And the VT19 Contest Winners are IN!

And the VT19 winners are…  Drum roll please…

And it is important to note this is merely a 12 week window in the journey of all these women.  They all have a much bigger story to tell.

First Place – Stacy

“I found Venus Factor on December 1st, the same day I discovered Roberta Saum. I didn’t fully dig in until January 1st, 2017. The contest came up and I thought, What Am I Waiting For? I looked forward to the workouts each and every day. Everyday I woke up, showed up and never gave up. I didn’t know what I was capable of until I tried. Most importantly, I realize this is where I belong. I finally have found what I have been searching for. Venus is indeed the game changer.”

Second place – Dawn

“Thanks to the Venus program I’ve lost more than 60 pounds and most importantly I’ve learned how to keep this new Venus body I’ve grown to love. One of my favorite things about the Venus program is the flexibility and the freedom to eat the foods I like, in moderation, without feeling guilty. This program taught me how to live a healthy lifestyle and still have a life. Thanks Venus for putting me back in the driver’s seat!”

Third Place – Karen

“I have much improved BALANCE! All this is new and with the consistency, a regular habit now. I enjoy moving rather than watching TV. I LOVED the podcasts and listened to them daily for about 8 weeks. I occasionally went into the community to read posts. I am not one to post myself but ventured out once in introductions and met Roberta. Then followed her on facebook…again, not posting but reading every morsel of her wisdom. I am feeling much better. People are noticing and commenting! I am making this my LIFESTYLE!! I think this is “IT”!! Thank you!”

Fourth Place – April

“People could definitely see me slimming up and started asking about how we did it. We would tell everyone about Venus and Adonis. I feel so much better about myself and how my clothes fit. It was really amazing to see the “before” pictures when I went to post my “after” photos. I knew I had changed, but wow! I’ll definitely keep at it this time. I really love the workouts. Although truth be told, I hate the lunges and squats and love the arm exercises so it’s just discipline and my type-A personality that keeps me sane. My husband and I are both in the best shape we’ve ever been in and eating very healthy.”

Fifth Place – Netty

“This is just a beginning for me. Though my loss is not great, I am grateful for the change. The venus workouts are great, along with Roberta Saum and the facebook accountability group that has really kept me going. I am looking forward to the next contest, but even more so to keep going and changing how I eat and workout. If theres one thing I’ve learned, is that I HAVE to change the way I eat!!!”

Sixth Place – Jennifer

“When I first started with the Venus Factor, I thought to myself that it was going to be too easy and not challenge me enough. How wrong I was! Not only were the workouts challenging but the support I received through Roberta Saum’s FaceBook support group encouraged me to continue on when I wanted to give up. Although we are ending this particular contest, my journey is far from over. I am happy to have made it this far and look forward to how much more I can accomplish with Venus Systems. Thank you!”

Seventh Place – Kathy

“I have learned to treat this as a journey and a lifestyle! I will step up my game when I need to, but I also live my life in balance. I have seen small changes in my body for this contest, but the mental and emotional changes are what really excites me. I will not stop. I will live this life as a strong, beautiful unique woman. I will make healthy choices to eat less and fuel my body. I will press myself in my workouts and see what this body can do. One of my favorite quotes is “You will never always be motivated, you have to learn to be disciplined.” “

 

Eighth Place – Dewina

“My name is Dewina and I turned 52 years old during this contest. I’m so thankful for this program because anyone can do it. it doesn’t matter what your age is or your fitness level. My husband actually found this program a few years ago when he purchased the Adonis program. I looked at it and after reading Roberta’s story I decided to go ahead and purchase it. I know with what I have learned and what I continue to learn I will be able to accomplish my goals and be the best version of myself that I can be. So I just want to say thank you for creating such a great program that is sustainable and for bringing such a great group of like-minded women together. I can’t wait to see where this journey continues to take me!”

Ninth Place – Nikki

“Now, with the exercise, I see such a difference in my shape. I even managed to lose more inches than I had before! I don’t really base my successes on how anyone but one person feels about my success, my husband. He is so proud of me! He tells me all the time how great I look and that he can feel the difference when he hugs me. That is such a huge win for me! I am so happy with the Venus Program. It has taught me how to be happy with my body, that I should be realistic, and how to make better choices. I know that I won’t get it right 100% of the time, but I know that with Venus, I can get back on track and keep having success.”

Tenth Place – Tina

Tina’s weight ballooned up during her time becoming depressed and medications that hindered her ability to understand hunger or the ability to feel full. Venus has helped her learn about the awareness of food and portion sizes.

 

We did something special for our tenth place this time like we did for VT17.  Tina is a Venus who has lost 100 pounds and was willing to share her story with you. She gets the Venus Immersion lifetime subscription for her prize.

If you have a unique success story to tell and are willing to share your pictures and do a podcast with us, simply contact me and let’s do it.  It does not matter how long it takes you, make it a lifestyle.  Sometimes the 12 week contest fits your life and other times it doesn’t.  We all have the various seasons in our life.

Cover Model Winners

Next we have our cover model winners. The neat thing about these ladies is they are previous contest winners who are proving that this lifestyle is something you can keep for life.  It’s not just a 12 week contest, it’s a lifestyle.  It takes a while to learn, but it can be done!

Barb

“I feel that this is the beginning of Venus Index for life! My husband says whatever you are doing, it’s really working and now he is starting to ask me to help him! I am starting Final Phase tomorrow, thanks to the encouragement of my girlfriends on the Thanksgiving Challenge. Roberta, you are one amazing human being. I hope I know you forever.”

