Ever since I freaked out and ranted about my stolen before and after photos, I’ve been shocked at the response.
Stolen photos aren’t a new thing. I’ve been battling image thieves since 2005 when I started this blog. In most situations I email the site using my photos, firmly ask them to take them down, and within 24 hours they are removed.
It happens when you share your photos online. I get it.
However, the photo-stealing thieves have been turning to Facebook more and more. They are using stolen before and afters to run some pretty aggressive ad campaigns and (thankfully?) it’s bringing more attention to this issue.
Honestly, I don’t think they realize how “social” social media really is. It was my readers who emailed to let me know my photos were plastered all over Facebook and I’m not the only one.
She reached out to me frustrated as the same Facebook page (from the screen shot above) who stole my images stole hers as well. Neither of us have ever used Natural Garcinia Cambogia or Natural Green Cleanse, the supplements that particular page is peddling.
Here’s Sunny’s REAL story…
It took me about six months to lose the weight that I did to these photos and about a year to reach my goals. I did it through clean eating, exercise and having a great support system from Stephanie Keenan Fit Life group! The last photo of the pants was an innocent picture taken by my 15 year old daughter. We were going through old clothes to donate and take to the resale shop. She picked up the pair of jeans and said “Whose are these?” I said MINE! So she insisted we take a picture of how much I had lost compared to those pants. Sure anyone can buy a bigger pair of pants and claim massive weight loss but that was not the case here. It was a special moment I shared with my fitness folks and it was taken and distorted and used to promote some gimmick product. These people need to be held accountable for their actions!
I agree Sunny!!
Now meet Michelle.
Michelle’s photos were also stolen and used on another Facebook page to promote something she didn’t use or endorse.
It took me just over a year to lose 42kgs and it was a very very long journey! I changed my diet to a Primal diet based on meat, eggs, fats, veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds, and I didn’t calorie count. I spent a year of my life immersed in the Primal/Paleo life. It wasn’t always easy but it was so worth it, I cannot emphasize enough how much my life and my health have improved. I used to suffer from Depression, Anxiety Attacks, Meniere’s Syndrome, PCOS and Migraines. I have had dramatic reduction of these symptoms and I finally feel healthy. At times I wanted to give up and just eat all my old faves and veg on the couch, but I didn’t. I was focused as if my life depended on it.
I’m angry that my photos were stolen and used to promote these weight loss scams. It feels like a complete mockery of my hard earned weight loss. I am hoping that by sharing my story that this will bring awareness to what seems to also be happening to countless others, and to highlight just how dodgy these scamming websites and Facebook pages really are. While I can appreciate the silver lining my photo being stolen; the people that have read the truth are now following my page and have been made aware of the scam. I’m thankful that a few hundred people didn’t get sucked in by this. But unfortunately I would say there are countless people that have been. There is no quick fix, no secret, no magic. If there were a pill that worked I believe Oprah would have invented it by now.
You can read more about Michelle’s story on her blog Primal Journey.
Next up, Brandi.
Brandi’s photos have been stolen many times before (sometimes even used in print!) but most recently used to sell some weight loss product called ACE. Here’s Brandi’s REAL story.
It took me over a year to lose that weight and I’m still fine tuning myself. I go to the gym 4 days a week at 5am before my kids wake up and I get a long run in on Saturday or Sunday mornings as well. I work full time, have 2 boys, and just want other women to know that if I can do it, so can they. And they can do it with little to no help! All they’ve got to do is TRY!
I receive emails every week from readers telling me they saw my before and after pictures on another “weight loss fad” site. I even have had a few readers tell me my pictures have been printed out and posted as before and after pictures (with FALSE STATS) and have been posted at their gym in Arkansas! I live in Dallas, Texas!
Brandi blogs at MamaLaughlin.
Did you notice the common threat in Sunny, Michelle and Brandi’s stories?
All of their (and my) weight loss took TIME. They did it though diet changes and exercise. They found what worked for them and it WASN’T some pill or supplement.
I will continue to share stories like this in hopes that it prevents at least one person from buying the next “weight loss miracle pill.”
Note: If your photos have been stolen and used to promote a weight loss product or supplement, send me a message on my Facebook page with the following information:
- Screen shot of stolen before and after photo (not your originals)
- Link to your site and/or Facebook page (where your original story or photos can be found)
- A paragraph or two of how you REALLY lost the weight, how long it took and why this makes you so angry.