And the VT18 Venus Transformation Contest results are …

There is nothing easy about this process.  It’s a lifestyle. It takes TIME for people to learn a new lifestyle.  Be patient with yourself. Give yourself permission to be human. Never give up. The only difference between those who succeed and those who have not yet is persistence and learning to dust yourself off and keep going after you fall.

And our first place winner is Jackie. Her prize is getting her life back but she happens to get her choice of either $500 or the Immersion package.

1st Place Jackie

"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."

“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.”

 

The second place winner is Barbara and besides a beautiful shape for her body she gets the choice of $350 or the Immersion package.

 

2nd Place Barbara

"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."

“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.”

 

Our 3rd place winner is Lynn who not only looks amazing in her dress, but she gets a prize of $250 or the choice of the Immersion package.

 

3rd Place Lynn

"Daily planning of food to go with you, so you are not tempted by unhealthy choices becomes easy and routine. Choosing to change my mind set to” Slow and Steady, while incorporating the Venous System has made the difference. Life is not a race. Venus Index bring it on, you rock!!"

“Daily planning of food to go with you, so you are not tempted by unhealthy choices becomes easy and routine. Choosing to change my mind set to” Slow and Steady, while incorporating the Venous System has made the difference. Life is not a race. Venus Index bring it on, you rock!!”

 

And not the least of all is our amazing 4th place Candy who looks absolutely stunning in her dress.  She wins the choice of $250 or the Immersion package.

 

4th Place 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."

” 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 these beautiful ladies who put in a lot of hard work to make a transformation. Each of them lost 10-15 pounds which is above average for most women in the 3 month period of a contest.  They enter the holiday season with a winning strategy and ahead of the game compared to the rest of society.

Why are there only four winners this time?  Well first of all we don’t just fill up the ten slots, we pick those who showed a true transformation.  If the pictures don’t show a change or transformation, then they can’t be used.

But mainly there is nothing easy about this process. The is no magic pill or short cut. It’s going to take some true grit and determination. It’s somewhat simple yes, but it’s hard to implement the nutrition habits.  It’s easy to give up when you think you can’t do it anymore.  Sometimes you make all the human mistakes we all make with food intake, you think you are a failure, thus you give up.  But the fact of the matter all of us make a “controlled stumble forward” as John’s has said in his email.  You have to give yourself permission to be human and keep going anyway.

I’ve emailed everyone who entered this contest and had extended the deadline for them, but the overwhelming response was “I just couldn’t stick with the nutrition plan”.

So here’s a list of the most common mistakes and some solutions:

 

Problem: Eating a deficit that is too low for you. The Venus calculator gives you a range, not an absolute number.

Solution:  When you eat too low on your deficit days you will end up eating more uncontrolled on other days. The solution is to bump up your calories to something still under your maintenance number per the Venus calculator.  Consistency is more important that eating low. The turtle wins this race. Everyone that tries to do this too fast end up rebounding.  Aren’t you tired of the diet yo-yo?  If so, stop eating so low.  But at the same time don’t eat over maintenance. That’s how you win.  That is how you walk the calorie tightrope.

 

Problem: Not eating up to maintenance at least one day a week.

Solution:  You don’t have to follow an exact schedule on this, you can pick a day of the week that works best for you. Some weeks you need more than one maintenance day. Remember that eating up to your normal needs (maintenance) is ALWAYS A WIN.  It is not back sliding, it eating what you actually need.  Eating at a deficit is “corrective action” and is not meant to be long term. It is like taking medicine and some days the “medicine” causes too much stress on your body.  If it’s hard to add in a little extra food on those days start eating a little earlier in the day, continue to eat small portions but add in a little more healthy more calorie dense foods like fats and carbs (yum!!) – enjoy it!

 

Problem: Not getting enough protein.

