Elizabeth Found Her Perfect Fit With Venus

elizabeth1
This picture says it all.

Elizabeth had struggled with her weight for so long that she wondered if it was even possible to be happy in her own skin.  Determined to be a positive role model for her daughter she had tried other diets and fitness programs, but didn’t find her perfect fit until she stumbled on a Venus ad.  Within weeks her clothes were looser and she was on her way.

elizabeth3

IN HER WORDS

“I am 38 years old and I never thought I could ever be slim. I have struggled with my weight all my life. One of my childhood memories is of a boy saying that I looked like I was pregnant. In the last 2 years my weight seemed to balloon up and I could no longer fit into 90% of my clothes. I was very discouraged but also not hopeful since I had tried SO many diets and fitness programs. Some of these helped somewhat, but they were so restrictive they did not fit into my lifestyle. Others were very structured but even though I put in so much effort, I did not see any significant results. I had my thyroid issues corrected, but my weight problem still did not change, as I expected it would. My 6 year old daughter made the comment that, “Mommy is a little bit chubby”. That really upset me, because I want to be a positive role model for her. I wanted to overcome this issue in my life so that hopefully she will not struggle with negative body image and weight issues. But I did not know how to lose the weight unless I starved myself. It was only a few weeks later that I came across a Venus Factor advertisement online. I felt like it was an answer to prayer! I immediately started to lose weight with Venus in April 2014. In less than a week my clothes started to feel looser. I found many tools for losing weight that I can use according my needs and my social calendar. This is what I love most about Venus: it is 100% flexible. I live in Asia, where the constant social events are all about food, and to not eat is culturally offensive. In the past I did not know how to navigate this. Now I participate in eating with everyone and I am still losing weight. The concept of budgeting my calories makes a lot of sense to me. I budget my money – why wouldn’t I count and budget my calories as well? When I started the VT12 Contest, I had a pair of size 12 grey jeans that were way too tight for me. I could not even do up the button. Now, just 12 weeks later, those jeans are too big for me and I need to replace them with a smaller size. I am so happy. For the first time in YEARS I feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. I am so, so thankful for the Venus program and what it has done for me.”

elizabeth5

You can listen to Elizabeth’s story here:

 

 

 

Venus Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

So, what happens when a couple of Venus calendar girls who live on opposite sides of the American continent get together?  Well they just wanna have fun.

Tania and Roberta on a South Lake Tahoe dock

Tania and Roberta on a South Lake Tahoe dock at sunset.

I met Tania a couple of years ago in the Venus online community.  Many of us have gone through a lot together and we’ve gotten pretty close.  I still have a hard time believing how much my life has changed and the fact that I now have girlfriends all over the world.  It’s very cool.

Tania is from Eastern Canada and she flew all the way to Northern California, USA to visit me.  I can’t tell you how honored I still feel about it.  She is one amazing and beautiful woman both inside and out.

We stayed in Old Sacramento on Friday night

Tania arrived at the Sacramento airport on a Friday so I we stayed in Old Sacramento the first night.  We walked around the old town shops and had a nice dinner together.

We had a nice dinner in Old Sacramento.

We had a nice dinner in Old Sacramento.

One thing that is nice about getting together with others who understand the Venus mindset is that we don’t pressure each other about food.  It’s okay to skip breakfast, or any other meal for that matter, or simply have as many meals as you want (including breakfast).  Tania and I don’t normally eat breakfast, but we do sometimes.  Even though a full breakfast was included in our hotel stay we had both discussed that we probably wanted to just get some coffee and then head up the hill to the gym on our way to Lake Tahoe.

We were well fueled for our Saturday gym workout

We got up the next morning and went down to get coffee and decided the french toast and custom omelets looked too good to pass up.  We both ate a full breakfast.  It was yummy and well worth the calories and we were well fueled for our gym workout.

We got in a Venus workout at the gym Fitness 4 Life gym in Colfax.

We got in a Venus workout at the Fitness 4 Life gym in Colfax.

 

The owners of Fitness 4 Life in Colfax proudly display the Venus Calendar

The owners and members of Fitness 4 Life have seen me go through my entire transformation and are really proud of me.  They keep a poster of the Venus Index Phase 3 cover on the bulletin board and the Venus Calendar at the front desk.  Tania was Miss July and I was miss August.

