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:

 

 

 

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:

Never Let Them See You Sweat

I was recently speaking with a fitness competitor who had just won a show and she said something that was very revealing about the process of getting in shape. She said that she was shocked at how much ‘her body’ rebounded from the diet and getting in shape.

She said it almost as if she had nothing to do with the overeating that took place after the show. And this is partly true. If you diet incorrectly and push it too hard to get into extreme condition you can set yourself up for a big rebound characterized by an uncontrollable urge to overeat.

Is the point to show them how hard you work, or the body you built?

 

It doesn’t have to be this way. Unfortunately many people get coached to cut calories harder and harder as they get leaner and leaner and this is the exact opposite of what we propose you should do. Instead of cutting calories lower as you get leaner, we suggest you cut calories hard when you have the most bodyfat to lose, and as you get leaner bring your calories up closer to maintenance until you finish with your leanest look and eating all the way up to energy expenditure.

This pattern should teach you how to not only diet without a crash, but also maintain the body once you get there. This pattern of ‘reverse tapering’ will take care of the physiological rebound that accompanies most hard diets, and that is a good thing because there are multiple other factors that can also sabotage your body transformation success.

Enter the “Imposter phenomenon”

Many people who go through a transformation report that they still cannot believe they did it and that they cannot believe what they’re seeing in the mirror. They’ve been living so long with their old body image that they have a hard time accepting that they’ve now changed and look different and well, look better. The point is that your body can and will change much faster than your mind. The time immediately after your transformation is when you have to re-train your mind to accept and believe that you deserve the new body and that it’s here to stay. This is partly why diets fail, and another reason why avoiding any rebound eating is so critical. This is why reverse taper dieting works so well, it helps you  avoid big time hunger cravings during this fragile psychological state when your mind is still getting used to seeing and accepting your new body. The next big challenge is the social effect of being in shape.

Once you’re in great shape you can no longer identify with the process of ‘getting in shape’ because at some point you will finally be in shape. At this point the goal is to maintain that shape with the least amount of work possible. This is the concept of never letting them see you sweat.

Being the guy or girl in the gym who is sweating buckets, and grunting and screaming, and ‘working harder’ than everyone else isn’t the goal. Instead, being the person who works just as hard as everyone else BUT looks better than everyone else should be the goal.

This isn’t to say that you don’t take your workouts seriously, but rather to do what is necessary to maintain your look without overdoing it.

The workout and the effort isn’t the goal, the body is the goal. This is achieved with just the right amount of targeted effort, and not a buckshot approach of doing as much as possible.

Once you’ve achieved a new body, the challenge is to keep it while making the least amount of sacrifices as possible…in other words: Never Let Them See You Sweat.

John

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