A Picture tells a thousand inches

I accidentally stumbled across something the other day that has really got me thinking.

I’m currently running a 21 day body fat blitz for my advanced fitness camp members. There are many requirements that they must agree to before being allowed in and one of those requirements is to send me their before photos. My reasons for this is that the visual changes people make are far more motivating than a few numbers.

For example one of my clients has lost 5 stone. While that sounds impressive, the picture here is far more impressive.

Tracking your changes visually is also a very accurate way of judging how you are doing especially if you only have a few pounds to lose or want to ‘tone up’

Again the picture below says it all. This girl lost inches and body fat, tightened up all over yet she gained 9lbs!! This is because muscle is denser than fat so it takes up less space. She is HEAVIER in the picture on the RIGHT!!!!

As I was receiving the before photos from my 21 Day BFBers I noticed a common trend coming in.

Everyone was really, Really, REALLY uncomfortable with the photos. They were uncomfortable taking them, and even worse sending them in to me.

Now this made me realise how little attention people pay to their physique, sure they may step on the scales and wish they could lose weight but they never actually take a step back and look at themselves properly. The funny thing is they do this all the time with celebs. They look at magazines and the beautiful bodies and wish and hope they could look like that.

Yes these photoshopped, spray tanned, surgically enhanced (sometimes), make up splattered, fake hair, eyelash and what ever else, blemish removed bodies are the dream of many women out there. And gentlemen those great looking 6 packs you see on the cover of men’s health are usually drawn in too!!

I happened to come across a B4 and after photo of Britney Spears recently. The photo on the left is before the graphic designer got to grips with his mouse and fancy software. The photo on the right is what appeared in the magazine. What hope do people have if they are trying to get a body that’s only achievable on a computer??

Everyone of our Blitzers said looking at their photos made them want their results even more. They said they had never seen themselves that way before.

Now if I hadn’t made taking a before photo compulsory on the programme they would never have done it. And they would never have realised how much they wanted to change.

This is something that I now realise is so powerful for anybody to do. Yes it is one of the most uncomfortable things you will ever do but it will be one of the most motivational and rewarding experiences of your life. If you really want to change your shape, before going on a diet or heading out to do some exercise, take a before photo. wear little clothing show off all the parts you want to change and take a photo face on, side on and from the back.

These can be yours and yours alone to see but looking at them every day will push and drive you forward towards a better body. Do it, you can cringe and be uncomfortable all you want but just take the photos and then take action to ensure the next ones look way better.





  1. Interested to hear feedback on this, What do you think about Britney's pictures or the girl who gained 9lbs?

  2. Chris Hipsey says:

    Great post John O'Connell! You have taken the words right out of my mouth! I preach this every week at Fitness Camp!

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