This is the first time I have documented my progress with photos and I wish I had done it sooner. The benefits of this method of determining improvements are vastly superior to scale weight and measurements.
1. This is the first time I have been able to look at my body objectively. I can look at the photos and see how I really look. Not that weird picture that has been in my head all my adult life, but I can see what reality is. Looking at my real shape rather than my imagined one has been slowly changing what is in my head.
2. I can concentrate on the 'good' bits much more easily. I can see the flaws, but the positives far outweigh the negatives. There is much to admire about the shape I have now.
3. I can look at the photo from Week 0 and use it to motivate me to stick to my plan. My old 'before' photo was almost 20kgs ago and didn't really motivate me at all. I knew it would take more than a couple of weeks of poor decisions to look like that again. But now I know that one single week off plan will result in real and obvious pockets of fat settling in my problem areas. The opposite is also true. Only one week (or six days really as day 7 is a free day) of working out and eating clean will give immediate visible results.
4. The scales lie - I now truly believe this rather than just knowing it. I can be heavier on the scales but have lost fat all the same.
5. I can tell the difference between retaining water and gaining fat. My body looks different when I am bloated - it looks smoother and rounder but not bigger. Water weight will come and go depending on my hormones, but it doesn't nullify the fat burning results of my efforts.
6. My goal is fully attainable. Other people have started out looking far more out of shape than me and have achieved my ideal shape in 12 weeks. I have a head start because I already have muscles and most of the habits of healthy living. I believe I can do it.
7. I look in the mirror every morning to gauge my progress before I step on the scales. Each day I look the same as the day before or better. Bugger what the scales say - sometimes they reinforce my progress, sometimes not, it doesn't matter because I can actually see the changes because I know what my body looked like last Sunday.
8. I look forward to my weekly photo shoot - it is fun to make your own before and after album. This is my weekly reward for sticking with it.
9. I have realised that my photos not only motivate me but they also help other people believe that achieving a wicked body is possible. Other people's photos have inspired me. It doesn't matter who you are, if I/they can do it, so can you. I am not a fitness model with a personal trainer and a personal chef. I don't go to a gym. In fact my exercise costs me nothing. I have a high stress full time job and I can still get this done.
So, as I have said before, even if you don't post your pictures like some frustrated porn star, take some photos already. You don't have to do them in a bikini, just some close fitting workout clothes will start you off. Take the front AND the back because the changes might show in one view and not the other. Go on, give it a go - and when you are all buff and toned you can reveal your journey to everyone else who doubts that they can really do it.
For more inspiration look here and here and here.