 

Candy

” I actually have only begun. I look at my after pictures with great pride, realizing the hard work and determination it took to get to where I am today. I will continue to eat clean and exercise, and to commit to the Venus lifestyle. Thank you for this incredible program.”

 

 

Congratulations to all the winners!  What beautiful pictures.  What hard work.  It all paid off.

And the journey continues.  The majority of these winners are very active in the Venus Factor Workout Accountability Group on Facebook.

We will be contacting all of these ladies to see if they want to share their story and possibly do an interview.

Find out more about the Venus Transformation contests, they can be very motivating.

What about online coaching?

Many of our successful clients decide to invest in one on one coaching. You are welcome to choose which coach you would like to work with.  Our premium coaching program works for many!  Contest winner Andrea talks about what coaching did for her in her Venus podcast.

When is the next contest?

VT20: May 15 to August 7

VT21: August 28 to November 20

You always sign up and submit before and after pictures HERE is the CONTEST ENTRY, any time during the contest window.

In the meantime check out the rules and regulations.

So get ready for more awesomeness this year!

To help you get your groove going here’s the Tina’s podcast about how she lost 100 pounds and still finds the courage to keep going:

Pick One Thing

Jackie learned to start with just one thing.  It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”, in fact most of us women need to ditch the all or nothing mentality about getting into the shape we want.

 

“For VT18, I felt like the various pieces all came together – consistency in exercise and nutrition. It was only during this contest that I feel like the target measurements might be real. What if I could achieve that? What would that feel like? I am looking forward to finding out.”

 

Jackie got control of her life. She still does the Venus workouts and it’s the perfect tool that empowers her life to the fullest.

 

 

Here’s what Jackie wrote in her contest essay:

My Experience with the Venus Factor System: My Venus Transformation journey began in March 2015 at 190 pounds and what started as a desire to lose weight and get fitter has become much more. My confidence and self-esteem have improved. I have significantly more energy, I am physically stronger, and I am more resilient.

Initially, I was overwhelmed with all of the material and where to start. I thought, “What’s one action I could take?” I would figure that out, and I would do that and then ask myself, “OK, what’s next?” I had many stops and starts along the way. In the beginning, the exercises seemed really difficult to me. I was so embarrassed about how I looked; there was no way I was going to a “beautiful people” gym in Los Angeles to work out.

One of my steps was to figure out what I needed to work out. I ordered some small dumbbells (3, 5, 8 pounds) and I had a mat and an exercise ball. Doing something had to be better than doing nothing, so I go up in the morning and went out to my garage and attempted the workouts without weights at first. I tried working out at different times and found that in the morning before work was the time I would most consistently hit.

The exercise ball was my nemesis. The video doesn’t show how to get on the ball. I kept rolling off and looking quite ridiculous. In the beginning, I could barely do a modified plank on my knees. At first, my goals were to get 3 workouts in during a week. I noticed that I was proud of myself on those days when I got up and worked out. I felt proud of myself on the day after the workout when I was going slowly up the steps because I was sore from lunges instead of because I was short of breath and joints hurting.

Eventually my goal became to get through an entire 12-week program without missing any workouts. I would look ahead at my schedule for the week and decide what days were best. I figured out how to do the workouts in the hotel gyms while on travel. I was so excited when I outgrew my dumbbells and upgraded to the Bowflex dumbbells and have a bench, and barbell too.

During VT18, I was on the Venus Final Phase. I started training for a ballroom dance performance and competition and was challenged to a 22-pushup challenge for 22 days by a friend. I was thinking to myself, I was in a fitness contest, of course, I need to accept the challenge. There’s no way I would have even considered that that in the beginning. While training for the dance performance, I injured my foot (October 2016). My foot was in a boot for a week. I couldn’t dance, but the timing worked out that I could still do the workouts. I was explaining to the doctor that I was preparing for a competition and asking what I needed to do to get back. As she was telling me what I needed to do, she said that she finds it difficult to work with athletes when they don’t heed medical advice. I’m not sure what else she said – I had never been called an athlete before! That made my week!

One day I was talking to my daughter, and she stops and says, “Mom, look at your calves!” and started commenting on the definition of the various muscles. While I’ve enjoyed the workouts and feel stronger and happier, tracking food was a challenge for me. In the beginning, I started realizing how much of what I did was centered around food. Right outside my office was the snack area and I called it the “cookie gauntlet”. I would avoid eye contact. I discovered I had more success when I packed my lunches in advance. I could have what was in my lunchbox, and I was OK. I discovered I had trigger foods. The one cookie turns into more, then I be tired and plop on the couch in front of the TV and continue to eat.

Looking ahead at my schedule helped too – I would put my eat up days on days with business lunch or special dinner. MyFitnessPal app made it much easier to track, but I needed to work on consistency. I would make progress in weight loss when I did track. I noticed that on days when I knew I was going over, tended to be the days that I wouldn’t track. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to write it down. I realized that I would not be able to save the day if I didn’t actually track.

At first the 1000 calories seemed so low. I also felt that I couldn’t focus at work at 1000 calories, but at 1100 – 1200 my brain checked back in. As long as I stayed below maintenance, I was OK and knew that the loss would not be as fast.

Breakfast was difficult for me to skip, but I also found that running around after work that I didn’t have to have dinner, or I could have a much smaller portion. For me, cutting down on TV time resulted in cutting down on mindless eating in front of TV.

