As the 7th Venus Index Transformation contest comes to an end some of you may be preparing for a photo shoot or may have finished one by now. Some of you may know someone in the contest and are anticipating the results.
This is always an exciting time as we wait. Sometimes this is when we start seeing some beautiful new pictures show up in the Venus Index Community along with some amazing transformations.
The Venus lifestyle does not have an ON or OFF season
Here at the Venus Index we don’t embrace the traditional “bulk and cut” lifestyle. There is no on or off season.
I did an internet search on “bodybuilding” and “what does cutting mean?” and I found answers like “a slow descent into hell” and “‘Cutting’ refers to the process of dropping body fat, while attempting to preserve as much muscle mass as possible.”
We know that with the Reverse Taper Diet Nutrition Calculator our life does not have to be miserable and you don’t have to worry about losing muscle mass. As you get leaner you walk a fine line with just enough calories to have good energy, stay strong at the gym, and just a slight sustainable calorie deficit to lose fat slowly.
Just as you have had to do all along, as you get leaner you may need to experiment with what exactly works for you while walking the fine line. Everyone is slightly different depending on stress, age, genetics, lean body mass, exercise intensity, etc.
The contests are a fun and motivational tool. The calorie deficit needed to lose fat is somewhat sustainable even though it may be temporary corrective action for being over weight.
As John said in the recent immersion coaching call on April 4th a “refeed” is really not necessary when you only stay on a calorie deficit for 1 or 2 days, 3 days at the most. It is why John and Brad recommend looking at the calorie budget as a weekly budget.
Some days you eat closer to maintenance calories. There is no real need to eat too high above maintenance when you allow yourself breaks from the deficit as you move along.
Regardless of the outcome of the contest, rejoice in the progress you have made. Cherish the pictures taken as your own, a memento of the accomplishments you made at the beginning of 2013.
What you accomplished makes the pictures valuable, not the placing in a contest. You can see it in your pictures with your own eyes. Be proud of it and continue on.
Enjoy learning what someone else did but at the same time don’t compare yourself to others. Aspire to be the best you possible.
Beware of goal hijacking
Sometimes when you join a contest it’s easy to get “sucked in” by trying to obtain goals that were not really your intent. Do you remember why you started practicing Eat Stop Eat or the Venus Index Workout?
What were the goals you started out with?
If you participated in the contest you can breath a huge sigh of relief that the 12 weeks of hard work is complete. You did your best to transform in a short period of time. You survived the unusual “photo prep week“. Your can celebrate and enjoy with your family and friends.
If you’ve used sustainable practices there is no need to rebound and you can get right back on track with your new lifestyle skills to maintain or continue corrective action as needed.
Previous contest winners have these words of wisdom:
True sustainability can only come from a place of peace with and respect for yourself. It must be based on not only what you have accomplished but how you have accomplished it. It is for each of us to decide what is sustainable for us individually and in doing that, we should look deep inside ourselves, not outwardly at others. – Gillian Chase
I think also what’s really crucial (additionally to what Gilly said) that you won’t be able to love and accept yourself at your goal weight when you don’t start with it NOW, wherever you are in your journey. – Stephanie S.
Maintenance does not mean you can go back to your old habits. They were the habits that made you overweight in the first place. But you have learned the tools and approaches on how to eat. At maintenance you will get more calories but for many of us, especially if you are smaller and have less calories to play with, you need to be mindful.
A great way to live a sustainable maintenance lifestyle is to select a weight and waist range you are comfortable living within. Keep an eye on these metrics and if you are within your range, keep doing what you are doing but if you go up then it is time to undertake a mini-diet. For a week or two just go back to the principles of your transformation. What worked for you. – Kimberley Dransfield
And more words of wisdom from Lisa who has lost more than 47 pounds by following the Venus Index lifestyle and she continues to live it:
This is life. The Venus life. Where we have the tools to do what we want when we want. We are awake to the knowledge that calories are king and that life is a series of choices… and each day we get to make new choices. We are not tied permanently to yesterday’s choices and we have the freedom to decide differently each day.
The Venus journey is one that starts with an awakening. Awakening to the fact that our bodies will respond to what we do to them… and that is a good thing… Because we can always choose to make better choices. – Lisa Etwell
The contest is just an en route train stop on your fitness journey
At the end of the contest you may be at or as close as possible to your Venus Index Ideal measurements, or you may still have more corrective work to do. Either way the end of the contest is a mere train stop en route on your lifelong fitness journey.
Even in the maintenance phase for the rest of our lives we have short periods of small corrective action revolving around vacations, holidays, illness, and the stress of life. We don’t just reach a goal and stay at that specific spot. Life happens and we adjust as needed, constantly. We float somewhere above our “striking distance” at a place where we can happily live our lives.
One of the goals we hope for as mentors is for you to see that you can look as good, if not better, than many already published fitness models. Except that the shape is all yours and not with the help of Photoshop. This is something you should be very proud of. You can do this for yourself whether or not you enter a contest.
So remember, if you are in a contest it is just a mere stop at a train station while en route to the rest of your life as a beautiful new Venus.
Once a Venus, always a Venus.