About Anea Kamahele

Anea is a 45 year old single mama, entrepreneur, reader, dreamer, conversationalist, jokester. She has got the Venus process down and is active in our Online Community helping others on a daily basis.

Letter to a Friend – Expectations Have Consequences


My dear & lovely friend, HELLO!

I was thrilled to run into you at the store the other day. I’m sorry I didn’t have more time to visit with you…life can be so rushed with the holidays! So in this new year, I decided to sit down and write you a letter in a calm moment. I know you were surprised when you saw me. You said I looked great, asking me what I’ve been doing, and I told you that I’d started eating differently and working out more. It sounds simple. And actually, it is that simple. But it’s not necessarily been easy. However, you and I both know that rarely are the things that are worth having easy to attain.

Eating less? Is losing weight really that simple? Yes, it really is. I workout so my muscles can show through after I’ve kicked the fat to the curb. I do these things day in and day out. There’s no magic formula. And I don’t use exercise to offset eating too much. I exercise so my body is stronger and leaner and has definition.

Expectations have consequences

Really, though, of all the changes I’ve made the biggest one, it’s been in how I think. Along the way I realized something: Expectations have consequences. Have you ever noticed when someone has a certain expectation of you, you tend to live up to it?

I remember when I was a kid, my parents expected my sister and I to make dinner a few nights a week when they had to work late. Mom left all the ingredients in the fridge and the recipe that we would carefully read and follow. By the time our parents arrived home from work, we had dinner in the oven, ready to eat, with the table set. My sister was 10 and I was 6 years old. It was expected of us, so we did it.

It works the other way around, too. If someone has low expectations of you, you tend to live down to those. When it’s come to my body, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that I’ve carried pretty low expectations. I’ve expected I would always be overweight, and historically, I always have been. Expectations are pretty much a self-fulfilling prophecy.

When I found the Venus Index, I’d been looking for months for something, ANYTHING, to get me on the road to being healthier. When I read the materials, it was the simplicity of the program that constituted its brilliance. And it blew me away. The way in which the innovators of the program were able to take commonly pervasive health myths and categorically annihilate them also helped.

Whether you think you CAN or you CAN’T,  you are RIGHT!

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” When I dove into the program materials and then into the online community, I knew not only that I could reach my goals, but that I will. That’s a big claim. But I’m ok with that. Why? Because knowing I can makes me right.

You know probably better than anyone else the victories and failures I’ve lived. You know how much my history has made me who I am today. It’s the same for all of us, you know? I see it over and over with the incredible women I’ve met on Venus.

The histories of women, they are often histories that encompass loss. It is the condition of being human…losing children in a custody battle, losing loved ones to illness, losing a job…death, divorce, depression…bankruptcies, foreclosures, repossessions. These are women who were foster kids, adopted, abandoned. They are women who survived beatings. They are women who escaped with their lives. They are women who ran and never looked back.

But more importantly, they are women who came to Venus and learned how to be fighters. They fought for themselves. They gained a sense of worth. They learned how to trust their bodies. They learned they CAN.

The confident and passionate woman

I don’t mean to make it sound as though the women of Venus are all suffering! They aren’t. But you know me, I like understanding foundations. So in getting to know the bits and pieces of many of these women’s lives, it’s become apparent that we all carry something in our history that we could use to lower our expectation of success. We all have something that could hold us back if we let it.

But on Venus, I find the exact opposite! These are women, who in spite of current or past circumstances, they are vested in their own success. All of us have found on Venus we can do what we never thought we could before. Because of that, we are confident, and passionate about crusading a lifestyle that allows us to attain and maintain the healthy body we’ve always wanted.

So that’s the long answer to your question about what I’ve been doing. I do sincerely hope this letter finds you well! I miss our late nights, sipping tea and talking into the wee hours. Hugs to you, sweet lady! Here’s to 2016 and keeping our expectations and their consequences in the realm of “We can do it!”

