Many fitness products and weight loss products have Instagram and Facebook accounts that are absolutely filled with ‘Before and After’ pictures, where somebody has undergone a dramatic body transformation. Some of them are absolutely unbelievable where an average-looking person has lost 100+ lbs, and these are the kind I love because they are SO extreme. It’s like reading that book ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ backwards, without the butterfly part of course. These people are like super-humans with the dedication of a Navy SEAL. We are all captivated by those extreme stories, where people push their bodies to the limit and drop half of their body weight or sometimes even more. But, what about those transformations we see on those cheesy TV commercials, Youtube videos or those social network pages that are blatantly trying to sell us something. Believe it or not, they aren’t all real. Some of you may know exactly what I am talking about; flashback to that TV commercial with the girl who looks a bit chubby and then transforms into this tanned, bleach blonde bikini model. It may look dramatic but if you take a closer look at the photo, you might notice a few things. Is the lighting different? Is it photo shopped? Is she posing the same way? There are tricks that these companies use to make somebody appear to have transformed, but really, it’s all an illusion.
They are bull-sh***ing you. Hopefully, the picture I have posted above illustrates how easy it is to manipulate a photograph, and I didn’t even use Photoshop. All I did was change the lighting slightly (by opening the curtains a little bit), add a filter to the right-hand photograph, adjust the angle slightly, and pose in a different way. The pictures were taken literally five minutes apart. How crazy is that? I mean, seriously, imagine how much I could have edited the right-hand photo if I had photoshop skills. I could have enhanced my quads, my calves, my lack-of-a-thigh-gap, my lack-of-abs and even given myself a breast enhancement. Perfecto! So, here are 10 tips on how to make your perfect transformation photograph:
- Go lift some heavy things to get those muscles bulging, if veins pop then even better.
- Tighten every muscle in your body, squeeze those abs but suck your belly in a little too, but not too much because you don’t want it to actually look like you’re sucking in. Fake-natural is the new natural.
- If you are a girl, put on a pair of heels to elongate those legs of yours and make your calves stand out and your ankles look skinny.
- Stick your shoulders back and stretch your body upwards; don’t slouch or you’ll look frumpy.
- Tan yourself and moisturise so you’re nice and shiny (I couldn’t be bothered doing this) or use a filter that makes you look more tan.
- Stick your chest out a little bit.
- Move your arms away from your body so the muscles look even more defined and you don’t have “flabby-arm”.
- If you have a thigh gap, accentuate it. If not (like me), make it look like you have one.
- Don’t drink water before your ‘after’ photograph but drink loads prior to taking your ‘before’ photograph to maximise bloating.
- For your ‘before’ photograph, take from the most unflattering angle that you know of and just try to look as stumpy as possible, blow that stomach out and slouch over so you look shorter than you actually are.
Now, you too can have the perfect transformation photograph! In all seriousness, please don’t make the same mistake I have and judge yourself against photographs of fitness models and bikini models that are posted online. I guarantee you that these people are complete experts in the art of posing and selfie photography. No, I’m not saying that they all use photoshop because many of them work damn hard. But I also guarantee you that they are not that lean all year-round, unless they are a super-ultimate crazy-hardcore body competitor in which case, I salute them. My point is, don’t be fooled by what you see on the internet. Transforming your body takes a long time and a lot of hard work. It isn’t going to happen overnight. Yes, my body has transformed a tiny bit since I’ve been with a PT and those photographs will come to you in a future blog post, but it’s been 7 weeks (so far) of dedication, commitment, good days, bad days, weight gain, weight loss, tears, smiles, and a lot of hard work. Ignore the diets that tell you your body will transform in only two weeks or only seven days. If it can make you drop weight or tone up that fast, it probably isn’t healthy or sustainable. There was even a guy I found on Instagram who drinks 1-2 glasses of red wine, and no water, the night prior to a photo shoot to dehydrate himself. Does that sound healthy to you? Hmm… The internet is full of mirages; you should know this, with the advanced tools like Photoshop and other photo editing software that is available to us today. Don’t get sucked in, and don’t believe everything you see, because it can destroy you. Trust me, I’ve been there. Find the real people, the authentic ones, with real stories and real transformations. These are the ones who will inspire you the most, and these guys aren’t trying to sell you anything.