The Hierarchy of Diet and Fitness needs; Redefining the Fitness Pyramid

Here’s the next episode of the UNCENSORED Podcasts Season 2.

Today’s topic:  The Hierarchy of Diet and Fitness needs; Redefining the Fitness Pyramid

Don't stress about what you can't control.  Change what you can.

Don’t stress about what you can’t control. Change what you can.

John and Brad discuss how to look at your health and fitness needs.  Nutrition, supplements, ability to lose fat, ability to gain muscle, and ability to train are all interrelated.  It all works together.  Small things effect other things and then can escalate to hinder your goals.

Your own pyramid is unique.  Your own inhibitors can be anywhere on your pyramid.  Certain things are foundational:

  • Keeping stress under control
  • Awake and sleep cycles
  • Fat loss, if needed
  • Effort in the gym
  • Ability to sleep
  • Amount to eat (not too much, not too little)
  • Injury
  • Ability to recover from workouts
  • Finding a good time to workout

People with sleep and stress out of control typically have trouble sticking with a diet and fitness program.

Each person is unique.  Sometimes supplements or nutrition can address specific inhibitors.

The main thing is don’t worry or stress about things you have no control over.  Change the things you can.  Small things effect other things and then can escalate into bigger problems that hinder your goals.

I hope you enjoy listening to the discussion as much as I did.



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Nutrition & Training: Flexible vs. Structured

Here’s the next episode of the UNCENSORED Podcasts Season 2.

Today’s topic: Nutrition & Training: Flexible vs. Structured

Are you a type of person who needs a meal plan for every day or can you handle more loose structured way of eating?

Are you a type of person who needs a meal plan for every day or can you handle more loose structured way of eating?

When it comes to nutrition & training advice, how much structure is best for you?

Our last episode was on optimal vs. practical training and today John Barban & Brad Pilon take this topic a bit further while discussing flexible vs. structured training and diet.

As stated in our last article with the rise of obesity it’s safe to say that an emergency is on our hands when it comes to our health and we must take action.  But what nutrition & training advice should we follow to become consistent obtain successful results?

The information on diet and fitness becomes more and more daunting. From nutritional strategies consisting of: macro/micro nutrients, slow/fast proteins, what foods are good, what foods are bad, and the highly controversial thoughts on meal timing, a person could become easily overwhelmed.

Things aren’t much better on the training side of the house as we are faced with a myriad of factors to take into account. Ranging from: Workout Intensity, Volume, length of actual workouts, and the rest/recovery period.

While some structure is necessary how much structure do you actually need?

At what point does too much structure hinder or stop your progress?

In today’s UNCENSORED training, you will also discover:

  • With consistency, effort, and patience anyone can change their look significantly in one year
  • Why structured metric goals along with a more relaxed approach to diet and fitness makes you successful
  • How to determine the level of structure you need
  • How the structure you need is a continuum
  • How fitness products sell too much structure with goals that are too vague
  • How Top Level athletes follow extremely strict regimes for a specific purpose that is unsustainable to the average person
  • How too much structure and restrained dieting will slow down your progress
  • How there is a minimal amount of structure needed for each individual
  • For diet the first level of of structure should be how much you eat
  • People spend so much time on diet structure that they miss the point that what matters is how much they eat
  • How to manage your diet so that it is less structured
  • How to manage your training so that it is less structured


How Clear Is Your Purpose?

“A person with a clear purpose will make progress on even the roughest road. A person with no purpose will make no progress even on the smoothest road.” –Thomas Carlyle

Be Ambitious

Part of goal setting is deciding what you want and then having enough ambition to take steps to fulfill your purpose.  People who avoid failure are more focused on protecting themselves from failure or the embarrassment of not completing the steps.  On the other end of the spectrum is over ambition, setting unattainable or highly improbable goals, or trying to take risky short cuts to achieve over aggressive goals.  In the middle are achievers who have a strong desire to accomplish things important or gain success from difficult tasks.   Where do you fall in this spectrum?

In my last article I wrote about moving forward after mistakes.  It’s hard right after making mistakes to keep going.  Sometimes it requires a short period to reflect and regroup.  Being fearful can cause you to procrastinate, give less effort, or even self-sabotage (FYI John Barban talks about self-sabotage in the Anything Goes Diet).

