We've all seen them: Those amazing transformation photos of someone losing lots of weight. Those Biggest Loser-style before and after pictures may have you inspired to go on your own weight-loss journey, but be warned: Things aren't always as they appear!
As it's the age of Photoshop, it's no surprise that sometimes those transformation photos aren't totally legit. After all, we've all seen what can be done to celebrities on magazine covers. But you wouldn't believe how convincing those photos can be even without a little computer airbrushing. Simple tricks like lighting, posture, and a few well-timed push-ups can help someone make the metamorphosis from bloated "before" to inspiring "after," as was the case with Andrew Dixon who recently decided to show just how easy it is to transform - in under an hour.
Not only did Dixon manage to produce a pretty convincing before and after, he managed to create an entire series of weight-loss shots, showing his "progress" over time. It's convincing, and anyone could be fooled by this.
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As Dixon says in his article, long-lasting results take years of consistency, so we shouldn't be looking for that quick fix or magical weight-loss cure. I say we shouldn't be looking for that magical program that makes us look like we have six-pack abs or arms like Michelle Obama. Looking great is a fabulous side effect of working out, but it shouldn't be the sole motivator. A better motivator is the effect that working out has on energy levels, how it makes us feel, and how it'll help us achieve our goals and stay active throughout life to achieve those bucket list goals.
We need to get out of the trap of comparing ourselves and our bodies to others, especially when you consider the fact that comparing ourselves to airbrushed models in magazines tends to make us feel worse about ourselves - and I'd presume that also translates to "after" pictures. One study on that topic said that women who viewed fashion magazines preferred to weigh less, were less satisfied with their bodies, more frustrated about their weight, more preoccupied with the desire to be thin, and more afraid of getting fat than their peers who viewed news magazines. As our bodies are all unique, there is no one perfect "after," and we're always evolving and changing. We need to strive for our own personal best and cut the comparison to other people's bodies. You'll never look exactly like anyone else's "after." Be your own best and your own after.
Photo credit: Melissa Hiller, Flickr
-By Erin Whitehead
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