This is What is Wrong About ‘Before’ and ‘After’ Photos

Spencer corset 1941 before after 599x599 - This is What is Wrong About 'Before' and 'After' Photos

Everywhere we turn there is someone sprucing their program with ‘before‘ and ‘after’ photos.  You know the ones I mean.. ‘the look how I’ve changed’ double pic holding a newspaper or the ‘fat and frumpy’ shot that turns into an ‘I’m so happy and thin’ pic.

Apparently this helps to sell and encourage more to take action but all I see is falseness.

Are these photos really showing what is going on? Are these people really even healthy? What is going on in these people’s lives that have created the ACTION to change and is the change sustainable?  So many questions run through my mind … (yes folks, that is why I became a nutrition and health coach… I’m a little crazy with things like that). I won’t even go into details of the apps that can very easily cut inches off waists, thighs and hips…

What brings us to think that the ‘after’ shot is the be-all and end-all?

Life doesn’t standstill.

Throughout life, we are thrown curveballs constantly which throw panic and times of bewilderment into the mix. 

Perhaps you have just given birth to a baby or perhaps you have a massive deadline to meet at work and stress levels are through the roof (hello adrenal stress, emotional eating and no exercise). I cannot think of many days this year when I thought to myself  ‘Geez, how easy is life?”  Sporting injuries arise from nowhere, we are dealing with sick children and dealt with challenges daily.  Don’t get me wrong, this is what drives us to learn about ourselves to become better people/parents and what life is about.

BUT, and this is my point.

There are not many times when we can press a ‘pause’ button and use the ‘after’ shot like the holy grail of happiness because it simply is not.

Life is way more complicated.

It would be interesting to see if those that have posted ‘after’ shots of themselves are happier than before?  Do they look in the mirror and love their bodies or do they still see faults and continue with endless emotional eating struggles? Are their daily routines of excessive exercise and rigid diets? Do they feel guilty after eating a treat? Is there sustainable weight loss that has happened because they know themselves better than before? Usually no, they know less than before and have actually lost touch with their self and what their bodies are trying to tell them.

This, unfortunately, is what is driving the ‘wellness’ market at the moment and is ultimately making matters worse.  More and more women are feeling unhappy in their own skin, young girls are developing eating disorders like never before and we led to believe that thinness brings happiness. Apparently, once you meet your ideal weight life will be complete.

You may think I am calling the kettle black as yes, I developed an Ebook to a healthier and lean you. Honestly, the word ‘lean’ doesn’t sit well with me and I cringed when I knew I had to include some sort of weight loss word in my selling message but this is what sells. What got me over the line is knowing that what I have developed in my method goes way deeper than just a quick fix of a diet and exercise program. I am here to help create lasting change through working on the inside out, so you release the weight for good-by learning the secrets to sustainable weight loss. I want you to feel at peace with every decision you make and this only comes with learnt intuition, mindfulness and knowledge about YOURSELF. Healing from the inside so you can deal with your emotions and triggers and create stability in your life, no matter what’s thrown at it. There is no focus on weight nor do I ask for ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos. Weight loss simply comes with the territory.

Living a life as a “I’ll start the diet on Monday” mentality is so pointless and only leads to frustration and a rollercoaster of emotions. Why? Because you simply haven’t taken the time to learn more about lil ole you and what makes you tick. 

Have you felt pressured to have your own ‘after’ shot? Has long has your ‘after’ shot lasted? Do these photos irk you too?

I support women with eating disorders through one on one coaching programs but if you do suffer from an eating disorder please call the Butterfly Foundation for further support.


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  • Reply Kylie September 14, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Thank you Karla for this article! I will be sharing it. I get into the trap myself in the fitness industry that I should look a certain way to be a personal trainer or that my body looks more like some of the girls before shots makes me feel like crap. But then I think about their lifestyle to get there and how are they maintaining it IF they are maintaining it. I feel better, because I have maintained my level for over 10 years. Why can’t we just be happy with ourselves and not put so much weight on our appearance (mind the pun!) You rock Karla! x

    • Reply Karla {Ironmum Karla} September 15, 2015 at 7:11 am

      Hay Kylie, I have been sitting on this post idea for a while now and felt I had to be in a certain mood to write it. But alas the moment came and I feel more honest with myself for writing it and putting it out there how it is. The response has been amazing, and it seems we are not the only ones the are over the concept that having the perfect or ‘better’ body is the end to all our problems. Thanks for sharing, the more that know the better we all will be xxx

      • Reply kylie September 16, 2015 at 9:19 pm

        ???? x

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