Tania with her July calendar pictures.  Roberta and Tania with the month of August on the wall.

Tania with her July calendar pictures. Roberta and Tania with the month of August on the wall.

 

South Lake Tahoe

We spent Saturday night in South Lake Tahoe near a beach.  After getting settled in we walked across the street to a grocery store for dinner supplies.  We decided on Sushi, fruit, antipasto salad, wine, and chocolate.

Dinner together in our South Lake Tahoe hotel room.

Dinner together in our South Lake Tahoe hotel room.

We had such a fun dinner together.  We laughed and talked and before we knew it the sun was getting low in the sky and we figured we had better get out there to enjoy the beach and the sunset.  We walked along the beach and then to the end of the long dock where we took the picture up at the top of this page.  The sunset behind the mountain range was beautiful.

South Lake Tahoe sunset on the beach.

South Lake Tahoe sunset on the beach.

 

Lake Tahoe by boat

The next day I had arranged for us to get a ride on the Sheriff Patrol boat.

The video is taken with Tania’s cell phone while we were driving the crazy road around Emerald Bay.  She also took some video while we were on the patrol boat.

While we were waiting for my Deputy Sheriff friends at the marina we decided to go next store for some coffee.  We walked into a place called Watermans Landing in Carnelian Bay, North Lake Tahoe and the smell was heaven.  I decided I wanted whatever they were baking.  It smelled like cinnamon rolls but it ended up being homemade granola for their parfait.  So, that is what we got.  I highly recommend Watermans Landing cafe to anyone visiting Lake Tahoe.  Everything there looked well worth the calories.

Watermans Landing cafe; well worth the calories.

Watermans Landing cafe; well worth the calories.

Honestly I think the both of us just really needed to have some fun, and we did.

After the boat ride we checked into the Ritz Carlton at North Lake Tahoe where we planned to spend the next two nights.

The Ritz Carlton at Lake Tahoe.

The Ritz Carlton at Lake Tahoe.

The Ritz was amazing.  Once we got settled we made smores at the fire pit and later met friends for dinner.  We ate incredible food, wine, and dessert.  Doctor Tania was a big hit with my friends.  Not only is she beautiful, but also interesting, intelligent, kind, compassionate, thoughtful, and she is a heck of a lot of fun to be around.

We spent the rest of the time enjoying the very nice gym and relaxing by the pool.  Tania went on an organized hike while I worked (the Venus transformation contest VT8 had just ended).

Besides just having fun together Tania and I learned from each other.  Tania being a doctor of physiology, gave me a lot of pointers and corrections for how I was doing certain exercises at the gym, mainly to help with the arthritis in my hips.

But probably the biggest thing we confirmed once again is that especially as females we are our own worst critic.  Especially after we’ve reached our fitness goal enough for a good photo shoot (not usually a sustainable level of leanness).

Both Tania and I viewed each other as perfect, yet we each saw our own flaws and what we wanted to change in ourselves.  The good thing is that both Tania and I want to change things that are realistic and within our control, yet at the same time we are happy with where we are right now.  This is a good place to be.  Living the golden life.

Fun at the Ritz.

Fun at the Ritz; out to dinner, hiking, smores, and our last meal of light pizza and dessert.

The meal in the picture was our last meal together.  A light pizza and dessert.  Oh it was so good.

So the next day we drove straight down the hill to the airport to get Tania headed back on her long journey home.  We both miss each other already and the time together was amazing for both of us.  There is nothing like really good in person Venus girl time.

In the end Tania saw Lake Tahoe by airplane, boat, and by the time we were done doing all that we set out to do she rode in a car all around the entire lake.

Yup, Venus girls just wanna have fun.  And we do.

Wishing you the best and to have the golden life as well.

-Ro

 

Poison Persuasion

Most of us are familiar with the kind of substances that are dangerous to ingest.  As a mother I kept all those cleaning supplies locked in the cabinet away from little fingers.  We wouldn’t dream of rubbing some cleaning chemicals on our face or pouring floor cleaner into our coffee.

