Poison Persuasion

Most of us are familiar with the kind of substances that are dangerous to ingest.  As a mother I kept all those cleaning supplies locked in the cabinet away from little fingers.  We wouldn’t dream of rubbing some cleaning chemicals on our face or pouring floor cleaner into our coffee.

No way!   Why would we keep something in our bodies that could harm us or hold us back?  This may sound ridiculous, yet when it comes to what we will put into our minds, or what we leave there unchallenged, we are all too comfortable with our poison.

Let me explain:

What do you really believe about what you can achieve?  When you face a failure do you think that you are worthless? Do you think that you are different from others and that you just can’t lose fat?  These are some examples of poison ideas that will hold you back.  In my opinion these false beliefs are just as harmful as some cleaner in your morning coffee.

Don’t get your hopes up

I would like to share a poison belief that almost kept me from ever trying out Venus Index.  When I first heard about the program from Brad Pilon’s blog, I felt it wasn’t for someone like me. I’d been overweight since I was 7 years old.   I have struggled with extra weight for so many years and was desperate at the time to even lose 30 pounds.  I didn’t think I had any hope of working toward a goal of ideal measurements.

I was almost 300 pounds at the time and felt hopeless.  I had tried over and over with so many complicated diets to lose weight.  I was starting to think  I should just accept being the fat girl. Honestly, it was probably just easier for me to see the weight as unmovable than to realize that I had gotten myself into that mess.  I needed to face the reality of my own responsibility to take care of my body.

In spite of the negative thinking I kept listening to the PhiLife and Venus podcasts with John Barban and Brad Pilon.  I was so impressed with what they said and believed they knew their stuff. What did I have to lose, besides a lot of extra weight?  I finally decided that I would never know unless I put it to the test. To begin with I bought The Anything Goes Diet and started following it.

Once I lost about 20 pounds I bought Venus Index.  Then I nervously went into the community to lurk around.  Once I saw how wonderful the women in the community were I jumped on in and found the support I needed.  I kept on losing weight.  The support of like- minded people is so important in keeping a positive mindset and clearing away false or negative ideas that can drain your motivation.

Speaking the truth

It is possible that you don’t think you have any poison beliefs floating around in your thoughts. It is tough to spot them since we are so comfortable with what has become so familiar.  Have you ever thought that you just can’t do what someone else has done?  Maybe you think you are too busy to work on a fitness goal, have a messed up metabolism, have bad genetics, or just don’t have the willpower.   Take a closer look.  Sometimes our behavior says much more about what we truly believe than what we say.

If you really believe something is true it will show up in your actions.  Sometimes those negative thoughts spill out when we view ourselves in a full length mirror, when we are uncomfortable receiving a compliment, or in what we say to ourselves when we mess up.

If I have a day when my thoughts tell me that I can’t change or that I can never look like that sexy girl at the gym, then it’s time for me to talk back.  I can ask if that is really true.  It’s not.

It’s not easy to think of myself in new ways.  That is a big reason I have loved the Venus podcasts.  The Adonis and the Venus podcasts helped me to turn my defeated thoughts into determination and fight  for my weight loss goals.  Now they help me to keep my mindset positive and powerful so I can keep going strong as I continue on the journey.  I had so many old diet rules and mainstream fitness ideas that had gotten me nowhere.

I like to use the podcasts, and the other Venus resources to keep my thinking clear of all those distractions.  If the old familiar diet myths didn’t work for all those years I certainly don’t want to fall back on them.  I have found some books to be very helpful but I am very selective.  I make sure that what I read won’t pull me away from what I know works for me.  I have gone back to read The Anything  Goes Diet more than once.  It’s been the guidebook  for turning my years of weight loss mistakes into steady steps forward to my goal.  I like to joke that I am AGD for life.

Remember the victories

When I run into setbacks or make big mistakes I’m tempted to fall into old thinking and habits.  I might wonder why I bother or do I have what it takes to succeed.  I may be tempted to go and try some crazy restrictive diet with all kinds of fancy rules.  It’s what I would have turned to in years past; a strict program with lots of food rules, excessive cardio workouts, or some special trick that will finally help me lose those stubborn pounds.