Solution:  For your meal planning, focus on protein and veggies FIRST, then add a serving or two of both healthy fat and carbs, sometimes these are combined in other food choices already. The highest protein foods in the least amount of calories are in this order:  Egg whites, white fish, protein powder, bone broth, Chicken/turkey/ham, fat free Greek yogurt, fat free cottage cheese. The calorie to protein ratio drops off dramatically after that with all foods including other food labeled “high protein”.  Many foods have protein that are very high in calories.

 

Problem: Getting stuck in a rut with meal timing and thinking you must fast or delay your first meal of the day until afternoon.

Solution:  Intermittent fasting and fasting has it’s place for sure, but it’s not always the best answer for the day or season of life.  If you find yourself eating too much in the evening and not able to stay on plan, it’s not working.  If it’s not working it needs to be fixed.  By continuing the vicious cycle of fasting and binging you set yourself up for continued failure.  Remember it’s okay to change up the meal timing according to how you feel for the day.  You can always “Save the Day“.  What matters is the calories at the end of the day in the 24 hour period, extend that out 7 days, 30, 60, and 90 days for results.

 

Problem: Not giving yourself permission to be human.

Solution:  Accept the fact that you are human and will make mistakes with nutrition.  Stress is a huge factor. You can’t rely on willpower alone, you need to setup your environment for success.  When the nutrition didn’t go according to plan, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, take a deep breath, and decide to continue on.  We all have to do this. I still have to do this.

 

Problem: Not realizing that you are not really accurate with food intake, the “But I’m eating less and it’s not working” syndrome.

Solution:  This happens especially when you eat too low, because you will over compensate on other days by eating too high and not realizing it.  This is called “Mental Accounting“.  It’s very easy to make honest mistakes when tracking your food intake.  In addition there are many times things you missed on the food labels or with measurements of food, or with supplements that have calories.

 

Sometimes you have to be your own motivator and other times you need a little help and support from friends. If you want help and support I have a Venus Contest Prep Facebook group.  If you want to get started with a little New Years Challenge I have New Years Challenge support group where there is a prize drawing for participation.  Before long you will know how to create your own prizefighter victories every single day for the rest of your life.

 

Next Year (2017) Contest schedule:

VT19: January 16 to April 10

VT20: May 15 to August 7

VT21: August 28 to November 20

 

 

 

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:

Yet another 55 year young Venus bucks the trend; Meet Anita

Anita is ecstatic with her results!

Anita is ecstatic with her results!

 

Anita placed in our last Venus Transformation contest and is ecstatic with her results.  I had the pleasure of working with this amazing lady and watching her achieve her results.

 

Here is her essay from the contest:

My journey When I came to America from Belgium after marrying my husband, as an immigrant, I was mistreated an thought lesser by my peers. I ignored the hateful comments though and started my family, and had two kids, they turned out very well, god bless their hearts. Aside from the ridicule I received for being an immigrant, I was met with intolerance for also being hearing impaired.

These people just never understood my predicament, or tried to understand. This always made me so low and ashamed about who I was. I started doing the Venus contest in February of 2015, and I must say it is the best thing I have ever done in my whole life.

I lost weight, gained muscle, and better yet I gained confidence in myself. The journey is not yet over, still many miles to go, but one day I will succeed. One day this emotional roller coaster will come to an end, and I will walk away from it victorious.

Filled with the knowledge of how I turned the negative comments of others, into my strengths to do this challenge. As well as use that strength to change into the woman I am today. Thank you Roberta Saum , for being my strength, and it is thanks to you that I look this amazing. I am 54 going 55 years old, and I’ve never felt this good in my life before, until now.

Anita

 

Anita struggled with her weight a long time. Venus helped her buck that trend in her mid 50's!

Anita struggled with her weight a long time. Venus helped her buck that trend in her mid 50’s!

 

I had the honor of answering Anita’s questions this last year as she moved along.  Most people just need a little confirmation that they are doing the right thing and trusting the process.