Have you ever found yourself in a diet yo-yo?  If so, you probably have a sabotage point somewhere near the bottom of the yo-yo and this is important to recognize so you can move forward or as John says “instead of backing up go full steam ahead so that you never see that number again”.  I like that.  Full steam ahead!

Sometimes It Takes Longer

Just like anything else in life sometimes things take longer than you’d like.   About 15 years ago I’d gone through the police academy with my husband and applied for a job with the Sheriff’s department the same time he did.  The process to get hired in law enforcement is especially strict in California and only 1 out of 50 pass the full battery of tests.

During the evaluation process at the very end (after five months of testing and extensive background tests) right at the point before they hand you the acceptance letter I learned that I did not pass.   This failure was devastating to me.  I had to regroup and be happy for my husband who did pass and give him my full support for the career he was starting.  I had to accept that the time was not right for me.

Life is not always fair.

As I motored on with my life and retired from my software engineering job I’d realized how far I’d come in dealing with some personal issues.  I had a feeling I’d finally faced enough of the issues that I might pass the law enforcement hiring processes if I tried again.

But my academy certificates had expired and I had to start the police academy again from the very beginning.  This was daunting because the academy is like a mini boot camp chalk full of tests.  If you fail any one test you get one chance for remediation and then if you don’t pass you are kicked out.  This happens even if it’s the last test on the last day of class; all is lost.  Looming overhead after the academy graduation were another six months of hiring tests and still the one testing at the end that could be my sabotage point.

I moved forward, full steam ahead, and graduated from the academy with higher honors compared to the first time through. I faced the interview at the end with the very same doctor that failed me the first time.  It was actually a fun interview and I had a feeling I would pass but I had to wait two weeks until I received the answer.

I passed!

It was a huge victory for me.  It meant I had dealt with some serious issues in my life and won.  I defeated the failure I’d carried around for ten years.   I got the acceptance letter and the honor of wearing the badge and serving my community.  To this day I’m extremely proud when I put on that uniform and strap on all that gear because I know how much I had to overcome to get to that point.

You Can View It as a Challenge

You might have a similar daunting road ahead of you with weight loss or a situation in your life that you want to change.  You can view it as a challenge or a threat that leads to embarrassment of failure.  You can associate effort on the demanding tasks with dedication, commitment, and involvement or view it as overloading and stressful.  The choice for your mindset is yours.

What will you do?

On the other hand you can become over ambitious and set too high a goal or an unrealistic goal.  You might then try to take short cuts to get there.  Some of us do that with eating too low to try and make weight loss happen faster and it ends up backfiring.  Sometimes all you really need to do is practice for a while until you have enough skill to know how to set an appropriate goal for yourself.

You Can Adjust Your Goals

You can always change your goals as you move along.  I changed my goals several times after joining the Venus Index community.  When I started my weight loss journey my only goal was to get down to a size 8 because that was the smallest I’d ever been as an adult.  Then I changed my goals to match the Venus Index “Golden Ratio” metrics.

As I continued to lose weight I got down to a size 2-4 and got frustrated because I could not seem to get my waist down to the golden ideal.

It took me a long time to realize that I really don’t need to worry about it.  I became fit and lean and I have a thick torso because of my years of heavy lifting.  I needed to know that my waist wasn’t fat and the DEXA scan gave me that.   The data showed that the bulk of my 11% body fat is in my arms and upper legs and that my abdominal area was 0% body fat.  So I finally learned to accept the fact that this is how I am, this is the shape of my body, and it is okay.  So I have learned to maintain my shape by looking in the mirror and how my clothes fit.  It’s freedom to not have to rely on the scale or other metrics anymore.

Pick Realistic Goals

I would like to have a thinner waist but it would mean giving up heavy lifting and abdominal work which I love.  For now I choose to maintain right where I am.  At any time in the future I can change my goals again if I want to.  First I would research to find out if it is a realistic goal and then I would take whatever steps are necessary to achieve it.

How Clear Is Your Purpose?


Tips for Goal Setting:

  • Decide what you want
  • Start small but keep going
  • Believe in yourself
  • Write down your goals
  • Set small goals and accomplish them
  • Do everything you can to stop procrastinating
  • Dream big
  • Set up your environment for success
  • Set long term goals and short term goals (with realistic time frames)
  • Don’t make a big deal out of each mistake
  • Research to find out if your goal is attainable
  • Adjust goals as needed
  • Get the right tools
  • Enjoy the journey
  • Plan ahead
  • Ask advice from people you respect (even if you don’t like them)
  • Give yourself rewards for achievements (not food)


Clarify your goals

It’s important to know where you operate in the ambition spectrum so you can make necessary changes. If you are over ambitious what steps do you need to take?

