As you lose weight, the changes in how you look and feel occur so gradually you're apt not to notice them from day to day. Weight charts help you see how far you've come, but there's nothing like comparing your appearance before your diet with your present shape to make your progress obvious. Ask somebody to snap a couple of pictures of you before you start your diet. In addition to a mug shot, get a full-length picture and, if you can stomach the thought, a profile. These don't have to be portrait quality; snapshots will do.
As your diet progresses and you feel, on occasion, a need for encouragement and a sense you're making progress, pull out the ``before'' pictures and compare them with how you look in the mirror. What you're going through may not be the greatest of fun, but the payoff will be right before your eyes. Even after you're through dieting and accustomed to slenderness and stable weight, keep that ``before'' picture around. Hide it, if you wish, beneath those neckties Uncle Fred has given you for Christmas every year since 1965, but keep it. Every now and then the years you spent overweight and feeling powerless will seem like a dream and the minor annoyance of controlling your weight no longer necessary. Whenever that happens, pull out those pictures. Then you'll remember.
Before long, folks will forget your former appearance. A ``before'' picture remains your own private link to the past, a reminder that being thin is much better and well worth the minor effort to maintain. (Yes, I have a ``before'' picture, and I look at it occasionally. Unfortunately, so can you. Business Week kindly featured my ``before'' picture in the issue of May 25, 1987. Sigh. Still, it does show what you can do with a wide angle lens.)
By John Walker