Let’s talk about progress…
I am most definitely a fan of taking photos as a way to track progress and often find myself in front of the mirror doing just that. But one of the big problems I have found recently with photos, is how much the lighting and positioning can affect the overall image. In some pictures I compare, I look as though I have made the most incredible change in a matter of days and similarly, when I compare photos months apart, I see minimal change or even regression. I have to admit it can be pretty demoralising.
Take these particular photos for example. What do you think - A few days between the shots? A week? Maybe a month difference? Would you believe, especially with the amount of work that has gone into training and eating in this time, they are actually 6 months apart? Considering how proud I have been at some of the photos I have taken over this time, I have to say, I had expected there to be much more of a wow factor...
After a bit of time playing around with filters trying to create a bigger difference than there was and overthinking what I’d clearly been doing wrong for half a year, I decided to take a step back for a second, forget about the ab lines and measurements, and really compare the two.
In the first lot of photos, the girl you are looking at eats an average of 1200 calories a day, staying away from carbs and constantly thinking about every piece of food passing her lips. She trains about 4 times a week, hitting decent lifts, but nothing serious to show off about. She avoids going out for meals with friends and prefers to see them for a coffee or at a non meal time so she can make sure she knows exactly how much she has eaten.
Now look at the second girl. She eats 2000 calories a day, mixing Cadbury’s chocolate spread, peanut butter and Reeses pieces into her big bowl of porridge. She also trains 4-5 times a week, but she can deadlift almost double her body weight, clean her body weight and squat a whole lot. She makes arrangements with friends at the weekend and goes out for pizza (with garlic bread to start and maybe a dessert if her company is game). Yes she still cares about what she is eating and sticks to her regime the majority of the week, but she’s not afraid to eat ‘bad foods’ when she wants them. In fact, she has a nutella/lotus biscuit spread/whatever indulgent spread she can get her hands on, before bed every day.
You see, sometimes progress is more than what first meets the eye and can’t simple be decided by a tape measure, instagram filter or scale number. Sure they have their use and I do recommend you use them, but they are not the be all and end all and we really shouldn’t get too hung up on what they show. Success should be how you feel when you put your clothes on, hit a new lift in the gym or when you order what you actually want off a restaurant menu. Because sometimes it’s the progress that no one else can see, that really means the most.
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