Anita is hard of hearing so we could not do an interview, so she wrote this additional story of her journey for you:

 

I have simply no words what to say about me placing in Venus contest. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is amazing how far I came and how proud I am of myself and I dare say so, it was my dream to lose weight.

The highest I weighted was 213 lb and lowest weigh was 135lb.  My present weigh is now 145lb give or take, Roberta has taught me that it is okay and normal to fluctuate so much, especially we we are taller.

I would not make it this far without this program and all the support I have from Roberta and her group on Facebook , especially you everyday posting good or bad things like we were mind readers, lol,that why I believed!! We are proof we are never to old to get fit, we might not look like a fitness model but we will feel and look better and stronger everyday, we just glow more confidentially.

Here are my answers the most common questions:

 

  • How did I find Venus? When I was so fed up by being so tired and having joint pains all the time and overweight (now I know why was I so tired, from the extra weight!).  I quit smoking to become a healthier me. I decided to go on fitnesspal and put myself in a research mode, then I found Roberta and started following her for about a year before I signed up for Venus contest.
  • How did I enjoy the Venus workout? The intensity of the workout, deficit plan with the menu was a plus, work out plan,this is a great program when you first start out.
  • Which workout did I do? I used both 12 weeks fat loss and final phase which I did several times.
  • What kept me motivated? All the good comments and pictures in the Facebook group Nibbles Fitness by Roberta.  I loved seeing all the people working out with that have health issues and working out everyday, just made me see everything in another light, and looking at before and after pictures sure gets my butt in the gym.
  • What did I do for my diet? I started eating less and used my little scale to keep track of what I was eating, mostly meat veggies less dairy and over 100 grams of protein, more carbs early in the day not at night. Most of all I needed to eat gluten free for my own health issues.
  • How did I change my workouts with Venus? When I started Venus, I did not follow the program as planned.  I did less reps and I just worked out in my own tempo until I was stronger and more sure I could do all the work out without any injury. That was so far my way of building up strength.  I took my time and 1 year 7 month later I built up more strength.  Now I workout everyday and I like cardio, cycling or on the treadmill for 30 + minutes.
  • What supplements did I use? I use a Bliss Go pack,  Phormula-1 protein, Level-1 protein, Ignition, and Megawatts is the best energy drink. These are the best supplements ever.
  • How did my life change?  I used to spend so much time reading on the internet all the time and I decided to stop reading and get my butt in the gym!  I followed Venus and Nibbles on Facebook and the support is tremendous and it never fails.
  • Did I get support from family and friends? My family were supportive but I could tell sometimes the look on their face, how long will this last?  Nonetheless, they are proud of me.  I had them hide their junk food, lol, and I told them to eat candy at work and not around me at home!
  • What was the biggest struggle?  The hardest part is the food. I love to cook and I love to eat.  So I learned that if I want cheese cake in the evening I simply get it and eat it. I used to panic, but now I have learned that you are not going to get fat overnight. You just can’t do it everyday.  Treat yourself once in awhile
  • How did I feel when I saw my contest pictures?  I was amazed when I saw my pictures! I got so many compliments and that I look so happy. I truly was and still am on cloud nine.  I was shocked that at my age 55 I could do this. I think we are a rare breed trying to get over the hill and I love it.
  • What is my best advice for you? When I first started, I took little baby steps.  Nobody said you have to all the workouts at once.  Find your own tempo and work your way up. I did 1 or 2 reps of all the workouts for 1 month.  Never give up!  Even if you don’t feel like it, go to the gym even (even if it is for 10 min).  I have been there and done that, I have a full time job and I found a way to fit it in and I am loving it.
  • How did my life change?  This program changed my life, I became stronger and more confident.  I just glow and wherever I go and people heads are turned, lol, and this is fun!
  • Where did I get support? This program shows you how to meet your goal.  There is always support on Facebook.  You can ask your personal trainer how to do better for yourself, whoever your trainer is, but mine is a very special lady and her name is Roberta Saum, without her I would not be here.
  • What makes me the most happy? I am so happy that I can wear beautiful clothes and they make me feel sexy about myself, because it fits and it is a small size. I can finally say to myself “you look good baby”.
  • How did this effect the relationships with people in my life? The behavior of the people all around you changes. I have more haters and mostly it is women, but I know they are struggling with their own weight too. They think my life is perfect, but it is far from it. I am honest whoever ask me about my weight loss, I try to be nice and give complements even if I don’t get them anymore!  I give compliments to the guys to and it’s fun to feel like an eye candy at the gym, lol, and that is fine with me. I love the attention.
  • What did I change for lifestyle? I live a healthier life style now. I still drink a glass of beer everyday with my meal now, but it is usually before 5pm.  I don’t eat carbs late in the afternoon anymore.
  • What is my last piece of advice? The most important thing is you need to find a role model, that is fit and lean and has been there and done that. It can be anybody, your trainer or someone on Facebook who you can talk to and answer all your questions. Never compare yourself with this person, but make the most of it. Never give up when you ate junk food the day before, forgive yourself and start over.  You are not going get fat overnight, trust me.  It takes years to get fat.  Take pictures even if you don’t want to.  You will see the difference after one month even when the scale wont budge. I tell you what, throw out the scale!  The scale is so discouraging, even now for me.  It makes me I feel like I wanna give up.  Search fitness for models on line, that is my motivation.  It doesn’t matter how hard you workout everyday, but to lose the extra fat you need to do the calorie deficit. I did all my Venus workout 3 times a week and I just hired a personal trainer to set up a new program.  My new trainer is showing me the body language. how to work your muscles and find better to find my balance. Who knows, I might do a fitness show.  Imagine that at age 55!  I can live my dreams, but I will always need my Venus sisters to get my motivation and give all the help they ask me!!

