My credentials don’t matter to anyone who wants to lose weight and get healthy if I can’t walk the walk. That’s why it’s so important for me to post progress pictures. If I weighed 300 lbs yet I was telling people how to get healthy and lose weight, why would they trust me if I couldn’t follow the advice myself? The same is true had I never been over 200 lbs: I wouldn’t be able to understand the difficulties in not only the physical aspect of losing weight, but also the psychological and mental hardships related to weight loss. By showing my fat picture next to a current picture, people immediately can see that I’m not talking from outside the circle of knowledge as it pertains to being a big person who wants to lose weight. I’m not just talking the talk; I’ve walked the walk.
The other reason I post progress pictures is for motivation. Partly to motivate others, and partly to motivate myself. Even 17 months later, I still need to see the old pictures to remind me of not only how far I’ve come, but what happens when I allow myself to live without restraint or limits. It’s a place I never want to return to. I never want to feel the way I felt back then. Being tired, feeling embarrassed, being unable to buy clothing off the rack, being unable to go up a flight of stairs without getting winded, having tingling pain in my extremities due to poor circulation, etc. These are all things I work to avoid, and seeing my fat self is a stark reminder of how easy it is to slip into obesity.
There are a few people who feel that my progress pictures are gloating. They feel like I’m “Shoving my weight loss in their faces” and that I’m too proud of myself. First, I’m not shoving anything in anyone’s faces. If you see the pictures, it’s because you actively searched for them or are a subscriber to this blog. Second, I am proud of myself. I did something I set out to do. It was something difficult, and I overcame. It’s something many people (including myself) struggle with, and yet, I did it. I’m not bragging, and I’m not being excessively prideful. It’s a healthy sense of accomplishment. I believe that I’ve earned it.
So there you have it: why I post progress pictures as often as I do. I know I’m not the most handsome guy in the world, but I think I’m at least not some hideous CHUD. I hope.