In the beginning, I started by just taking one action at a time and making it a habit. I was feeling better and losing some weight but I didn’t think the target measurements were achievable.

I felt better for each improvement. For VT18, I felt like the various pieces all came together – consistency in exercise and nutrition. It was only during this contest that I feel like the target measurements might be real. What if I could achieve that? What would that feel like? I am looking forward to finding out.

-Jackie

 

I love what Jackie has done. Is she not beautiful? She proves that this can be done at any age. You do have the power within you!

Listen to Jackie talk about her experience and how her life is empowered with health, happiness, and agility.  You can listen now or download for later:

Teresa used Venus to unwind 35 years of fad diets.

Teresa had to unwind 35 years of fad diets!

Teresa had to unwind 35 years of fad diets!

 

Teresa placed in our last transformation contest and here’s what she wrote in her own words:

 

After 35 years of battling with food and exercise I have won! Venus has helped me conquer this lifelong struggle which I never thought was possible. Due to the Venus program I’m healthier, happier and have a new confidence that permeates everything!

I’ve been more successful at work, and my relationships with friends and my family have improved. This is because I have put my health first. I have an extremely stressful full -time job that requires travel. I’m married and have 3 young boys, ages 12, 9 and 7. There are so many distractions and excuses to not take care of myself and for so long I gave into them.

Once I decided that my health and how I feel about myself come first, I am happier, I’m centered which benefits everyone around me. I started this journey approximately 28 weeks ago and I KNOW that I will continue it for the rest of my life. I lost 20 lbs and 21.5 inches, I still can’t believe how much my body has changed!

I am 46 and when I started Venus I was fatigued by diet and exercise. I wasn’t sure if I could do it, if I could try again. Something changed when I heard John’s sister’s story, I was moved and I thought maybe I can do this. I decided with conviction that I would fully commit one last time, I would go all in! This time was going to be different. I took a chance and said I’m going to follow this program without question. I thought what’s the worst thing that can happen…I won’t lose weight? I said to myself, no excuses, no turning back and let’s see.

Not only did I lose weight, which in the end, doesn’t matter so much to me, I changed my body and I changed the way I eat. I didn’t have to give up food that I enjoy, I mean NOTHING! What a revelation! I modified and measured and planned and was careful. I was shocked at how well I did during the first 12 weeks and that I didn’t feel deprived at all.

I was so excited I wanted to continue my journey and I’ve almost completed the Final Phase program. I utilized all the elements of the program; the community, podcasts, diet suggestions, and the work-outs. It’s perfect if you like a program that has a variety of ways to connect with the information and the sponsors. The Community was an amazing outlet and my fellow Venus sisters and coaches supported me. Knowing they were there, that I could check in every day helped me feel less alone and motivated.

Due to the technology, you can access Venus anywhere, anytime and it TRULY changed my life. I have lost and gained weight so many times in my life I really can’t count. I’ve tried every program on the planet, Weight Watchers, Diet Center (old..i know), Body for Life, Detoxes, South Beach, Zone, the list goes on and on. I’ve even had a personal trainer. While some things worked here and there, nothing was sustainable. Several factors contributed to my success on this program, the single most important for me was that my relationship with food changed.

Venus allowed me to think about food and exercise in a completely different way. I have always enjoyed working out but I was one of those people who thought cardio was the only way and I had not done much weight training.

Now, I sincerely look forward to weight training and the impact it has on the body is FANTASTIC! I’ve slowly incorporated cardio back into my life but now it’s just for enjoyment, it’s not about needing to burn 100’s of calories. I’ve learned so much from Venus about myself and about the workings of the human body.

I am no longer a slave to the scale, it does NOT define me. I don’t mind feeling hungry, in fact I like it now. My body continues to change and I see muscle definition that was NEVER there before! I know that I will never go back to my old ways. I know this because throughout the last 6 months, I’ve been tested.

I’ve had bad days, I’ve had a week or two that I didn’t work out at all. Nothing happened! I didn’t completely fall apart, I didn’t unwind, and I just got back to handling my food and work outs. Because of Venus I have the tools to manage my weight and food.

I love the support and friendship of the community, there are so many resources available to aid in your success. You just have to want it, and before you know , you will have a new sculpted body that others envy.

Just imagine and take the leap, if I can do it, ANYONE can!!

 

VT18 is winding down and we at the Venus Factor want to see you succeed.  I’ll be making a new contest schedule for next year soon.  The next contest will be in Mid January 2017.  Stay tuned for updates.

The deadline for VT18 is midnight Eastern Time November 21st.  Enter your final pictures HERE.

Dieting for weight loss is hard for everyone so don’t feel alone.  It will require some sacrifice.  No one achieves their goal without hard work and some sacrifices.

If you want help with the last few weeks of the Venus contest feel free to join my Venus Factor Contest Prep Facebook Group.  I will help you every step of the way.  Any Venus contest competitor is welcome to join.

 

Listen to what Teresa had to say in her interview, she is an absolute pleasure, or save the podcast for later:

300 pounds to Fitness coach; Meet Kimmy

Kimmy is one of the most amazing and persevering women I've ever met. If she can do it you can too!

Kimmy is one of the most amazing and persevering women I’ve ever met. If she can do it you can too!

