Tracey lost 11 pounds and 3 inches in 12 weeks. That’s about the average for most women in 12 weeks and it is always very hard earned.
Here’s what Tracey said in her own words:
This competition was a very interesting experience for me. As you can see from my numbers I didn’t lose a lot of weight. And I certainly didn’t hit my goal, not even close. But I did have a positive change in my way of thinking.
That is where this competition benefited me the most and for that reason, I decided to submit my photos and essay. Growing up I was always very athletic, playing sports all year round and never worrying about my weight.
Then in High School I developed knee problems caused by years of running and jumping on the basketball court. That was the beginning of bad choices, self-pity and rapid weight gain.
Over the years I tried different diets and programs but my heart just wasn’t in it. I kept making excuses and continued to feel sorry for myself. When I heard about Venus Factor last year, I stopped and listened.
Then I spent time thinking about it and decided I would commit to this program. Although the decision to enter the competition was easy, taking and submitting those photos was not. I looked long and hard at those photos of myself realizing how unhealthy I had allowed myself to become. I was embarrassed to say the least. And quite unhappy (as you can tell by the look on my face). But I was determined to give this a try.
It hasn’t been an easy 12 weeks but I chose to sign up as a way to challenge myself and to give myself a much needed kick in the butt. Surprisingly, I was able to incorporate the exercise part of the program into my daily life with no problem. I even reached a point where I began enjoying the routines. I’m not very coordinated but over time I was able to successfully complete all but one of the exercises, that Stability Ball Curl Up is simply beyond my abilities at this time, but I’ll keep trying to get the hang of it. However, the rest of the exercises I was able to do, and as a result, I feel physically stronger.
I can actually feel the muscles in my arms and legs and hope that soon I can see them more clearly defined as the fat drops away.
The tricky part of this adventure for me was eating healthy. This meant making the right food choices, eating the proper portion size, and watching my calorie intake. I struggled with this for the first 10 weeks of the competition. I kept promising myself that tomorrow I would start eating better but tomorrow didn’t get here until the majority of the competition was behind me.
I also struggled with self-pity, about denying myself all the tasty treats I was used to eating and telling myself there was no way I could function on only 1000 calories a day. I fussed, whined and fought the idea until finally, in week 11, I went back and reread one of John’s emails (Stop Identifying as Your Struggle and Bring out Your Warrior). He reminded me to take care of myself because being healthy is a good thing and should be treated in a positive way.
Then I reread other emails I’ve received over the past few months. The words of encouragement and the stories of inspiration reminded me why I was doing this. I want to be happy and part of that comes from being healthy. I let these words sink in and really take root in my mind and heart.
As I did, I was able to push aside the excuses, self-pity and doubt. I knew I had to build a new habit of being health conscious, but as with any habit, it takes time, consistency and effort.
So with my new found focus, I began working to build this new habit and soon I began to see and feel the changes. My clothing started to loosen up a bit, my body started to feel stronger, my energy level increased, and I felt happier.
With all these positive strides, it became easier to make good decisions and to remain vigilant about good choices. I started by concentrating on making it through a few hours, then through a whole day, and before I knew it I had made it through two days and then 5 days.
In time, I know it will become easier to make good choices on a regular basis because I will be able to feel and see the difference.
Another thing I learned from this competition is eating that third cookie is not the end of the world, but it is important to not give in to that little voice saying, “Well, since you blew your calorie count, you might as well give up now and just eat the rest of the box”.
I remind myself that occasional treats are OK. I just need to maintain self-control so that I can enjoy treats from time to time. And the key to enjoying the occasional treat, is to not over-indulge.
This competition has been a difficult journey for me but a beneficial one, too. It helped me become more conscientious about how important it is to treat my body with the respect it deserves by making healthy choices.
I know I still have a long way to go before I reach my final goal but at least now, I know I can do it because I believe in myself.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank you all, especially John, for creating such a wonderful program. I will definitely be recommending the Venus Factor to family, friends and anyone else who wants get healthy.
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