The photo above is my before and after photo. It’s me at the beach- making this, my beach body and me, beach body ready!
This picture was taken in Costa Rica, before my spring tour, before my cookbook was sent off to print, before my husband and I bought our first home, before my book comes out, before I one day have children, and before hundreds of other awesome, challenging, rewarding, exciting, mundane, and unknown life adventures.
It’s just the before though. No one ever really cares about before photos, except to compare them to how much better the after is.
So maybe my after photo will be better.
I haven’t picked up on the latest and seemingly awesome work out craze (though I am very tempted, what with all the new dancing vibes I’ve been seeing). It’s impossible to escape what’s happening but it is amazing. Large groups of people are being motivated to get off their tushies and move in a way that makes them feel strong, fit, healthy and empowered. Go forth and burpie it on up. I love that these workouts also allow people to stop, drop and crunch just about anywhere – no machines, gadgets, big investments or gurus needed. It’s working.
I don’t personally have a desire to change my body to have an amazing after photo. That photo above? That’s also my after photo and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made. There is no thigh gap, there never has been. I have some extra softness at the hips and maybe the waist too, depending on how tightly you hug me, but I don’t think that’s the best reflection of my after. I am small at five feet tall, and most people who meet me for the first time comment on this. I’m okay with that. That’s just me, or at least just surface stuff.
But that photo is my after, too. After living my life for 35+ years.
That’s me after ten days playing in Costa Rica and one month after I coached the first round of the Awesome Life Detox. That’s me after my manuscript for my second book when to be type-set for print.
This is me one year after I launched the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. That is me two and a half years after I got married. This is three years after my dad kicked cancer, and five years after he was diagnosed. This is me six years after I started dating the man I would marry and seven years after I started my business. That photo is me nine years after healing from an incurable disease that often leaves sufferers malnourished, depleted, and in chronic pain. This is me 11 years after I backpacked solo through Africa and fifteen years after my mom and I were having dinner at a restaurant in the south of France and broke out in giggles that soon had the entire restaurant in hysterics. This is me twenty-five years after I moved from Winnipeg to Toronto.
We all have our before and after photos. We go through life in this body, and this body will change as we pick up and drop off experiences. I have a variety of before and after photos of myself at all different times in my life as I went about figuring out what diet and lifestyle worked best for me. Comparing those photos to each other shows me that my life keeps evolving and changing. That’s it.
We can track our progress by how how comfortable we are in our own skin. That’s part of self confidence- but only a part of our after story. We can also track our progress by the thoughts we have in the morning, and the ones that accompany us to sleep at night. We can see how we’re getting on by the conversations we have, the meals we make for ourselves, the books we read, the places we go and the people we meet. We can evaluate our physical health by how our jeans fit but also add to that how well we’re digesting our food, how deeply we’re sleeping, and how filled with love and laughter our life is.
All of these things are what will ultimately bring us the most beautiful, awakening, inspiring before and after photos. Even better than before and after, the best, in fact, is right now. Being present for the process is where the real magic lies.
It’s up to you to do what you need, in order to love what you see when you look in the mirror. How’s that for a #transformationtuesday?
46 responses to “Before and After Photo Of My Beach Body”
What a lovely before and after shot. Thank you for sharing :)
Thank you for reading :)
This is the best before & after shot ever! Thanks so much for sharing, Meghan!
“It’s up to you to do what you need, in order to love what you see when you look in the mirror. ” = LOVE IT <3
Words to live by ;)
Beautifully written. So much to think about…Thank you for sharing your photo, your story & your insight.
Thank you for reading!
You are a star!
We all are!
Such a beautiful article, Meghan! Love the fresh perspective…life is definitely a journey & we should embrace how our bodies reflect that.
Would save so much energy if we could let go of those worries about how it’s supposed to look.
I love this article and your photo! You can truly see your radiance in this photo that you are happy, healthy, and enjoying life!
Best way to be!
One of my favorite things you’ve written yet! Sharing it with my 18 year old daughter!
And all her friends too!
Beautiful message Meghan, thanks for posting!
Thank you for reading!
What a fantastic article! Thanks for this! I am 4’10” so I too know the so called “perils” of being short! Although I have always loved being short. And I too have never had a thigh gap, and do not strive to. I just turned 40 and have 2 amazing daughters who have changed my body completely. But completely for the good! I am proud of the fact that I carried and gave birth to our little beauties and I only strive to be a healthy influence for them! I too am a Holistic Nutritionist and I feel my best when I eat good natural food, get my morning exercise in and when my family is happy and healthy! Before and afters are really bothersome to me, but yours was wonderful!
P.S. I think you look FABULOUS!
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing.
Such a beautifully, well written piece. I love the message in this and definitely needed to read it today :) Thank you for being you and sharing your awesomeness and insight with us all. Cheers!
Love the idea to focus on NOW vs. before and after! Great article ;)
Life is such a dance
A collage and collaboration
Of the people places and things we aspire to make us who we are
And of course the stuff we eat :)
Thank you for the article
Beautiful! What a great way to start the day. Thank you.
You are too cute :)
I’ll take it ;) Thank you Great!
Well I’ve been following you for years and this is one of my favorite things you’ve written! Not to say everything isnt great. Wow. You really managed to distill some important truths. What a lovely read, and a perspective I’d like to pass on to those I love. Thank you, Meghan. Also love your replies to the comments here. I really hope to meet you someday :)
I hope to meet you too! Thank you for your kind words and all your support.
Great article. When I read the title I knew you well enough to know that it wouldn’t be a traditional before and after pic. Thank you for the words of wisdom and inspiration and for posting a beach photo!
Can never go wrong with a beach photo ;) And thank you for your kind words!
Great post Meghan and thank you for your wisdom. As always looking beautiful and so full of life!!!
Thank you Magdalena!
Thank you Meghan, for continuing to promote positive body image. You look absolutely gorgeous and fit before, during and after! Thank you!!
And having fun- most important of all :) Thank you!
I love this so much. You are such a positive light. I’m so glad I stumbled upon you and your blog years ago.
I’m glad you did too! Thank you :)
Upon reading your words, I kept thinking how I’d like so much to see your “after” photo, in that you have grown so much heart and soul that those elements would clearly be evident.
I overcame a grave eating disorder about 7 years ago so I find it totally refreshing to hear and feel opinions like yours. The defining factor to my healing was and still is the birth of my daughter, now almost 2yrs of age.
Beautiful person, Thank you. Be proud. Be healthy.
Thank you so much for your kind and generous words.
I loved reading this and it has inspired me to write my “after”. Sometimes I find myself dispairing, but I think writing my story will be a reminder of how much I have been accomplishing. Thanks
It lines things back up for us, and perspective is a powerful tool!
Love this! Thanks Meghan, practicing what I preached is my new beginning not sure when the after will be but for the time being Im good with the feeling better, stronger and healthier.
This is so beautiful. Really deep and thought provoking. I love love how you write it really hits home.
Thank you Meghan for being YOU! The knowledge and wisdom you share have been transforming my life over the past few months. I truly appreciate you showing up for us. Thank you thank you thank you!
That. Is. AWESOME! I love that Meghan; so honest and so needed in this world of many never feeling like they are ‘enough’… thin enough, tall enough, clever enough etc etc. #transformationtuesday love love love xx
This invoked some tears from me. A very thoughtful way to look at a photo and realize it’s who you were and who you are, all rolled into one. You are truly beautiful inside and out Megan. Thank You for giving us all a new way to look at ourselves!