How to Overcome 4 Biggest Barriers that Are Preventing You from Getting in Shape

Suzanne placed 5th in our Venus Index Contest in the Open category. She did a great job and transformed her body, just check out her photos:

Venus Index Open Contest Front picture

Suzanne's front picture.

 

Venus Index Open Contest Back picture

Suzanne's back picture.

If you decide to improve your body, you need to expect and accept that there are going to be challenges along the way.

What sets successful people apart from the average, unsuccessful ones is the fact that they are willing to do whatever it takes to overcome any challenge they encounter along the way towards their desired goal.

If you can accept that road to success is not easy, the next step is to expect it to be hard and challenging. Once you expect it, you can prepare yourself to get over the roadblocks that will appear along the way.

Like many other contestants Suzanne had her own personal challenges or how she calls it her “barriers” she had to get over.

Barrier #1 Not Being Patient

Suzanne admitted that the biggest challenge for her when it comes to getting in shape was being patient enough or if you believe that patience is a learnable skill then we could even say her biggest challenge was learning to have patience.

And this is not true just in the fitness and health area of your life. If you want to take things to the next level and improve almost any area of your life, it will take a lot of patience to keep going till you succeed. Just take entrepreneurship as an example, even though this has nothing to do with building a better looking body, it’s a great analogy. When you are building a company from scratch, it takes time, sometimes you end up bankrupt or like Steve Jobs fired from your own company and you have to start again and work your way back up.

It’s exactly the same with your body. If you are not happy with the way you look, you don’t even remember being confident in your own skin or feeling feminine, then you need to accept that the change will take time and require some effort on your part. Sometimes it will even seem like there is no point in working on yourself. This is not meant to be discouraging, not at all, but you need to know what may happen in order to expect it and not be surprised when a challenge will appear.

One of the biggest mistakes you might have made in the past is having distorted expectations. For example Suzanne thought that you can make a transformation very quickly. You probably might believe something similar and this is really not your fault considering all the quick fat loss (or get rich quick) scams you are facing all day long from TV or the internet.

You probably expect results almost instantly, in a couple of weeks. Well, while you can lose several pounds of fat in just a few weeks, you can’t gain pounds of pure muscle in just a few weeks, that’s not gonna happen.

Losing fat is not comfortable, but is still a pretty simple and quick process. Some people can lose yup to 8 pounds of fat a month, sometimes even more. However, you can’t gain 8 pounds of muscle in just one month. Even guys have a hard time gaining muscle mass and they have 10 times more muscle building hormone than you! Yes, while you are more sensitive to testosterone, your body still produces very little of this hormone compared to guys.

If you have ever seen claims like gain 30 pounds of muscle, it is either BS or it’s possible only for male teenagers who have never been exposed to weight training before and still have juvenile muscle growth on their side.

It’s more realistic to expect just a few pounds of muscle gain over several months. As a woman you don’t even need to gain a lot of muscle mass to truly change the look and shape of your body. A few pounds is going to transform your body shape immensely. Even one pound of muscle is an incredible difference.

Barrier #2 Being Fixated on Weight & on the Scale

The fixation on the scale and to your weight is pretty common for both guys and girls.

Tracking your progress by weighing yourself can be tricky, because you never know if what you have gained is muscle or fat. Therefore pictures will do a much better job for you as far as progress tracking goes. It’s better to compare your pictures than numbers from scale.

Setting weight goals is also a pretty inaccurate thing to do, you should aim for shape not weight. Weight can lie and will tell you nothing about how you look. For example after you transform yourself, you might weigh exactly the same, but pictures will be completely different. How could that happen? Well, you can lose 5 pounds of fat and gain 5 pounds of muscle.

Another thing is that what you eat and drink during the day can be as much as 5 or 6 pounds, it depends on how tall you are, but overall the daily fluctuation of your weight can be significant.

Conclusion? Use measurements and pictures and focus on body shape instead.

Barrier #3 Thinking that You Need More Calories than Your Body Burns

How much calories your body needs and how much calories fitness experts tell you it needs are usually two completely different numbers. And if you want to lose fat, it will be even less than you think.

Finding about this was a pretty hard lesson for Suzanne.

Calculate how much food you eat and how much food your body needs (RMR + physical activity). Then calculate the difference. If the difference is positive, you are eating more than you should, thus gaining fat. If there is zero difference, you are eating around your maintenance. If the difference is negative then you are losing fat (this is a state where you want to be if you want to lose weight).

One of the best things you can do is to start intermittent fasting on a regular basis. You can use the Eat Stop Eat protocol like Suzanne did or some other, no matter which protocol you choose, if you incorporate any kind of intermittent fasting into your lifestyle you should see rapid changes.

Fasting will also help you understand things like why you eat and how many calories you actually need. It will help you control your appetite and see food in a completely different way.

Intermittent fasting is very liberating and when Suzanne tried fasting she realized that you don’t have to eat that much, you don’t have to snack, you don’t have to eat 6 times a day, you can throw away food and that you don’t have to eat just because someone gives you food. You don’t even have to eat breakfast.

You read so much about metabolism slow down, starvation mode and the like, but once you dig deeper you will find out that there is very little substantial evidence. And when you try fasting you will experience the positive change for yourself.

Barrier #4 Not Lifting Heavy Enough

If your goal is a fit, healthy looking, feminine body and you want to undergo some body re-composition, you need to lift heavy. There is no way around it. Muscle mass is important and for your best look you need both to lose fat and gain muscle.

This is one of the biggest challenges for women.

If you think you will look like a male bodybuilder, forget it. Those guys not only have 10 times more testosterone, but have amazing genetics and most importantly are on an incredible amount of drugs. Something similar applies for most of the female bodybuilders and fitness competitors as well.

There is a saying that what is natural is attractive. As long as you follow this saying you are going to look good and be healthy at the same time.

If you pick heavy weight instead of those 2 pounds dumbbells, you will end up with a toned and feminine physique that no guy will be able to keep his eyes off (and probably his hands as well).

Cardio is great for overall health, proper blood circulation and creating bigger caloric deficit, but it’s not going to shape your body.

You need to get a strength training workout program. You can use the Venus Index Workout that Suzanne used or try a different one, but it has to be professionally designed and you need to follow it with heavy weights.

Take home message from Suzanne for you:

  • Photos will tell you how you’re doing along the way
  • Find a supportive community that will help you keep going when you most need it (ex.: Venus Index forum)
  • Be honest with yourself and learn more about your body
  • Believe in what you are doing, even though it may seem strange at first, if you stick to it, results will come
  • Have monthly expectations for fat loss and yearly expectations for muscle growth
  • Logging calorie intake might help you to control your weight and how much food you eat
  • It’s best to not have the food you tend to overeat on in your house
  • Get over the disbelief about fasting, open your mind to different ways
  • Acquire a flexible approach to nutrition
  • Start lifting heavy, it’s a must if you want a feminine, fit body. Heavy weight lifting equals lean and defined figure
  • Expect and accept the fact that the road to success is not easy
  • Realize that you can achieve more than you think
  • You can keep progressing as long as you remain consistent with your workouts, consistency is key
  • Don’t compare yourself to other people because you have your own look, you can and should only compare yourself to yourself
  • Pick a body shape target that is really close to how you do look and model it
  • It’s hard to be objective about yourself, but taking pictures can help you do that
  • You have to keep going even if it’s difficult, you will be challenged along the way, but you should see these challenges as lessons that will make you stronger
  • You CAN do it, but will you?

 

Listen to the interview here:

About John Barban & Vaclav Gregor

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