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Before and After

Before and After

I love before and after shots, I don’t even really care what the before or after is. Home renovations, landscaping, city building, rearranged bedrooms, hair cuts and make overs; the idea of one photo on the left and one on the right of the exact same thing, which has changed dramatically, with seemingly no time lapse – what’s not to love! It’s instant gratification in its finest form. You don’t see the sweat, the tears, the dirt, the times when people nearly gave up, when things got worse before they got better, but at the end of the day (or week, month, year) there’s the after shot which makes it all worthwhile.I love before and after shots so much I’ve photographed my living room before I’ve cleaned it to motivate me to get to a worthy “after” shot.

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BEFORE
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AFTER

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though my favourite of all before and afters are weight loss photos. You can renovate a room, plant a tree, get a haircut, fix up a garden edging, but changing your own body is such a powerful thing to do.

I’ve struggled with my weight, I think most people do though – I really don’t know too many people where health and wellness comes naturally and effortlessly year in, year out, for their entire life time, because unlike a renovation job, there’s no end date, the end date of a health and wellness journey is on your death bed, every day until then you have to continue to make sensible sustainable choices. I can understand why so many people’s weights yo-yo throughout their lives (including my own). It’s challenging when your poison, is your pleasure and is also necessary for survival. You can’t quit eating, you cant give up cold turkey, get through the withdrawals and never eat again. You must continue eating – and making good choices – and participate in regular exercise – forever.

Though back on to the positive, I’m happily “half way” to where I would like to be with my weight loss journey (and hopefully get there and stay there for  60 odd years – give or take a decade) I’ve lost 9kgs and I would like to lose another 9kgs. I’m really pleased I actually have a before shot. After my first pregnancy I continued to gain weight until our son was 1, and then hit a turning point of 89kgs, then went on to lose 24kgs in the following 12 months. So I went back through old photographs in search of a before shot, but no such photo existed. When I set out to change my eating habits, my main focus was to stop gaining weight, but also I didn’t think that I’d actually succeed so I never took that brave step of taking a “before” photo. Taking a before shot is like a commitment to yourself to make a change – or at least it was for me 4 months after the birth of our second baby when I took my more recent “before” photo. I decided that was it, time to change.

I have good days, and bad days, but enough good days that I continue to lose weight and return to a healthier, fitter and all-round happier me (well, a less-round happier me). I try to push away self doubt, and remind myself I’ve done this before and I can do it again, I try not to let the little “no”s get me down (like saying no to chocolate when everyone else is eating it) and I don’t deprive myself of the occasions where I can stuff my face (like if we have roast dinner at my grandma’s house, I WILL have two Yorkshire puddings topped with greasy gravy, and a second serving of roast meat and love every delicious mouthful) I don’t see myself as being “on a diet” – just that I’ve changed my diet.

So here it is:

Before – July 2012 (4 months postpartum) AFTER – April 2013. Weight loss to date – 9kgs.

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“Hold on… we’re half way there…”


What Health and wellness tips, plan or information sources have worked for you on your own journey?

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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