As a personal trainer who’s 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 a peoples overall wellbeing, 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 fitting better
Having more energy
Better mood overall
Feeling more attractive and confident in themselves & their own bodies
Feeling strong #strongnotskinny
Their skin looking better
Their ability to cope with stress improves
Their motivation for things outside of training becomes higher
They become more active overall in their lives
I genuinely recommend throwing the weighing scales out the window. Unless you are someone who’s 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 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 is client 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 here, not because I lost ‘weight’ but because the before photos were taken at a really low time, coming off the back of two injuries & being on crutches for 6 weeks!
I don’t look at them photos and think ‘ewww’, I think, ‘okay, I was going through a pretty bad time, I wasn’t training, I drank a few too many wines, it’s not the end of the world’
The reason I’m happy in my ‘after’ photos isn’t because I think I’ve reached ‘that point’ that people think they will hit – ‘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 & hours of cardio, but with small changes that allow people to change their lives & actually enjoy it!