Why no Before and After Pictures at The Body Retreat?
Weight loss transformation Before and After Pictures…how I hate them!!
You cannot escape them, If you have been on social media or been looking around for a residential weight loss programme then I’ll bet that you are very familiar with the “Before and After” pictures.
We see weight transformations all over our magazine covers, internet pages and television screens.
These pictures are also (unfortunately) an incredibly powerful marketing tool, so you’ll also continue to see them in magazines and on TV and on social media feeds, as long as there’s a diet industry trying to make money from other peoples misery.
Now this might seem an odd and conflicting blog to be writing…after all…don’t we run a Weight Loss Retreat!!!
We do indeed, for ten years now we have been running Women Only Weight Loss Retreats and yet you will never see a “Before and After” picture used to market our Retreats EVER!!
Why is that ?
Well we don’t buy into the myth that health, wellbeing, happiness is defined by what a woman looks like… but rather what a woman feels like.
The truth about before and after weight loss pictures is that they’re a fleeting moment in time, and never communicate the whole story.
They are just a snapshot in time, they cannot tell you the full story, so they try to convey in a single picture a message that’s something along the following lines:
Large body = bad, gross, lazy, unlovable, ugly, unhealthy, tired, messy, etc
Small body= happy, healthy, pretty, loved, energized, got their shit together, etc
The comments that support these images will be congratulatory, celebratory #goals. They make you feel that you “Should” want to look like the after picture.
I doubt that those using these “Before and After” pictures give any thought or perhaps even care about how incredibly harmful these pictures are. The truth about weight loss before and after pictures is that they’re hurtful, shaming, and quite frankly, don’t tell you a damn thing.
They don’t tell you how the person really feels, how healthy they truly are. Not everyone is happy and healthy in an after picture.
Sometimes dieting has become almost a full time job, robbing them of the physical and mental energy to do things that can really bring them joy.
Sometimes they have fought injury and illness as they have overworked their body in the quest to change it.
Sometimes they’re practically starving their body, doing serious harm to it in the process, so they are hungry all the time and think about food constantly.
Sometimes they’re lonely, because they have become very good at saying no to going out joining friends or family as they worry about what they are going to eat.
Sometimes their smile is forced because they’re really actually quite unhappy and anxious
Because the truth is that Thin doesn’t = Happiness!
After isn’t really After. It’s just now.
Research shows that after 5 years most dieters will regain the weight they lost, and for about two thirds of those people, they’ll end up gaining even more. So what you’re seeing in that after picture isn’t a permanent state of being, but rather a fleeting moment in time
Before and After pictures can leave you feeling inadequate, they feed into anxiety and depression, they may promote Thinness but they do not promote Health.
That is what we want to promote here at The Body Retreat …HEALTH!
On our Weight Loss Retreat we focus on what you gain …not just what you lose. Do you shed pounds and inches on our Weight Loss Retreats…yes of course you do… but it’s not the be all and end all.
We want to you to look and feel and be strong, fit, health, attractive at the shape and size and weight that feels right for you. That doesn’t look just one way.
For us its about cultivating a Mindset of Health and Wellbeing that leads you to behave in ways that respect and protect your body and your health.
It’s how you think, how you feel and how you behave… its not only how you look… so not photograph would ever do that justice.
What about you? What do you think about Before and Afters?