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There are some things in life that we do, without knowing exactly why.  Most of us have found ourselves in the situation where we have thoughts, behaviors, and beliefs that are a part of us but we don’t know where they came from.  Within my own life journey, especially my body and self love journey, I am learning to ask “WHY”.

We live in a technologically influenced society where image is king. All across social networks I see  a lot of people post “before and after” photos of themselves for various reasons.  Most of times it’s to celebrate or announce significant weight loss.  Because I have learned to ask the “WHY” when it comes to all things body image, I had to ask the question when I see the photos:  “Why are we so eager to share before and after photos of ourselves?” I wonder what it is that we are saying about ourselves, to ourselves and others, when we post before and after photos for the world to see?

One thing that I prioritize is “releasing judgement of self and others” so I choose not to assume what the reasoning is behind “WHY” others post “before and after” photos.  However, one thing I can say with certainty is why I DO NOT choose to do so. Here are some personal thoughts of self love that I’ve chosen:

  • I’ve learned to honor my past and release guilt and shame around every stage of who I was.  I do not think that Ivy yesterday is any less beautiful or worthy of love than Ivy today.  So there is no comparison. There is healing is this.
  • I do not believe that I need to earn the praise or validation of others, in regards to my body journey.  I do not have to PROVE that I’m healthy, fit, or happy by comparing my before to my after. It’s all an evolution.
  • I may be 250 lbs. today, 150 lbs. in a year, and be 200 lbs. 6 months later.  Weight fluctuates for SO many reasons and I choose not to despise one step of my journey over the other.  I give myself permission to love and celebrate my beauty at EVERY stage.
  • I know and understand the messages that are sent to other women and men who may see my before and after photos.  When I shame the 250 lb. Ivy publicly and praise the 150 lb. Ivy, I am telling overweight people that are 250 lbs. that they should be ashamed of who they are.
  • There is no way to authentically display my evolution as an individual in a before and after photo.  I cannot show my self esteem, knowledge, enlightenment, spirituality,  and emotional wellness in a weight loss before and after photo.  My personal evolution is much more than just the physical and I celebrate it all.  So, I choose not to send a message into the world that only focuses on my physical changes while trivializing the rest of me.
  • I choose not to be a part of the body shaming, body comparison, fat shaming messages that society is sending to young girls, young boys, and even adult men and women.
  • I don’t need to compare my “old” self to my “new” self, to feel better about myself. 

Whether a person chooses to post weight loss photos or not, is completely up to them.  Every person has a different reason for doing so.  I don’t think that a person is right or wrong for their choice.  However, I do challenge everyone to connect with their own “WHY”.  True self love and body love challenges us to dig deep into our thoughts and behaviors to uncover our true motivations and intentions.  When we can connect with the answers, and embrace our truth then we can walk in confidence in everything we do.  Do you know your “WHY”? Be bold enough to ask yourself this question more and more!


I’d love to hear feedback. Please share the article and comment here or on Social media.  I look forward to reading what you have to say!


Ivy LaArtista’s image captured by: http://CreativeSoulphoto.com

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Ivy LaArtista

The Body Relationship Coach at See Body. Love Self.™
Ivy Cooper, The Body Relationship Coach™ is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Body Image Expert. She offers education, empowerment, and encouragement to help people build health, loving relationships with their body and self.

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