Monday, July 18, 2011

The Horror of the "Before" Picture

In order to claim one of the grand prizes of $1,000 (one will go to a winner, one will go to a reader), the eligible winners must be able to show their "before" and "after" pictures--this, we believe, is only fair.

So this weekend, being a little behind on everything as I seem to be, I had my husband take my "before" picture. First of all, if you believe that I'm going to post that baby up here for all the world to see before I can post my "after" picture up, too, then you're downright crazy.

I did, however, want to share my horror with you. Here, if I remember correctly, are some of the comments between me and my husband (mostly joking):

Me: "I don't really look like that, do I?''
Me: "How could you let me get to this point?"
Him: "Now, it looks funny because it's angled down. Let me bend down.".... "No, it still looks the same."
Him: "No, don't smile. You have to look all sad and pathetic."

After looking at both our pictures...
Me: "We need to put these on the refrigerator. And maybe the pantry."
Him: "And on the car window, too, so when we try to drive up to a fast food place they'll see a sign that says: 'Do not feed these people.'"" (After which we can't control our laughing.)

Seriously, though, my horrific discovery is this: When I look in the mirror, I see someone that's probably about 30 pounds lighter than I actually am. What kind of self-delusional craziness is this?? Is it because I "feel" like a skinny girl on the inside? I remember watching The Biggest Loser on TV a couple of years ago and seeing women that were around my same weight and thinking "Whoa, I look a whole lot better than they do. Thank goodness my weight's distributed more evenly." (Crazy again, right?) I look just as bad as they do!!!

At this point I'm wondering if I had printed off pictures of me at every stage as I gained weight and plastered them to my hands so that I saw them every time I went to overeat, if I wouldn't be much healthier today. This is not meant to be a self-bashing post; on the contrary, it seems I've been much too self-loving in the past, and today I'm realizing just what my reality looks like.

Now I can't wait to take my "after" picture and get to a new, better reality.

If you took a "before" picture, were you shocked at how you looked? Did you, like me, always see a skinnier person in the mirror than what you found on the camera?


  1. Ashley, I had the same realization. I had my boyfriend take front, side and back pictures and I look TERRIBLE. I never thought I looked that bad when I looked in the mirror and I certainly didn't think my back looked as awful as it does. I'm still stumbling through this process, but I have my before picture as my wallpaper on my phone as a constant reminder. I dont want to be a stick, but I definitely don't want to look like this anymore.

  2. I haven't taken a "before" pic because I have no one to take it and the only thing more pathetic than a "before" picture would be one I had to take in the mirror because I have no friends. *sigh*

    But I'll try to get my cousin to take one soon. I have the same mirror problem. What I see in the mirror is never what I look like on film.

  3. I am *always* astonished by how hideous I look in photos. Even if I'm not looking fat, fat, fat, my eyes squish up when I smile, making me look demented.

    Nevertheless, I took my before pictures, using my phone and the full-length mirror in my bedroom. I plan on wearing the same now-tight t-shirt and shorts, each month, as I take follow-up pictures.

    Because even if I can't get my eyes to stop looking porcine, I can get my body into better shape!

  4. "Horror" is a very good word. For me it fits my reaction to my 'before' photo perfectly.

    The good thing is that it doesn't have to be permanent. I have the power to change it. Yay! Not that it will be easy, but it will be worth it.

  5. I know...! Who IS that fat woman?

    Because you know that's not who you really are, right?

    I know I'm feeling much better these days.

  6. Ashley!

    It's not fair! I'm at work and I'm cracking up! Let me tell you, you should 'moonlight' as a stand-up!

    I knew I had a problem. I knew how bad it got. I always 'posed' behind people, sideways and basically 'hiding’ behind something/ANYTHING!

    I hated taking that picture, but I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and just went for it. Posting it was harder, but again I just went for it!

    It takes a lot of guts to do this, but all of us have it!

    I'm with Pamela-feeling much better today and I know it will get better and better, easier and easier ;)

  7. I saw myself in a few photos just before the challenge started and couldn't believe I looked so large. I guess I see myself as I looked a few years ago and just held onto that image. It's a little depressing, but mostly encouraging.

    I might just have to put my pic on the fridge and cupboards to ward of my snacking problems. LOL

    It sounds like you and your husband each have a great sense of humour. :)

  8. I am the same way...I have actually been putting off taking my picture because I KNOW how bad it will be.

    I don't need a picture, I have a straw. My sis who does WW told me that they give everyone a straw to put on their fridges for those that have hit that last straw

  9. I had the exact same feeling as you. I thought who in the world is that woman? This couldn't be me! was me. So now I have that motivation along with the motivation of my team members and the group as a whole! Thank you Ashley for starting this!!!