Of all the questions about transformation Chris and I get, befores and afters top the list. The first question is usually whether or not Chris and I have befores and afters. The short answer is yes. The second is usually should you take a before and after during your transformation? The short answer, again, is yes.
I know I’ve said it before, but when we think about weight loss journeys, one of the things we glamorize is the befores and afters of people. The misconception is that weight loss and physical transformation, itself, is the success story. But that just glosses over transformation and the deeper story behind the befores and afters. The reality is that every single person has unique goals. Maybe you want to lose 100+ lbs. Maybe you want to gain 20 lbs. Maybe you want to stay the same weight but tone more. Every before and after comes with a unique story and an even more unique journey.
Why Befores and Afters Are Important to Transformation Success
We were one in the same, and my opening up about my historical struggles not only helped heal THEM, but it also helped heal ME. This is part of the reason I feel so strongly about the power of before & afters.
Here are the top three reasons why B&As are so important, plus a couple of stories from our Transform community.
There’s a Story Behind Every B&A: Even though a stranger may not see the story behind the person before and the person after, having these photos is a reminder of your transformation journey.
The before and after above shows me at 17 years old vs. me today. While my before picture might not look like your typical “before,” the truth is that the hurt and the pain was not visible to the eye. I was very good at hiding my eating disorder, and hiding anything only leads to a life of misery, guilt, shame, and repeated unhealthy patterns. I was ridden with self-doubt and negativity, and I didn’t believe my presence made much of a difference in this world. The pain I felt is a pain I NEVER want my kids, friends, loved ones, or you to feel.
I am a much different woman today. I look back on where I was and want to hug that Heidi…and let her know that life gets oh, so much better. I want to remind her that those dark moments are going to eventually be the BIGGEST strength and source of relatability in coaching when she FINALLY overcomes and learns from her mistakes.
Having a B&A like this allows me to see the progress I’ve made in terms of not just my body, but my mind and spirit too. Transformation is not only about what you looked like, but it’s also about who you are/were.
Let It Motivate You: Don’t believe anyone if they say weight loss and transformation are immediate. It’s a day-to-day journey with progress that doesn’t happen overnight. This makes it easy to feel disillusioned when you don’t reach your goals immediately. But B&As are just the motivation you need. They allow you to see the small changes that gradually happen over time. I love what Chelsea, one of our amazing app users, has to say about motivation:
The journey is not just about the number on the scale, it’s much more than that. I love looking back at old photos and seeing how happy I am in my current photos. I can literally see the light come back into my eyes. That, right there, is the biggest win and means more to me than anything else. Don’t be afraid to take photos because I can promise you, you won’t regret it.
Shows Non-Scale Victories: As part of your transformation, it’s important to look beyond the scale. That’s why we have our users measure themselves in the app. But don’t take it from me. Here’s what one of our amazing Transform Coaches, Val, has to say about it.
Before and after pictures are crucial in transformation! The scale is a good form of measurement, but it measures more than just body fat. Taking your measurements is another great way to see progress, but sometimes you may lose inches in areas you’re not measuring! Pictures, on the other hand, will SHOW you the progress. I used to be a 5th grade teacher, and there was one summer where I dedicated my time to dialing in my nutrition and doing all of my workouts in The Transform App. In 90 days, you know what the scale had to show for it? 3 pounds. Talk about disappointing! At least, it would’ve been disappointing if I wouldn’t have taken pictures. These pictures were visual proof that my hard work and consistency were working! If I didn’t have this, I probably would’ve thrown in the towel like I always did.
The magic of B&As is that they do all of the above: They help motivate you and remind you of your journey even when you can’t see it on the scale. My body, mind, and soul are healthier than they have ever been. Yes, I am 25 lbs heavier than I’ve been for the majority of my life (part muscle, part fat), but most importantly, I FINALLY feel confident, proud, secure (most days!), beautiful, and sexy…WITH my flaws and imperfections!
As with any transformation, mine had to happen internally before I could be happy externally. Looking back and having those B&As is a great reminder and visual representation of my transformation journey. Do you have a B&As? Share your story below!
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