Congratulations, taking your measurements and before photos is a big deal because it shows your level of commitment to your body transformation journey! Tracking your progress is a key factor in helping people like you to be successful with fitness and weight loss, and your measurements and before photos are the two biggest areas in which you are going to watch that progress unfold. So let’s walk through how to take your before photos and measurements so that you can most accurately document the transformation that lies ahead for you!
Taking your Measurements
What You Need:
- Flexible measuring tape
- The help of a spouse or friend (optional)
Measuring on your own is definitely doable, but if you have someone who you are comfortable with asking to help you out, I do suggest it as it will just make things go a little more quickly!
As shown in the image above, you will want to measure each of your upper arms, thighs, your chest, hips, and waist. This short video below shows you exactly how and where to take those measurements so that you make sure you are being consistent each time that you take them. That consistency matters so that you can accurately track the progress that’s happening.
After you take your measurements, you’ll want to step on the scale (okay, so maybe you don’t want to step on the scale, but for the sake of your coming results, just do it)! One of the biggest regrets people have is making big weight loss or body transformations and not documenting it well from the beginning. So grab your weight and write it down.
I suggest taking your weight and measurements every week (and of course you are writing all of these numbers down!). And please remember, muscle weighs more than fat, so do not allow yourself to get discouraged by the number on the scale. It will fluctuate day to day (even hour to hour if you’re like me), and sometimes it’s going to go up as your body builds muscle to burn off the fat. That’s why the scale is only one way that we are tracking progress and why your measurements and before photos are so important to give us the full picture of how your transformation is coming along.
Taking your Before Photos
What you need
- A nice phone or camera
- Good lighting
- The help of a friend (optional)
I know, this part probably makes you want to cry or go crawl into a hole. No one likes this part, but do not skip it! Taking your before photos is essential to tracking your progress and motivating you to keep going on this journey. As you put in all the hard work ahead, you want to be able to see the changes. Your photos are going to show you so much more than the number reflected back to you on the scale.
These pictures, set side by side with the pictures you’ll take 3 months, 6 months, even a year from now, are going to be the most inspirational documentation of your journey. Seeing your before and after photos will make you proud, and excited, and motivated to continue pressing forward.
And they will be what initiate the domino effect that inspires others to make healthy lifestyle changes, too. People will love to hear your story of success, but they will be entirely captivated by your before and after photos.
And that’s why we’re going to press in to the uncomfortable and take our before photos and why we want to do it well. Here are a few pointers to help you take the best transformation photos for your fitness journey.
First of all, you want to make sure you have good lighting so that your pictures are well lit and without lots of shadows. Natural lighting is best, so find a place near a big window and allow the sunlight to come from behind the camera, not towards it. I personally use a ring light (and love it, but they are a bit pricey), to take my photos because I don’t have a good place in the house with great lighting against a bare wall.
That’s the second tip, ideally for these you will stand against a plain wall with a solid background. You want to avoid having lots of clutter or big objects behind you that will become a distraction to the photo. Standing against a bare wall allows you to best see all the curves and outline of your body, which promotes a much better comparison between side by side transformation photos.
Third, take shots from multiple angles so that you can see front, side, and back of your transformation. Many people only take the front photo, but your most obvious results may end up being the loss of cellulite on the backs of your legs or a flatter belly that would be most visible from the side. So take a few extra minutes and cover all the angles, you’ll be so glad you did.
The fourth tip for taking your before photos is to wear the same clothes. I personally love to take photos in many different outfits (sports bras and shorts, swimsuits, tight fitting clothes, etc) so that I have many different comparisons to make as I progress. But as I am putting these images together, I try to compare myself side by side in the same clothing. This gives the most accurate picture of progress.
Lastly, here’s my favorite tip of all (the most helpful tip if you are taking your own photos)! Set up your phone and turn on the video. Yep, I said that right. Take a video of yourself standing for a few seconds in many different positions (forward-facing with hands to the side, forward-facing with hands on the hips, side-facing hands at the side, back-facing, etc). When you’re done, you can simply go through the video, pause it on each position, and screenshot the photo. This is the easiest and fastest way to take lots of pictures! Just be sure to stand really still for a few moments in each pose so that you can get a clear screenshot.
And that’s it! Now you’re all set to begin your great journey! For those of you working with me in an accountability group, now is the time to send these photos and measurements my way! Remember, as your coach, I am here to be your Number ONE fan and to cheer you on every step of the way! Proud of you for taking this first step, the best is yet to come!