The Butt-Kicking Magic Of Before And After Pictures

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.


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!


About the Author /

I'm Andrew Shanahan, I started MAN v FAT when I lost over 60lbs and realised that there was naff all help for men who wanted to lose weight.

From the forum

  1. Avatar for admin admin says:

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

  2. 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:

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. I’ve got a before and a during. Starting weight well over 22 stone. Weight when I bought scales on 5th August 22 stone dead. Currently 18 stone. Goal 13 stone.

  7. I’m currently at 91kg. My initial goal was 90 but of course now I’m here I’m not happy so I’ll keep going until I see all those abs!

  8. @bignorthernlad. I was knackered ALL the time which would lead to me being grumpy round the wife and kids. My job was full on and I got no rest at the weekend. As my wife was with the kids all week the weekends were for “fun” with the family which I just wasn’t enjoying. I was living down south but working in Nottingham and ate to calm myself down. When I changed jobs and got a job in London I started eating even more as there was so much availability. I started to get really down but at the same time I started thinking about the implications of it getting worse but at the same time what an alternative could look like. I spent a month or so researching and lurking and thinking about strategies and most of all what got in the way when I had failed before. I then set some goals. Wrote them down, got pictures etc. Most of them were child like; run, climb, jump etc so I could be a better dad. I then wrote a whole series of rules.

    3 x 36 hours fasts a week.
    Never eat between meals
    Don’t eat white bread
    2 x cheat meals a week - Eat WHATEVER I want at those meals
    Don’t eat chips unless it’s a Saturday
    Eliminate Sugar completely even in fruit.
    Eat loads of veg on non fast days
    Drink only water
    Do not eat Proteins or fats with Potatoes Bread or Pasta in the same meal - If you can’t do proteins - Carb thing eat a simple brown bread sandwich.
    No puddings
    No mushrooms
    Do weights 3x a week
    Do HIIT cardio 3x per week.

    A lot are illogical and contradict each other but they are things I can decide and I know I can do but the cheat day means that however hard it is I’m only a Saturday away from a fry up and a takeaway or eating stuff on my own banned list.

    So the simple answer is that I just keep doing them over and over again and keep reading and thinking about my goals and actions. Also if I make mistakes I don’t beat myself up. I just carry on with the plan at the next meal without beating my self up. I was fking brilliant at getting fat so I am going to use the same personality traits to be fking brilliant at getting it off.

    I also use myfitness pal to work out that I was doing about 7000 calories per day at my worst and on non fast days I now do 1500. Zero on fast days and 3500 on cheat days.

  9. BRING IT ON jaxom :grinning:

    I have a great VALSE team and have all weighed in yesterday

    Me @Hammy_Hamster 95.7
    @CRS1965 97.5
    @:kmyne 16 11
    @hiddenjelly 121.4
    @graysie ?

Please note: When posting a comment to our website you can login securely with Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. Continue the discussion

52 more replies