post amazing transformations of themselves online, but fail to mention how long it took to get from “before” to “after”. Let their pictures motivate you by showing you what is possible, but don’t let it discourage you if you aren’t quite there yet.
If you are concerned about others seeing your pictures, take them with a regular camera instead of your phone. This significantly reduces the chance that the pictures will accidentally end up online if your toddler gets a hold of your phone!
Challenge: Take some pictures of yourself. Really LOOK at them. How do the pictures make you feel? What are you willing to do about it?