Dang, from 300 pounds to fitness coach with a full time job, a family, and 3 kids to care for.  If she can do it so can you!  Kimmy is absolute living proof that there should be no excuses.  Yes, sacrifices must be made to achieve your goal and it may take longer than others.  Kimmy learned to not compare herself to others and that is part of WHY she succeeded.  She also had to brush aside the mean comments from others, as that seems to be something we all experience when we succeed, especially from other women.  You have to learn that there is nothing wrong with YOU, the mean comments are all about the others and their insecurity about your success.  Just keep going!  You might need to make some new friends, but you WILL, you will end up attracting those who are successful and will support you.

 

Here she is, making it happen and looking very beautiful in her dress!

Here she is, making it happen and looking very beautiful in her dress!

 

Kimmy’s story is simply amazing.  She is a woman of extreme perseverance, and she is now coaching others to do the same thing. You don’t have to have super powers, you just have to keep going.  You have to decide you want it bad enough. You have to be patient and trust the process and have the vision that you can achieve the same thing.

Here is what Kimmy wrote in her own words:

This by far has been one of the most challenging 12 week endeavors of my life. Not only physically but mentally as well. I’m a busy mom who works full time with 3 children ages 14, 11 and 3.

In the fall of 2015 my husband was diagnosed with a condition called Menieres disease. If someone asked me what that was before, I would have told them “I have no clue.” Now I can say it’s one of the most miserable conditions an otherwise healthy person can be diagnosed with. In a nutshell, he suffers from violent vertigo attacks which leave him bed ridden sometimes days at a time. One minute he can be great and the next he’s violently ill and weak.

When this happens I become Mom of 3 but also sole care provider which isn’t always easy. Try telling your 3 year old “Just a minute, Mommy needs to do a workout” and guess how well that goes over. There were many days I was struggling to take care of everyone else and neglecting the importance of taking care of me too.

When the Venus Transformation 17 challenge was announced I decided this was my time to join. It gave me a goal to focus on, workouts to follow that were easy and a deadline towards reaching that goal. A goal without a deadline can go on forever without being achieved right?

I started day 1 full of gusto. I bought my newspaper and took starting pics. I was in this to WIN IT! My friend Michelle placed back in the 3rd Venus contest so this time it was my turn!!

Then the first week in tragedy struck. A dear friend and co worker took sick and died very suddenly. She left behind a loving husband (also a close friend and co-worker) and 3 beautiful children. I felt a deep sense of loss and pain for her family, our co-workers and for myself. This friend was always there for me when I needed someone. I reached out to her for parenting advice, work advice, marriage advice, you name it! Now just like that she was gone? How could this happen? Life all of a sudden felt shitty and unfair. The contest didn’t matter anymore. Working out didn’t matter anymore. I cried a lot and went back to old habits of binge eating junk food. I basically didn’t care – I felt bad and just wanted comfort.

This friend and I often talked fitness at work and we went to boot camp classes over the years and often compared training sessions. Losing her hit me really hard because it made me reflect on my own life and my own family. What would I do if I lost my husband or they lost me? I struggled for a while with this and if I’m completely honest, it still scares me.

I’m not sure when it happened but one day something just hit me and said “You know Rachel would never want you using her as an excuse for this behavior right?” From that moment on I decided I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and continue to push forward.

Eating through my emotions would hurt me in the long run and it certainly wasn’t going to help anyone else. Roberta and the rest of the girls from the Venus and Nibbles group were extremely supportive. I reached out to them a few times when I was feeling down and they helped pick me back up.

I posted some before and after pictures of where my journey began years ago at nearly 300lbs and realized just how far I’ve come. It’s easy to get caught up in comparing yourself to others but in the end the journey is yours and you should only compare yourself to YOU!

Someone else out there is always going to be smarter than you, faster than you, better abs than you, etc. Am I healthier, stronger version of Kimmy than I was 12 weeks ago? You bet and that’s ALL that matters.

 

Don't compare yourself to others. Just see how far you have come and keep going. Achieve your own dream!

Don’t compare yourself to others. Just see how far you have come and keep going. Achieve your own dream!

I look at these pictures and I’m very proud of what I accomplished in 12 weeks! I did it by eating real food, not too much and not too little – just enough. There are no gimmicks or tricks. I plan my workouts ahead of time and write them down in my journal. If I miss a day (hey I’m human), I make up for it the next day with no guilt. If I overeat a few calories for a family event, no problem, I work out harder and cut my calories a bit for other meals.

Venus has allowed me to find a balance and I love it. The relationships and friendships established since joining Venus are priceless. You won’t find a better community of supporters anywhere.

– Coach Kimmy

 

Kimmy knows how to get it done.  It is so fun to watch her enjoying life with her family and kids, planning camping trips and living life to it’s fullest.  You can follow her continued journey on Facebook, and follow her blog, and you can listen to her talk about all of this in her podcast below.

 

Venus women are real! Real women with real lives making it happen. It's easy to think it's all not true, but it's true and you can see how real the women are when you follow them on Facebook.

Venus women are real! Real women with real lives making it happen. It’s easy to think it’s all not true, but it’s true and you can see how real the women are when you follow them on Facebook.

 

Listen to Kimmy’s inspiring podcast now or save it for later.  And remember, YOU can do it too!  The podcast is in the link below:

Venus Veteran Kimberly Shares Her Secrets to Maintenance Success

Kimberly has been using Venus systems for over 5 years and placed in Venus’ very first open contest.

Kimberly placed in the VT1 Open Category back in 2011

Since 2010, she has continually improved her physique despite health challenges and global relocations. Kimberly knows what it takes to maintain and improve your physique!

