Taking ‘progress pics’ has become one of the most popular ways to track your fitness progress. They can be used as a source of motivation, inspiration and proof of your hard work, but can also create negative feelings and self-talk when we don't like what we see. So how else can we measure progress than just a picture?
A photo is just a snapshot of a 1 second moment in your life. So why should we judge ourselves based on it? With the progression of the ‘body positivity’ movement there has been a clear shift from the original reason we exercised - to lose weight. Now social media is filled with positive images of all the many, many other benefits of exercise - mental wellbeing, physical health, improving our stamina and endurance, a way of socialising, a way of celebrating our bodies and what they can do. Can a picture taken on a Monday morning before any food or water really be the most important thing or the deciding factor on how we see ourselves?
A picture can’t capture the frustrations, the tears, the setbacks and the wins you’ve had in your week. It can’t capture your mindset change and your mental attitude and the sense of accomplishment you felt during a hard workout. So why do we put so much value in it? Of course it's human nature to want to look our best and put our best foot forward and exercise is a way to make ourselves feel good about our bodies. But validation can only come from within. Even women with the ‘perfect’ body have insecurities which proves the point that it all comes from within.
Of course for some women in fitness photos can be useful to track muscle gain or a change in your body composition and for some, photos are a great way to track progress. For others it can be a stressful situation where we are left feeling like we aren’t making any progress according to the photo. We don't take into account all of the other progress we’ve made. It’s important to acknowledge this.
So do whatever works for you Queens but remember, validation can only come from within and you are so much more than a picture.