How to Take Progress Photos

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Blonde Women pulling her pants out at waistline

75 Hard: My Progress Photo Story

From January 2nd to April 27th I participated in, and completed, a mental toughness challenge called the 75 Hard.

Here is a brief description of what the challenge entails.

The 75 Hard Challenge Rules

  • Drink a gallon of water every day
  • Exercise twice per day for 45 mins each (one has to be outside)
  • Read 10 pages a day of a non-fiction growth-oriented book
  • Take a progress picture of your body every day
  • Pick a diet and follow it with zero cheat meals and no alcohol

The challenge was supposed to be 75 days long but I accidentally screwed it up 40 days in…

I forgot to take a picture one of the days and had to start over.

This part of the challenge drove me nuts…

It sucked at first. 

Sometimes we don’t want to face the reality of what is in the mirror.

Believe it or not, I avoided looking in the mirror for several years because I didn’t want to see how much body fat I had put on since quitting bodybuilding.

Pretty f*cked up right? 

Sadly, it is the truth, and I’ve only told two people about this until now.

The Purpose of Progress Photos

According to the creator of the challenge, the purpose of the photo is for accountability and inspiration.

Accountability because you have to do it. You have to face your current reality. 

Inspiration because after some time you can show yourself what is possible when you are consistent.

What Progress Photos Did For Me

Like I said it sucked at first. I hated all of the weight I had gained from binge eating, stressing out, not sleeping, pushing myself to the max every single day.

But there is something magical about knowing that each day you are getting better. 

I mainly took my photos in the morning. There are fewer variables at play in the morning. It is safe to say that we look more similar in the mornings than we do at the end of each day.

Even if I wasn’t super stoked every single day to take the progress photo it did remind me that I was making progress…

I told myself that I was getting better each day, and as long as I did my best the day before, I would eventually get to where I wanted to be.

Pictures Are Worth 1,000 Words

Our weight fluctuates up and down with water and is not the most accurate measure of success.

Unless edited, pictures can tell more of a story about what is happening. 

We look at ourselves every single day. It is hard to notice progress in tiny places.

Take Action

I recommend taking pictures to anyone who is trying to change.

If you are looking for a simple way to hold yourself accountable for reaching your goals taking pictures is the cheapest, highly accurate, quickest, and most rewarding way to measure progress.

I have all of my clients take progress photos. Though it may be tough at first, they are so grateful that they have the before and afters to compare at the end of coaching.

How To Take Progress Photos

  1. Take Three Photos – take a picture from the front, sides, and back 
  2. Clothing – please keep clothing consistent (shorts, bathing suit, whatever you are comfortable with).
  3. Timing – do your best to take this first thing in the morning. 
  4. Lighting – please make sure the lighting is also consistent. 

Frequency is up to you but I would not wait to take progress pictures any longer than two weeks apart if you are serious about making change. 

A lot can happen in two weeks. 

What gets measured gets moved.

You would be surprised at what results can be achieved when you stay focused.

When you don’t measure you risk not having proof for yourself that whatever you want is possible.


PS. Sometimes you need a guide. Someone to help you find the right next steps and hold you accountable! You can learn more about me and my habit coaching here at Living Large Coaching.

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