The Power of a Selfie- Why Taking Progress Pictures Can Help You Towards Your Fitness Goal

By Ange

If you scroll through any health and fitness professionals Instagram, you would be hard pressed not to find an abundance of gym selfies and progress pictures. These images are not only helping to motivate others on their fitness journeys but also offer validation to the individual of their own hard work.

To often we over rely on the bathroom scales to be the only tool we use to give us feedback on our progress. Unfortunately, they fail to tell us what we really need to know. They do not tell us that we are getting stronger, that we ate more carbs the night before, that we are more or less hydrated, that we need to go to the toilet… we need to use another tool to help us see the changes happening to our bodies which we might not be aware of.

Further, if you are already quite lean, the lack of change in the numbers can be so frustrating. If you are looking to loose the ‘last 2-3 vanity kilos’, you are simply not going to see a huge decrease in the numbers.

Why you should schedule progress photos?

Scheduling regular progress photos have been the most powerful tool to help me see progression in my fitness goals. The number on the scales really is quite irrelevant to how I feel and also the way I look.

I am sharing my own progress photos in the hope to inspire others to take theirs. People are often reluctant to take them initially because they feel shame about the way they look. Accepting your body and loving it no matter what it’s shape or size is critical. But also knowing that in taking these picture you are making a commitment to yourself to continue to be the best version of yourself. Further, you are probably taking them initial because you have chosen to make a few changes in your lifestyle, and that’s something you should be really proud of.  But simply taking them once is not enough, schedule to take these pictures at the same time once per week, fortnight or month depending the timeline of your goal.

Has this inspired you to get snapping? Trust me, if like me, you will be glad that you did. The progress in the below pictures are over a 4 month period from December 2017- April 2018. The difference in scale weight is 2.5kg.

How to take a great progress picture?

  1. It can be a little overwhelming to strip down to take these, but you want to be able to see changes in your body. Ideally wear underwear, bathers, crop and shorts so that you can actually see your body and it is not hidden underneath your clothing.
  2. Choose a location in your house that is well lit. Ideally position yourself facing towards a window. When re-taking these photos take the photo in the same place, at the same time of day and the same distance from the camera. All of these variable have the ability to change the quality of our pictures, so aim to be as consistent as possible.
  3. Set your phone up on a timer and take a picture from the front, side and back. Unsure these are all unfixed and that you are in the same position each time. Avoid holding the camera to take these as your angles can change and it hard to see the ‘full picture’.

What to learn more how you can set fitness goals that go beyond the scales? Here are my 10 top performance  goals that will help you realise the athlete within.

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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