How many times have you asked yourself why your abs don’t look like that girl on Instagram? Or why your bum doesn’t look like that fitness model in the magazine?

I used to do this all the time, but stopped comparing myself a long time ago and this blog post is all about the truth behind abs photos…

I took these photos on the first of January while getting ready to go out for a New Year’s Day walk on the beach and although I have to admit I’m feeling very happy that my progress doesn’t seem to have been negatively affected by the Christmas break, I want to take a minute to talk about these pictures…


Before I do, I just want to clarify that I’m not claiming that my abs are by any means perfect and I’m also equally not putting myself down because I’m very happy with my progress. I’m just using my own experience as an example.

These two photos were taken about 10 seconds apart. The one on the left is me as I look when I’m not tensing or focusing on trying to make my abs look good for a photo and the one on the right is tensing and breathing out (to make my abs pop as much as possible).

I could easily have posted just the one on the right and pretended my abs always look that way, but since I’ve started posting more photos of my personal progress, I wanted to let you all know that my abs don’t always look like they do in the picture on the right.

In fact, my abs don’t even always look like they do in the picture on the left! These photos were taken first thing in the morning, with the natural light from the window shining perfectly at the right angle and that’s why my abs look the way they do.

Honestly, as soon as I turn away from the natural light they fade away quite a bit, whether tensed or not. But the magic of knowing how to take a photo is something that could easily convince people that my abs look like that 24/7.

I don’t use Photoshop on any of my photos; the closest I come to that is using the occasional filter. I strongly believe that honesty in the health and fitness industry could help to promote a healthier body image as it’s unrealistic for the average person to always have rock hard abs, yet so many photos in this industry show just that.

This gives people the idea that fitness models or Instagram fitness models always have rock hard abs, which is just not true. I accept there are people out there who do have insanely ripped abs all year round but for most people that just isn’t the case. The majority of people are tensing like crazy to get a good shot.

Comparing yourself to people you see in magazines or on social media is unhealthy and unrealistic because it’s likely that even if Photoshop isn’t used (which it all too often is), the photos have been carefully posed with the perfect lighting and tensing. The picture you see is probably the one carefully selected from 20+ shots too.

I’m not saying that good use of lighting and posing is bad because it’s a great way to get the perfect shot (and if I knew how to pose properly I would definitely do it)! I am also guilty of taking a fair few pics before I find one I’m really happy with. I just want you all to know the truth…so you hopefully will stop comparing your body to people on social media and being disappointed that you don’t have rock hard abs.


Don’t give yourself a hard time because your abs/bum/legs don’t look like the person in the magazines because, chances are, that person doesn’t even look like that when they’re not tensing…or if Photoshop is used then there’s a big chance they don’t ever look like that.

I want my blog to be an honest place so will always endeavour to give you information you know you can trust.

Yes, I will post photos of myself tensing and I will nearly always make the most of morning natural light (because it’s my fave) but I will never use Photoshop on my own photos and I will always remember to be honest with you all. I’m just telling you this so that you realise how much work goes into those fitness model photos.

Don’t compare yourself to fitness models. I know my abs are barely even visible compared to other people but, in all honesty, I don’t care. It’s my body and my journey and I feel healthy, strong and happy with my progress. I’m past the whole comparing thing because it’s not healthy. It’s not a race against anyone and I’m proud of my own achievements, as you should all be.

So next time you see a photo on Instagram of someone with what you consider to be perfect abs, don’t get disheartened, just accept that they are further along on their journey than you are and they have probably posed their ass off to get that photo.

Now, I’m off to practice posing. 😉

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