Don't be left out!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Way back Wednesday...or is it?

Hop onto InstaGram or Twitter and you'll find all sorts of hashtags like #TransformationTuesday, #WaybackWednesday or my favorite- #FlashbackFriday.  It's motivating and inspiring to see people's progress as they lose weight, get into shape, gain muscle, get ready for a competition, etc.  I don't even know half of these people but I just find it so fascinating to see people's "before and afters".  I can't be the only one right?

The problem with some (and note, I say some, not all) of these pictures is they can be a little deceiving. I figured that people were using filters and Photoshop tools to make their muscles pop but it wasn't until I read this article that it occurred to me that these photos may not be the transformations people want you to believe.

In the article, author and Certified Personal Trainer, Andrew Dixon calls BS on the claims some of these fitness programs make. Dixon wrote this in his article, "In my opinion, these photos are selling false or exaggerated promises of what 90 days, etc., of their program can achieve. Long-lasting results take years of consistency, hard work and dedication. Results that happen quickly are often temporary, and this is another factor that needs to be taken into account when looking at these transformations. Did the individual cut calories to starvation levels or cut out entire food groups to reach a very low body fat percentage for the photo shoot, only to rebound a few days or weeks later? This must be considered when setting your goals and expectations based on someone's program."

To help convince readers that some of these these so called amazing 90 day transformations are a total fake out, Dixon attempts to create his own before and after pictures over the course of only two hours.  

Taken from Dixon's Huffington Post Article

Pretty impressive what a shaved head, better lighting, a few pushups and flexing your abs can do huh?

I've always figured that many of these transformation photos were a part of a marketing campaign and/or pushing a product but I really believed that the people in the photos put in the work to get the results.  If they achieved those results safely or even with the product they were selling I wasn't sure but I thought at least someone was committed to something long term. Turns out that some of the people in the photos may only be committed for a few hours.  

So of course my next thought was could I recreate this?  Trust me, I've taken plenty of photos of me flexin' in the mirror but never of my abs.  My abs aren't anything to write home about and I'm really not comfortable flashing this much skin around but for the sake of recreating this photo I thought the abs were the best body part to show a "before and after".  And no, I'm not using two kids as an excuse because if I'm really being honest they weren't perfect before kids either.  Plus, I'm working on not nit picking my body apart so I'm just gonna get over the fact they aren't perfect and show y'all.  

Anyways, here is my before and after* photo.
*Here's the fine print:  Picture on the left taken after a yummy cheat meal of pizza and fountain pop and trying to stand like I'm pregnant.  Picture on the right taken 24 hours later after breakfast and a spray tan.  As I always say, If you can't tone it, tan it.  Would I have fooled you into thinking this was 6 months of hard work?

Of course I have to say that there are plenty of legit transformations out there.  I am more then aware of what weeks and months of good cleaning eating and exercise can do for a body and I do not want to take anything away from those people who have worked so hard.  

I love Dixon's take away after completing this little experiment, "Forget about the quick transformations and focus on a life of healthy eating, well-managed stress levels, quality sleep and plenty of movement. Spend time with people who have similar goals and values and take time to appreciate yourself the way you are right now. Don't beat yourself up if you eat a cookie, just enjoy that cookie and everything else life has to offer.  We all spend too much time sucking in our guts, trying to look the way we think society thinks we should. Don't waste any more energy trying to compete with everyone else.  It's all smoke and mirrors."

You're turn:  Have you ever been woo'd by a before and after into buying something?  Do you take selfies and use filters to make your muscles pop? Be honest now.  

1 comment:

  1. This is really a great article! There are certain angles in which I have found that hides my tummy a little bit better then other angles. I make sure to always take pictures at that angle. I am kind of interested to see what I could do with this "tips"