I'm not here to talk about significant weight loss. Neither have I gained major muscle. There's no six-pack to see here. I have mini-muscles if I flex my bicep but in a world of dramatic before and afters, there's a few other things I wanted to share from an alternative perspective.
That's me in 2013. I wasn't drastically unhealthy- I used to cycle a 20km round trip to work 5 days per week and I've always liked to cook and understand the basic concepts of cooking balanced food. I wasn't the healthiest person you'll ever meet, but I was just about a healthy weight for my height and participating in in 3-4 hours of exercise per week via my cycle-commute. I was doing ok.
So what's changed.
Well it started with losing my cycle commute to a new job. And having been adamant I wasn't a runner for a long time, I realised that trainers were going to be more transportable than my bike whilst working away regularly, so got on board with the Couch25K program....
And it sucked. It was really fucking hard. And it only really came together after a handful of stutters...
This is me 2015 vs 2016:
Do I look different? Sure. I was a little lighter and leaner. I ran over 100km of races between these 2 images. I also spent a lot of time feeling 'not good enough', setting myself unreasonable goals and feeling frustrated. I didn't realise it at the time and it took me until the autumn of 2016 to realise that when it comes to exercise, sports and health, there are constantly changes to make, things to learn and that everyone is working towards something different in their own way.
And this is me in 2017.
I am a bit lighter- around 10kg, I'm a bit leaner- a size 10 from a 14 but it's nothing too drastic. There's no dramatic picture of me standing in a single leg of my old pair of jeans. There's no six pack and dedication to veganism or paleo or low carb. Do I enjoy buying a small instead of a medium? Sure, but here's a few things your average Transformation Tuesday doesn't tell you...
A before and after picture can't tell you that not only can I run 5k, but my 10km time has come down by 15 minutes and I completed a full marathon less than a year after lacing up my trainers for my first run.
A before and after picture doesn't tell you that riding my bike over 100km and 100 miles is exciting and it isn't so hard that I think about giving up half way through anymore.
A picture cannot demonstrate the improved healing time and significant reduction in injuries I suffered in the last 12 months because I've learned to love lifting heavy things.
And a picture will never explain the connection between physical strength and emotional strength that has given me the empowerment I needed to make peace with with all kinds of big life stuff.
A transformation picture can tell you a lot of things. It can help you to understand changes you might have made. They can celebrate you in all your beautiful forms. But a picture or a comparison cannot tell you your worth. It cannot tell you all of the positive changes you are capable of making and how much of an impact a healthy passion can have on your life.