Thank you for having me, love you all and remember we can do it!! WE ARE PROOF!!

Anita

 

Look how beautiful Anita is now, and yes she enjoys getting attention now too!

Look how beautiful Anita is now, and yes she enjoys getting attention now too!

From 250 pounds to Fitness Coach in one year

Beth placed in our last Venus Transformation Contest and has evolved into the most amazing online person and coach.  It was so fun to have the pleasure of watching it all unfold before my very eyes.

 

Beth saved her own life, listen to her podcast to find out how.

Beth saved her own life, listen to her podcast to find out how.

 

I first came upon Venus Factor back in August of 2015. Back then I weighed 220 pounds and was embarrassed about how I looked. I wouldn’t leave the house, nor did I want to be seen in any pictures. I hid behind clothing and was depressed with no self confidence.

What was worse, I had already spent money, time and effort into other companies who all claimed to help me loose weight and inches.

Nothing was working and as a result of being so desperate, I ended up in hospital in liver failure.

So, naturally, when I came upon Venus, I was skeptical. I figured this was just another ploy to get money and leave me in worse shape than when I started.

However, it did not take me long to start seeing results for myself. Results I had wanted and hoped for all along. This past May I decided I would go for the 12 week challenge to help push me towards my last goals. I wanted to be challenged and push like I hadn’t been before.

I was! Not only have I lost weight and inches, more importantly, I have gained my self image back. My confidence!

Now, I like being involved in pictures, and I don’t feel the need to hid behind clothes. I enjoy getting out with my family and am able to be more actively involved with my kids!

I have seen so much change in myself these last 12 weeks, that I often have to look twice in the mirror to be sure that what I am seeing is real!

I am stunned with what I become, like I am still dreaming a dream I never want to wake up from. I know I still have some work to do, and that’s OK.

I know that as I continue to follow the calorie deficit days, the eat up days, fasting and the exercises I will finish what I have started!

I am excited for that.

Being healthy is more than just looking good. It’s a deeper level of loving yourself, in spite of our flaws, that marks us.

 

 

Beth is no longer depressed or facing liver failure.

Beth is no longer depressed or facing liver failure.

