CrossFit Games Athlete Jen Smith Shows You Can’t Trust All Before/After Photos

If you spent three or more seconds reading fitness content, you’ve seen a before-and-after picture of someone’s incredible body transformation (hat’s off to them!). And there’s also a pretty good chance that at some point you’ve seen an “incredible” body transformation that actually was a little too incredible.

Five-time Reebok CrossFit Games athlete Jennifer Smith seems to be familiar with this phenomenon, too. Smith, who was on the Games Demo Team this year, recently shared a post to Instagram of her shocking body transformation at the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games in Wisconsin. The twist is that this incredible metamorphosis took place over 15 minutes.

It’s just like she says in the caption,

Ahhh the power of lighting, body posture, and a good smile! 😐➡️😃💪#transformationtuesday #15minuteslater

Honestly, in an industry that’s driven by unbelievable transformations from blobs to bods and flabs to abs, one of our favorite things is when famously fit people point out how contrived and deceptive this marketing tactic can sometimes be.

If you yourself have lost a decent amount of body fat at some point in your life, you’re probably aware of how big a difference is made not just by lighting, tanning, and (if you’re a guy) shaving your chest, but also by standing at the right angle and flexing at just the right time — your definition literally changes from minute to minute. Folks will take dozens of photos to get the one that ticks all the boxes.

Then there’s the fact that your muscle size, definition, and vascularity has vast changes from day to day and week to week even if you’re being consistent with your calories and exercise. A ton of sodium can all but erase your abs, while a big, unhealthy meal that’s full of sugar can make your muscles swell, veins pop, and have you looking ready for a photo shoot.

What’s healthy doesn’t always make us look good, and what makes us look good isn’t always healthy. And most importantly, the way we look isn’t always a reflection of how healthy, fit, and strong we are. That’s something you feel, not necessarily something you show.

Featured image via @jensmith008 on Instagram; original photos in the side-by-side taken by @sevanmatossian & @ascudds