Nothing tells a story quite like a picture. I love going thorough photo albums, seeing pictures of a certain time in time and having all the feelings and memories rush back. A picture can bring you right back to the moment that it happened. Graduation, birthday parties, Christmas moments or college pictures can bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. We have pictures all over our walls and tables, just to remind of us those special events or precious moments we want to share with everyone. We love the memories that a photograph can stir up. A picture can also be used to keep you motivated in your path to a healthy lifestyle.
When I started this back in January, I did not take before pictures like I should have. Honestly, I did not want to see unflattering photos of me. I was embarrassed of how I had just let myself go. We are a picture-taking family. My wife and I will take pictures anywhere and everywhere we go. Occasionally, I would see a picture of myself and immediately crop it so my fat belly would not show. I started to notice how big I was getting in 2016. I had stopped working out, began eating the wrong foods, drinking beer and it was starting to show in my appearance. We took a family vacation to Florida (My first time ever to Florida) in March of 2016 and we were finally able to get in the water one day. My wife, son and I gathered together to take a picture and when I saw it, I gasped. What the hell was that around my belly???? Told my wife, crop that picture!! Had to be a bad angle, right??? I look at myself in the mirror every day, I am not that fat!! Oh yes I was!!
The mind is an incredible thing. It can actually deceive you when you look in a mirror. When I had lost 85 pounds between 2008-2009, I lost it with the P90X program. P90X required you to take a photo your very first day and take others after 30-60-90 days. It was in the photos that I saw my progress, not in my reflection. In my reflection, I still saw “Fat Ricky” every time I looked. My mind would convince me that I was still obese, even though physically I was not. I was wearing 32″ waist jeans at the time but I still saw the fat me when I look in a mirror or saw my reflection in a window. I had grown so accustomed to seeing the fat me that, my mind was convincing me that is what I was seeing, even after the weight loss. My mind was tricking me but, the proof was in the photographs. Eventually, I started seeing what the photographs showed when I saw my reflection. The same principle applied when I gained all my weight back. Even though it was quite obvious I had gained, in my mind, my reflection did not show it. I was lying and denying to myself about just how big I had gotten. I went for a 32 to a 36 and quickly heading to 40. Photos don’t lie, I was fat again but, even then, I did nothing about it, I just kept right on making bad lifestyle choices. Here is a picture from September of 2016. I am wearing a XXL shirt here:
The shirt was hiding the gut that was busting out the waist line of those shorts. You can see by face I was heavy, still I did nothing to change. It took me almost 18 months from this picture and being even heavier to finally get off my ass and make a change. I have been on this for 4 weeks now and my wife keeps telling me she can tell I am losing weight and my clothes are a tad bit looser but, I still see my fat self in the mirror. Yesterday, I could actually see the difference in my belly and showed my wife. She screamed, “I TOLD YOU” so, I asked her to take a picture of me. I looked for a picture we had taken on our cruise in July of last year. It was of the three of us in the waterfalls in Jamaica. I looked like a beached whale and it is basically how I looked in January. Here is a side by side:
This goes to show just how important photographs can be during this process. As you can see, 4 week can make huge difference. If not for these photographs, I may not have seen this progress and gotten discouraged. Although I have not gone down in pant size, it is obvious I have lost some inches along with the 8.6 pounds lost. I look forward to the next picture I take in March now.
Whether you think you are making progress or not, a picture is worth a thousand words. Use photographs to help motivate you to keep moving forward. It may hurt to see yourself in an unflattering way but, it will help you to see how far along you have come in your change. Take a picture every 30 days and I promise, you will be amazed at your progress. I still have a long way to go to my goal but, I am closer to that goal now than I was 30 days ago, the photos prove it. I also use a photo to show I can get to where I want to be, I have been there before. Here is where I want to get back to:
I know I can because I have been there before. See, we have photographic evidence to back it up!
Go be the best you that you can be today!!