It all started when I attended a stock market class in the summer of 2012. I saw Deanne before VT-6 started and met her a few months later after she had finished (and won) the contest. She looked amazing!
I overheard her talking about her great results and I asked her what she did. I had completely given up on losing weight, but after seeing Deanne’s results, I had a renewed hope that it might still be possible. She mentioned the Venus Factor program as well as Eat Stop Eat.
I was extremely skeptical, having previously bought into the myth of starvation mode, having to eat five or six meals per day, and that eating under 1200 calories would wreck your metabolism — but Deanne’s success was staring me in the face!
I still held off on trying Venus for a while. I was walking and jogging a lot and I thought that would get me in shape. I had a goal of running a marathon, but kept injuring my ankle and dealing with plantar fasciitis over and over again. I saw a picture of myself in the spring of 2014 and thought I should really do something because I thought I looked better than what the picture showed.
I finally decided to try Venus, bought Immersion, and entered one of the contests in 2014. At the time my husband was dealing with a health issue where he couldn’t eat much and honestly it was easier for me to diet. I got really scared when I started to see major results in my body and people started commenting that I was “thin”. They weren’t used to seeing a smaller version of me and I began to question what I was doing.
My confidence wavered and I dropped out of the contest. My husband’s health deteriorated and he required major surgery. My focus shifted to helping him through his recovery. The months ahead were long and stressful for both of us, but it all came out well in the end. I was ready to renew my focus on my own health. Then early this year I injured my back — a doctor said it was a herniated disc from sitting too long. I tried all kinds of things trying to “cure” myself. I tried quitting caffeine, going vegetarian, juicing vegetables, and going “all raw”. Rest and stretching eventually did “cure” me and I had regained the weight I had lost with Venus and was extremely depressed.
I regained it because I was self-medicating with too much food, not because of a lack of activity from the back injury. I also moved halfway across the country to Colorado from California which had been my home for 15 years. I remembered what Venus had done for me last year, without any fads and being able to eat like a sane person. I knew that if I just followed what other successful Venuses had done, rather than reinventing the wheel, that I would have good results.
I considered Roberta my mentor —she was my coach during a previous contest— and all of the other women in the Venus forums were incredibly supportive, too. I tried to follow in Roberta and Michelle Hahn’s footsteps because I liked their results in the after pictures. A big part of my transformation was finding out what works for me and what fits into my life. I discovered that we are all unique; we have unique families, personalities, and schedules.
I found that fasting from dinner to lunch was really easy for me and I thought of it as just having breakfast a little later. I would have my stepdaughter on the weekends and didn’t want to miss out on time with her, so it worked best for me to train Monday through Friday and rest on the weekends. This allowed me to finish the 12-week program early and start on Final Phase which I really love. I also refused to give up dinners with my husband… I love to cook! Some people have good results with longer fasts, but I like the shorter ones. I have coffee with a little cream and a teaspoon of honey before my morning workouts which helps curb my appetite before lunch.
You learn these little things in Venus that give you an edge. Some people might think it’s controversial to do a heavy weights workout semi-fasted, but that’s where the community is so great… You find out what worked for others, then experiment with what works for you, and you roll with it.
There are so many myths out there, for example, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Yet I found that eating it a little later, basically as brunch, was the easiest way for me to hit my deficit numbers. You learn to be covert about what you’re doing in order to protect yourself. The only people who knew I was doing the contest besides other Venuses were my husband and photographer.
This is a hugely mental journey. I had to constantly tell myself that this time is going to pass anyway, and my thoughts, emotions and hormones are all going to happen anyway, comments whether positive or negative are going to come my way anyway, so I might as well do the work anyway!
I got the flu around the end of October and had to take a break from everything for a few days. Then I got a bad cold in November with 2 weeks left in the contest. I tried to focus more on the calorie deficit at that time, as that was something still under my control.
Getting used to the higher elevation of Colorado and colder weather wasn’t easy either. Another challenge was that I traveled to California 3 times during the contest. I was around friends and family who don’t eat very healthy which can be stressful especially if you’re traveling and can’t always control what is on your plate — there’s a lot of temptation.
But now I look at social situations as “practice” so I won’t become a hermit. My husband Gary is my biggest supporter. I’m so incredibly lucky to have him in my life. He weighed me halfway through the contest and I didn’t look. I didn’t weigh myself the whole contest — just used the tape measure each Monday morning and tried to “Focus on the Process”.
It really helped not looking at the scale — having Gary tell me that the result on the scale halfway through was “indicative of healthy weight loss” was all I needed to hear, no matter what that number was! In conclusion, this is mind over matter. This is a journey that never ends and once I accepted that and started having a “bring it on” attitude, I felt like I had conquered the biggest obstacle… which is myself.
This program works and it’s liberating to know that I will always have something that works. I proved it. I never have to try a fad diet again. I know that I still have a ways to go before I’m totally “there,” and soon I’ll be entering maintenance which will be a little different, but it’s a constant learning and self-improvement process anyway. I’m incredibly grateful for this program. Thank you so much for creating it.
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