Call Me Trouble.

with a side of optimism and wit.

The Before and After Pictures: My Before.


Let’s Get Physical

If you’ve talked to me in the past few months or have stopped by my little cubby on the internet, you know I’m kind of obsessed with living a healthier lifestyle, in a healthier body. There’s too many reasons for this:

  • I’m getting married
  • To look like a badass for my wedding
  • To look like a badass on my honeymoon
  • To look like a badass for the rest of my life
  • To feel like a badass for all of those things, too
  • I’m happier when I work out
  • I sleep better when I eat better and exercise
  • I have less stomach problems when I eat better
  • To fit back into my favorite jean shorts
  • To be a good example of a healthy lifestyle while working in an office and taking graduate classes in the evening

And the list goes on.

When I read about other health journeys, there usually one element I’m looking for – the before and after pictures. I’m a visual learner. I associate hints, tricks, and mantras with these pictures. Instagram is my new favorite-thing-ever because I love the visual reinforcement of other people working out and eating healthy fare.

I’m not sure what being-the-best-me will look like. I have a potential number (weight) in my head but I’m not tied to it. If I gain 10 lbs but there are less inches – then so be it. For now, the two go hand-in-hand and I’m tracking the pounds and the inches.

Pictures are helping me to stay committed this time around. Often, I think I don’t notice the change over time because I see myself all the time. Think about it – do you notice weight gain in someone you see every day as much as you might notice when someone you only see once in a while gains a few? A close girlfriend in college put on the “Freshmen 30″  and I had no real idea. I would’ve guessed five, maybe. When you see someone everyday, especially yourself, it can be tough to see the results.

Pictures of where I was at before getting my butt in gear were the jolt of ice water I needed to see there was a problem. When you look at a picture of yourself from behind and don’t recognize who that person is with the backfat in the strapless dress that looks an awfully lot like a dress you wore to that same wedding…there’s a problem.

I’ve struggled with whether to post some of the before pictures I collected as evidence that I was not being the best me. Every person’s journey is different. My low could very well be someone else’s high. I don’t quite know how to say it but these “before” pictures represent so much more than how my body looks. They represent not listening to my body, not making myself a priority, secret trips to McDonald’s, and denial.



So yikes. But it’s a pill I’m swallowing. You know what helps the medicine go down? A spoon full of sugar.

I’m a big believer in appreciative inquiry. I would be amiss not to also look at pictures when I look like me and was maintaining a higher, more desirable standard of living for myself. I can’t wait to get back to these and beyond!



Here’s to the befores. Stay posted….”durings” to come…


Do pictures play a role for you when it comes to fitness? For better or for worse? 




Author: Kate Oden

Motivated, enthusiastic, hard working. A book reader with a wine problem. Enamored with documenting the human experience, talk radio quiz shows, and glitter.

10 thoughts on “The Before and After Pictures: My Before.

  1. I love that you posted before pics!! Super inspiring and motivating-I can’t wait to see your progress!

  2. This is a great post, Katie! I have one truly embarrassing, eye-opening picture that I haven’t posted yet… but maybe I will. I have to remember that I have nothing to be ashamed of, yes I wasn’t always healthy but at least I am working on it now & am making better choices and taking care of my body. :)

  3. Go girl for posting! Our body types are so much the same so I can relate. Um I had to laugh at the pic of you with your man dancing. My hubby is super tall too so I also do that – stretch my arms all the way up and have to look up at him. Even with heels!

    • Holly, you just get me. I don’t even want to think about the height of the heels I would need to get me on his level – I think they would be called stilts. Oh well, we love our tall guys!

  4. Ok, I can see that you’re a different size than the older pics but you’re not even close to being a fat ass! Your “bad” pics look really nice except the one of just your back…I think that’s just a really unflattering view for someone with broad shoulders to begin with. I’m all for you working towards fitness goals – just don’t be TOO hard on yourself. Remember, that man of yours loves you and wants to marry you, regardless of your size. XOXO

    • Thanks for the kind words, Crystal. I do not and would never think I’m fat. The broad shoulders need to be a toned blessing and not an area of concern, haha. Promise I won’t be too hard on myself. Thanks for making my heart smile!

  5. Pingback: How I Lost 20 lbs. in Four Months: Where I stand now. | Call Me Trouble.

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