Today we bring you an interview with Shannon C who won the latest Venus Index Transformation Contest.
Check out her pictures:
A few years back Shannon hated her body and every single picture of herself. Being over 30 and not satisfied with the way she looked and felt about her body, she decided to get back in shape. She started doing roller blading and slowly got into weight training.
This helped her, but not in a way that she could stand in front of a mirror and say “wow”, it just wasn’t anything exceptional. It was one of the previous Venus Index winners Naomi who introduced her to the Venus Index approach. She would listen to the podcasts and hang around for a long time before trying the workouts.
It’s important to say that when she decided to start training with the Venus Index Shannon was pregnant, which many people would be against. Pregnancy itself is a challenge and most women would not want to train and watch their diet on top of it. However, Shannon herself told us that her first pregnancy was a disaster. During her first one she gained a lot of weight, and like she said, she just used it as an excuse to eat whatever she wanted, anytime she wanted without setting any limitations at all. As a result she gained a lot and felt terrible, having all sorts of weird health issues.
She admitted that it was completely ridiculous.
But this time, it was different. She didn’t allow herself to gain so much, felt great the whole way through and even her doctor told her to keep doing what she was doing, because it obviously improved her well-being.
Disclaimer: If you want to train or follow the Venus Index approach while being pregnant, consult your physician first, this is for information purposes only.
This time, for the second pregnancy Shannon followed the Venus Index workout, she would just do fewer sets than in the plan and was slowly lowering the intensity of the workouts towards the end of her pregnancy.
And you can’t really argue with this because like she and her physician both said, this time the pregnancy was healthier and felt way more comfortable. And her doctor was monitoring her the whole time.
And while she ate a bit more then she would normally, she still managed to stay at a reasonable weight.
She walked a lot and lifted weights and even received comments on how beautiful a pregnant woman she was. Pretty drastic difference compared to her first time, when she felt (in her own words) ‘like a whale’.
Obviously guys can’t imagine what it means being pregnant, but she told us that despite the challenges of being pregnant, it still should not be used as a licence to not move around (walking, weight lifting) and eat too much, that’s just plain unhealthy and it will be tougher for your to get in shape afterwards.
This time Shannon had more of a plan. She would even use Facebook and follow other pregnant athletes to keep motivated and inspired. Another technique she used was visualizing her post-pregnancy time.
She reveals more of her approach in the interview.
Shannon’s Challenges, Well…Apart from Being Pregnant
Obviously pregnancy is not the easiest and most fun time in the life, but Shannon still decided that she will stay at a reasonable weight and keep fit and it worked, she did gain less weight and was fit and felt “pretty good”.
And once she started nursing, she decided that she will enter the Venus Index competition. Which is exactly what she did and not only that, but she won the whole thing too!
Here are a few of her challenges that Shannon talks about in the interview:
- Waking up in the middle of night to take care of the baby
- Making sure that she was walking a lot during the day
- Nursing and staying in a caloric deficit
- Not seeing results on a daily basis
- The weight loss was slowing down towards the end of the contest
- Having to feed the baby in the middle of the workouts
- Not being able to set a fixed schedule
- Having to readjust her expectations
- Having to take care of her 7 year old daughter too
- Working around all the variables like job, kids, weight loss, sleep, workouts
And those are just a few of Shannon’s challenges.
No transformation we ever had was without mistakes, errors, challenges and struggles, however Shannon proved that no matter what is happening in your life right now, you can still get in great shape, even though there are other priorities and pressing matters to take care of. And quite frankly doing so will only help you with those challenges.
Like many other Venus Index contestants Shannon used stickers for her calendar to see how many neutral, bad and good days she had. That helped her a lot despite her challenges. It’s about simplicity and it’s pointless to record everything, this simple method will help you keep on track. You can easily see how many workouts you had, when you stayed in a caloric deficit, when you did cardio, and when you overate and didn’t train. And at the end, it all comes down to whether you had more positive days than negative ones.
Remember that nothing is ever perfect.
“They say President Wilson has blundered. Perhaps he has, but I notice he usually blunders forward.”
As long as you are moving forward, you are doing great. Don’t beat yourself up, just because it’s slower than you want. Even falling is a movement, as long as it’s forward, you are doing good.
Take home advice from Shannon’s interview:
- It’s helpful to look at your first before pictures to keep yourself motivated
- Don’t beat yourself up for having bad or neutral days, that’s normal, nothing is ever perfect
- Don’t deprive yourself of the foods you like, you can even have a Mocha and cheesecake every day if you want, just make sure you cut the calories on the other stuff and stay in the deficit
- Some people like suffering and they feel that you absolutely have to make fat loss difficult, but that’s BS, fat loss is simple, it’s just about calories in and out
- If after pregnancy, a nursing mother of two with a regular job can do this, anyone can
- It’s possible to travel and maintain your level of fitness
- Venus Index approach still requires effort, but it isn’t restrictive, it’s rather about directing your effort intelligently
- The body you will build at the end is worth every drop of your effort
- Don’t talk about your fitness approach with other girls outside the VI Community, they will not understand or believe you and will try to convince you that what you are doing is wrong
- Get in the Venus Index Community to be around same minded girls, it’s important to have social support and this is the easiest way to get it
- Don’t turn your lifestyle constrains into excuses, that’s easy and anyone can do that, be different and figure out a way around them
- Being in shape will translate into being a better mother, wife and friend
- It’s okay to let your daughters try the Venus Index workouts and learn healthy exercise habits at an early age
Programs Shannon Used:
- Reverse Taper Diet – Most fitness diets fail, because they get tougher as you are getting towards the end. Why not reverse it and make dieting easier?
- Anything Goes Diet (Aka AGD) – The first ever designed diet that’s not giving you a list of forbidden foods and meal plans, eat whatever and whenever you want
- VI Phase 1 and VI Phase 2– Venus Index workouts focused on building your ideal hourglass shape
- Venus Index Community – You will not find a more friendlier and supportive women’s community in this industry
Read Shannon’s experience with Venus Index in her own words:
These 12 weeks have been a continuation of a 6 month transformation that I began September 27, 2011, when my son Hunter was born. I weighed about 185 lbs just before his birth, which was 45 lbs over what I weighed in early 2011 when I found out I was pregnant. Despite the weight gain, I had a very healthy pregnancy. I continued to work out with weights right up to the weekend before he was born, I walked, I swam, I barely bought any maternity clothes, I even wore a bikini all summer! The blood pressure and swelling issues I experienced during my first pregnancy 7 years ago did not resurface…
Listen to the interview here: