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.

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My (admin’s) Before picture, which although not flattering in any way I’m really pleased I’ve now got.

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.

before pics

Spot the difference?

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!