Kimberly, Liss, Jenny, and Lou Ann in Vegas

Kimberly, Liss, Jenny, and Lou Ann in Vegas

So when I thought about interviewing veterans about maintenance, this sweet friend came straight to mind. I have seen her in person and even worked out together; we got to meet in 2014 in Vegas at a Venus meet up. Kimberly looks every part Venus.

IMG_20140808_124200

Liss, Jenny, Roly, Carla, and Kimberly after workout at the Cosmopolitan

Here is what Kimberly has to say-

During the VT1 competition back in Jan to April 2011, I set a goal for myself.  An “Every Day Venus”.  I wanted a body shape and appearance that I could have everyday.  A body that was not dependent on heavy dieting, posing or lighting tricks.  I wanted to learn a way to maintain a look that is athletic and lean….all the time.  There is no doubt Venus has taught me that.

Kimberly August 2011 After Venus Contest

Kimberly in August 2011 After Venus Contest

I have maintained at Venus for over 5 years now.  Every Day.  At first it took some work and focus as I built new habits and ‘normals’ for myself.  I was also a little scared about losing this new body that looked good and was strong and healthy.  It took a while to realize that I didn’t have to be perfect and worry about things, I just needed to be consistent and gently correct the process when I got feedback from my waistband or body that I was slipping a little.

Kimberly 2012 Maintenance Venus Index

Kimberly in 2012 at Maintenance

My key learnings have been:

  • Aim for consistency not perfection. Don’t stress the small things; a big day of eating or a missed workout doesn’t matter.  Intervening early when the pendulum swings out makes it easier to stay on track
  • Find a pattern to keep calories within your target zone as a lifestyle. For me it is easy to skip breakfast and eat normally the rest of the day.  Look for low calorie substitutions you can use for every day eating
  • Lift heavy. You won’t look like a man and even if something does get a little more than you would like, it is easily reversed by changing exercises
  • Even if you have health issues, don’t give up. A strong and healthy body makes such a difference in managing symptoms and may even enable you to fix some of the root causes

 

Over the past few years I have continued to improve my metrics (refer to table).  I am actually a little ‘extreme’ in my unders and overs.  Each one of us is unique but we all have the potential to create our best body with this program.  It is important to recognize that we all have our own look, and that you cannot ‘shop’ about for the best body parts from others.  Celebrate what you have.

Kimberly 2014 Maintenance Venus Index

Kimberly in 2014 at Maintenance

In my original VT1 essays, I wrote “This is a competition and someone will win.  Whatever happens, I have already won – I know my dream body, I know how to get it and I know how to maintain it.”

 

Five years on…..and I am still winning!!!!

Kimberly in 2015 at Maintenance using Venus Index

Kimberly in 2015 at Maintenance using Venus Index

Kimberly’s Metrics Using Venus

Height 5’3.5″ Venus  May 2011 (VT1)         Current
Weight 122 lb 105 lb 110 lb
Shoulder 39.1 39.1 42
Waist 24.3 23.5 23
Hips 34.4 33.0 36.5
Bicep   9.4 10.5
Chest   33.3 34.5
Upper thigh   17.6 17.6


Kimberly’s transformation story
Kimberly’s VT1 interview with John Barban – An Everyday Venus

Kimberly in the Venus Community

Watch Kimberly’s interview with Liss below:

Listen to Kimberly’s interview with Liss below:

 

 

 

The Stay At Home MOM Venus makes it happen! (Meet Tara)

Tara is one of our amazing success stories! And her story is not over yet.

Tara is one of our amazing success stories! And her story is not over yet.

 

We all have a story.  We all have struggles. And the journey continues for all of us as we reach our goals and learn to live our lives.  It is not easy so there is no reason to be jealous or feel bad when you see others succeed.  I know it tends to make us all feel just a little insecure.

So just KNOW, that it is never easy for anyone.  Everyone has their battles you know nothing about. No one is ever perfect at this game, they just learn to never give up.

Even you.  You just need to keep going and never give up!

One of our Venus Veteran’s, Pam, was Tara’s local trainer and it’s how Tara learned about Venus.  So the three of us (Pam, Tara, and I) decided to get together to put Tara’s story in a video and podcast (audio podcast is below).

 

Tara (in blue), and Pam (in pink) and I decided to get together to document Tara's success story.

Tara (in blue), and Pam (in pink) and I decided to get together to document Tara’s success story.

 

Here’s what Tara wrote in her own words:

I have been on a long weight loss journey. In 2013 I decided to make a change. Weighing 211#’s, and not wanting to go up another pant size, I started eating clean and biking.

It worked out well with a weight loss of 40#. With that, I got comfortable and a little more lazy with my food choices.

However, I kept up the cycling a few days a week. By January of this year, I had put on a few pounds. Enough to make me uncomfortable.

I joined a weight loss challenge. I had some success with that, but again bounced back to the uncomfortable range after a necessary surgery.

So, with some input from friends, I looked into the Venus Program.

I’m a ‘stay at home’ mom, so the 3 day a week workouts seemed reasonable. I joined a gym and made my workout schedule with every intention of fulfilling it.

We are all feeling pretty Venus "bright" in Pam's backyard. Letting our Venus Light SHINE!

We are all feeling pretty Venus “bright” in Pam’s backyard. Letting our Venus Light SHINE!

 

Three Venus days and 2 cardio days per week. The food was a tough hurdle to leap, but I managed to maintain a deficit on most days.

