Today we have an interview with Brooke Kramer who placed 4th in the latest Venus Index Transformation Contest.
Check out her pictures:
Brooke was pretty surprised when she saw her after pictures and the amazing transformation she went through. Like she said, you don’t realize how far you got until you put your before and after photos side by side. While the mirror is a far superior tool for tracking your progress than a weight scale, it can only show you your current look.
You see yourself every day and those daily changes are small. You may know that you improved and may see some lines you haven’t seen before, but this is nothing compared to the pictures where you can compare how you looked three months ago and how you look now.
When you take a look at your pictures after a transformation it’s usually such a big difference that most people don’t believe that it’s actually them. Sometimes not even their friends believe it.
This makes the camera one of the most important thing you have for tracking your progress.
Things Won’t Go as Planned, Anticipate It
Most people expect that when they make a plan everything will go accordingly. Well, that’s not how things work out, because put simply…sh!t happens.
You will slip up, you will make mistakes, you will doubt yourself and will be challenged along the way. And that’s perfectly fine, it’s called being human.
We are not machines. We are driven by emotions, beliefs and routines. We are also immensely affected by the environment we live in, people around us and by their emotions, beliefs and routines.
The truth is that if you understand and accept that you’re not going to be perfect all the way through your transformation you actually have better chance of succeeding.
Most people get discouraged when something goes wrong because they expected everything to be perfect. The minute they stray from their plan the feelings of giving creep in. You can’t let this happen. You’re not perfect, and you don’t have to be to make a big time change.
It’s what you do after you slip up that counts.
Stop blaming yourself for eating that extra slice of pizza…get your butt to the gym even though you didn’t fast 24 hours like you planned…As long as you keep getting back up every time you fall then you will achieve your goal and you will succeed.
Don’t let the number of times you fall define you…instead let the number of times you get back up define you.
This is what Brooke experienced. She doubted the training program, didn’t believe she could get the results and as a mother who is working over night she was extremely busy and always pressed for time and energy.
However, the great thing about Venus Index workouts is that we don’t tell you when to work out. If you do three workout sessions a week, you could workout on Monday, Wednesday, Friday if it fits for you. However, you can also work out on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday if you like. You can go to the gym in the morning before work or in the evening after work. Whatever suits you.
The important thing to understand is that there is no perfect time or perfect day to work out. The perfect window is when you can make it happen. Since we are all regular people with jobs or school, family and friends your fitness lifestyle should be structured around those things not the other way around.
Brooke decided to workout when she can and just have her son with her while training. There just wasn’t any other way for her to do it. And if you doubt her approach, just scroll back up and take a one more look at her 12-week transformation.
In order to stick to most of your plan and make sure you get back on track when you slip it’s a good idea to surround yourself with people that will support you and give you a hand when you need it.
Whether it is somebody on the Venus Index forum that you can text when you feel down or your boyfriend that will go with you to the gym to make sure you stick to your workouts. Do whatever you have to do to achieve your goal.
Brooke goes to the same gym as Naomi (previous winner) and saw how she transformed her body, so she decided to approach her and ask for advice. Naomi helped her figure out a way to make her goals reality and supported her along the way. And like Brooke told us, the most important thing was that Naomi made it seem realistic for her.
Brooke Has Been Dieting Since She Was 13
For Brooke the Venus Index and Eat Stop Eat was about finding something that would work long term, she wasn’t looking for some quick fix. Brooke tried dieting in the past…it seemed like she tried every diet there is. While she got results from a few of them the issue was that since she didn’t understand the process, she always went back to eating like she did before and gained all the weight back.
For her (and her husband) it was always about finding a new diet. Truth to be told, she was dieting since the age of 13. And this is pretty crazy. Dieting for weight loss shouldn’t be a long term process. While it needs to be sustainable for some time, it should really only take a few months to get in contest shape…not decades.
If you allowed yourself to get out of shape in the past and gained weight as a result of your lifestyle, you need to create a deficit on a daily/weekly basis to lose weight. After that the goal is to find a way to stay where you are with minimum work. However, for Brooke it was always all in or nothing. She just couldn’t find the balance.