No way!   Why would we keep something in our bodies that could harm us or hold us back?  This may sound ridiculous, yet when it comes to what we will put into our minds, or what we leave there unchallenged, we are all too comfortable with our poison.

Let me explain:

What do you really believe about what you can achieve?  When you face a failure do you think that you are worthless? Do you think that you are different from others and that you just can’t lose fat?  These are some examples of poison ideas that will hold you back.  In my opinion these false beliefs are just as harmful as some cleaner in your morning coffee.

Don’t get your hopes up

I would like to share a poison belief that almost kept me from ever trying out Venus Index.  When I first heard about the program from Brad Pilon’s blog, I felt it wasn’t for someone like me. I’d been overweight since I was 7 years old.   I have struggled with extra weight for so many years and was desperate at the time to even lose 30 pounds.  I didn’t think I had any hope of working toward a goal of ideal measurements.

I was almost 300 pounds at the time and felt hopeless.  I had tried over and over with so many complicated diets to lose weight.  I was starting to think  I should just accept being the fat girl. Honestly, it was probably just easier for me to see the weight as unmovable than to realize that I had gotten myself into that mess.  I needed to face the reality of my own responsibility to take care of my body.

In spite of the negative thinking I kept listening to the PhiLife and Venus podcasts with John Barban and Brad Pilon.  I was so impressed with what they said and believed they knew their stuff. What did I have to lose, besides a lot of extra weight?  I finally decided that I would never know unless I put it to the test. To begin with I bought The Anything Goes Diet and started following it.

Once I lost about 20 pounds I bought Venus Index.  Then I nervously went into the community to lurk around.  Once I saw how wonderful the women in the community were I jumped on in and found the support I needed.  I kept on losing weight.  The support of like- minded people is so important in keeping a positive mindset and clearing away false or negative ideas that can drain your motivation.

Speaking the truth

It is possible that you don’t think you have any poison beliefs floating around in your thoughts. It is tough to spot them since we are so comfortable with what has become so familiar.  Have you ever thought that you just can’t do what someone else has done?  Maybe you think you are too busy to work on a fitness goal, have a messed up metabolism, have bad genetics, or just don’t have the willpower.   Take a closer look.  Sometimes our behavior says much more about what we truly believe than what we say.

If you really believe something is true it will show up in your actions.  Sometimes those negative thoughts spill out when we view ourselves in a full length mirror, when we are uncomfortable receiving a compliment, or in what we say to ourselves when we mess up.

If I have a day when my thoughts tell me that I can’t change or that I can never look like that sexy girl at the gym, then it’s time for me to talk back.  I can ask if that is really true.  It’s not.

It’s not easy to think of myself in new ways.  That is a big reason I have loved the Venus podcasts.  The Adonis and the Venus podcasts helped me to turn my defeated thoughts into determination and fight  for my weight loss goals.  Now they help me to keep my mindset positive and powerful so I can keep going strong as I continue on the journey.  I had so many old diet rules and mainstream fitness ideas that had gotten me nowhere.

I like to use the podcasts, and the other Venus resources to keep my thinking clear of all those distractions.  If the old familiar diet myths didn’t work for all those years I certainly don’t want to fall back on them.  I have found some books to be very helpful but I am very selective.  I make sure that what I read won’t pull me away from what I know works for me.  I have gone back to read The Anything  Goes Diet more than once.  It’s been the guidebook  for turning my years of weight loss mistakes into steady steps forward to my goal.  I like to joke that I am AGD for life.

Remember the victories

When I run into setbacks or make big mistakes I’m tempted to fall into old thinking and habits.  I might wonder why I bother or do I have what it takes to succeed.  I may be tempted to go and try some crazy restrictive diet with all kinds of fancy rules.  It’s what I would have turned to in years past; a strict program with lots of food rules, excessive cardio workouts, or some special trick that will finally help me lose those stubborn pounds.

I know better than to go back to what was so punishing and useless.  This is the time I most need to remember my victories and the tried and true methods that I can count on.  I choose to take courage from the goals I’ve set and have achieved; the times my hard work paid off in progress. Each little victory along the way has made me stronger.

Victories feel wonderful, but to tell the truth failure has often been an more valuable teacher.  Failures can be a perfect opportunity to learn more about myself and what might help me to succeed in the future.  They show me my weak spots and are a great map for avoiding pitfalls.