 

Weight is something that I have not always struggled with. I was always the tall, athletic one. The one out running, playing sports and, on the occasion, breaking bones. Ya. Fun, huh!

I noticed that my weight really didn’t start to get out of hand till during my first pregnancy. From there, I kept climbing up the scale. Each pregnancy, and I had 4, I gained another 20-30 pounds till with my last one, I weighed 250 pounds. Over an 8 year period of time, I had gained 100 pounds.

I was obese. I was. And that was very depressing. I hid from life. I hid behind clothes, didn’t want to leave the house. For months I tried to loose the weight, I ate salads and started making smoothies because that’s what the internet said was the healthy thing to do. I ate less, ate more, tried this and tried that.

All my searching for that “quick fix”, that “thing”, that would magically reverse all the weight. Nothing was working. All it did was destroy my body till I was in the hospital with a severely damaged liver. It wasn’t until I found The Venus Factor that I actually started making progress. Started to see the results that I had been waiting to see all along.

That was all the motivation that I needed to keep on doing what I was doing!

With this last 12 week contest, I decided that I was close enough to my goal that I may slack off if I didn’t have that kick in the butt I needed. So, I signed up in May. It was a roller coaster, that’s for sure! I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone to do this.

I didn’t do it so that I could win. Winning really never was a thing for me. I needed the motivation to keep on keeping on. There were times that it wasn’t easy, times when I didn’t want to, and times where cutting corners and giving up would have been easier than finishing. But, I pulled though. I had the support of my family and friends around me, and I pulled through.

 

Beth really had fun with her contest photo shoot!

Beth really had fun with her contest photo shoot!

 

Moving forward, I am not really sure what is in store for me. I know that journey will be fun. I know that I cam able to do a lot more than I first thought possible. But where I finish up, the sky is the limit!

If we learn to push past our dreams, learn to make higher goals that we think may be attainable, you will find this drive within yourself to just keep pushing!!

So that’s what this next part of my journey will be.

– Coach Beth

 

Beth-VT17-blue-shirt-plank

Feel free to follow Beth on Instagram or find her on Facebook.  You can email her or find her posting daily in the Nibbles Fitness Facebook group.

It’s not too late to achieve your own dream and join our current Venus Transformation contest.

In the meantime, be inspired by coach Beth in her podcast below, listen now or save it for later:

The Deadline for VT17 is in ONE WEEK. Are you ready?

The deadline to get your before and after pictures in is August 1st at midnight Eastern Time.

 

FAQ Video on the Venus Contest:

 

 

Contest Rules and Regulations

How to enter a Venus Contest

Check Out the Previous Contests

Most of the winners had no idea how far they came and some almost didn’t finish. So don’t let your own mind stop you from finishing.  If you need some help deciding what to do please feel free to email me roberta.saum@gmail.com.  You are not alone, although the process feels lonely sometimes.

Remember this is a lifestyle you want to keep.  The contest is merely a stop along the tracks.

If it’s something you want to do, go for it!

We are here for you.

-Coach Roberta

The 2016 Venus Transformation Contest Schedule:

  • VT16:   Start January 11 – End April 11

  • VT17:   Start May 2 – End August 1

  • VT18:   Start August 22 – End November 21

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:

 

 

 

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:

Venus Veteran Naomi Maintaining Awesome into her 50’s

Naomi Before Venus and After 2014

Naomi is a veteran Venus who has been with Venus since the beginning in 2010. She successfully transformed her body and has maintained, and even improved her physique over the past 5 years as she progressed into her 50’s!

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

“Hi! I’m Naomi Sandoval. I live in the USA but I’m not fat. I really do look like this photo. It’s crazy. Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure it’s true! I grew up during the 1970s when being fat was rare. It wasn’t rare in my family though. We all accepted that once we became adults, we’d get fat.

