**WHY I DON’T SHARE CLIENT BEFORE & AFTER PICTURES**
I will be the first to admit that when I started as a coach I thought that weight loss was the first and foremost important goal for women. Boy, how wrong could I have been.
You see, in my experience weight loss was the ONLY thing I focussed on my WHOLE LIFE.
So naturally when I started coaching I would proudly show my before and after photos and those of my clients.
Fast forward a number of years and this is what I have learnt after listening and empathising with thousands of women and my own experience:
For a very long time after I had lost weight I would go to the shops and pickup a certain sized clothing to be totally astonished when I tried it on that it was way to big for me.
It just wouldn’t connect in my mind that I was a smaller size.
When I jumped on the scales (I used to do this religiously) I was NEVER happy even if the number was going down.
When I hit certain milestones of “weight loss” I would not be happy, I would go and research the next phase that I was striving for.
When I saw photos of myself I would pick apart my body and continue to strive for smaller, smaller, smaller, because that would be when I was truly happy, right?
To get to my “goal weight” I literally ate NOTHING everyday.
I wouldn’t go out for lunch or dinner and on the odd occasion I did I would stress out about what was going to be on the menu that I could eat!
I would only eat “clean” and I would exercise like a crazy idiot always striving for more, more more.
I WAS TOTALLY AND UTTERLY MISERABLE.
MY BODY WAS BREAKING DOWN, INJURY AFTER FREAKING INJURY.
I HATED MY BODY WITH ALL OF MY BEING.
I thought it was stupid and always letting me down.
Why was it punishing me so much? Why wouldn’t it conform?
Why couldn’t I be happy?
And then one day I read a story similar to mine and how she ended up in hospital because her body was so starved of nutrients it was shutting down. It really scared me and she wrote about how she turned her life around and how she began to eat more, understand her disordered mindset and she got well again in time.
I dived into body image, body positivity and kept on reading, learning and gaining knowledge of how dieting was affecting my body.
I started to, not love, but meet my body where it was and accept it.
I started to look for the things that were good about it.
Simple things like how it birthed 2 babies. How I liked my eyes or my nose.
Slowly and consistently my perception changed.
It took a long time and some professional help and I still have days where I can feel myself slipping into “not enough”.
But I refocus and reflect on what my body does for me on a daily basis and think WOW, you are a clever machine and I need to cherish you, look after you and honour you.
No more punishing you anymore.
I don’t advertise before and after shots anymore as it is triggering to SO MANY women and it just re-iterates that feedback loop of never enough if we continue to look at only the physical appearance of our body.
Know that you are not alone if you can relate to this story.
Know that I do hear you and I do see you.
We are SO much more than what we look like.
Of course it is ok if you want to make change to your body. I am not against weight loss if it is safe and sustainable.
It is also ok if you do not want to make any changes.
Your body, your rules.
Let’s concentrate on all the great things our bodies do and celebrate our wins each day.
Let’s work on accepting our body where it is right now, knowing that it will warp and change over the years because we are not meant to stay the same.
Let me know your thoughts?