If  used wisely those setbacks and mistakes will help me to succeed in the long run.  It’s a waste of energy to beat myself up for what I could or should have done.  I can choose to use that energy to focus on what have learned and what I want to do next.

You are not alone

No matter what the situation or challenge I find so much strength in support from others the same challenges.  It makes me feel stronger when I know that others have conquered the same challenge, felt similar emotions, or made some of the same mistakes I have.

The stories of other women who are transforming their bodies and learning new habits inspire me to keep working.  Their stories reassure me that I can indeed reach my own goal.  If someone else has walked the path before me it makes me even more determined that I can walk it too.

I can’t tell you how many times during my weight loss journey I have turned to the ladies at the Venus Index community and found just what I needed to push me forward.  It’s a wonderful thing when someone says just the right thing to encourage you, or gives you a dose of reality when needed.  I am stronger as part of this community… a part of team Venus.

We are in the journey together and it makes the process much more fun.  Yes, the challenge of losing weight becomes fun with a little help from some friends. Even if you aren’t part of the Venus community I challenge you to find the support you need wherever you can.  It’s priceless.

Going, going, but not gone

I’ve lost more than 100 pounds from my highest weight of 320, but I still find myself thinking like the woman I used to be.  I am still learning to master my mindset.  I want to learn to think in ways that charge up my motivation and push me to overcome obstacles.  I am making progress. I will use the tools I just wrote about.  Where there are lies I will talk back with the truth.  When there are failures I will remember the victories.

If I feel alone in a challenge I’ll seek out a little help from some friends. I have come so far from the woman who almost would not try Venus Index because she didn’t want to get her hopes up only to fail again.  I am so glad I took that chance on the program, but ultimately on myself.  What did I have to lose?  What do you have to lose?

 

Phi-Life Series: Muscle Building & The Anabolic Continuum

Today we bring you another podcast from our phi-life series.

Phi-Life is a series of podcasts where John Barban and Brad Pilon discuss their ideas and concepts on the topics of muscle building, fat loss and health. In a nutshell they are just thinking out loud and recording it for your benefit.

Today’s topic: Muscle Building & The Anabolic Continuum

iStock_000022799661XSmall

Where are you in the Anabolic Continuum?

 

Muscle Building is one of the most elusive goals of  bodybuilders and gym-goers alike.  Furthermore, it has puzzled scientist’s in research studies who have been unable to effectively control and/or determine the results of a muscle-building research study.

When it comes to muscle building, it’s important to identify where an individual is in the Anabolic Continuum.

The Anabolic Continuum takes into account the several factors that determines your potential for muscle building. A few factors for example are: height, weight, age, and years of training experience.

Your ability to build muscle follows a very logical progression. Specifically, with your response to weight training.

Today John Barban and Brad Pilon will discuss further intricacies of the Anabolic Continuum, as well as provide some tips and suggestions to ensure you remain on track for your training and muscle building goals.

 

You will also learn and discover:

What are confounding variables and how they can impact a research study

The difference between responders and non-responders in research studies

How to predict your lean muscle mass

How to determine where you are on the anabolic continuum

Are you in the right place in your weight training life

Is there a specific way that you should be training

What are the knowns and unknowns when evaluating an individual for a research study

Listen to the podcast here:

Phi-Life Series: The Most Reliable Tool for Tracking Weight Loss that Nobody Uses

Today we bring you another podcast from our phi-life series.

Phi-Life is a series of podcasts where John Barban and Brad Pilon discuss their ideas and concepts on the topics of muscle building, fat loss and health. In a nutshell they are just thinking out loud and recording it for your benefit.

Today’s topic: Money Doesn’t Lie – Tracking Weight Loss not with Calories, but Your Finances

Do you know how much do you spend on food?

Do you know how much do you spend on food?

If you like numbers, you will like today’s podcast. If you hate counting calories,  then this podcast is for you as well.

It’s something most people don’t think about. However, there is a link between how much money you spend and how you spend it AND the amount of fat you are carrying around your belly.

Money doesn’t lie, where you choose to spend your money is a good indicator of  your diet , what results you can expect from it, and even who you are as a person.  Discovering who you really are may be quite shocking, so not everyone is willing to look at this type of data and face the facts.

