Saturday, August 28, 2010

Before & After

To tell you the truth, I didn’t want to do it.

Put my photograph on this site.

I enjoyed being a mysterious, enigmatic fellow, a guy that could get away with saying any damn thing because he spoke from the shadows. But one day I realized that even though I kid around, even though I sometimes play loosey-goosey with language, even though I often seem to make light of this hellacious journey we’re all on… it’s really serious business for me.

It dawned on me one day that not having my progress photo on my blog was undercutting my message. I mean, I can talk all day long about the benefits of dropping 50, 75, 100 pounds, and some of you may even listen. But if I show you…

We’re visual people, you and I, and the impact of a massive transformation can lift us up, motivate us, remind us that what we’re attempting to achieve isn’t some impossible, pie-in-the-sky quest; the simple fact is that folks are doing it every day.

People just like you and me.

Rachel from Body By Pizza

I stumbled into this weight-loss blogging business the same way you probably did, looking for new ideas to help pull me out of my comfy Lazy-Boy lifestyle. Looking for new weapons in the war I knew I needed to wage against my uncooperative body. Looking for new answers to an age-old question: “How do I lose this weight?”

But in the end, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t seeking a how-to manual.

I was looking for hope.

Seeing photographic proof of a successful weight-loss journey just stirs something deep within you, awakens some sleeping giant that resides in the solemn places of the soul.

Karen from Not Just Celery

It inspires.

It’s a flare to guide our way in the dark, a wind at our back that helps propel us through choppy waters.

These aren’t people who plunked down two bucks at a convenience store counter and lucked their way into a Powerball jackpot. They planned and they persevered, they plotted and they plugged away at it. They dropped their excuses and picked up healthy new habits.

They had good days and bad, successes and setbacks. They may have even questioned if it was all worth it a time or two along the way. But they stuck with it, kept on keeping on, and…

Well, what’s it they say about a picture being worth a thousand words?

These photos are validations that, while these kinds of life-changing occurrences don’t happen overnight, they do happen. They don’t happen without a great deal of sacrifice and a huge amount of effort, but there’s not a one of us who have achieved it that would say it wasn’t worth all the effort and all the sacrifice in the end.

Wherever you are on this journey, whether it’s contemplating taking that first hesitant step or rounding third and heading for home, I hope you’ll meet the challenge you face with courage and commitment.

Tony from The Anti-Jared

I hope you’ll stick with it on the hard days and make it back to your feet when you stumble.

Bitch Cakes at *Bitch Cakes*

But most of all… I hope to see those photos when you’re done.


  1. Thanks, Jack Sh*t. I wanna be an "After" !!

  2. Bless you.

    And the common thread with all these after shots?

    They all look happier in the eyes.(Including the gent himself, Jack.)

    Thank you.....

  3. Well written. Thank you for the awesome reminder!!! :)

  4. Jack, it is great to see both the aweseomely funny and the deep and insightful Jack. I like this post a whole whole bunch and will be that guy that will pass on my before and afters when I am where I think I need to be.

  5. You are so right. I know it. But why the hell am I so scared to show my face on this thing????

  6. Oh man! I'm so glad you posted your pics. I thought you were the guy on the right at the top - the one with the belly and the wreath on your head. LOL! You look terrific. It is very hard to put a face to a name. I'm not there yet, but when I have a great after pic, I, too, will join the amazing list you have posted today!!

    Good job

  7. Thank you for a wonderfully written, inspirational post!

  8. I *HEART* before and after picks. And you're 100% right, reading blogs and getting involved in the weightloss online community is about finding hope.

  9. You described something I've been thinking about lately. I even decided to post a couple of before shots - still working on the afters! Thanks Jack for reminding us of what we are trying to do.

  10. I just found out about you from Charlie's blog. I am surprised I don't know you yet! I've profiled many of these people on my blog under the category on top "weight loss superstars" and you've introduced me to new ones too!

    Great job on the weight loss, you look great!!!

  11. Holy Crap..there is my ass on your blog again! Yikes! :)

    Great inspiration, all these pics. Greta needs to finish her weight-loss portion of the journey, timing! Hugs.

  12. Thank you again Mr. Sh*t, you're truly one of the best.

    My best always

  13. THANK YOU! You give me courage to get on the scale in the morning. ALso, congratulations on your success to everyone who shared those pictures!!!!

  14. This just might be enough to help me get back out of my funk. You see, I started the weight loss journey and was doing awesome for a while but I seem to have stalled and can't get out of my rut.

    Even this week, I did everything perfect and I still gained a pound or two. Maybe it's water weight but it still sucks.

  15. Still working on my after, thanks for continuing to motivate Jack!

  16. I don't think I'll ever be done, I'll always be a work in progress, BUT I AM taking more photos of myself and learning to love who I am from the inside out :)

    I love all these progress photos though. The transformations are amazing, not only because of physical but because of the happiness you see on people's faces.

  17. Thanks for this post. I've been having a stressful day and greasy, salty, junk food has been whispering insidiously in my ear. This is just what I needed to brush it off and stay focused. It is my goal to someday have an after picture to go with my before.

  18. Funny I just posted a few progress pics the other day, The 1 thin I am really happy about was my old shorts being able to see them fall off, and that was wear another pair of shorts at the same time too.

    When you see it like that really gives ya the boost to keep at it.

  19. Thank you for this. Simply said, thank you.

  20. Thanks Jack - It reminded me to look how far I've come! Loving the side by side shots! It is great seeing everyones eyes sparkle with health and happiness!

  21. Love the before & afters, amazing and motivating!

  22. Great post. Im just starting out and pictures like these give me hope. Hope of posting "befores" and "afters" of myself one day.

  23. Thanks for all these before and after pics! LOVE them! And I found some new bloggers to check out. :)



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