Those Before/After Fitness Pictures Are A Big, Fat Lie

You might have already expected as much, but those before/after picture for the supplements that claim to help you drop 30 pounds in 30 days or give you an overnight six-pack or whatever insane thing they say they’ll do are all a bunch of hogwash. Aussie personal trainer and fitness blogger MelVFitness demonstrated how those pictures are nothing but an optical illusion by doing her own photo transformation in 15 minutes.

“Check out my transformation! It took me 15 minutes. Wanna know my secret? Well firstly I ditched the phonewallet (fwallet) cause that shit is lame, swapped my bather bottoms to black (cause they’re a size bigger & black is slimming), Smothered on some fake tan, clipped in my hair extensions, stood up a bit taller, sucked in my guts, popped my hip —  threw in a skinny arm, stood a bit wider #boxgap, pulled my shoulders back and added a bit of a cheeky/Im so proud of my results smile. Zoomed in on the before pic- zoomed out on the after & added a filter. Cause filters make everything awesome. What’s my point? Don’t be deceived by what you see in magazines & on Instagram.. You never see the dozens of other pics they took that weren’t as flattering. Photoshop can make a pig look hotter then Beyonce.”


Mel goes on to share her story about her real-life fitness transformation (pictured above), which took place over a three year period. In the first photo Mel reveals that she had just returned from an exchange program in America where she had “THE GREATEST TIME OF HER LIFE!” because she was eating, drinking and being merry. In the second photo, she was a fitness trainer “on a strict diet plan” who was totally obsessed with her progress and training “like a dog” for a six-pack to the point of total social isolation. “Yeah I looked good on the outside- but I was a mess on the inside. I was tired, moody, I’d tainted good friendships and I actually really hated the person I had become,” she admits. Mel goes on to “drop a truth bomb” about why it’s so important not to be seduced by the illusion of transformation photos:

“What a before and after shot doesn’t tell you how the person achieved it. It doesn’t tell you if they did it a healthy way or if they starved themselves for weeks on end to get there. It also doesn’t show you the persons mental state, their self worth, how the hours of exercise they did, the lifestyle change, the early mornings, the skipped lunches, how they handled social situations or how many skinny mini teas they chugged … Oh and transformation shots are great, but let it be clear — that being thinner doesn’t always mean you’ll be happier, transformations take time, and good lighting can make Buddah have a 6 pack.”

Amen to that! With some help, Mel has gotten healthier and even though she says her jeans are tighter, she’s back to her “bubbly, self confident, smart ass” self. Her advice to anyone trying to get more fit is “make small changes” and be “patient and consistent.” I applaud any woman — especially one in the fitness industry — who is willing to talk openly and honestly about what goes into making over your body. [MelVFitness via Gawker]