When you look at someone’s bank account and more specifically the money spent on food, you can get a pretty good indication of how that person eats.

The truth is, money is neither good nor bad. If you are a consumer, it’s a way of obtaining what you desire. If you are an investor or entrepreneur it’s a tool to make your plans become a reality.  Since we live in a society that’s economy-based, you’re a part of the economy whether you like it or not. So you might as well learn how the economy works and how to make it work for you.

While this is not a website about finances, we recognize that money and calories are tied together. There is a fine line between you paying for energy and paying for weight gain. Once your body has what it needs, anything after is money you are investing only to  to gain a return fat.

In the U.S.,  people spend more than 1.6 trillion dollars a year on food alone. That’s a lot of money…and a lot of food.

What’s also interesting is this data indicates that Americans spend most of their money on food in restaurants and prefer to have it prepared rather than going to the grocery store and cooking it themselves. This is the complete opposite of what most Europeans prefer. Could this one decision or habit affect your ability to lose fat?

In this episode of Phi-Life podcasts, Brad and John will share with you several findings on this subject. They will also discuss the national economic food trends in the U.S. and how the analysis of one’s finances can predict weight gain. It’s pretty incredible, but also very logical when you hear it.

You will also learn and discover:

  • How much red meat does the average American consume per year
  • Why (and how) tracking your finances through  your  food budget can help you lose weight and save money
  • How your  eating habits encourage food companies to produce more food and thus contribute to the growing obesity rate
  • The simple truth about your environment and why  you are fighting an uphill battle with your diet
  • Pro’s and con’s of being an average consumer
  • How you maybe setting yourself up for failure and weight gain with your spending habits
  • How to budget for fat loss (finance not calories)
  • Why you should track how much money you spend on food, and more specifically what type of food and where it comes from
  • Why tracking your finances might be simpler than tracking your calories

Listen to the podcast here:

Phi-Life Series: Can Fasting and Training Add 20 Years or More to Your Life Span?

Today we bring you another podcast from our phi-life series.

Today’s topic: Life Extension

Life extension and anti aging products have become very popular in the last few years, a few of these products include: many types of health foods, supplements, workouts, drugs, and even special therapies.

One of the biggest claims actually comes from intermittent fasting when used as a tool for extending one’s life span, some say that it can add decades to your life.

The question is, can it really add that many years to your life? This is what John Barban and Brad Pilon will answer for you today.

What’s the secret to life extension?

Technically, there are only two ways we can approach the anti aging process. First, the obvious one is to create protocols around your diet, workouts, drugs and therapies and wait for the results.  However, the issue with this approach is that you need at least one generation to have valid data and more importantly you can’t tell people what to do for the rest of their lives. The only way this approach can work is to study mice, keep in mind that mice are very different from humans, so not everything that applies to mice will apply to us.

The second approach is to reverse engineer this process and to actually study the people that have lived the longest (over 100 years).

Strangely enough, there is very little they have in common. There is no single workout or diet you can copy and hope to live for as long as them.

There are a few common indicators such as:

  • Low Stress Levels
  • Activity (both mental and physical)
  • Low Bodyfat Percentage

Apart from these three things, each individual lived a different lifestyle. In other words, you can’t guarantee that a low carb diet or powerlifting type of training will help you to live to be a 100.

The even greater question to ask  is will lifestyle changes help you live longer or are you at mercy of your genetics and faith?

If so, what is the  best  approach to take?

This is what John and Brad will attempt to answer for you today in our podcast.

You will also learn and discover:

  • Is it even possible to study anti aging and have any measurable data?
  • Does modern science currently offer anything you could use to delay the aging process?
  • What is your best bet when it comes to living a greater QUANTITY and QUALITY form of life?
  • What’s the magical age that determines you will  have a good chance of living to be a 100?
  • What are some things you can control that will help you improve your life and live longer?
  • Can you make the aging process enjoyable?

Listen to the podcast here:

Phi-Life Series: The Untold Difference of Marketing Fitness Claims in North America

Today we bring you another podcast from our phi-life series.