With the tools that Venus has given me, I am currently at the lowest weight since having my first baby 16 years ago.

That’s a HUGE milestone for me.

I also know how to keep improving.

The knowledge of my deficit calories vs my maintenance calories empowers me to accomplish my next milestone.

One of these days I will see the abs that are hiding from me now. I know they’re there and they’re strong, yet they still hide.

The ever changing workouts keep me from getting bored and help me to feel my progress in strength.

This is so MOTIVATING!!

I’m proud of my accomplishments over the past 12 weeks and can’t wait to continue along this journey.

-Tara

Tara is very motivated to keep going and is currently in our Venus Transformation challenge.

 

And the video interview in Pam’s beautiful California backyard:

 

 

You can listen to the audio podcast below or download it for later:

Tara is very happy!

Tara is very happy and enjoying her new empowered life!

 

 

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What’s it like to be a 56 year young Venus Figure Competitor?

BEVEL-Rhonda-Competition-side-pose-1

Rhonda is 56 years young and won our VT contest back in the day when she was 5o. She’s still living the dream and the golden Venus lifestyle and going strong.  She has found the fountain of youth.

Rhonda did it! There she is on stage at age 56.

Rhonda did it! There she is on stage at age 56.

 

It was a fun day, she did her first competition at the same venue I did mine so I went down to support her.

 

I went down to meet Rhonda and watch the competition at the Sheriton in Sacramento.

I went down to meet Rhonda and watch the competition at the Sheraton in Sacramento.

 

Dang, it always makes me realize how small I am when I stand next to another person.  Rhonda is tall!

Another amazing picture of Rhonda on stage.

Another amazing picture of Rhonda on stage.

 

Here’s what Rhonda did to prepare:

 

Everyday was very consistent, only small tweaks were made along the way. I started each day with 3/4 c egg whites plus 1 whole egg scrambled and 1/3 c oatmeal, tea or black coffee.

After lifting workout and before cardio I would have a protein isolate shake (30 gr p)

The rest of the meals, which were to be about 2 1/2 hours apart, consisted of 4 ounces chicken, turkey, or fish and 4oz of sweet potato or rice, and a steamed veggie such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans, spinach, Brussels sprouts, or squash.

Generally, I ate this 3 times a day, so all in all, I ate 5-6 meals a day.

My workouts consisted of 4-5 weight training days. Splits such as back/biceps, legs/shoulders, chest/ triceps with the first one repeated for 4th workout of week. I also added in core and calves and more glute work on less intense days. Cardio was 30 minutes on stair-climber or incline treadmill, 5 days. About half way through, that increased to 45 minutes, 6 days a week.

This seemed to really work well for me and fortunately I didn’t have to give up much more in the way of food. I did eliminate the carb at the last meal of the day towards the end.

 

Rhonda at the Sheraton waiting to go on stage!

Rhonda at the Sheraton waiting to go on stage, looking pretty dang hot!

 

Rhonda was pretty proud of what she achieved. It was an honor to be there as her friend.

Rhonda was pretty proud of what she achieved. It was an honor to be there as her friend.

 

Rhonda built some friendships that day and had a great time.  Since then we’ve gotten together and had some fun.

I went down to visit Rhonda for a few days after the competition and we had a blast!

I went down to visit Rhonda for a few days after the competition and we had a blast!

 

And of course we had some amazing workouts, because that's just what we do!

And of course we had some amazing workouts, because that’s just what we do!

 

And we had fun, both of us 55 and 56 years old, living our dream:

 

I hope you enjoyed her pictures and story.

You can listen to her podcast now or download it for later:

How Keturah Overcame Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism to Lose over 100 Pounds

Keturah Before and After Side

Keturah has been using Venus systems for over 5 years!  Her transformation stretches out further than a 12 week period though, she has lost over ONE HUNDRED pounds!

 

Keturah Through Weight Loss to Maintenance

 

Keturah through the weight loss over the years

(Left) Keturah at her heaviest before finding Venus in 2011

(Middle) Keturah in the middle of her transformation at about 190 lbs in November of 2011

(Right) in the middle of her transformation at about 180 lbs in February of 2012

Here is what Keturah had to say in her own words:

 

Maintenance: Choosing life.
 
Maintenance is something you don’t hear much about. The fitness world is full of shiny before and after photos with big shiny smiles to match. What no one seems to talk about is the daily practice of life. 
 
There are some things that set apart maintenance from deficit. Let’s focus on what comprises this brave new world. 

Mindset.
I recently reread some of my old blog posts. It was such a wise voice, and it was speaking to me now. (The value of listening to ourselves is great!) First, let me level with you: I am no different than anyone else. Fear creeps in. Old thought patterns start repeating. Fear of rebound weight gain. Fear of not being able to do it. Fear of looking too thin. Fear of people being negative. Fear of not maintaining it for life. Fear of disordered eating. Fear of putting my value in my looks, and not in who I AM INSIDE.

I think the last argument “Fear of putting my value in my looks, and not in who I AM INSIDE” is especially real. It’s a fear that many women deal with in our current culture. I’ve come to realize that while weight, size, shape, and body shape are not my source of identity, being overweight and unhappy with my body can be a road block to feeling good about myself. My insecurity about my body, the shame and guilt I have felt in being overweight: it was real. Learning that I could change that was empowering. But also learning that my body doesn’t define me is a mindset that has taken longer to sink in and takes daily practice.
Value where you are at NOW. Comparison is the thief of joy. We all know that popular quote. Sometimes the comparison isn’t with other people, it’s with ourselves. We can lose a lot of joy comparing ourselves to the past or even to perhaps unrealistic goals and standards. Maybe right now it tough and you don’t particularly feel joy. That’s okay. I am learning to ask myself questions. Why am I feeling this way? I keep asking why. Doing this helps me get to the root of lingering insecurities or issues. I also find out that what scares me is usually not as huge as I’ve made it in my head.