~ Anea

A Gift to My Best Self

Gift to My Best Self

We are inundated this time of year with so much. In the US, the holiday frenzy has been upon us since Halloween, at the end of October. Since then, we’ve struggled to rein in the onslaught of comfort & joy that is ushered in with good eats and drink. Nearly 12 months are gone, and in a week we will welcome 2016. A new year is just around the corner.

Often as a year closes, we realize everything we didn’t get done, didn’t accomplish, wanted to do differently. I have tended in the past, at the end of a year, to wistfully look back at missed opportunities. And every time I have done that, it’s not made me feel any better about those things. In fact, there’s a penchant to scold myself. Basically, I‘d give myself a good mental thrashing.

This year is a little different. Since coming to Venus around the middle of September, I’ve been doing a whole lot of thinking. Yes, I’ve also followed the Venus protocol. I’ve logged onto My Fitness Pal and logged calories every day since I joined. I’ve done the Venus workouts. I’ve increased my barbell weights. I’ve weighed and measured my body weekly. I’ve done the work to watch my body change and shift physically. And, as I said, I’ve also taken the time to think.

A Gift to Myself

Changing the way I eat and exercise has been a gift to myself the likes of which I never expected to find. I’m still in process of losing weight and building muscle, and frankly, I always will be “in process.” But Venus gave me a unique way to look at not only food and exercise, but also myself.

I remember in my first week of Venusing, taking my BEFORE photos was such a terribly painful experience. We read about this all the time, how much people (especially women) cannot stand taking these pictures. And many do not take them. It is just too hard.

In the unforgiving lens of the camera we are faced with seeing, in full detail, everything we have ignored and thus hate about our bodies. We see the cellulite, the stretched skin, the way our fat spills over the waist of our pants and out from under the elastic of our bras. We see the puffiness in our faces. We can’t ignore the way our belly buttons aren’t round. Our double chins mock us. The dimples of fat and the soft muscles beneath shame and anger us.

Taking those photos put me in a foul temper for about 2 days. The day I took them, I was close to crying and then just felt stupid for getting so emotional. I got angry and started attacking my house and chasing dust bunnies along the floorboards with the vacuum cleaner. The next day I felt such an overwhelming sense of mortification. I reasoned with myself. “Anea, you’ve already joined Venus. You’re reading the manual. You got the calorie counting app. You figured out you can eat 1000 calories and not pass out. You’re already doing it. Stop.

My Story Is No Different

I read a lot that first week on the Venus forums and blogs. I read again and again how women had wished they had taken BEFORE photos and then afterward wished they’d taken consistent progress photos. Because of that, I’ve made myself take weekly photos. When I reach my goal, I know I will appreciate listening to the voices of those who’ve gone before me.

In the meantime, the photos serve as a guide for what I have done. They help me see the changes I’ve made. They remind me I have everything I need inside of me to do this. I don’t take those pictures because I like looking at myself much more than I did on that first day in September. I take them because it’s important to document my success. And also because I’m learning to be a little more empathetic to who I was, who I am, and who I am becoming.

I look back on those pictures of me, especially those first terribly painful ones, and they tell a story of who I was when I came to Venus. My story is no different than yours. I was miserable with how I looked. I hated how I felt, physically and emotionally. I wanted to change. I found Venus and so I did.

Legacy Work for Our Best Self

Changing our own lives, that is legacy work. It’s what gives you your story. It’s what makes others look at you and say, “Wow! You did that?” And you look at them and nod your head and you say, “Yes. Yes I sure did do that.” When we create a legacy for ourselves, it is important. In the scheme of things it may seem small and insignificant to “just lose weight.” But the impact we have on ourselves, if we take on the entirety of that journey, it affects those around us too.

