Five Reasons Progress Pictures are GOOD for Fitness

May 7th, 2013 - Feb 4th, 2014

May 7th, 2013 – Feb 4th, 2014

I post progress photos a lot.  Once a week and maybe even more if I’m bored or come across a particularly unflattering photo that I deem a suitable “before” (more on that later).  I read a lot of disdain for progress photos from a lot of pages I like and respect.  I understand the reasoning for not wanting to share them.  I understand the sentiment behind not wanting people to be judging body shapes in any way, especially in light of all the judging of body shapes that goes on in life whether we like it or not.  Variety is the spice of life after all and not everyone will appreciate or care about what I’m doing.  But in these spaces, on my pages, I choose to update the people who give a crap, weekly, about my progress on this weight loss journey.  I do it for many reasons, but here are the five reasons I think you should reconsider taking (and maybe even sharing) your own progress photos often if you are on a journey to fit:

  1. They will help keep you accountable on your program.  Being able to monitor the little changes that happen each week becomes a powerful and positive motivator to get your workouts, water, and vegetables in on a consistent basis.
  2. The scale/tape measure can be fickle:  They won’t tell you if your jawline firmed up, your eyes look brighter, or if your skin looks healthier this week but pictures DO.  Fitness changes you from inside out and many of the changes can’t be measured with a tape, or a scale.
  3. Watching your progress unfold in a weekly (biweekly, monthly, whatever) series of image is empowering!  Being able to see and acknowledge the changes you are making reinforces your hard work.
  4. Forcing yourself to take stock of your body and health weekly will connect your mind to your body in a more tangible way.  As an overweight person I found it comforting to disconnect my thinking, feeling self from my physical self to deal with (or block out) the pain and shame I felt.  Actually looking at myself weekly has allowed me to become much more in touch with and accepting of my whole self.
  5. Because you deserve to have a ritual that makes YOU feel good every week.  Not all the pictures will show a physical change, but every week it will be a little easier to get a good shot, to smile a little bigger, to see that something else looks a little tighter, to acknowledge that a little bit more of the sweat you on left in the kitchen and on the gym floor is showing in your muscles.  You work hard, mama, you deserve to recognize and celebrate it!

Obviously these reasons will not work for everyone.  I share my progress shots because I want to be a real person who is relatable to the people that follow my page and read my shit…because I want those women to know that I came from a similar place they are in and I am heading somewhere else in a sane and manageable way.   This is why I post the most unflattering before pictures I can find, because those pictures exist for all of us and I’m trying to show people that they don’t have to hide around me.  A lot of power can come from being vulnerable, once your worst and most shameful, terrible photo is out there, there is no going back.  And when you realize that people see you, no matter how good you are at hiding, there is nothing to be afraid of anymore either.


  • Mary

    April 18, 2014

    I think you are doing so well Amber! I was a rebel member from the beginning, but was so ill with badly treated hypothyroidism/hashimotos, that working out and weight loss was just not happening, I was too sick. So I dropped out and worked on getting proper treatment, and I have! I am down 30 pounds now from where I was, and just about to start weight lifting again. I find your progress inspiring, and I think I am going to start adding my own progress pics to share with my own FB group, because I have been holding off, too embarrassed to see what I look like now, it was so hard to accept when I was ill, but now I can see I am heading places, and it feels good 🙂

    • Amber

      April 18, 2014

      Thank you so much for sharing Mary! I’m so glad to hear that you are feeling better and ready to kick ass again! Definitely take the photos, even if you don’t look at them right now or share them there will come a time when you are ready and will be so happy you have them. 🙂