For a girl who has long been concerned about her appearance, I never have paid much attention to the scales.
For me, it was a number, and I have always had a dislike for those. I would often weigh myself, but I would fluctuate a few pounds up or down, and it would never tell me the true story or show me the who picture. Images, however, have always been a little more helpful.
Since I first started my fitness journey way back in 2014, I have taken progress pictures. I have a Dropbox folder full of them. All in years, months; sectioned off and kept, for no real purpose, other than for me to look back at them and think okay, yeah, I have come a pretty long way.
They allow you to compare truthfully
Everyone knows that muscle weighs more than fat. So that’s why, for me, I’ve never really judged my progress on a number on the scales. For me, progress pictures, when compared side by side, show you a better picture of how much progress you’ve made. The scales might only say three or four pounds lost, and that might dishearten some, but compare pictures and that three or four pounds can feel like a stone.
you can see where you’re going wrong
And where you’re going right. Pictures are something you can look at, you can compare, and also contrast. You can take progress pictures and study your own body – you can see changes from the previous week, or month, and you can analyse yourself – of course, in the nicest way possible – and decide your next steps. If your shoulders look too big for your liking, you can train them less. If your legs aren’t big enough, you can add in another leg day. Visuals are so helpful when it comes to tracking where you are, and where you want to be.
they make you feel good
More often than not, we take progress pictures when we are really feeling ourselves. When we get to the gym and think damn, I look good today or maybe even my outfit is on point. We take them, post them on Instagram, and get instant gratification. And doesn’t it feel great? Progress pictures are wonderful in this way, because not only can we share our journey with others – mainly on the internet and the aforementioned Instagram – but we can flex, we can pose, we can show off our gains and our results, and we can feel good about ourselves.
they let you see the mistakes you once made
This blog post came about because I compared the below images. I was shocked when I came across the left image. The old me, the university student, who thought in order to accept herself, she needed to lose more and more weight. And then I put it next to me, today, with big legs, with no real thigh gap anymore. And it made me sad for girl on the left, that she had felt that way and that she had damaged her body and her mind to get there. But it also made me feel incredibly happy for girl on the right; that she fought hard to get there.
Progress pictures are about tracking your journey. They are about sharing it with others. And, most importantly – for me, anyway – they are about showing yourself that change and growth is possible, so long as you let yourself.