If you procrastinate or self-sabotage what steps do you need to take?  Is your goal realistic?  These are things you can think about as you move forward in your journey. You can adjust your goals as you move along.

Once you set your goals, determine the steps you need to take, have fun and enjoy the journey.


It is never too late to follow your dreams!


Making the Mona Lisa Smile

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da VinciDoes Mona Lisa Smile For You?

Confession time. When I first learned that the famous Mona Lisa was smiling, I was surprised. Maybe this will sound odd to some, but I’d honestly never perceived her expression as happy when I was growing up. Now, obviously, this statement reveals more about my childhood than it does about the Mona Lisa.

Growing up as a latch-key child with an emotionally absent alcoholic father and a physically absent mother doesn’t do a whole lot for creating an atmosphere of joy. So yes. I totally missed that she was smiling.

The Creation of Happiness

I am happy to report that she does indeed smile for me now, but sometimes it’s work; sometimes I need to consciously fish around in my mental storage bin for my virtual rose colored glasses.

I accept responsibility for my emotions now but with that responsibility comes the requirement that I study and learn techniques that might be obvious to those with a solid foundation in early childhood happiness. It’s one of the reasons I strive to create as full and happy a childhood for my children as I can; perhaps they won’t have to work as hard as I sometimes do to create happiness.

Love and Accept Your Body Before You Transform

You may be wondering what all this jibber-jabber about art and attitude has to do with transformation so bear with me while we take a little journey.

One of my early active steps towards my transformation was plunking down a wad of virtual cash for an eBook. I’m not a relic but it took me some years to come to terms with my failure to transform on my own and be willing to part with cold hard cash for something seemingly intangible.

I eagerly “ripped open” my shiny new transformation program, only to be hit with a lecture and some airy-fairy exercise on loving my body. Now while I’m as airy-fairy as the next person, the guy who wrote this particular program wasn’t. I’d been watching his videos online and had even met him. I know one thing and that is that he had no business trying to get all woo woo on me.

However, I put that aside and went on with the exercise. (And by exercise, I mean writing crap on paper, lest you think I was doing something physical.) As expected, it fell flat. I’ve done intensive personal growth seminars and made great positive strides. Sitting with a piece of paper doing some contrived mental exercise wasn’t going to do a darned thing for my belly fat. In losing faith in the exercise, I lost faith in the program.

This dude and the mainstream fitness mafia can pile on all the guilt in the world that I have to lurve my body and accept as it is before I can successfully transform. I call bullsh*t.

In hindsight, I’m so glad I did! I stand by my conviction that anyone who pretends to hold expertise outside their actual field of expertise loses all credibility with me. And in giving up on this program, I was able to continue seeking out the answers and ultimately find my way here to Venus Index where information is research based.

I Hated My Body and Transformed Anyway

This may be a hard pill to swallow but when I finally began the successful stage of my transformation journey, it was without feelings of love towards my body shape and size. I was quite clear about who I am as a person and that I am a person of character, and I am also clearly blessed to be gifted with a functioning body complete with working parts, but at the same time, I was hiding my body away by choice to avoid humiliation. This was not who I was. In avoiding social situations, I was depriving both myself and my children of a chief source of joy in life.

It turns out, there’s research to back me up on this; it turns out that depressive episodes are strongly linked to excess adipose tissue and inflammation.

Online Socializing is a Poor Substitute for the Real Thing

Realizing that I was doing us all a big disservice was one of the driving forces behind my successful transformation. I wanted joy for us and I wanted to be comfortable enough in my own skin to be pleasant around other people. The bulk of my socializing had moved to online. Many studies are saying this is a good thing but it’s interesting that the timing coincides with the obesity epidemic. Perhaps others hide away for reasons similar to my own?

One of the reasons winning a transformation contest was attractive to me is that it involves a clear deadline. The focus I’d be putting into the necessary work would soon come to an end and I could move to the next leg of the journey. The whole point of the exercise was to create more joy in our lives. With that in mind, you can bet I became a student of maintenance early on in the journey; every tool I added to my toolkit got stored away for use at any future time. I regularly rotate through these tools now.

