I have always been a big supporter of taking before and progress pictures of your transformation journey. And I’ve always shared mine on social media (and include them on the header of my website and Facebook page!). But when I tell others how much it means to their transformation journey to take progress pictures, I’m always met with the same resistance and grumbles.
Yes. I know before pictures suck. I know I'm smiling in my before picture, but trust me, I hated taking those that day. But I knew I wanted to say goodbye to that girl, and the only place I ever wanted to see her again was in these before pictures.
The benefit of taking photos of your weight loss journey far outweighs how much it sucks to take them.
I mean, what’s more impressive?
Me saying… “I lost 34 pounds in one year!”
Seeing what that loss looks like on my body?
I'll let you decide...
5 reasons progress pictures help your transformation journey
1. Accountability to yourself and your journey
As a nutrition coach, I have weekly check-ins with my clients. Those commercial diet places have weekly meetings. All this is to keep you accountable and to give you feedback. When you take regularly scheduled (weekly or monthly) photos (along with weight and measurements) you are checking in with yourself and holding yourself accountable to the goals of your own personal transformation journey. Try and think about everything on your journey as feedback.
Each week the pictures, weigh in and measurements get easier because you will become more comfortable with the process and more comfortable with yourself.
2. The scale/tape measure doesn’t tell the whole story
There are many reasons the scale can move in either direction on a daily basis. Maybe you had a high sodium day (which can cause the scale to jump temporarily), slept terribly, are under a lot of stress, or are near or on your monthly cycle. Additionally, there are many reasons why your measurements might not be quite accurate. You might have the tape measure in a slightly different place. Because of that, the scale and tape measure can never tell the whole story.
Trust me, I know from personal experience! In May 2016 when I first started nutrition coaching, I did the weekly photos, weigh ins and measurements. After six weeks I was super frustrated because I had been dead on hitting my macro targets, but the scale wasn’t budging. So I decided to do a side by side of my starting pic and the current (6 weeks later) pic to prove to my coach the program wasn’t working.
I think that was when I really became a believer of macros and finally allowed myself to stop letting the number on the scale affect my day or sense of self worth.
You are more than the number on the scale!
3. Create a healthy routine
When I started weekly check-ins it felt like such a chore. Get on the scale. Take all my measurements. Put on my bikini and take pictures. But a funny thing happened. I was creating a healthy routine and soon I started looking forward to it!
So fight through the beginning when you don’t want to check in with yourself. Set a weekly appointment. Get up 15 minutes earlier for work that one day a week and get on the scale, take those measurements and get those pictures! You are creating healthy habits!
4. Pictures don’t lie
If you go back to my story about not believing that my nutrition program was working, you might ask, “how did you not see with your own two eyes the changes in your body?” To be honest, there are days I look in the mirror and still see the “before” me. Your brain can play tricks on you when you see yourself in the mirror, but when you put two pictures side by side… the truth will be undeniable!
5. Seeing yourself progress through your journey provides motivation that you can’t get anywhere else!
I can’t tell you how excited I would get about #TransformationTuesday or when I would come up on a milestone date (3 months, 6 months, etc.). I would do my side by sides in Diptic. The sense of pride I felt in what I’d accomplished was overwhelming. It’s a feeling you literally cannot get from outside yourself. And that feeling carries with you and no one can take it from you.
Will you commit to taking progress pictures now?
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to start taking progress pictures for your transformation journey! Remember, you never have to share them with anyone but yourself! But, you might just end up being so proud of your fierce accomplishments that you will want to share them with anyone who will listen!
Need some tips on taking great progress pictures? Click on the image below to see (& download for FREE) all 10 of my tips for taking great progress photos!
Until next time!
One of the most common issues I have with new clients is protein. They struggle to wrap their head around how to reach their protein target. I've noticed that typically, people don’t have any problem getting to (and exceeding) fat and carbohydrates. But eating enough protein seems to present a challenge.
Why you need protein:
Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They are used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin. We need protein! Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues in your body. If you aren’t eating enough protein, your body can’t build and repair as quickly!
Further, protein can help boost your metabolism. And because protein keeps you fuller longer after eating than just fat or carbs, feeling satiated longer, will contribute to your eating less calories, because your desire to snack will decrease!
How much protein do you need?
There are many differing opinions about this, which can make it confusing if you are trying to make sure you are getting enough protein.
The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is .8 grams per kilogram of weight. That’s 54 grams of protein for a 150 pound woman. More current studies have shown that this amount is enough to prevent deficiencies, but it’s not enough for optimal health.
I would credit my high protein intake to much of my transformation success. First off, I am a 100% carnivore. Whole 30 and then counting macros both had higher protein goals then I was eating before I started on my transformation journey.
Current studies show that having a protein intake around 25-30% of your daily caloric intake is ideal for boosting your metabolism and not only helping you lose weight, but helping in preventing weight gain to start with! If that same 150 pound woman I referenced before was eating 1500 calories per day, an adequate protein intake would be 95-115 grams of protein a day. (These figures are estimates based strictly on the information provided. I use far more information about each client when I’m calculating a customized macro program for my clients.)
So what do I eat to get that much protein?
It’s easy!!! Eat meat! Eggs! Beans!
“I can’t eat that much meat!”
“I’m a vegetarian, what do I eat?”
The increased protein targets are the most common issue for people when they start counting macros. They don’t understand how they will ever be able to find enough or eat enough protein.
However, I do remember when I started counting macros and I remember it wasn’t always as easy for me to reach that protein target.
Here are my top five favorite ways to get protein:
But that is just the tip of the iceberg! There are so many ways to get protein, and not all require you to be a carnivore! So with that in mind, I’m going to give you a handy, downloadable guide which has more than 20 common, high protein foods! Not only that, but I’m going to include how many grams of protein per serving and the serving size!
So stop struggling for ways to get your protein!
Click here to get my handy guide of more than 20 common, high protein foods!
It's your turn! Ask me your protein questions!
What's your favorite protein source?
Share it in the comments below!
I can't believe there's only just over 5 weeks left until I compete in my very first figure competition! I've been working hard at the gym and eating a lot of chicken breast and egg whites!
The last time I posted, I shared my frustration with not being able to properly do the lat spread.
Well, I've been working on this every single day! I finally have it! My posing is really coming along!
I chose the color for my suit, and while I wait for it to be made, my coach is letting me borrow her suit for our practices. I have to say, I was pretty wowed when I compared my picture from 7 weeks out with the picture from my first posing practice. Not only has my posing improved dramatically, I'm super happy with all the changes!
That is quite the improvement over the course of 9 weeks! The left photo was taken on 6/24 and the photo on the right was taken 8/26. I mean, the competition suit makes a huge difference, as does the improvement in posing, but I can't take away that my hard work is really paying off!
As I write this, I have 37 days until show date. I believe my competition suit will be ready soon. I continue to follow my nutrition program, practice posing and wearing my heels and lift all the weights.
I'm still a bit nervous about all this coming together and being really ready for the stage, but I'm trusting my coach and trusting the process! Some days it's easier to do that than others.