 
We think this journey of self introspection disappears when we enter maintenance mode. It doesn’t. If anything, it began a new season of asking questions, dealing with some old triggers, and learning to trust ourselves in new ways during new seasons and situations. Which is why we also need to work on habits. 
Habits.

Fear can hold us hostage and make us freak out! But the truth is, it’s about choices, not fears. I choose to be healthy. I choose to eat supportive foods that will help my Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia. I choose to lift weights so I’m strong, lean, slender, and pain-free. I choose to walk to have head space, time to think, reflect, and enjoy the outdoors. I choose to stretch to be flexible, limber, and feel good. I choose to be at peace with my body and take steps that will enable me to continue being Venus for life.

Maintenance is not automatic. It is about daily choices, habits and goals. This isn’t glamorous. Habits are choices we make and continue making everyday. I can choose to say “no” to fear and listen to the truth. I can choose not to let my circumstances and past, worries about the future, and other things define me, but to take a step forward and embrace the present, choose joy, and keep stepping forward up the mountain.


I liken maintenance to keeping the house neat, or perhaps tending the garden after the plants have started growing. If you let the little things go–laundry and dishes pile up, floors need swept, garbage overflowing, weeds growing wild–pretty soon the place is a disaster needing a complete cleaning and overhaul. Some daily tidying and daily weeding would have kept those things from happening. Some days we let things go. It’s about attending to the dishes before the pile gets too big. Or put it this way: it’s paying of the credit card bill at the end of the month instead of letting it stack up for a couple of years until it becomes a mountain of debt!
 
The habits you begin and consistently choose and practice will be habits that keep you going, even if they change in form. My daily habits are movement (for me that’s resistance training, flexibility, and walking); including protein and either fruit or vegetables at most meals; good rest; hobbies I love (makeup, knitting, and reading are just a few!) and relaxing with my husband on the weekends. I am learning to balance my meals and intake. If we go out on a brewery tour I will enjoy a burger and beer. The next meal or day, I have my coffee  but enjoy water, fruit, salad, and some light protein for the rest of the meals. There is no punishment, no reproach. No starvation, no forcing of food. I just listen to myself. 
 
Seasons.
Maintenance is the season I have really learned to enjoy living life and how to be flexible. Shortly after reaching my Venus metrics a couple years ago, I was still in “get competition lean” mode. It took a couple months for me to realize I wasn’t really getting anywhere with all my hard work and was frustrated. Mostly, it was mental. I decided to do something crazy. I stopped trying so dang hard to reach smaller metrics, body goals, and all the other stuff I deemed necessary to joy. Instead, I let go. I began listening to my body, doing what felt both right and good, and relaxing about the rest. It was, and still is, the very best thing for me. I learned another lesson in trusting myself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting competition lean. But it’s a season, and for many it isn’t a season that can be stretched out for indefinite periods of time. Sometimes we have to count the cost. The cost at the time wasn’t best for me. 
 
There is also adaptive components to maintenance. I am learning to change up my routine or my workout when I feel unmotivated about workouts. There are also life changes that require workouts changes. My husband and I recently relocated 2300 miles, from mountain life to ocean life. While I had spent the last couple years lifting heavy weights at the gym, I was suddenly faced with a new challenge. There was no gym and our new home didn’t have space for heavy weights. At first, I was frustrated. What was I going to do now? I quickly realized my new life change meant a change in my training. This wasn’t an easy change at first. The first few weeks of no gym I had a lot of anxiety! Heavy weightlifting had become a security blanket and it was time to put it away for a while. Without access to the barbell rack, I’ve had a chance to work on some old gymnastic training, flexibility, and explore other workouts–areas I neglected for years, and that I really missed doing. 
 
Final thoughts. 
Honestly, maintenance is about learning to live from out truest, healthiest selves. The main focus of fat loss phase is so you can make changes in your body and, most importantly and what gets left out by a lot of people, live life with new lifelong habits, and keeping Venus tools for when you do let the house go and need to whip it back into shape. You learn to listen to yourself, learn what works best for you, what is sustainable, what is joyful. You learn balance. 
 
Maintenance is choosing to be Venus for LIFE.

 

Keturah Before and After Front

Ketty’s Metrics Using Venus

(Note Keturah had lost about 100 lbs before even finding Venus in 2011 on her own! WOW!)

Weight Height Waist Shoulders Hips
June 2011 217 lb 71 in ~35.5 in ~46 in ~50 in
April 2016 175 lb 71 in 27.5 in 43 in 42 in
Deltas -42 lb 0 in -8 in -3 in -8 in

 

 

 

Keturah Happily Ever After Maintaining

Keturah Happily Ever After Maintaining at her Wedding in Summer 2015

 

Watch Keturah’s interview with Liss below:

Listen to Keturah’s interview with Liss below, or download it for later:

How Lisa from Mississippi learned to NEVER GIVE UP on fat loss

Lisa

Lisa wanted to give up.  She didn’t think it could ever be achieved.