Creating Joy

Would it surprise you to learn that once I reached my goal, I wasn’t actually completely happy all the time? Some of this had to do with having been hit with a few extreme life challenges and still doing internal work to ascertain what my part I’d played and how I could grow from the experiences and move on with my life. But the bulk of my failure to feel happy more of the time was just due to still not knowing how to be happy.

Enter Transformation as an Ongoing Journey

It was at that point in my personal journey that I realized that simply achieving the physical body I’d always dreamed of was not going to be the biggest achievement of my life, nor should it be. (Perhaps that sounds silly but I went for it with that much tenacity.)  There are so many things I am capable of doing and that bring me joy. I found myself energized by the open book my life had suddenly become at the age of 47. I find myself more able to be the parent I wanted to be, but also wanting to return to my personal life journey that had been put on hold during my earlier years of parenting.

Sometimes, it’s overwhelming. There are so many ways in which I’d like to improve and they simply cannot all happen immediately. And in fact, it is not possible to ever achieve the level of success that I dream of in all endeavors simultaneously. This is an area in which I am learning to shift my thinking. I am choosing a few priorities and setting goals. I used to set too many goals and fail across the board. Now I strive to set what I call “mini-missions” that I am sure to complete and get a feeling of accomplishment that propels me to further success.

Stop and Savor the Espresso

What makes even small successes worthwhile is consciously thinking about them. I am tired of missing out on the joy as if I move about head down with blinders, getting it done but not enjoying the process. There is joy in the process!

One way in which I keep being able to enjoy the success of maintaining my Venus body shape and size is by having just an espresso for breakfast whenever the mood strikes me. I’ve learned from Brad Pilon that breakfast is not a requirement and that if you stop and listen and find you’re not hungry, there is simply no reason to eat. But I still pop out of bed eager for that espresso! In fact, the last thought before my head hits the pillow is tomorrow morning, I get to have an espresso! Along with this simple ritual comes a reflective morning peace that might lead to a bit of weeding in the garden or reading in the morning sun.

Creating my Happy

As life constantly changes, so must one work at the formula for creating happy today. I use many techniques, most of which you’ve likely heard of. Here are a few techniques I cycle through:

  • Take time regularly to be truly grateful for things. Get creative on this one so it is not done by rote.
  • Truly connect with people. I mean in person. Yes, even you introverts. Make some eye contact!
  • Get present and simply remind yourself to enjoy the moment.
  • Unplug completely on a regular basis.
  • Get out in nature.
  • Pay it forward: help someone with no strings attached. Or do volunteer work.
  • Declutter and simplify.
  • Keep up with chores.
  • Feed your mind daily with interesting and challenging new information.
  • Put an event on your calendar. Simply anticipating it will bring you untold hours of joy!
  • Feed  your soul with worthwhile brain candy.
  • Use color, scent, music, art, etc for mood enhancement. Taste is not our only sense! Don’t neglect the others!
  • Take up an old hobby or join a group that does something you love.
  • Hang out with dogs, cats, children – whatever energizes you.
  • Challenge your body (within reason).
  • Dress well!
  • Don’t expect too much of yourself. We have been led to believe we should own more and accomplish more than is reasonable.
What do you do to get  your happy? It doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

Falling Forward: Turning Mistakes into Success

Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. -Denis Waitley

The hardest part about mistakes is to keep moving forward but that is what you must do.  Everyone makes mistakes but if you keep moving forward the mistake will soon be behind you.  Have you ever made a mistake at a new job?

I currently work as a volunteer patrol deputy for our local Sheriff’s department.  I had spent 25 years prior working for a corporate high tech company and then decided to go through the police academy and volunteer for the community in a unique way.

The environment at a law enforcement agency is vastly different from the corporate company I was used to.  Yes, I made mistakes.  It’s hard on the ego when you get called on the pad and into the Lieutenant’s office.  Part of me wanted to quit and say this is just not for me.  But when you keep moving forward you can sometimes become better for having made the mistake.  The best thing to do is own up to it and face whatever consequences come with it and continue to do your best.

Because of what I learned from that mistake I’m now in a position to help coach others on how to avoid that particular mistake should the opportunity arise.  Can you think of ways that you became better because of mistakes you have made?

As I lost 60 pounds I chose to move forward even when I made mistakes at work as well as on my weight loss journey.