I’ve read and heard, again and again, how the physical changes women have made to their bodies have freed them from so many mental, physical and emotional chains from which they couldn’t break free before finding Venus. They’ve gained confidence. They understand consistency. They know what they are capable of accomplishing. And when we do that, we give our loved ones our best selves. Because that’s who we uncover in the process of taking control of our physical bodies – our best self.

As I look back on this year, I’m so blessed with this gift I’ve given myself. I’m thankful John Barban did his own legacy work and created a program with which so many women have found a way to uncover their best selves. I hope you’ll join me in using this last week of 2015 to reflect on everything you’ve gained as you’ve embarked on this journey to lose weight.

Merry Christmas, ladies of Venus, and here’s to a 2016 filled with more (and less!) of our best selves.


~ Anea


Are You a Venus Endurance Athlete?

Are you in this for the long haul?

Are you in this for the long haul?

Are You a Venus Endurance Athlete?

This past week has been one of remembering to be thankful. You must think about what it is for which you are grateful, and give thanks for it. That’s the interesting thing about giving thanks – it is very much an intentional act. It’s a lot like being a Venus. When we become a Venus, we have to go about it with a fair amount of intention. We choose to make changes.

I thought a bit about all these changes I’ve been making. Eating differently, exercising differently, thinking differently…it’s a lot of “differentlys” in a relatively short period of time. That can be something of a stressor, both physically and mentally.

I have had great success with Venus thus far – but my fat loss is the “long haul” sort. At the start of my Venus journey, my total weight loss goal put me at 105 pounds to lose. The 25.5 lbs I’ve lost with Venus so far is great! But I have 79.5 more pounds to go. It’s just a process, after all, but the REALITY is, it’s going to take me awhile.

It’s not going to happen in 12 weeks like it will for some ladies. Or 24 weeks or 36 or maybe even 48 or longer…I am having to mentally prepare myself for a journey that is going to require I have my head in the game for a bit before I’ve lost my optimal amount of fat. This isn’t a bad thing. Or a good thing, for that matter. It’s just what it is.

As usual, it got me thinking in comparisons. And I compare this journey to being an endurance athlete. Because like an endurance athlete, to DO this, we all have to be self-motivated, we have to be able to see the Big Picture, we need a team (family, friends, the Venus community), and we have to endure with a little panache.

Endurance athletes share other things in common with the ladies of Venus who are “In it to Win it!”


  • You focus on cumulative gains: Just like endurance athletes can’t complete a marathon in one day, neither can you lose all your fat in one fell swoop. You do it little by little, weights and measures. Week by week you follow the plan and you trust the process. As Coach Liss has said on Venus, JOT, or Just One Thing…you just do one thing at a time, day by day.


  • It’s you against yourself: You’re not doing this “against” anybody else. Your results are yours. And no one else’s. We are our worst enemy; once we figure that out, we face our own fears, our own constraints, our own worries. We face them and we conquer them, and that’s how we win. As Coach Roberta likes to say, celebrate each victory, every time!


  • You push your limits: It’s known that the reason endurance athletics is so hard is that it forces you to push yourself. Honestly, though, following an eating protocol and exercise program is the easy part. The hard part is the mindset it takes to make it to the end. Pushing your mental limits is where the real magic happens.


  • You help others: This isn’t totally necessary, I mean, you can succeed anyway without helping anyone along the way. But on Venus, we see again and again that those who reach out to others, over the long haul, just do better with their on weight loss and maintenance. You give tips or you share recipes. You encourage and support.


  • The more you sweat in training, the easier it is to race: I liken this to fat loss phase versus maintenance phase. If you put in the hard, grunty work to understand how to lose fat and build muscle during fat loss phase, when it is time to maintain, you will win that “race” because maintenance is for the rest of your life. Train yourself. And you’ll know how to race.


  • You will finish: And this is really it. You never quit. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, how often you stumble, how many times you have to buy new jeans, you will finish. This is yours and yours alone to finish. No one can do it for you.


So, are you a Venus Endurance Athlete?

– Anea