She was doing the Venus process and seemed so slow that she didn’t see it happening until she took a picture one day.

 

Here’s what she said one day inside the forum:

The busyness of life crept in, didn’t feel I had much of anything blog worthy to share.
So my hubby has been working out with me for the past almost 5 months.

He keeps saying wow you look so great I can really see a difference.

It isn’t that I didn’t believe him but all I see when I look in the mirror is the cellulite and loose skin, and the list goes on.

So last night I tried on a dress I wore 2 yrs ago and it felt and looked like a tent on me.

Earlier yesterday I ran across my old measurements on here, and was completely shocked at how many inches I had lost. I hadn’t realized!
So this morning after hitting the gym I had my daughter take my pic and I found an old before pic and was blown away.

I actually love my after.

Lisa After

I can look at the pic for probably the fist time in my life and say I actually like my picture. If you haven’t taken a before pic make sure you do it ASAP, even if you have already started.

You don’t have to post just save it.

No matter how many times you fall don’t give up.

If you have been derailed don’t be embarrassed nobody is perfect just get up and start over.

-Lisa

 

 

 

 

Lisa-Venus-Jeans

 

 

 

Lisa has a pretty fun story to tell and all the food in Mississippi!! Wow, and she did it anyway!

You can find Lisa active as an Ambassador inside the exclusive Venus Forum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to her podcast now or save it for later.

Can that last pesky 10 pounds go at age 53? Heck yeah, meet Cindy

Cindy-BnA-Venus

Cindy looked good before but she knew in her heart she could do better.  Does it matter what everyone else thinks when you KNOW you will feel better without that last pesky 5-10 pounds?  No, it’s your choice.  It’s your body.  You get to own it and you can do it!

 

Here’s what Cindy had to say about Venus:

My experience with the Venus Experience I really don’t remember how I found Venus. It could have been through Facebook or a Google search. That was in October 2014.

I read the program and first thought that eating 1000 calories a day was just crazy. It went against everything that I thought I knew.

And working out while fasting? No way I could do that!

And I felt like I knew what to do to eat healthy and work out.

I read a lot and do a lot of research. I thought I knew it all!

I am 53 years old and have always worked out. Years ago it was Jazzercise. Since then, I’ve done Insanity, P90X, and joined a gym. I’ve lifted weights, done HIIT, hot yoga, you name it, I did it.

I enjoy working out, that’s never been a problem. Most people would probably say that I was in pretty good shape. However, I had been hovering around 135 pounds, no matter what I did. I know that’s not overweight and some people would be happy at that weight.

But I’m 5’5 and am small boned, and always wanted to lose at least 10 pounds. One day, a friend of mine stated that he thought he and his wife look pretty darn good considering they don’t work out. At all.

I took that to mean that they don’t look that different that me, who works out 4-5 days a week! And I eat healthy! Organic! Gluten and dairy free!

I should look REALLY good for all the hard work I put it!

Fast forward to summer 2015. Again, I was unhappy that with all my working out, I still was at 135-138 pounds. I kept thinking – it must be hormones, or my thyroid, I had half my thyroid surgically removed in July 2013.

I started reading again how important it is for women my age to lift weights and thought, well you bought the Venus program, let’s do it!

And so I did. In the past I must say that I’ve kinda done programs but not exactly followed it exactly. This time, I said I”m all in. And the only reason I entered this contest was the accountability. Someone had to hold my feet to the fire!

So I started with eating at a deficit at 1200 calories. But then I read how going down to 1000 calories really made a difference. So that’s what I did. But it was much more easily done when I fasted from 8pm to 12 pm.

And I found that I sure could work out fasted, it wasn’t that big of a deal. The first 2 weeks I was a bit hungry, but after that I got used to it.

Venus taught me that I just ate too much. And drank too much. I really enjoy red wine at night, but those calories sure add up! Increasing my protein helped me be less hungry and have fewer cravings.

 

cindy-at-boat

I was ecstatic when I saw the scale going down. I was blown away when my my waist went down by 2 inches. Woo Hoo!

My favorite part- is how I deal with special occasions and going out with friends. Just plan for it. I have fewer calories the day before and less the day after and I can still have a good time and most of all, I don’t feel deprived.

This is sustainable and it is my way of life. I kept up with HIIT workouts that I love, but have incorporated the Venus workouts 3 days a week. I have never looked and felt better. The workouts are giving the shape to my body that I have wanted for such a long time!

I love lifting heavy weights, and it is so empowering! I guess it’s the simplicity of the program that is so mind boggling to me. It just makes so much sense. Eat fewer calories and lift heavy weights.

There’s a part of me that’s upset. I mean, I have worked out for years, and not have had these results.

Another thing that I did was if I worked out (and somehow thought I exercised 300 calories) then I ate them back! I love that Venus says to forget that! Don’t think about adding back those calories. Because in reality we have no idea how many calories we really burned.

Many days too, when I worked out hard, I ate a bit more or had a dessert or had an extra drink because I thought I deserved it. Hey, man, I just worked out!

I have lost only 11 pounds but look so much healthier and shapelier. Venus was exactly what I was looking for. I am super happy with my results my I”m not ready for maintenance yet. I can still improve!

One of the main reasons that I first bought Venus is because I saw Roberta and her amazing body and transformation. She was my age and had muscle! That made me realize that I can still build muscle at my age.

Boom!

-Cindy

 

Cindy-Arms-crossed

Listen to Cindy’s podcast now or download it for later:

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