Today’s topic: Geographic Influence On Claims

If you take a look…You will begin to realize the many different forms of advertising that exist in the marketplace.

Did you know that advertising claims in the health and fitness industry are regulated differently in each country?

For example, in one country a product might claim to help you lose 10 pounds in 30 days, while in another country  that same product  will claim up to 20 pounds of weight loss!

This is true because from a marketing perspective, what might work in one country might not work in other. We actually find this happening quite often.

North America is a prime example.

You can have the same product for both the  U.S. and Canadian market. However, each country will have a completely different claim.

What the companies are able to get away with saying depends on their government’s regulations.  If you live in the U.S., you may be accustomed to hearing certain phrases such as, “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days” or when marketing muscle building products usually to men something like “How to build 20 pounds of lean muscle in the next 4 months.”  These phrases are commonly found in TV ads and  fitness magazines. However, if you tried to marke the same product with this claim in Canada you might lose millions, because people simply wouldn’t believe it to be possible and nobody would buy.

The claims that you’re exposed to on a regular basis in your home country will have an effect on where your “BS radar” is set.

If you showed the U.S. ads to Canadians they would be very skeptical, however for U.S. viewers transformation from fat-average to fitness model in couple of months might not be that thrilling or impressive at all.

What’s even more interesting is how all the media channels tie-in to one another.

Ever thought to yourself, “If everyone keeps saying it, it must be true right?“.

That’s the very moment your judgement becomes clouded by media and your your skeptical eye begins to  diminish.

Today Brad Pilon and John Barban will discuss how claims on print media, video media and product packaging vary in different countries and why that affects your buying decisions.

You will also learn and discover:

  • The difference in what the government allows you to be exposed to and what you then believe is realistic to achieve
  • Why consistency in print, visual, website commercials matters and how it affects your judgement
  • How marketers used a false unsupported claim “U.S. Formula” to boost sales in North America
  • That you are more  of “a product of your own environment”  than you may think
  • That if you can predict the greatest possible claim people will accept, you will make a lot of money
  • If it’s possible to know which claims are true
  • Why the claims can be so different from country to country, but people have the same physiology

Listen to the podcast here:

Phi-Life Series: The Real Story Behind Supplement Packaging

Today we bring you the first of many podcasts from our phi-life series.

Today’s topic: Supplement Packaging

What do you think is the most important thing in supplement development?

If your answer was ingredients, you would be incorrect.

Do you think supplement packing is not important? Do you think that you make your buying decision only based on the ingredients? You might be surprised…

When developing a new product, the supplement developers actually work backwards from packaging.

In reality the package is what will sell the product, not the ingredient. The ingredients are pretty much the same across all the products, so that’s not what sets a specific supplement apart or even what will make you choose one for purchase.

One can hardly imagine how complex the process of just “creating the package” really is.

It’s not only the color of the supplement that matters. It’s the questions of whether you put the ingredients into capsule or powder form? If so, do those contents belong in a  bottle or package?

Packaging is the first impression a customer will have with a product.

The next step of the process is figuring out what to say, what font to use, what colors to use, what fitness model to endorse the product with what particular claim and much more.

You simply cannot sell a supplement without the right package and claim, because that’s what drives sales.

Everything must fit together, the claim has to fit the cover and everything has to be in-sync from a buyer’s perspective.

Packaging is utmost importance for a supplement company. In today’s podcast you will  discover just how much it matters and what really goes into packaging   design.

This is not to tell you that supplements are evil and should be avoided at all costs., Quite the opposite, certain supplements can help you with your fitness goals. However, understanding whats goes behind the scenes will help you pick the supplements you really need and avoid spending money on products that are useless to you, but may look very appealing at first.

Today you have a chance to get inside the heads of previous supplement developers – John Barban and Brad Pilon.

You will also learn and discover:

  • What colors entice you to buy
  • The reason some supplements are on the market (not all supplement are backed by clinical studies)
  • The exact steps that take place before the supplement is put on the shelf
  • [For supplement developers] How to make an impression on your customers and stand out in competition
  • How package size correlates with the magnitude of promised results
  • How supplements can get away with outrageous claims
  • How your thought process as a customer affects package development
  • If it matters whether the supplement cover looks pretty or not

Listen to the podcast here:

Support