The Sheriff gives a speech every year at our official swearing in ceremony.  Because consequences can be severe for mistakes made in law enforcement he always talks about the concept of owning up to mistakes and moving on.  He has an awesome sense of humor and a fun personality, but he shows us his serious side when he talks about consequences in our work mistakes.

The other option is to stop, freeze, or quit.  If you stop moving forward and are worried about making more mistakes you will never progress.  Every successful person has made mistakes and know they will make mistakes again.  They don’t live in fear of mistakes.

My friend April and I share some of the exact same mistakes regarding motherhood.  Sometimes this gives us a special bond with a friend and helps us deal with residual guilt and healing.  For women especially there is a certain amount of guilt we all feel about not being perfect mothers for our kids.   Whether it is simply a matter of raising the children, sharing custody, adoption, congenital medical issues or children’s health issues, whatever is the circumstance these all cause very deep emotional issues for women.

Because of what happened in April’s situation she lost a lot of weight and became very thin, then did the yo-yo in the opposite direction and gained a lot of weight and started down the path of an emotional eating disorder.

April believes that the reeling torment on the inside was being reflected on the outside (manifested in her yo-yo body weight), and that she was punishing herself for the guilt she felt.

April finally decided to take a step forward when she joined the Venus Index Community.  She owned up to her mistakes with eating along with the other mistakes.  She allowed herself to be accepted into a community of women who understood and treated her warmly and with respect.  April said this has helped her get her body right and get through some rough times.  This is helping her get her mind right as well. April learned that sometimes getting support means you have to give it order to get it.

April wants to learn to forgive herself for not being perfect for her son.  She shares a unique story where she is the birth mother and she shares a special bond with Rebecca Bennett.  April wants to be a Venus both inside and out.  I think she is well on her way and moving forward now.

As we start out on our weight loss journey full of hope, new tools, new books to read, and new workouts we must remember to forgive ourselves from the mistakes that we will make.  We must learn to keep moving forward, or falling forward, or leaping forward, anything but staying frozen in fear of mistakes.

Whether the mistakes are at a job or school, or on your weight loss journey you can move forward and learn to overcome adversity.   Do you have trouble getting over a sabotage point; have anxiety with food choices, or food addictions?  These can all be overcome; you can learn a new way to eat regardless of your situation.  Are you afraid of the gym or are you afraid to lift heavy?  This too can be overcome with a winning mindset.


April chooses to leap forward from her mistakes. You can make this choice too.

What about you? Will you learn from your mistakes and keep moving, or will you let mistakes control you?

It is your choice.


How to Sharpen your Sword and Win the Battle

Sharpen your sword first and prepare yourself to win the battle.

Losing weight and getting fit is hard.  All along the journey I have worked hard, experimented, learned from mistakes, acquired skills, and changed habits that will continue for the rest of my life.  As I worked through the maintenance phase of my journey I realized that all the skills I acquired along the way still come into play.

I have come to think of all the effort I’ve put into the journey as “Honing my Sword”.  I have created a sharp edged sword, used it in battle, won the battle, and I am continuing to keep my sword sharp and I still need to use it now and then.  It may not seem as daunting as when I first started the journey, but it still takes effort to keep my blade sharp.

The Various Tools

For some the tool that needs to be sharpened is the mental mindset against emotional eating.  For others it is consistency at the gym or even getting to the gym. For others it is using motivational tools and learning to find an easier way to think about food.

For everyone it is about setting up your environment for success.

The whole journey requires a lot of patience and even more so in maintenance since progress is much slower. Early in the process you tend to lose fat relatively quickly but you still have frustrating plateaus and life stresses that slow you down.

Even if you do everything right you will have plateaus. The body seems to make progress in “chunks” that are not linear. During these times I like to focus on the victories and “ride one victory to the next”; setting a positive mindset and tuning out negative thoughts.

Everyone has a victory to remember:

  • It could be friends or family noticing your weight loss or fitting into some new clothes (or some old clothes).
  • It could be reaching a goal you had set for yourself.
  • It could be completing a 24 hour fast or even skipping a meal.
  • It could be you getting compliments on how you look or a new personal best at the gym.
  • It could simply be you getting to the gym consistently for a period of time.
  • It could be someone in the gym noticing how hard you work out.

In maintenance you still have victories and the same positive mindset can be applied. One of the biggest victories that you should always remember is how far you have come; how much you have succeeded since you started the journey. Always be kind to yourself and reward yourself in ways that do not involve food. Items you need for the gym or new clothing are nice rewards.

