I can’t remember now what prompted me to start looking through old picture files on my laptop, but I did and I found myself going through all the pictures of myself separated by year in my health folder. And there they were… “before” pic after “before” pic after “before” pic.
I started to wonder just how many “before” pictures I’ve actually had. Now just to clarify, I don’t just take “before” pictures on a whim… no, something big – a realization, rock bottom, a light bulb coming on, end of my rope – *something* had to spark me enough to want to make a serious change and therefore no longer be the person I was when I took the photo. I took those photos expecting to make a big change in the near future and that I would one day have an “after” to compare it to.
In total, I have 10 “before” pictures. That was 10 times in the last decade I attempted to make life changes and lose weight. Of those 10, there were only 4 times I actually did go on to lose a significant amount of weight (more than 30 pounds). I’m hoping that’ll actually be 5 times seeming the very last “before” picture was the last one I took before starting this latest quest for better health.
(If they have the ~ line, it means it was my best guess at my weight – all others are exactly what I was in the picture because I documented it)
I was really on the fence about how to play this… sure, it is very easy to get down on myself and think I’ll never succeed and I’m doomed to be a yo-yo dieter forever and I never finish anything, blah, blah, blah. But I also honestly see it as a testament to how tenacious I am. I just don’t give up. I take a new “before” picture and just start over again, no matter how many times it takes.
It is also amusing what I deem my tipping point when I’ve had “enough” and HAVE to make a change… notice how after my weight gain from my most significant loss was the lowest “before” weight out of the bunch. But as the years go by and a couple kids later, it takes me even higher weights before I hit that point with the exception of post baby #2 – that was before I realized the horrific sleep deprived year I was about to have (and I thought the worst was over – HA!)
And how many “after” pictures do I have? Really, just 1. I have 3 pictured, but they were all from the same and most successful weight loss achievement to date – 90 lbs lost.
And the pathetic part is that none of those were truly “after”s for me at the time because I still wanted to lose another 25 lbs (final goal was 165 lbs for my 5’10” frame).
But they sure as hell look like “after”s from my perspective NOW! I’d be plenty happy to get down to those weights again and maintain right there. It’ll look different this time around as things have moved around on my body for where I hold my weight, but I will sure as hell be and look healthier than I do now!
So this discovery of so many failed attempts could get me down, but instead, I’d like it to propel me to stop the pattern and finally get *and stay* at a healthier weight.
So here’s to all the “before”s, and hopefully, one last “after”.