PART ONE: Before and After Photos.
BEFORE AND AFTER.
LOOK AT WHAT'S NOT THERE!
Before We Talk Weight Loss… (A 3 Part Series)
Part One: Before and After Photos.
By Karen Gasparick
Before We Talk Weight Loss... is a three part series about reframing and defining how we look at losing weight. Stay tuned for parts two and three by subscribing here.
It’s with major consideration, reflection, and real talk that I am ok with using “before and after” pictures as a part of my writing and teaching. I’m not awesome with it, just ok.
The internet sucks at "before and after pictures." It’s not the pictures, it’s the why and the how. The internet is, inherently, about speed. Naturally, what is highlighted in before and after comparisons, is speed, “EXTREMENESS” and rarely safety.
LOSE 700 POUNDS IN TEN MINUTES BY BATHING IN AVOCADO OIL AND EATING ONLY BROCCOLI STEMS.*
*Don't really do this. I'm just making a dramatic point.
Before pictures are also tricky for me on a personal level because I choose to not live in the past. I see pictures of myself from years gone by and I’m a different person now.
The value, is not where I was then, or where I will be in the future. What changed my mind about “before and after” pictures is not the actual pictures, but is the change between then and now. What I’m looking at is change and the “proof” of change when comparing 2 images side by side. I realize that I have changed a lot, and I will continue to change forever. It’s one more step in making change feel comfortable and seeking change feel positive.
I choose to share “before and after” pictures differently. I challenge you to do the same.
I challenge everyone to:
...see the change in addition to the photos. Look for what is not there.
…remember the past but not be bound by it because the change that happened between “before” and “after” will continue and grow.
...model positive behavior and attitudes towards “before and after” photos and transformation in the social media arena. Like and comment where you see it done with thought, intent, and positivity. Avoid where you see shaming, dangerous practice, or you just feel like “nope.” If you decide sharing your own “before and after” is right for you, model the behavior you’d like to see from the internet.
Before and Afters are ok. Together though, we’re going to make them the awesome “Real life not fake news!” tools for inspiring change that they CAN be when presented in a smart and empathetic way. I challenge everyone to remember that there are real people with real lives behind pictures on the internet.
We’re all in this together.
You’re not alone.
I believe in you!
About the author.
Karen Gasparick worked for 20+ years in design offices. While slaying PowerPoint presentations and bringing bad-assery to the holiday potluck lunch, Karen also found fitness and real, honest wellness. Karen lost 130 pounds, and gained ROBOT Level Strength!
Karen is now “H.R.I.C.” (Head Robot In Charge) at The PurpleROBOT Network. Contact us to learn about workplace wellness workshops, seminars, and training today! Karen is an RKC Certified Kettlebell Instructor, loves outdoor adventures, and lives in Milwaukee, WI. She can be reached via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org