I love those pictures trainers post on their websites and people post on their blogs, instagrams, facebooks, pintrests and everywhere else they think they can get an audience, of themselves when they were fat and ugly and then 6 months later (or 3 days later if it’s an outbrain-sponsored advert at the bottom of a second-rate news website) showing ripped abs and a body fat percentage small enough to put the fear of God into Schrödinger’s cat.
I’m a long term sufferer of “too skeptical for his own good”, a malady that tends to disqualify me from the homeopathy fan club and relegate me to the back of the class when people start talking about chakras, reiki and the benefits of this or that magnetic doodad. I’m completely immune to the advertisements that claim this “one trick” can remove your belly or these “seven things” will help you drop your body fat (“you’ll never believe number six!!”). In fact, I look at those ads with a mixture of annoyance and horror – if they keep appearing, then there must be a lot of people who believe that this little granny in Lichtenstein invented a herbal concoction that can remove all your wrinkles in a day. The credulity of the general public never ceases to amaze.
So I’ve always looked at these before and after pictures and noticed immediately the poor lighting, unflattering clothes and lack of oil on the first image and the fake tan, warm light, tight shorts, shiny layer of oil and improved posture in the second. But still. That little voice. “What if?”
More than that, a quick look at pictures of me from ten years ago demonstrates that if you switch the two pictures around and give yourself ten years and a passion for wine and good food, the opposite trajectory is quite feasible.
I had a fantastic 12-week plan set up, and that’s gone out of the window as I’ve come to terms with how much time is left, and how much control over that time I have, given my role as a father and the international nature of my job, so I’ll make up the tools as I go along and adapt my approach as best I can to my constraints as they evolve.
Since this is a controlled experiment and I don’t sell anything through the process (I am not a personal trainer, nor do I intend to become one), if the results are there, then you, future loyal reader, will at least have one unbiased data point in your search for a fitness and diet plan that works for you.
This is going to hurt…