This is not a transformation photo. These two photos were taken 12 hours apart. Not 12 weeks, or 12 months. 12 HOURS.
I wanted to share them to remind all the amazing women I know not to take the before and after pics you see online too seriously. Half the time it’s not exercise or some fangdangled new diet that has caused the “transformation” it’s the angles of their pose, how they’re dressed and the type of lighting.
There are always going to be photos we don’t like, but if you’re going to focus on how bad you look in some photos (and we all do it, I must have looked at those gym photos like 100 times the night they were taken) then you should at least take the time to focus on how good you look in other ones!
Earlier this month I signed up for an 8 Week Challenge with Body Smart Health at the Lang Park PCYC. It had been six months since I had done any actual exercise and I decided it was time to tone up, boost my fitness levels and build some core strength (current core strength level: marshmallow).
As part of my assessment with exercise physiologist Lauren, I (foolishly) mumbled something about having a ‘before’ photo taken.
I’ll be honest, I seriously hate so many things about that photo; my years-old ill-fitting sports bra and mega tight tights (too much Christmas cheer), my wrinkly skin and that weird smile … clearly the endorphins had made me delirious?!
I came home, looked at the photos and wanted to cry but instead I threw that bra straight in the bin and acknowledged that I’d at least taken the first step on my fitness journey.
I got up the next morning, took a couple of pics in a better bra and some looser pants, and then spotted my bikini. I threw it on, looked in the mirror and was all ‘Damn girl! Those trainers worked wonders overnight!’ and that’s when I decided I should be a nudist. Haha. Not really.
But it did make me realise that a lot of before and after photos are bullshit. Like I said; angles, lighting, clothes.
I generally try not to use filters on my What Brooke Wore photos, although I do lighten up the shot if it’s a bit dark. And I also keep my Insta stories filter-free, so you get to see the real me. Freckles, blemishes and weird lip synching moments.
If we constantly filter out all the bad angles or what we perceive as flaws, we’re actually not showing the real us, to ourselves or others.
Yes, social media is often a highlight reel of people’s lives, but by airbrushing away ALL the parts of us (or our lives) that we think are less than perfect, we can actually make others feel really bad about their own self-perceived imperfections.
What I’ve come to realise is that how you feel, rather than how you look, is much more important and now that I’m almost halfway through my 8 week challenge, I’m feeling much fitter and stronger than I was when I started. Although I still have the core strength of a marshmallow.