Picture Perfect: A digital weight loss diary

Alright mamas, how many memory cards have you filled with pics of your wee ones? What about you aunties? How many pics of the little monkey have you Facebooked? No doubt we’re all snapping shots of the kids. But leave a place for yourself  in the album too. When trying to lose weight or reshape, photos are a great way to monitor progress and reach your goals.

I am far from camera shy. Hello, aspiring fitness cover model here. I see the flash of a bulb and respond instinctively with a full smile and  three-quarter pose. You know, that red carpet pose that does all women justice. My Facebook page is filled with fun party pics and vacation photos. But I also have several personal folders documenting my physical changes through competition training, pregnancy and now, post-pregnancy.

Early in my pregnancy I decided to take monthly photos of my growing bump. The first shot was taken at eight weeks. The last shot was taken at eight weeks. LOL. I didn’t really follow through on that plan. Luckily, I managed to get other shots over the course of the year. Now I can look back at my 1-,4-,5-,6-,7- and 9-month belly. Very cool.

While training for my figure competition (prior to pregnancy), I was much more disciplined about the process. I photographed my front, back, and side poses each week. The photos were reviewed regularly by me and by my coach. This process was extremely helpful in evaluating the changes in my musculature and shape. What I didn’t see day-to-day, I definitely saw week-to-week and month-to-month. The progress pics were a great motivator when I didn’t think my body was changing. They revealed that my midsection was progressively becoming leaner, my upper body more built, and my legs better defined.

4 months postpartum

7 1/2 months

7 1/2 months

I’ve adopted that process again. As I work toward new fitness goals, I am documenting the changes with monthly pics. (See my 3-month and 4-month postpartum updates). It’s already working.  I’ve been looking back at my maternity photos. Wow, there was a 6 lb baby in there! I’m not so hard on myself when I see how big my belly actually was. It’s surprisingly easy to forget. And I’m already seeing slight changes in my post-pregnancy photos too. Step up, and see the incredibly shrinking stomach!

I wish I could lay claim to this ingenious tactic. I would patent it and pay for a tummy tuck. Just kidding. The photo thing is actually suggested by many fitness pros. Funny enough, I received an email this week from Tosca Reno with this very suggestion. Her “Focus on Fitness” detailed seven fitness tips. Number three on the list was tracking progress with before and after photos.

I found a similar suggestion in a blog by fitness model, Jennifer Nicole Lee. Taking a ‘before photo’ was step one in her four-week plan. Local trainer Lyzabeth Lopez includes before and after photos in her “Hourglass Workout” 3 month challenge. Plus we’ve all seen those “holy sh*t” before and after pics on The Biggest Loser, right? How awesome are those?!

So as I’m documenting the growth of my little girl, I’ll be documenting the changes in my body too. I look forward to sharing the results with you as I go.

If you’re inspired by this post, I encourage you to give the digital diary a try.  Get your camera, get in front of the mirror and start snapping. Keep the pictures, even if you hate them. Nobody else has to see them. Unless you decide to blog about it, LOL. It will be SO satisfying to look back and see how far you’ve come!

What images inspire you to work harder toward your goals?

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1 Comment

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One response to “Picture Perfect: A digital weight loss diary

  1. Pauline

    The other day I was getting dressed and bent over to put on my socks. I happened to catch an image of myself in the mirror. EEEEEEEEK! I was slightly horrified. Granted, the pose was not forgiving, but what I saw was scary. LOL! So I told my hubby my idea: I would take a picture of myself doing that and post it on the fridge. This would motivate me to stop eating junk! LOL! I wish you could have seen the look on his face. Now that I think about, posting the most unflattering, semi-nude picture of myself in the kitchen might not be the BEST idea! 😛

    But, I love the digital journal idea. I think, in general, we can be so hard on ourselves. We are our own worst critics, right? So, taking pictures is a great way to objectively say, I’m doing good, yo!! hee hee

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