Confession time: I love before and after photos. Not only do I find them super inspiring, I also admittedly look at them in the same way my six-year-old self once observed those picture puzzles in Highlights magazine, trying to discern what is different in the after from the before. After all, not every single change is super obvious.
When Planking For Pizza Instagrammer Jessica Pack posted her 30 second transformation photo, I was in awe. Pack took two photos of herself in the same bikini, standing in the same spot, just 30 seconds apart from one another, yet very subtle adjustments make the two images look very, very different.
🚨 This is not a transformation photo 🚨 This week I've decided to do the 30 second transformation photo. These pics were taken second apart this morning. On the left my posture is poor, I'm pushing my belly out as far as possible, I adjusted my bottoms to show my gross, unsightly and horrid love handles. These are often concealed by my high waisted pants and bottoms that do fit so much better now. As much as it pains me to showcase these, it also proves that my body isn't perfect and that I still have work to do and fat to lose (I'm working so hard to get rid of my love handles and lower tummy fat. Yes it has dramatically reduced already but it still exists and I'm still insecure about it). On the right I'm standing straight and comfortably. I'm lightly flexing and I've adjusted my bottoms to hide my love handles. I'm thankful for bikini bottoms that now fit well and hide these but I'm also trying to show that they still exist quite a bit and that not everything we see meets the eye here on social media. You can show you best angles and hide your flaws but at the end of the day what we chose to showcase is a reflection of ourselves. My body isn't perfect. I still have imperfections and flaws that I'm slowly learning to be comfortable with. I want to be real and honest and open. Yes I've accomplished a lot, but yes my body still has less than ideal days when it doesn't look its best. Fitness and health is not a fix. It's not a destination. It's a lifestyle. If you force your progress you know who you are cheating?! You. You only cheat you. Yes I like to show my best most of the time but I've also realized by not showing my worst that it only harms myself. Being vulnerable and imperfect is hard but lying to yourself is worse. I know I'm hard on myself, it's a flaw on its own, but I'm slowly learning to be gentle and kind but it starts with being truthful to myself and knowing and understanding my imperfections and realizing that, although they exist, they don't define me. I am not a before picture. I am not an after picture. I am not fat nor am I perfect. I'm flawed. I'm scarred. I'm insecure. But I'm learning and I'm hopeful that one day I'll fully love me 💕
In what one would presume is a "before" photo, she's standing slightly hunched, jutting her stomach out, with her bikini bottoms pulled down a bit around her hips. In the "after" photo which looks like a fitter version from the other image, Pack says all she did was stand up straighter, adjust her bikini bottoms to settle along a more flattering midline and flexing ever so lightly.
What a major difference posture alone makes! Plenty of relatives have told us over the years to stand up straight, but this is way better motivation.
"You can show your best angles and hide your flaws but at the end of the day what we choose to showcase is a reflection of ourselves," writes Pack in her post. "My body isn't perfect. I still have imperfections and flaws that I'm slowly learning to be comfortable with. I want to be real and honest and open."
It's obviously hitting home with a lot of people. The 30 second transformation post has received over 2,700 likes since Pack shared the images last week.