Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo.  I didn’t want to film this from my office, but I have to because we have so many amazing people here working out right now.  If I were to go out in the studio to film there’d be no way you could hear me. What a great day!  Being able to help so many people reach their goals has been a huge passion for me throughout my 17 year career and I am feeling really grateful this afternoon. Anyhow, I am in my office, so it is a little too small to show you some exercises, so we’ll just have to talk.  

Tonight I wanted to kind of bring up the idea that if a picture of ourselves is worth a thousand words, why do we only use the negative ones to describe it? I am sure someone has taken a picture of you recently and when you saw it you immediately started looking for the flaws in your smile, your stomach, your hair, your clothing, your…whatever. Everyone seems to do that nowadays especially when you never know if a picture of you will find its way onto a popular social media site or not.

During a new client consultation at Custom Fitness, we go through an assessment to see, metrically, where they’re starting from. We measure their baseline weight, blood pressure, body composition, etc. We want to get a snapshot of their current health and fitness levels. In addition to metrics, we also take pictures of them.  We are not like those other gyms who take pictures of clients stripped down to their skivvies and post them all over the walls, their ads, their websites for marketing purposes. Any pictures you have seen of our clients have all been with their permission (and they are always clothed!). We take confidential pictures during the consultation because when you begin a body or health transformation, taking pictures is the only way to show your mind your progress.

Often, when people who have undergone any transformation look in the mirror they only see the “before” version of themselves.  Maybe you know someone who lost a significant amount of weight or maybe suffered from an eating disorder like Anorexia or Bulimia. Did you know when they look in the mirror, they don’t see what you see? They see what their mind’s eye wants them to see. Body dysmorphia, if you will. Their mind cannot process the shape it is currently viewing, so it covers it with the most recent image it could comprehend, the “old” version of themselves. I know a man who lost over 100 pounds who was working in a restaurant. After he lost his weight, he still felt like he couldn’t move between chairs without sidestepping through.  It took him almost 6 months to come to terms with the fact that the shape of his body actually changed and the weight was gone.

It is really important that you are getting a reality check about where you are through something that can’t be subjective. Later on you will see how far you have gone.  Not to mention, having a gallery of progress photos will inspire motivation. Clients who are lacking motivation, one of the best things they can do is to take a “before” and “after” shot of themselves and tape them up on the bathroom mirror or someplace they will look everyday.  If you don’t notice a difference in yourself in the mirror, your transformation will jump out at you in pictures.

We take pictures during the initial consultation and again after 4 weeks of training. Typically the first change people will notice is the face thinning out and the neck looking elongated. The arms, belly, and legs have changed too, but minimally.  These aren’t yet in “ideal shape”, so folks typically overlook those areas until substantial progress has occurred.  Don’t give up. even though the change is small it will grow as you continue your efforts towards your ultimate self. Keep taking pictures to find your motivation to keep going.

If you’re wondering what kind of pictures to take, well, if you’re at home, I do recommend as little clothing as possible. Men I suggest going shirtless while wearing shorts and ladies feel free to grab shorts and a sports bra.  If you are taking pictures in public, minimal with tight fitting leggings or a tank top will do your body justice. You want to wear something where you can actually see your form. I cannot tell you how many clients I have had during my career as a personal trainer in Amarillo, show up on picture day sporting their favorite scrubs or sweatpants.  Those maybe comfy, but they aren’t very formfitting. That will make it tough to see the shape of your body in the pictures.

Try and take a picture of your whole body from the front, the side, and the back. Sometimes the changes you don’t notice on the front can be more apparent from the back. Selfie mode isn’t going to provide the feedback you are looking for with this. Grab a friend and strut your stuff.  

Make sure the room you are taking the pictures in has good light. You don’t want to see just shadows in the place where you abs could be (or maybe you do?).   When you’re finished print them out and put them in a place you look often. Places like the rear view mirror, your bathroom mirror, taped to your computer monitor, as a wallpaper on your phone, etc. All great places to keep you heading in the right direction. Plus it makes a great conversation piece.

When was the last time you celebrated a personal success? My guess is it has been a while. Keeping photos lying about can give you reason to be proud of yourself and the strides you are making, instead of nitpicking at your appearance. You have worked very hard for your successes and you deserve to celebrate everyone. I encourage our clients to find one thing they succeeded at during the day, everyday. Then journal it or celebrate it! When you feel your motivation or self-esteem lacking, leaf through the journal and remember that you can do what you put your mind to.

If you would like to find out how to be more successful in a more efficient style of exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle modification, our team would love to help. Give us a call: 806-322-3188 or e-mail us at info@customfitness.biz. We have consultations available for you to come and see if we are the right fit for one another. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainers in Amarillo. Go take some pictures!