Capture ways to remember your victories to help focus on them throughout your journey.

My Battle

The first picture is from 2005 and the second is from this year’s fitness photoshoot.

For me it was simply finally having the knowledge to eat less.  Getting to the gym and enjoying exercise was and still is integrated into my life as much as tying my shoes or brushing my teeth.

The Venus Index is still my all-time favorite workout and I believe it gave me the shape I now have.  It also helped me to belong to a support community and to have the support of family and friends in my life.

But after experiencing success I find I still need to put in effort to keep my mindset sharp and focus on the positive.  I still have to put effort into eating the right amount for me.  I still use every tool I have acquired and developed and honed and I now realize these will be what I continue to use for the rest of my life.

It’s Not Wasted Effort

What you do now will continue to benefit you for the rest of your life.

It is not wasted effort!

Do not be discouraged or think the effort only helps you get through the day today.  Not only are you resolving the specific situation you currently deal with, but as you succeed you are honing your sword and keeping it sharp for all future battles.

Sharpen your sword and win the battle,

– Ro

Is your Nutra-Neurosis Ruining Your Relationship with Food?

If this is how you view food then you've got some work to do

Forget the old adage ‘sex sells’, in this new age of diet and nutrition it is fear that sells.

Nutrition and eating right is no longer about making the right choice, it’s about the fear of making the wrong choice.

We’ve become stressed and anxious about making food choices. And because we make food choices all day long, this has become a chronic anxiety. Sadly, it is this anxiety that the mainstream media constantly tries to channel.

Tips on how to eat healthy are no longer about eating right, they’ve become a guide to not eating wrong.

You can see it in headlines of most nutrition articles. You never see “Are you doing these 4 things right?”, instead it’s always “Are you making these 4 mistakes?”, or “Are these 4 mistakes sabotaging your weight loss?”

I am the author of a best selling e-book on the benefits of intermittent fasting (Eat Stop Eat). The majority of the concerns people have over intermittent fasting isn’t whether or not it will work, it’s whether or not it’s considered ‘doing something wrong’.

We’ve become paranoid about health and nutrition, about cancer, about hormones in or food, in how our food affects our leptin, or insulin, or testosterone. We are afraid of our food and our food decisions. And this fear is exhausting.

Oddly enough, it is this fear, worry and anxiety that actually drives us to over eat.

There is mounting evidence to suggest that our nutra-neurosis (yes, I made that term up) is contributing to our weight gain and our fractured view of healthy eating.

In other words our attempt at a cure may be worse than the poison.

Our anxiety and stress leads to us attempting to gain control or at least grasp at it. And more often than not control means lists and charts. Specifically, it means lists of good foods and bad foods.

In research we call this ‘restrained eating’.

Restrained eating is when you consciously avoid certain foods or food groups. Right away I should note that this is different from simple caloric restriction. In fact the two have very little in common.

Caloric Restriction is eating less (of any food); Restraining Eating is labelling some foods as ‘forbidden’ or ‘bad’

Restrained eating is associated with increased stress and anxiety over the foods you choose to eat. Surprisingly it is also an incredibly effective method for short-term weight loss.

Unfortunately, research also indicates that the more foods you designate as bad or forbidden (or the more restrained you are) the more likely you are to crack, crash and binge after eating one of those foods.

Setting up an extensive list of forbidden foods may be a way to find short-term weight loss, but it is not a tool for weight maintenance or a satisfying relationship with food. It’s a recipe for increased anxiety, neurosis and obsessive-compulsive disorders and never being truly in control of your eating.

It’s also a great way to watch your weight spiral out of control, despite your almost neurotic attempts to control what you eat.

Instead, you should be striving to eliminate the stress and anxiety from your approach to foods.

Do you have "Nutra-Neurosis"?

Worry and anxiety are not ‘keys’ to weight loss. If anything they are weight gain enablers and diet destroyers. They are also most likely far worse for your health than that bowl of ice cream you are stressing over.

So stress less over doing things wrong and concentrate on doing things right. I know it sounds like I’m playing with words, but your approach and mindset matters.

Try to slowly move away from the idea of forbidden food lists and instead think of foods you eat more often, less often, and very infrequently.

This way all foods have their place, none are ‘bad’, and you can enjoy them without guilt.