This time it was different. After reading Venus Index and Eat Stop Eat, she figured out how many calories she needed to first lose weight and then to maintain afterwards.
Based on that she decided to create a 3500 calorie deficit each week.
She typically did this by simply skipping meals during the day.
Fat loss is really just about calories in and calories out. Eating more often won’t do anything and it’s not going to speed up your metabolism either.
Brooke also allowed herself to eat whatever she wanted. She did focus on a high nutrient foods and a balanced diet, however if a social eating event came up, she wouldn’t restrict herself in terms of food choices. Rather than that she limited the total amount of what she ate.
Most people do the opposite and follow a diet that restricts them from eating foods like chocolate, pizza, burgers, fries, sweets, hot dogs, peanut butter, hot wings or ice-cream…in a nutshell all the naughty fun stuff. Well, no surprise that most people fail with their diet attempts and conclude that they can’t ever lose weight so they go back to where they started.
Don’t limit your food choices, limit the amount. Thus you can have anything and stay in a caloric deficit, which means burning fat.
When planning your diet, the smartest thing to do is to work from the meals you want to have and that you ‘need’ to have during the week…these ‘need to have’ meals would be dinner with family, lunch with boss, brunch with boyfriend, whatever. The ‘want to have’ meals are the social events like weddings, weekly barbecues or Friday/Saturday nights out.
Let’s make a step-by-step plan:
- Calculate your BMR (this is the amount of calories your body burns without any additional exercise)
- Decide how much weight you think you need to lose (it will probably be more than you think, but you need to start with at least some number)
- Decide how quickly you want to lose this weight (more rapid weight loss means more restriction during the week)
- Take a calendar or blank sheet of paper and start writing all the social eating events and meals you must have
- Add an amount of calories you usually have during those meals
- Calculate the difference…or in other words what you are left with after subtracting the social events and ‘must have’ meals from that number from your BMR
Brooke did something similar, she calculated how much she should eat to lose weight and how much she could eat to maintain her weight and then worked with that number around her social life.
Brooke usually did partial fasting skipping breakfast and lunch three times per week.
This pattern seems to work for most people. While there are those who prefer something sweet with their morning coffee, most people just go through the day fasted and then have a bigger meal or two in the afternoon and evening.
This works quite well for several reasons:
- Fasted state helps you focus on studying or working
- Fasted state is best for working out
- Evening is a time when we socialize, have fun or rest – all those states are associated with eating , drinking or both
If you eat during the day, you may feel less energetic, less productive and you are more likely to skip your workout.
Let’s make a summary of everything Brooke talks about in the interview (link at the end of the article).
Take home advice from Brooke:
- First step is to JUST DO IT
- Don’t make excuses and reasons why it’s not the right time
- You need to make your program fit into your life’s schedule
- See what works for you and adjust along the way
- If something comes up, you can still do it, the point is that you are moving forward
- Learn the mindsets of the past winners
- Make sure you stick 100% to your workout at the beginning to create a routine, once you are past that state, you will miss not going to the gym
- In order to stick to the workout, you must enjoy the plan, this is why the Venus Index is so amazing, it changes and keeps the training fun all the time
- As soon as something is off limits it raises desire to have it, so don’t limit your food choices
- Make your diet-week based on social events and what is happening in that given week in your life
- If you eat one cookie don’t eat the whole box, one cookie won’t ruin your progress…don’t blow the rest of the day because of it
- Use calorie counters on your smart phone, you probably don’t even realize how many calories there are in certain foods you eat…you can access a food database just by pressing a button and check the calorie content in a matter of seconds
Links from the Interview:
- Venus Index Workout - Workout programs focused on building a toned and natural feminine body shape.
- Venus Index Community - What if there was a forum where all the cool girls hang out and were exchanging tips on how to get in shape and what works for them to build a healthy, good looking body?
- Eat Stop Eat - Diet and lifestyle protocol that will help you stay on track with your weight loss while enjoying social eating events at a same time.
Listen to the interview here: