Not Just Another Before and After

I have been asked several times lately “where are my before and after photos?”  I have to be honest, honest with myself first and then to whoever is asking.  The truth is that I have not taken any.  That’s pretty easy.  If there aren’t any, there simply aren’t any.  But, why have I never done that?

I talk a lot about making goals, making sure you look to where you are going.  Part of knowing where you are going is making sure you know where you start.  I recently learned that when we started going to the trainers that we have now, they honestly didn’t think that we were going to either stick to it or be able to even do it.  Woah!

After going to our trainers, Body By Brandt for 5.5 years, we were all wrong about that.  But, because for us it was the rest of our lives and for them, they didn’t see it lasting, we didn’t take gym measures or pictures.  There are, however, a whole lot of fat pictures of me.  I was heavy for a long time.  Some of the pics taken at some events were even horrible when I look back.

But, since we have been on our current health journey, I feel so aware of the fact that I still have goals that I have not yet met.  I get down on myself and then the fat girl surfaces and I don’t want to get a picture taken looking ‘my current state’.  

We set goals for ourselves but we need to remember that although we don’t like where we are now and are truly ready to change, the person who you are, will always be inside you and that is truly where the real work begins.

I know for a fact that I have made huge strides toward my goal weight and size.  I am also hugely aware of a laundry list of things that have done or are currently working against me accomplishing that goal.  I know that regardless of my dress size, my body thanks me every day that I am not that size 16 person anymore.  I look to the health challenges in my family and I know that every day away from that fat girl is another healthy day farther away from the possibility of those health challenges.  

I also know that some people only want to see before and after pictures to judge you and others with.  Some just use those pictures to gossip with and then there are those people that will always find something to be critical about.  Now, I know, I should not care what other people say, it’s not their opinion that matters, but I am still human and insults still hurt.  

I also know that a lot of people doctor their pics just to make them look more dramatic than they are.  Lighting, makeup, camera angles, certain clothes, even facial expressions and tightening vs letting it all hang out.

The other thing that I have learned is that the photos that we see online are almost all fake.  Our trainers train people in bodybuilding competitions.  As the competitions draw near, photo shoots are set up.  That all makes perfect sense.  These people have worked very hard for week, months, sometimes years to look their perfect self on stage.  I don’t plan to ever do that, but if I did, I would also want pictures taken to capture all my hard work.  But, even after all of the very specific workouts and diets, in the last couple of weeks, they do some very dramatic things.  They change their water consumption to the point of having none the day of the pictures.  Competition aside, the pictures become just as important.  So when we see those girls in amazing shape and those guys with washboard abs, most of those people don’t look like that in a few months.  Life takes over and even the most hardworking athletes, generally, put weight back on because magazine ready is not sustainable, for the most part.  Don’t forget that most are photoshopped on top of all that.

So, moving forward,  I learn on a daily basis and will continue to learn to love the person that I am.  I will continue to learn to love the process.  If you hate the process, the journey is awful.  

  • I actually still hate waking up so early, but after my coffee and my chance to wake up, as well as a little pre workout,
  • I love starting the day with a great workout.  
  • I love eating healthy and my reward meals are so worth waiting for.  
  • I love fitting into clothes that I have been bought at a regular size shop and not a plus size shop.  
  • I love the muscles that I feel even though nobody else can see them yet.  
  • I am taking my own advice, I am smiling more and will take more pics of myself and be proud of them.


Love who you are, embrace who you are. Love yourself. When you love yourself, people can kind of pick up on that: they can see confidence, they can see self-esteem, and naturally, people gravitate towards you. – Lilly Singh



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