The truth is weight loss and eating healthy will never be some mind-blowing genius nutrition trick. It will always be a matter of clearing out the clutter of competing ideas and focusing on the one thing that truly makes a difference – The amount you eat.

Eating properly does take an understanding of when you like to eat and what you like to eat, but just as important is the patience to wait for these opportunities to occur.

And really, just a little patience – a slight pause – is all most of us need to realize “I don’t need this”, or “I can wait until dinner” or even “I can wait until tomorrow – I’ve had enough today”.

Do not deny yourself the foods you love. Just learn when to eat them and how much to eat.  And please remember – weight loss and eating healthy doesn’t have to hurt.

The goal should not be to suffer for your dietary indiscretions. The goal should be to have the body you want while still eating the foods you want.  Because the stress and anxiety is almost always worse than the food you are craving.

The goal is to make other people think you are getting way with murder.  To be the person who can ‘eat whatever they want and still lose weight’? Go ahead be the one they gossip about when you’re not around.

Ditch the neurosis and stress. Stop letting food decisions be a source of exhaustion.

Lose weight and have a croissant? You betcha. You can do it.



Overcoming Emotional Eating: Reprogramming Your Mind to Control Your Weight

Changing the look and shape of your body requires a holistic approach. This means the change has to come both with your physiology and psychology especially if you struggle with emotional or stressful eating.

Physiology simply means getting your calories under control, making more sensible food and eating decisions as well as sticking to a regular exercise program that is well designed to move you towards your health and fitness goals whatever they may be.

Dr Nicola Bird Founder of Self Imaging Therapy

You can even think of the physiology part as the things that are obviously outwardly such as going to the gym, choosing smaller portion sizes, and ensuring that your diet is based more on whole foods that satisfy your needs without over consuming calories from dense sources.

The physiology is what you read about in fitness magazines, and it’s the information that gets cluttered, contradicted, and over consumed. This is because the physiology for many people isn’t the problem. For some people it’s the psychology.

Getting a handle on the psychological aspects of weight control is an entirely different matter and it’s not so obvious what is happening in your mind and with your emotions. Taking control of your psychology and learning to reprogram yourself for weight loss success requires just as much work as the physiology, but this is a different kind of work.

If you think you have an emotional or psychological issue with eating and weight control the first step is getting to the root of the issue. This is hard and in many cases uncomfortable work, and the answer isn’t always obvious. In many cases you’ll be the last person to know what the real issue is until you start doing the work to find out.

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These are usually deep rooted issues that touch on your sense of identity and self worth. It will involve undoing old psychological patterns and laying down new ones, and it requires repetition to make it stick, just like working out.

To truly change your body for good, you must change both your physiology AND your psychology. Changing one without the other isn’t enough.

In todays podcast I interview Dr. Nicola Bird about changing your psychology to help overcoming emotional and stress related eating to make a real lasting change in your body. She is my psychotherapist and the ace up my sleeve that helps me stay balanced and keeps me moving forward.

We’ll discuss the root of the identity crisis that many people face when they do finally make a change in their body. We will also talk about why so many people self sabotage and become their own worst enemy when they try to change their bodies.

This is a great interview and I suggest you take notes if emotional or stress eating is an issue you’ve been struggling with.

Finally if you like what you hear from Nicola you can visit her website here and even book a session to start working through your own issues with her over the phone. I highly recommend it if you feel stuck or hitting a sabotage point that you cannot overcome. I find that her methods are the most effective way to start getting your psychology inline with your physiology for a lasting change.



VI Contest: Three Weeks to go!

We’re into the home stretch for the first ever Venus Index transformation and open contests, and it’s gut check time.

Three weeks is still plenty of time to make significant changes from wherever you are right now so don’t take your foot off the gas.

Venus Index Contest

It's Gut Check Time!

At this stage your focus should be overall system stress management. This means balancing your work, family and social life with your dieting and workout life. For these last few weeks the balance might shift a bit towards your diet and workout and you’ll need whatever support you can get for that.

The VI community is obviously going to support you, but at this stage you also need the support of your family and friends.

It’s only 3 more weeks so it shouldn’t be a big deal to ask some people to really be on your side for this final run at it.

In today’s podcast we’ll talk about system stress management and getting through to the end of the contest. We also discuss posing, and the concept of overreaching during your workouts and why the VI workouts are different from the AI workouts.