A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Calories – Diet Day 83

Never has the old adage “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” echoed so loudly as when you are trying to lose weight. Before I began this journey to become healthier I tried my best to stay away from cameras. It is said that a camera will add 5-10 pounds to a person’s looks. I felt it was more like 20-30 pounds.

I never liked how I looked when the photos came back. Instead of using that as a wake-up call for me to get my weight back under control I would rationalize the fact that it was a bad angle or shadows gave the illusion that I was heavier than I was. It wasn’t until I was going through photos from our family vacation to Disneyland last fall that I came to terms with the fact that I was just plain heavy.

That realization was a real struggle for me. While I don’t like to think of myself as someone who really worries about my looks I still wanted to feel comfortable seeing myself in a picture. Those photo reminders along with my doctor’s request that I lose weight to try and regain my health were the motivation for finding a weight loss program.

After a lot of careful research I choose Take Shape For Life. That was the best decision I could have made. Along with my health coach Amy I was able to map out my goals and set a plan in motion.

At first I was focused too much on the short-term. My goal was to lose weight. Amy, with the Take Shape For Life curriculum helped me to understand that a healthy weight was only part of the equation.

Using Dr. Wayne Andersen’s Habits of Health as a textbook along with the accompanying workbook and weekly conversations with my health coach I was able to realize that without the proper preparation the weight I was losing would return if I didn’t change my behavior.

I honestly never thought about the string of health decisions I was making that led me down this horrible path. For most of my life I had skipped breakfast, had lunch from a vending machine, then came home and made a gigantic dinner filled with processed foods and sugars. As I learned more and more about being healthy I wondered how I ever survived long enough to find this program.

Over the past 12 weeks I really have transformed. My mental outlook is much better and I am more relaxed. I have more energy than I have had in years and I am able to keep up with my family no matter what activities they choose.

But it wasn’t just a mental transformation. During our trip to Chase Field this week for the beginning of the Major League Baseball season Trina took some photos of me enjoying my time at the ballpark.

I think I was more shocked this time when looking over the photos than I was reviewing the Disneyland pictures. Despite looking at myself in the mirror every morning as I got ready for work I didn’t realize how different I had become.

I had gone from an extra-large shirt and a 35-inch waist to a medium shirt and a 31-inch waist. I pulled up the pictures from before and sat them side-by-side with pictures from today. I was astonished.

In my case a picture may not have been worth a 1,000 words but it was definitely worth a few thousand calories.


  1. Amy says:

    I’m so proud of you! And I love your story! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Kathryn Porter says:

    Omigoodness. You look amazing. You rock, Jeff. ROCK!!! Thanks for sharing your story. I’m encouraged

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