I Hate Before and After Pictures…

I hate them because they are usually presented in a way that communicates, “Look at this hideous, fat creature I used to be. Now everything is perfect because I AM THIN!!!” The people in them have been made over within an inch of their lives, and the photo is professionally shot and lit. Annoying. They also presume health = thin. Believe me, I know a lot of sick and unhealthy thin people.

And yet, here I am showing you mine. I think they can be instructive for people, and that can’t be bad. If showing people my before and “after” (“after” because I am not done yet) somehow motivates people to make some changes, then it is worth it. I have found that living by example is way more helpful to people than telling people what to do about their own weight struggles.

Also, my “after” photos hardly depict me in a state of made-overness. Rather, I am nasty and sweaty from a hot yoga class. I felt like these photos show my body after it had served me well during a 90-minute yoga class in a 100 degree room. Not bad. And I really like that it is the same body as in the “before” picture, just transformed by a rather simple diet change (see What I Eat to Lose Weight post) applied consistently over time. So, here it goes.

Nell before 87 pound weight loss

Stats: I am 5'10, 267 pounds in this picture. Dress size 22W. My BMI is 38.6, edging very close to the dreaded morbidly obese range. I suffered from insulin resistance, allergies, skin problems, shortness of breath, etc. I know this is a hideous sweater and, yes, I am wearing a bra. This is the ONLY picture of me at my heaviest weight. Enough said.

Nell After 87 Pound Weight Loss

Stats: I am 5'11 (that's right, yoga has given me an inch in height over the past year!) and 180 pounds, with a BMI of 25.5. Dress size is 10/12. I may have a bit of lingering insulin resistance, but it is mostly gone. My allergies and sinus problems are almost gone. Skin issues are a thing of the past. And shortness of breath, not even in the insane 100 degree yoga room!

Nell Doing Standing Bow Pulling Pose

Just for fun, here I am doing the Standing Bow Pulling Pose from the hot yoga asana series.

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26 Comments on “I Hate Before and After Pictures…”

  1. Testers says:

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  2. Great post. I used to be checking constantly this weblog and I
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  3. Christin says:

    Fastidious replies in return of this question with
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  4. Dana Stewart says:

    Thank you so much for posting this, I am on my second week of YOGA I began at 287 and within 5 days lost so much water of 8 lbs so I am starting as of last Sunday at 279. I am facing myself on the mat and the hopelessness I have had with obesity. I have moments where I hear myself say I am not gonna make it. I leave class feeling incredible, looking forward to the next class – I see so many beautiful yoga bodies in there……..I know if I keep showing up to the mat its gonna work!! Would you be willing to say how long it took for your body to heal and release all of that weight? Thanks so much.

    • This is so inspiring. I was 260 when I started. As for weight loss , still workin on the last 10. I lost the bulk of my weight over 2 years. I am so rooting for you. Hot is great for metabolism.

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. Anonymous says:

    Congrats! You look amazing! I am trying to get back into hot yoga and all I can say is look at these pictures!!! Keep with it and practice as much as possible and your body will transform. I wish I had the time to practice everyday. The results are much quicker than any fad diet you could ever imagine!

  6. Thank you do much for posting these pictures. It’s great to get a visual idea of how much losing 90 lbs actually looks like. You look fantastic and you are such an inspiration for me. Thank you!

  7. […] lot in common with her. I can’t count the times I have fluctuated in size, up to a size 22W (see photos). I also know how much pain is involved in the process. It feels so hopeless. And judging from the […]

  8. […] I Hate Before and After Pictures… В« My Life Lived With Fat Jan 20, 2011 … A blog about living fat and getting well. … If showing people my before and “ after” (“after” … […]

  9. […] lot in common with her. I can’t count the times I have fluctuated in size, up to a size 22W (see photos). I also know how much pain is involved in the process. It feels so hopeless. And judging from the […]

  10. Jan says:

    Wow! What an inspiration you are!! Just listened to your replays on 107.1 and you have convinced me I need to sign up for the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss class!! After working with Dar for a few years, I can see the power of the commitment. It takes a lot of habit changing to get to that point, doesn’t it? Had a really hard time getting over the sugar hump and with that behind me, you’ve given me the hope I can get gluten and dairy behind me and off my behind literally:) !! Keep blogging and I think you’d be a great radio host yourself. Your confidence and personality project beautifully into the airwaves!!

    • I am so happy to hear this! I will be updating the blog soon. I have just had a really busy early spring and it has fallen off my priority list! But I love hearing that my struggle/success is inspiring people. I am so glad you are taking the class. I have been speaking to a few of the classes. I will be speaking to one in Wayzata.

      Thanks again for your kind comment! I am so happy for you!

  11. Kate smith says:

    I heard you on the radio/podcast!! You do hot yoga? I really think staying on the weight and
    wellness program and doing Bikram has done so much for me. I struggled for years with
    my weight not obese but chunky size 14. I am now a size 8 doing yoga 5 times a week
    and eating protein and good food.

    You look wonderful

    Kate

  12. Kate says:

    I heard you on the radio/podcast!! You do hot yoga? I really think staying on the weight and
    wellness program and doing Bikram has done so much for me. I struggled for years with
    my weight not obese but chunky size 14. I am now a size 8 doing yoga 5 times a week
    and eating protein and good food.

    You look wonderful

    Kate

  13. runsuerun says:

    You look awesome! I am so glad you shared your pics, they are definitely inspirational. You must feel great! I agree you are “radiating health”.

    I am not familiar with yoga, but I just tried that pose and nearly broke my back and pulled a leg muscle. That’s hard!

  14. Sally says:

    I’m wondering about the insulin-resistance piece. How do you know that you were insulin-resistant? and how do you know it’s decreasing now?

    • Yes, that is tricky. So, allergies, skin issues, high fasting blood sugars, and stubborn metabolism all can sometimes be symptoms of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Kara Carper at NWW told me this. So, the only way that I know it is decreasing is that my fasting blood sugars have gone from 106 to 83, no skin issues, weight loss, and no more seasonal and cat allergies. So, no test has been run, but the evidence in how much better I feel is what I am going on!

  15. Shannon says:

    Fantastic, Nell! You are so clearly radiating health these days. And your standing bow looks great!

  16. Becca says:

    You are an inspiration, especially since this “thin” girl here is quite unhealthy these days. I wish I could take a “before” shot of my stomach and esophagus right now! Of course, then I need to make some changes so I can get to the “after!” Thanks for all you’ve taught me!


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