A few months ago, we decided to trial run a #30daysofselfie competition as a way to either keep people on the band wagon, or give them a challenge to work towards. From my own personal experience, there is nothing more motivating than the prospect of a semi-naked selfie each morning. It really does incentivise you to hit the gym and drop the chip and dip… Regression is a horrible feeling!
We didn’t anticipate the vast number number of people who were apparently desperate for something like this to keep them ticking over in the run up to the Summer hols. What was even more impressive, was the fact that in just 30 days people were seeing some pretty amazing transformations… And no, before you say it, that’s not because the before photo was taken in a frumpy pair of underwear whilst slouching in stark, natural, unforgiving daylight, with the after snap captured after lots of heavy editing and skin the deep shade of St Tropez. It’s because as soon as you introduce a competitive element, people are genuinely motivated to work that little bit harder.
Thousands of selfies rolled in, but one transformation in particular stood out. That was our competition winner, Jasmine Mason. Here she tells us how she did it and why we should all ditch the scales.
At the start, I found myself bumbling around the gym aimlessly, and even more aimlessly in the kitchen. I didn’t know what I needed to do to achieve my goals, nor the right nutrition either (How much food? When should I eat? What shouldn’t I eat? What should I eat? Etc).
After a few weeks of doing my own thing, I bought the LDNM Bikini Guide V3, and it helped me so much with learning about key exercises for different muscle groups, reps and sets, and most importantly nutrition. I got to Week 8 of the Bikini Guide before I started to adapt it to my own goals and increased the intensity of the workouts. I still use the Bikini Guide, but purely as a ‘guide’, as in the process I’ve learnt what nutrition and macro breakdown works for me (low carb, low fat and high protein) as well as what training style suits me (high volume, moderate-heavy weight). I am also very lackadaisical when it comes to cardio. I’m lucky if I add in one cardio session a week, I prefer 6 resistance sessions a week (although I know I must add that cardio in eventually…maybe next week…)
I follow an abundance of Fitness accounts on Instagram, and I saw Clean Eating Alice (a fave of mine for food inspiration, and envy of course) post a link to the App. I was a sceptic at first, as I wasn’t sure about the concept of posting photos of myself demonstrating ‘progress’. It’s safe to say the scepticism soon wore off.
For me, the most useful thing about Healthy Selfie is the ability to date stamp all your photos. It is a great facility to be able to track exactly what you looked like and what you ate on a certain day. To my knowledge, no other App allows you to track progress in this way, and it’s what sets Healthy Selfie apart from other Apps, for example Instagram.
Yet again, thank you to everyone who did vote, and for all the motivation along the way! I wasn’t any stricter in the 30 days than I am at any other time. I’m only human after all, I have cravings and temptations, and some days I just cannot muster the energy to work out. 95% of the time I do eat well and train hard, but the other 5% of the time I am guilty of having treats and not training.
Without a question of doubt, I would 110% recommend progress pictures as opposed to scales. Scales do not tell you how your body looks, how your shape is changing, what percentage is fat/muscle/water. Pictures tell you a million more things than scales ever could. From the start of my fitness journey, and my Healthy Selfie journey, I have weighed virtually the same, with only a couple of Lbs difference. There’s more to progress than a number on the scales, and it’s about time people ditched the scales for good.
This is a very tough one, especially as a self-confessed lover of Healthy Selfie….I guess if I had to pick one thing, it would be a messaging facility. I often get asked a lot of questions about my diet/exercise regime, and it would sometimes be easier if two people could message instead of commenting on photos, although I understand where there perhaps isn’t a messaging facility. Perhaps a good alternative would be to not have a restriction on the lengths of comments, and allow people to type as much as they want instead of across several comments.
My advice for anyone would be to remember that fitness and progress is a long-haul flight. You can’t expect to achieve your goals and see huge changes immediately. You’re on a journey, and it is a long one, so I would recommend to anyone that they embrace the journey and learn to love it. Going to the gym, working hard, eating well, meal prepping, isn’t all bad. If you give yourself a chance to enjoy it, trust me when I say you will. Find a training and nutrition/meal plan that works for you. It takes a while to find out exactly what your body responds best to, but when it’s right you will know. Sticking to it and seeing results was enough to keep me motivated. Once it becomes a habit, it becomes hard to break.
Selfies are a great tool for measuring progress for getting into shape, but also the other way around too. I have seen a lot of selfies of people who are battling eating disorders, and selfies are a way for anyone to be accountable and ensure that they are moving in the right direction with their journey, regardless of whether it is a journey to gain or lose weight. I see no reason why there should be negative press against selfies, especially when they are helping so many people. The only issues are when people start being derogatory about other people, but on Healthy Selfie I have never seen anyone be negative about another person, particularly as all users of the App are like minded individuals all on the same journey.