Jenny Weaks is one of our previous contest winners. She is learning to maintain now using the Venus Systems and community. Like many of us she worked hard for many years and found that running and working out hard are not enough to give you the shape you need. You can’t outrun or outwork too many calories.
She recently celebrated her 40th Birthday. Happy Birthday Jenny! She has a special story to tell about how she feels as a Venus at age 40.
I’ll admit it. I’m hard to shop for. I like what I like and usually if I REALLY like it, I’m probably not going to wait around on a special occasion. Luckily my husband enjoys the challenge and this being a BIG year, he didn’t disappoint.
You’re probably thinking a fancy watch or a romantic trip, but it was something so much more than that. On the morning of my 40th birthday he sent me down a walk on memory lane. He had conspired with my mom and been scouring my library of personal photos.
There were pictures from my second birthday. There were pictures from vacations, births, holidays, awful matching outfits, HUGE hair and posed family portraits. It really was a sweet gift and my mom gave him photos that I hadn’t ever seen.
Having struggled with my weight my entire life, it is sometimes difficult to see myself in pictures. The adorable years were there, but a lot of them were from the last fifteen years. Those are the pictures that I stared at the longest. I was never obese, but I was also never skinny or lean.
Look at me on that diving board. I was in fourth grade and already pretty fluffy. There were girls heavier than me in school, but it seemed the majority of the girls just didn’t even have to think about their weight.
Don’t get me wrong. I have been able to see the positives in my body along the way. I was a successful athlete in high school and was offered an opportunity to play at the college level. I chose to take an academic scholarship and work, but I always worked out and I was always strong.
I also knew deep down that my body could be better. Look at my race picture from the Chicago marathon in 2008. I had been running for almost 10 years at that point and my youngest child was 4. I was diagnosed hypothyroid a few years before that and I had hoped it would be the magic pill for me.
I counted calories and worked out, but I could never get below 150. I did get down to 145 a few times, but that was it. All those years of beating my head against the wall of 150 and it turns out it was so simple.
Even with all the logs and calorie counting, I was eating too much. I had read book after book and magazine articles galore.
I thought I had to eat 1,300 – 1,500 calories a day spaced out evenly to keep my metabolism “stoked”. Essentially I had become a master at maintenance.
I was willing to try anything. I had tried almost everything, but in November of 2012 I bought the reverse taper diet. I was blown away and by December I was already past the wall of 150.
I signed up for Venus in December and by the end of VT7 I was at 123 pounds. I have been in striking distance of that since. There have been parties, holidays, and vacations and I enjoyed every one of them.
Not only will I never see 150 again, but I will never see 140 again. I drove off to work that morning and I had all of these things swirling in my head. There had been all this anticipation leading up to the actual day I turned 40. I wanted to have this huge blowout party and mark the occasion with a piece of jewelry that I bought for myself, but neither of those happened.
No doubt I will get that special piece of jewelry for myself at some point this year, but in the car that day, sitting in traffic, it hit me. I was the best version of myself.
That at 40, I had a better body than I did in high school or when I turned 21.
Even better than that, I have this knowledge to carry with me forever and that gives me the control to be whatever weight I want to be at and to shape my body however I choose.
It’s not always easy, but it really is that simple.