The Butt-Kicking Magic Of Before And After Pictures

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We’ve spoken about goal setting and tracking a lot on MAN v FAT, but one thing that never ceases to amaze me is how few guys take full-on Before pictures before they embark on their weight loss journey.

I totally get why they don’t want to because they see it as embarrassing and something that they’d much rather forget about, but ultimately, the whole point of losing weight is that you’re going to change.

One of the most satisfying ways of tracking that change is to see it. Unless you have a time machine the best way of doing that is to take pictures. Heck, get some video too.

Yes: you will feel horrible when you pose for your front-on pictures.

And yes, turning to the side for a full on gut 360, is not going to be nice.

But you can put them in a hidden digital folder and you only need to look at them when you’ve made progress.

Do it. Do it now.

One of our Amazing Losers is a guy named Steve Wood and for him the Before and After picture became a driving force of his weight loss. We put a few questions to him.

Your pictures have really made a difference - what advice do you have for others who are thinking of taking before pics?

Just be honest with yourself. Assess your situation. Be brave. My view is that you shouldn’t hide them away, you should post them on Facebook and tell your friends about what you will be doing. And keep posting on your “wins” along the way. You will get MASSIVE support. You may be embarrassed initially, but get over the shyness, bang that first picture on Facebook with a mission statement saying you are going to try your damnedest, then keep posting regular progress pics or challenges you set yourself. Your Facebook friends will give you that support, and your shyness will disappear like a fine mist on a Summer’s morning.

How did it start for you?

I started off at 23st 5lbs with two mile bike ride challenges, which initially I was exhausted at the end of - but recently I now weigh 14st 8lbs and I put up a photo of me doing the 66 mile Manchester to Blackpool bike ride. It was the best feeling! And after going over the finish line cycled another four miles to the car and STILL wanted to keep on going! I have done it - YOU CAN DO IT TOO! Get snapping and believe in yourself and stay true.

Why did you choose that particular place for your progress pics?

I didn’t at the start really. I was lucky I guess. It was a picture my daughter took of me initially and one of the pictures that inspired me to change. When I saw it I thought “Wow! Is that me?!” As I go back to Somerset every Summer, I was determined to do the same picture again, which is the “During” picture at August 2014, to see the progress I was making.

Some people are shy of having their before pic taken - what would you say to them?

I was shy too. I was quite embarrassed and very shocked when I initially saw my daughter’s photo of me, but then I used it to my advantage to tell myself “I can do this, I can lose this weight!” - and it gave me a marker to start of with. And therefore a goal to aim for “next Summer” on my return to Somerset Cheddar Crazy Golf!

In your experience why is it important to have these photos?

I think it is very important to take before, during and after because it gives you a real sense of how far you have come, the fantastic efforts and achievements you have made along the way. Without photographic evidence of me “before”, I would never have believed I was the size I was. I still look back now and think … “Wow, that was me?!”. And it is an incentive never to go back there. I should emphasise I’m talking about not going back in terms of size, not to Cheddar Crazy Golf, which is great!

What suggestions would you give for taking good pictures?

Take them in good sunlight. Get a whole “side on” picture. This give you the best “holy cow!” shock tactic and gives you the best start to say “heck yeah, I gotta change!”

So, you've got your orders: go take that picture. Don't share it if you don't want to, but you can always find someone on the forum to cheer you on. And if you want to be inspired by other guys' weight loss before and after pictures then go see the Amazing Losers!

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I do have a before picture, but I’m in my underwear and don’t realy wish to see that floating around on the Internet for eternity.
I have a vest on as well, so it’s not as bad as it could have been. :slight_smile:

Yes, I’m not thrilled that if you google Andrew Shanahan you never have to look far to see my, ahem, topless shots.

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That’s why I don’t give my name - there are many shots with less on than Jaxom :slight_smile:️ And yes they show my before picture - but NSFW won’t warn people enough :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I took some photos at the very start of my journey a month ago - to remind me I never want to be that man again, but also hoping in a month or two I can redo the shots and really see a difference.


You will. You’ll be shocked at the change. They’re not nice to take but they’re so powerful as you go.


Keep snapping the pix. You don’t even have to look at them. I have one from four months ago that looks atrocious. Early morning. No shirt. No shave. I have another from about a month ago and I’m due for one. Waiting to drop below my next five point keypoint. It hurts to look at a before you don’t want to see but the alternative is the ostrich.

Right now it’s early evening and I’m done eating for the day. Knowing that I want to keep the scales moving south and there’s another picture looming on the horizon, I’m motivated to do what it takes to get a nice low reading on the scale in the morning. I just keep taking it one day at a time.

Your before and after pix are dramatic. Why not do the shirt off? I think they’re way more valuable.


I’ve got a load. I’ve tried to lose weight before and taken so photos of weight loss before and during before putting weight on again. My latest photos taken on August the 6th really were the straw that broke the camel’s back. I looked like the robot in big hero six. They really are powerful. Even the better ones before, when I look at them are not good enough. Very motivating to look at now.

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I am noticing more and more photos from over the last few years how bigger I was getting in each one (including one of me dancing at wedding on thursday) generally I never saw it before but there is a clear difference between 20year old me and 36 year old me now when I haven’t looked after myself

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I’m out of focus in the background. But it’s a picture of me on my son’s 2nd birthday. Seeing this appear on my Facebook feed filled me with shame. Literally looks like I’m packing a b cup in that photo.

I joined a gym the next morning

They become less painful to look at as they age, especially if what you’re doing is working, i.e. you’re losing weight. If you’re not losing weight, or determined to do so, you won’t be taking pictures anyway, right?

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And for the record, all pictures from here out, I’m sucking in the gut! And maybe a smile will begin to appear too. Also… for the record… the 230 lbs was more like 12 years ago. Time flies when you’re eating donuts.

Well I’ve got before and after, but the before shot was from 20 odd years ago…when I was built like a rake and had hair. My wife posted it on facebook tonight. Depressing, really… :unamused:

Before photo taken June 12th, after photo taken in 1st September. 110kg down to 97. I’m now 94.5kg. Aiming for sub 90kg possibly 85kg but will see how I look when I get to 90.


Not depressing, inspiring! You can’t grow the hair back but you can get whatever shape body you like. Go and get it!

this was me 4 years ago, just before my first triathalon. my lowest weight ever. 13st 4lbs. I have now gone up to 15st 4lbs and refuse to go up any further.

i want this body back!


@Mikese13 like you I think it’s the before the before shot which spurs me on.

I’ve got my skinny photo where I want to get back to … Lots of us have, but I’ve got a photo from a couple of years ago when I thought I was a similar weight to now. I look at that and think “wow! I wasn’t that overweight then! I would kill to be back to that weight”

That’s the photo that gets me going.


Bloody hell - that’s a hell of a change for 10 pounds, well done @geoffbeckett

Not sure it’s you mind - you’ve got a different t-shirt on and your head is missing :grinning:

Get me some of that 10lb weightloss stuff - now!



sounds exactly like me @Mikese13 - lowest 13st and currently 15st 6lbs :disappointed:


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No sir, the difference between those two pictures is 13kg. I did that in a twelve week period using the body for life program by Bill Phillips. The 10lbs was lost in the last 30 days during the MVFIA. I have now lost a total of 19kgs since 12 June. Here is my beautiful face in the same shirt.

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