Before & After TransFAUXmation

Tracie Haines Landram

Coach's Corner

Check out this Before & After transformation!  How to go from that to this in just 3 HOURS!?! That’s right, you read that correctly – 3 hours!  All it takes is some Chinese food and a frumpy mindset. If you are thinking “huh, I’m confused?” Rightfully so.  

We call this a transFAUXmation.  We are accustomed to reading left to right, so you had assumed that the ‘before’ picture was on the left and the ‘after’ picture was on the right.  Wrong! I did the ‘ol switcharoo and put the after on the left, which is a big fat no-no.

I bet you also assumed it was after weeks or months of strict dieting.  Wrong again! These pictures were taken just 3 hours apart. I didn’t lie to you when I said the pictures were before and after, but I didn’t tell you which was which.  Not to be mean, but to show you that pictures don’t always tell the whole truth.

Why did I take these pictures?  To prove a point.  We need to STOP believing everything we see.  We need to stop comparing ourselves to other people.  Both of these photos are of me, only a couple of hours apart, and I can tell you that I don’t really recognize myself in either.

Here’s the truth:  I didn’t really plan for this to be ‘a thing’.  Our gym was having a photoshoot after a 90-day Fitness Challenge.  I took part in the challenge, which also coincided with a 12-week cut session (focus was fat loss) with Stronger U, and dropped about 10lbs.  I was feeling good about my cut and wanted to reward myself by taking part in the photoshoot. I’ve never done a photoshoot before and had no idea what to expect, so I went in with the attitude of “all I’m looking for is one good shot so I can have a new profile pic”.

I didn’t prepare much for the shoot.  I had manipulated my macros for a few days and got my first-ever spray tan.  I had never taken fitness photos before and had no idea how to stand or pose.  I felt like Ricky Bobby not knowing what to do with his hands. A quick Pinterest search gave me some posing ideas.  I had my husband snap a picture at home, so I could see what I looked like before I went to the shoot (this is the picture on the right).  

The photo shoot was fun and I felt confident.  It was like a celebration for my hard work the previous 90 days, so I decided to continue the celebration with my favorite – Chinese food (all planned in MFP of course!).  A quart of chicken & broccoli, a pint of white rice, 10 crab rangoons, and a sleeve of rice cakes later (oh and like 5 fortune cookies), and I was feeling EXTREMELY full! To the point of discomfort.  I laid on the floor complaining that my stomach hurt while scrolling through pictures on my phone from earlier. I stopped at one photo and I thought ‘damn, that picture looks good, I wish I looked like that!’  I was so disconnected. That picture was ME. I couldn’t imagine myself as the same smiling person in the picture from just a few hours earlier. That’s when I realized I needed to take another picture, right then and there.  I wanted to see the difference that only a few hours and a different mindset can make. I was still in my same clothes but had washed my face and put my hair up. I went back into my sun porch where I took the first picture and snapped another shot (this is the picture on the left).  This time I didn’t smile and stood there in a frumpy pose; because that’s exactly how I was feeling. No filters, no photoshop, no trickery; just a big meal and a bad pose. That is all it took to go from that to this in 3 hours.

Even coaches gotta put themselves out there.  I posted the before and after photo on the SU Member’s Facebook page with the title “Before and After –  Even coaches gotta put themselves out there.” I was purposefully vague. If you were one of the 350+ likes and 30+ comments; thank you.  The point of this isn’t to make you feel duped.

We are bombarded with before & after weight loss transformations on Instagram, FaceBook, magazine, and tv.  Pictures are a purposeful tool for demonstrating progress when the scale doesn’t reflect body composition changes.  Before & after pictures are some of the best evidence we have that demonstrate SU’s success stories. I am by no means saying to not trust the before & after pictures on Stronger U.  What I AM saying is; don’t compare yourself to other people’s pictures, don’t compare yourself to another person’s progress, and don’t be too hard on yourself. A picture is just a quick still frame of the life we want others to see.

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