Progress Photos are Scary!

**This post actually came from my Facebook page.  I can’t freaking believe I put this photo on there, on here, heck, I even sent it to an ex-boyfriend.  Why?  Because I’m not hiding.  I’m DOING this.  I’m a normal person and I’ve got normal person feelings.  So someone else who is a normal person with normal person feelings needs to know he is not alone.**

The first time I joined a challenge group here on Facebook, my coach Jamie wanted me to send her before photos. I immediately got a lump in my throat. I didn’t want to take photos and I certainly didn’t want to share them with someone I’ve never met.

I mean, let’s get real, we only post the best of the best photos of ourselves when it means other people can see it. We know the angles, we know the lighting, we know the filters. And when you’re struggling with your weight and you finally decide to take a risk and try something new, there’s just so much “new” you can take.

But I took my before photos and I sent them to her. And I’ve sent her photos since then. And I’ve taken some for myself and kept them on folders in my computer I never visit.

I revisited them today at her suggestion. She provided me with a 2014 photo – not even the start of my Beachbody story. The other photo is last week. I still have a long way to go but I’m so grateful for the road it has taken to get here so far.

January 2014 - September 2015

January 2014 – September 2015

So take your before photos. Get your significant other or best friend to take photos of you in workout clothes. You don’t have to obsess over them, tuck them away in a folder, send them to your coach. (I’d love to be your coach!) And when you’re ready to see how far you’ve come, bring them back out into the light.

Oh yeah – and if you turn in your before and after photos, along with a Beachbody program completion, you get a t-shirt and can win $1000.

Jenga Booty

It sounds a little bit like “Jungle Booty” doesn’t it?

I came up with the expression “like a Jenga Puzzle built on quicksand” awhile ago.  I can’t believe I haven’t wrote about this before.  When you lose weight, things change.  That much everyone knows.  Your body changes, you start to look better.  Yay!  Well, usually.

Let's see what happens!

Let’s see what happens!

Weight doesn’t come off the way it went on.  It’s like the honey badger, it does what it wants!  It would be so nice if weight loss worked like a rewind but it has other plans.  Right now I can feel my ribs clearly.  I can even reach under them.  My ass has flattened.  I no longer have “the bubble” off my caboose.  But, I still have two rolls of abdominal fat.  And that same abdominal fat is not symmetrical from left to right.  Once again, I’m having trouble keeping my pants up because without the butt, it’s like trying to put a belt on a beach ball.  My arms have lost underlying fat, but have just ended up looking deflated, while my neck has gotten gorgeous angles.

The real source of the expression is more about the way that I feel when I exercise.  Even losing a modest 6 lb has ripple effect impacts in my body.  A small change in weight, a shift in how it works, and everything is different.  The way I think about it is my body has adjusted to life being larger than expected.  Some large and small muscles aren’t being used as they were probably intended.  After years of living as a larger size, they’ve made adaptations to still be able to move as much as possible, even if it isn’t the right way.  Once I start to lose this extra size, suddenly they are not required to work as they once did, and they are not ready to work as they should.  This sometimes feels like a giant step back, but it is more like a side step, followed by a forward step that is really, really hard – like walking against the current of a river.

I’m still active and it’s still forward progress, even when it feels like it isn’t.  I’m using more and more of my body the right way.  It’s actually really great to learn to recruit my gluteus properly.  I’m still mastering the lunge, but I know that it is always improving.  In general, I love being more active. I love waking up in the morning and not having pain in my hips and lower back.  I’m looking forward to my next round of learning more about myself and my body and I’m excited to see what I can do.