I know better than to go back to what was so punishing and useless.  This is the time I most need to remember my victories and the tried and true methods that I can count on.  I choose to take courage from the goals I’ve set and have achieved; the times my hard work paid off in progress. Each little victory along the way has made me stronger.

Victories feel wonderful, but to tell the truth failure has often been an more valuable teacher.  Failures can be a perfect opportunity to learn more about myself and what might help me to succeed in the future.  They show me my weak spots and are a great map for avoiding pitfalls.

If  used wisely those setbacks and mistakes will help me to succeed in the long run.  It’s a waste of energy to beat myself up for what I could or should have done.  I can choose to use that energy to focus on what have learned and what I want to do next.

You are not alone

No matter what the situation or challenge I find so much strength in support from others the same challenges.  It makes me feel stronger when I know that others have conquered the same challenge, felt similar emotions, or made some of the same mistakes I have.

The stories of other women who are transforming their bodies and learning new habits inspire me to keep working.  Their stories reassure me that I can indeed reach my own goal.  If someone else has walked the path before me it makes me even more determined that I can walk it too.

I can’t tell you how many times during my weight loss journey I have turned to the ladies at the Venus Index community and found just what I needed to push me forward.  It’s a wonderful thing when someone says just the right thing to encourage you, or gives you a dose of reality when needed.  I am stronger as part of this community… a part of team Venus.

We are in the journey together and it makes the process much more fun.  Yes, the challenge of losing weight becomes fun with a little help from some friends. Even if you aren’t part of the Venus community I challenge you to find the support you need wherever you can.  It’s priceless.

Going, going, but not gone

I’ve lost more than 100 pounds from my highest weight of 320, but I still find myself thinking like the woman I used to be.  I am still learning to master my mindset.  I want to learn to think in ways that charge up my motivation and push me to overcome obstacles.  I am making progress. I will use the tools I just wrote about.  Where there are lies I will talk back with the truth.  When there are failures I will remember the victories.

If I feel alone in a challenge I’ll seek out a little help from some friends. I have come so far from the woman who almost would not try Venus Index because she didn’t want to get her hopes up only to fail again.  I am so glad I took that chance on the program, but ultimately on myself.  What did I have to lose?  What do you have to lose?


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  1. At times, our negative thinking and distorted views of ourselves can indeed be compared to poison. Thank you, Heather, for this article and for reminding me of things I know but seem to apply to everyone else but myself. I have heard an expression that “we are our worst critics,” and though I have the support of my wonderful friend Jenn who serves as a large dose of positivity and encouragement, I occasionally battle with the negative mindset of not being ______ enough. Support from like-minded individuals can truly be helpful and help us re-focus when we begin to veer off in the wrong mode of thinking. I wish you nothing but success in your endeavors and congratulate you on the 100+ lb. loss. Amazing!

  2. Heather, what a wonderful and inspiring blog. I always love your wisdom and I love watching you continue to succeed.

  3. Heather! I love to see you writing here! I’ve always loved your posts in the community. You have so much wisdom to share. This is a really great article. I am still working on mastering my mindset as well. Such a tough process. But essential. Great tips in this post. Thanks for sharing!

  4. From hopeless to hopeful.. we love having you as part of our community Heather.

  5. Heather! It is just beautiful how you wrote! Thank you very much for writing about how we sabotage ourselves by just isolating and trying our own way which does not work most of the times. I was laughed at being obese since I was 9 year old. And I used to feel the same way!! Even I lost weight, I used to eat up to back to my familiar weight because “it was not me.” I love what you stated about failure. Yes, victories are wonderful, but we have many failures that we need to keep our head up and learn from it, and move on. Thomas Edison said, I did not fail, I just found thousands of ways that did not work.” Just like that I order to have victories, there need to have vision of goal. Yet, as a girl, woman, I listened so many poisonous self negative talk. You put into word that describes it so well. Now it is under the light. Poison can be destroyed. I am truly grateful to have you as a part of vinous family!

  6. Kimberley Dransfield says:

    This is a great article Heather. It is true that we all suffer from distorted and ‘poisoned’ thinking when it comes to ourselves. The physical process of losing weight and building muscle is hard enough, and like you I am thankful to have the support of the community for support and wisdom. As always, you inspire me.

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