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
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
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
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
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