I skirted this “inevitability” thanks to the 1980s gym bug. I used exercise to stay ahead of weight gain. Until my mid-30s, I worked out 5 nights a week for 1-2 hours and was a weekend warrior doing whitewater C1 slalom paddling on rivers all up and down the east coast. It was a fun time for sure! I was also happy to preach to anyone about my way of life. Funny how my coworkers, all parents, didn’t really look too interested!

Unfortunately, this plan requires that you stick with it; eating more than you burn is going to lead to weight gain. There isn’t any magic ticket. I definitely fell prey to the work it off mentality.

When I became a mom, gym time came screeching to a halt and weekend warrior exploits became a fond memory.

Like most people, I found becoming a parent so time-consuming that I was not able to stay consistent with my workouts and I fell into the trap of believing that the weight gain was a result of pregnancy. I was told to love and accept my new body and be grateful for what it had given me.

Yet every morning, before I got out of bed, I felt my bloated flabby middle and wondered how I’d gotten like this. I’d remember what leanness felt like and do some magical thinking that today would be the day I’d wake up and find out this had all been a bad dream and I was still lean and trim as I’d ever been.

I’ll grant you that having small children is all consuming and is no time for personal growth. But that doesn’t do anything to temper the niggling feelings of dissatisfaction when you see this in the mirror.

If you look at many of my before photos, I’m slumping because I was constantly exhausted and in pain and didn’t even have the strength to sit properly, my smile is not exactly dazzling.

I wish I’d known then that eating less doesn’t take up any time! Heck, not eating at all once or twice a week is a huge time saver! And who doesn’t enjoy the added bonus of saving money on the cost of food not purchased! Letting go of the mythical 2000 calories a day I thought I got to eat (which did require some mourning, I’ll grant you) and finding out how much I actually needed to maintain and how much I needed to eat to reduce fat was like discovering the Secret to Life, the Universe and Everything! I’d become immobilized because I assumed if it took years to put the weight on, it followed that it took years to take it off. In actual fact, the bulk of my weight came off at about a pound per week. Towards the very end, that rate slowed to about ½ pound per week or less, which is excellent progress to avoid fat loss rebounds upon hitting the goal. After all, fat loss does require focus and effort. There’s no need to risk needing to do it all again or worse, rebounding and concluding that diets don’t work or your metabolism is broken!

The other piece of my journey was becoming aware of brilliant Venus Index ratio research as outlined in the Venus Index Workout program. Simply learning what was still not quite ideal about my shape and how to continue to make improvements has made all the difference. Achieving the ideal metrics has allowed me to finally present my body with full confidence.

A most wonderful thing happened to my family after my transformation. My husband jumped on board too! I won’t lie to you. It’s not possible to change your partner nor force them to do something they are not ready and willing to do. I’ll share a little secret with you should you find yourself in the same situation.

There are free podcasts! All the research, all the experiences of the winners, it’s all in there. So all you have to do is pop one in while you’re in the car together or doing dishes and let John’s soothing voice wash over your unsuspecting partner. I’m telling you, this stuff is pure gold! And when you’re ready to get out of The Matrix, get the Uncensored Podcasts.

Happy Bonus Results of Getting Lean and Strong

Pain management. Gone are the expensive supplements for joint pain. So long as I don’t get sedentary, I rarely suffer any neck or back pain and now these are caused by occasional lapses in correct movement form. My posture is easier to maintain when my muscles are strong and developed in a balanced fashion as per the Venus Index Program

Energy. It’s a funny thing about working out. Expended energy begets bonus energy for every day living.

Strength. Before it was a job to do the most basic of things like get on and off the toilet or squat down and get something from the floor.

Success spillover. Due to the Attitude of Accomplishment from following simple programs and seeing consistent results, other areas of my life fall into place.

Family success spillover. We are now all exercising consistently and have improved our body fat levels. Through leading by example, the family lifestyle of health just is. There is no nagging nor persuading the kids to move and they understand about enjoying treats, just not every day.

Sleep. There is nothing like being healthy, movement and the feeling of accomplishment to facilitate healthy sleep.

