Okay, so this might not be the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but I’ve decided to share some of my progress photos today. My fiance is a very smart man, if I haven’t mentioned that enough yet. He has been taking progress photos since I met him. At first I thought it was crazy. Why the heck are you taking another photo of yourself in your underwear??? That is until I realized that it’s actually a fantastic way to see the progress you’ve made. I took my first pictures back in 2009, and have continued to take at least one a year since then. If you’ve never done it, I’d highly suggest giving it a shot. Yes, it’s embarassing and sometimes very depressing, but it serves it’s purpose. And maybe some day you’ll be crazy like me and decide to post them on the internet.
The reason that I wanted to share these photos was so that you could actually see some of the changes that have occurred in my body over the last few years. Most recently, my 14 pound weight loss, but also the general transformation that has occurred since I became a power lifter. I will admit that the changes are mostly subtle, but they are there.
(Click the photo to see a life size version of me and my love handles)
The first photo was taken in the fall of 2009. I had spent the first half of that year training for Grandma’s Half Marathon. I was nursing a nagging IT band injury, but managed to limp through the most intense and dedicated half marathon training round that I had ever done. The result….a measly 4 minutes off the time I had gotten the year before with very minimal training. That, combined with the fact that it was the hottest, most miserable race I had ever run sent me in a new direction. I started doing more circuit based weight training in May of 2009 and backed off the running completely. I wasn’t lifting heavy yet, and I was still only getting 1 hard weight training workout once a week. The rest of the week was more cardio based spin classes and “boot camp” type stuff. You’ll notice, I look the softest in this photo. Yet another reason why cardio is not the answer.
The second photo was taken in May of 2010 just before my first powerlifting meet. I had started to train diligently for the powerlifting meet in February of that year. I had about 3 months of workouts under my belt- 6 days a week lifting heavy. This is when I noticed the biggest change in my body. I had a lot more muscle mass, my metabolism sped up, it was great. Unfortunately, I didn’t test my body fat at that point, but I can assure you that it was much better.
The third photo was taken the morning of my meet this past Saturday. You may have been able to see some more dramatic changes if I had taken another comparison shot before I started my weight loss journey back in February, but I didn’t. I know I had a few extra pounds on me though, definitely at least 3 or 4 more than the shot taken in 2010. Try not to be distracted by the fact that I’m wearing different clothes or that I actually have make up on (note to self, always put make up on before the progress photos). I wish that I could just post the photo and the difference would be enough for it to speak for itself, but that’s not the case. If you look closely though….there is progress. My shoulders are actually wider than my hips in the last shot when they were about the same in the other photos. My abs are a tiny bit more visible, as are my clavicles. My waist and my love handles are smaller. My face is a bit thinner, and my legs maybe look a tiny bit thinner??? That last one might be a stretch, but I’m taking it.
So there you have it. Now you have a full picture of where I started and where I am today. It’s not perfect. I’m sure a figure competitor would have a much more impressive end result (and they’d be flexing), but I’m happy with it. Hopefully this will further convince anyone that still thinks that weight lifting will bulk you up and make you look less feminine. Personally, I’m much more comfortable in a bathing suit today than I was back in 2009 when I was on a steady diet of cardio and more cardio.
Do you take progess photos? Have you ever showed them to anyone? When have you looked/felt the best in your life and what did you do to get there?