One personal trainer is out to prove that all those before and after fitness photos plaguing the Internet are not always what they seem.
On her fitness blog Fitology, Sophie Kay posted two side-by-side photos that appeared to be taken after months of improving her body – but in reality they were taken three minutes apart.
“All I did in the three minutes between the two photos was to turn off the overhead light, put on underwear that fit better, twist my body slightly to the side to show off my best angle, flex and, of course, add a filter,” the London-based blogger and personal trainer wrote in post. “So don’t pay much attention to those ‘before and after’ shots!”
The 27-year-old was inspired to “debunk fitness myths” after feeling the pressure to look like the women in the “fitspo” images she saw online.
“Social media has totally changed girls’ and women’s body perceptions because we’re bombarded with these images 24 hours a day with no escape,” Kay tells PEOPLE. “There’s also pressure on women to post amazing photos of themselves online, which doesn’t help.”
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Instead of taking those fitness images so literally, Kay – who is currently training for a triathlon and chronicling her healthy eating habits on Instagram – suggests using them “as motivation but not as fitness goals.”
“Start identifying your body’s strengths and celebrate them,” she says. “Track progress using your photos and measurements rather than trying to match anyone else’s measurements.”