Mental focus. Gone are the binge induced foggy afternoons. The losing the thread of the conversation.

I come from a time when it was not the norm to be fat. I see us winding up in wheelchairs like in the movie Wall-E and far sooner than we all think. I would like to be the touchstone you can believe in as you find your way on your own journey to your best self. I want us to reverse this trend and return to being lean. As with all growth, you must take responsibility for your journey. I am here to offer experience, wisdom and motivation. You do the rest.

-Naomi

Get in touch with me:

My WebSite where I blog regularly

My FaceBook Page – Naomi Rules

My Instagram Page

Here is my Venus Index community profile.

My first interview with John after winning the Open Level I Contest

My second interview with John after placing in the Open Level II Contest”

Naomi and John Barban

Naomi and John Barban at an exercise video shoot

 

Naomi Before Venus and After 2012

Naomi Before Venus and After in 2012

 

Naomi before and after Venus through the years

Naomi before and after Venus through the years

Some pro tips from Naomi

  • Put your health first
  • Realize that you can improve your health at any point
  • Find a sustainable look for your lifestyle
  • Explore nutrition and fitness, you can always learn more

 

Naomi Maintenance Feb 2016

Naomi Maintenance Feb 2016

 

Naomi Maintenance April 2016

Naomi Maintenance April 2016

 

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

Ali lost 64 pounds and 42 inches with the Venus program and is not about to quit!

Ali-Venus-BnA

Ali lost 64 pounds and 42 inches with the Venus program and is not about to quit!

Ali has tried many programs and has yo-yo’d with her weight like so many of us. But she says this is the best so far, she has lost 64 pounds and refuses to quit.

She looks amazing already, but why stop now?

She knows she can get even better, and more than that, she knows she can keep it off for life.

Keeping it off for life is the best part.

You can find Ali active in our online community where she posted her progress picture recently.

She posted a really neat video where she surprised her dad by showing up as a new smaller person!

Ali’s best advice is just do it and get involved in the online community for the best support ever!

Login to the community now and introduce yourself and just get started.

 

 

Here’s what Ali said in her own words:

I’m on the last week before I hit my one year anniversary of doing Venus. As some of you may know, I am planning to surprise my dad this weekend for his birthday. I have not seen him since May of last year, two months after I started. The picture on the right is the jumpsuit I bought to wear for the big “reveal” to my dad. The pic on the left is from 2009, when I was at my heaviest. I’ve come a long way baby, and can’t wait for my dad to see the changes!!
I think the big reveal to my dad was very successful. I stood there for about 30 seconds before he turned around. My step mom and sister both had their phones going to record, but my step mom mouthed the words “you look great” while dad was piddling with his phone!

I have been stuck for the last month, bouncing between 171 and 172. Finally this weekend, I broke through to the 160s!!! 169.6, to be exact, but it’s another milestone on this journey!!!

What is truly amazing to me is to think back, to 2010 actually, when I started another weight loss program. At the time I started, I weighed 263#. I did that program for about a year, but because of the monthly expense, I quit. I had hit the 50# mark with that program, but gained back about 20 pounds before starting Venus. To think that since that time I have lost almost 100# is simply AMAZING! That’s like a whole other person!!!

So here are my current stats since beginning:

Weight: -64.2# (started 233.8, currently 169.6)
Arms: -3.5″ (started 14″, currently 10.5″)
Calves: -1.75″(started 16″, currently 14.25″)
Chest: -6.25″(started 43.25″, currently 37″)
Thighs: -6″ (started 30″, currently 24″)
Shoulders: -5″ (started 45″, currently 40″)
Waist: -7.5″ (started 37.5″, currently 30″)
Hips: -12.5″ (started 54.5″, currently 42″)
Total inches lost to date is 42.5!!!

 

Here’s a fun video of Ali surprising her parents with her 64 pound weight loss:

 

 

Listen to Ali’s story now or download the podcast 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:

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