I'm going to take a stab in the dark and guess that most of us are none too happy about having our pictures taken. Honestly, no one who wants to lose a noticeable amount of weight wants their "fat face" documented.
But I'm here to tell you that you should. In fact, I want you to go RIGHT NOW and take just about the least flattering self portrait you can imagine.
It's time for your "before" shot.
The first reason you need to do this is because you need a reality check. If you're like me, and have avoided being in front of the camera as much as possible, and have no full-length mirrors in the house... you need to know. You need to see where you are right now. For some people, it might be a little disappointing. For some of us, it might be an intensely harsh slap in the face. Welcome to rock bottom. It sucks there. But now you know. You need to know.
Here's what I know: on August 17, 2009, I weighed 226 pounds. I'm 5'5" on a good day. Two. hundred. twenty. six. pounds. This is how I walked around for the two years following the birth of my children. I hate this picture (and what it represents) with the heat of 1,000 suns. But I took it. I needed to see that. I needed to understand where I was.
OK, so now you've got your motivation. You can make it the desktop on your computer, post it on your blog or your refrigerator, or just let it sit on your computer. You know it's there.
The other reason you need to take that shot, though, is so that you can see your own progress. Weight loss can be achingly slow, the changes subtle. And if, like me, you've got an awfully long way to go, it can feel like you'll never make it. That's why, once you're down 5 or 10 pounds (or some other portion of your longer-term goal), you have to take another one. Preferably in the same clothes. And then you need to take those two pictures and hold them next to each other. Lo and behold, progress!
Here's me, six weeks in and 10 pounds down. You see, I still felt plenty "fat" after six weeks. And 10 felt like such a tiny fraction of my overall goal. And yet, it was heartening to look at these two shots side-by-side and see changes.
A few guidelines for your "before" picture:
- Do not wear a big t-shirt and baggy sweatpants. If you want to see the pudge go down, you have to see where it is in the first place. Wear something form-fitting, probably something that's a little too snug to wear out of the house at the moment. That includes whatever you're wearing on your legs. If you're feeling really bold, take a picture in your sports bra.
- Get as close to a full-body shot as you can. Find a full-length mirror (maybe it's in the back of your closet somewhere?) and stand back so you get the full effect. A side-view is a good idea, too.
- The photo self portrait can be tricky. Make sure you look at the camera's reflection, not your own. Or get a trusted friend/spouse to take it for you.
And here I am, today. Five months in. 26 pounds down. Ready to kick ass and take all of your money!
Thanks Liz for the awesome guest post! You can always find Liz over at her site Goddess in Progress.