Whenever I see those Before and After ads for the latest and greatest supplement, my eyes roll and I want to scream at people not to fall for it. I always think, sure, take a bodybuilder (or fitness/fitness/bikini competitor) when they’re off season, bloated, have them wear completely unflattering clothing under bad lighting, then retake a picture when they’ve been dieting and training, wearing a flattering outfit with a tan, make up, hair done and of course they’re going to look better! I guarantee you it’s NOT from the supplement being advertised. It makes me Hulk angry, because no one but the Hulk transforms that fast!
Andrew Dixon took that a step further, and in a blog post he called “Seduced by the Illusion,” he decided to see if he could do instant before and after shots. From his blog, “I decided to take my own transformation photos to see what was possible with just a few easy tweaks. About 6 months ago I was around 185lbs and about 16% body fat. I was feeling particularly bloated on the day, so I asked my girlfriend to take a before shot. I then shaved my head, face and chest and prepared for the after shot, which was about an hour after I took the before shot. I did a few pushups and chin-ups, tweaked my bedroom lighting, sucked in , tightened my abs and BOOM! We got our after shot.”
Andrew says, “There is no doubt that we live in a world of manipulation, false promises and exaggerated claims. This is especially true in the fitness industry. I’ve been a personal trainer for over 11 years, and clients and friends are always telling me about the next amazing diet or exercise program. Like Insanity or P90X hold the secrets to fat loss.” I could quote his whole blog, it’s fantastic, reflects my thoughts and anyone working on transforming their physique should definitely go and take a look at it here.
But wait, you say, you have before and after pictures of your clients on your website! Yes, I do, but those are competitors. We show their stage after photos (not on the beach or in their own house) to show that they have done ALL the intense work required by a competitor (proper nutrition, cardio, strength training) over a long period of time (at least 16 -20 weeks, some an entire year!) to get to the point they’re at, including a fabulous stage suit, hair, make up and FAKE stage tan! They trained and dieted to extreme measures to be competitive. It wasn’t a quick fix, there was no miracle pill. No illusions, just hard work.
Which is the point of Andrew’s blog. Wisely he tells us, “Forget about the quick transformations and focus on a life of healthy eating, well managed stress levels, quality sleep and plenty of movement.”
I concur. It’s not a race. Don’t believe the hype. Focus on making lifestyle changes that will help you reach your goals of living a healthier lifestyle.