Sometimes it Takes Even More than a Degree in Sports Medicine To Get In Shape

Today we are honored to listen to Rose Simpson who placed Sixth in the 7th Venus Index Transformation Contest.

Check out her beautiful transformation from the 12 Week Contest:

A bachlors degree in sports medicine didn't teach Rose how to get in shape.  The Venus Index program did.

A bachelor’s degree in sports medicine didn’t teach Rose how to get in shape. The Venus Index program did.

Read what Rose wrote about her experience with Venus Index:

Since I began my Venus Index journey last May 2012 I lost 51lbs. However, in 3 short months, I lost 11lbs, 2.5 inches off of my waist, 2 inches off of my hips and 2 inches off of my shoulders. To date, I have completed VI 1-3, and recently began the Circuit Program combined with the Supplemental Workouts.

In addition to the VI, I follow Eat Stop Eat, the Reverse Taper Diet, and the Anything Goes Diet. Along the way, I learned calories are KING, and I did not have to kill myself doing grueling, torture cardio to lose weight. I worked hard these last 3 months by staying within a certain calorie range and being consistent with my VI workouts. That does not mean that I had to deprive myself of the foods I love and crave. I still ate these foods in moderation but in smaller portions including gourmet cupcakes, candy, pizza, pasta, Dorito tacos, and nachos.

I realize now when I eat these foods it counts toward my daily, allowed, calorie intake. My friends, family, and I were surprised by my transformation in 3 short months. Even I did not realize how much better I looked until after viewing my before and after photos. My photos were not enhanced in any way. These photos show my natural self except for the spray tan. Up until the end of the contest, I was very worried that all of my hard work and dedication would not pay off.

Regardless of whether or not I win or place in this contest, I am very proud of what I accomplished. I would highly recommend without reservation the Venus Index program to anyone wanting to get into the best shape of their lives because this program works and has totally changed my life. I have not looked and felt this good in 21 years, since high school. The Venus Index is a program that almost woman can do for the rest of their lives and not feel like they are spending hours every day in the gym.

Rose's metrics before and after the 12 week contest

Rose’s metrics before and after the 12 week contest


Rose's pictures before the 12 week contest.

Rose’s pictures before the 12 week contest.

Rose's pictures after the 12 week contest.

Rose’s pictures after the 12 week contest.

Rose's total Venus Index transformation -- 51 pounds.

Rose’s total Venus Index transformation — 51 pounds.


Listen to Rose’s interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

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How Donna Finally Got The Healthy Body She Has Always Wanted

Today we are honored to listen to Donna-Marie Moy who placed third in the 7th Venus Index Transformation Contest.

Check out her beautiful transformation from the 12 Week Contest:

Donna made an amazing transformation

Donna made an amazing transformation


Read what Donna wrote about her experience with Venus Index:

I find it amazing that it is possible to completely transform your body from something that was always hidden, to something to be proud of in just 12 weeks. When I started VT7 I knew I was committed to making a change, but I never really thought that in 12 short weeks I would not only be at my lowest body weight since the age of 10, but I’d be wearing a bikini in public and have muscle tone to show off. My Venus Index Transformation was a journey of self-discovery. It was an emotional rollercoaster, sometimes I was elated that I was making progress and amazed that I suddenly fit into a smaller pair of jeans; whilst at other times whilst doing the 20th curtsey lunge I despaired as to whether this effort was making a difference. I enjoy cooking and having my partner joining me in the Men’s version of the contest, meant that fixing my diet was easy. Having the willpower to stop snacking however, was not; But the VI community was there to encourage and guide and with the Un-contests I was able to start shedding the pounds. Building the muscle tone was slower. I followed the VI Phase I week after week, sometimes it was hard to see where it was going but I carried on. The program ensured that as I became accustomed to a routine, it changed and kept me motivated to continue. About half way through the contest I realized that I could feel muscles I never knew I had, and from that point on every week I could see a difference. I’ve now completed phase I and this is just the beginning, Now that I’ve lost weight, this is where the hard work begins!


Before and after metrics for Donna Moy

Before and after metrics for Donna


Donna's before pictures

Donna’s before pictures


Donna made an amazing transformation

Donna’s after pictures

Listen to Donna’s interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

A Clear Picture Of Changing Body Composition; Interview With Naomi Clarke

Today we are honored to listen to Naomi Clarke who placed Ninth in the 7th Venus Index Transformation Contest.

Check out her beautiful transformation from the 12 Week Contest:

Naomi liked that the program goals were focused on shape rather than weight

Naomi liked that the program goals were focused on shape rather than weight or building muscles like a guy.

Read what Naomi wrote about her experience with Venus Index:

VT7 – Contest Participant Naomi Clarke Age 33 Height 5’4 Start of contest: Shoulders 42 in Waist 27 in Hips 37 in Weight 134.4 lbs End of Contest: Shoulders 40 in Waist 26 in Hips 36 in Weight 135 lbs VI Goal: Shoulders 39.56 Waist 24.45 Hips 34.72 Weight 124 lbs

I found the Venus Index program through friendship with CaliforniaGirl on My Fitness Pal. Seeing her extreme transformation I knew that there must be merit to the program. Through my teens and twenties I maintained a healthy body weight and body type. I liked my body but I always knew in the back of my head that I was not in my personal best shape, when I turned thirty I realized that it was very important to me to be in my best personal shape.

I found my fitness pal and began counting calories. The first thing I noticed was that I was under eating calories. Once I started meeting my micro nutrients and eating at a slight deficit for my goals I began lifting weights and working out a couple days a week. For the VT7 12 week contest I set my daily calorie goal at 1,100 calories, if I had an event where I needed to eat up I would just eat lower the next day to even it out. I was very strict with my calories during the week but less so on the weekends.

The funny thing is that I tended to under eat during the weekend as I would do a fast on Sunday. I am proud of myself that I maintained my calories consistently for most of the 12 weeks I had a few days where I ate higher but I also ate as clean of foods as I could and chose proteins as my cheat meals if I ate above my calories.

My workout goal for the contest was three Venus Index workout and two cardio workouts a week. I am happy to say that I did not miss one Venus Index workout the entire program; I did miss a few cardio workouts. Week six and seven were very difficult weeks for me, I felt very exhausted and a bit like a zombie, but after that my energy levels were high and I had no problem with lifting my weights. Overall I feel that the twelve weeks went by in a flash.

I blogged every week of the program and the ladies in the forum are all very supportive and help a lot with staying focused and on track. I really recommend joining a contest and getting a photographer to take your after shots; it was such a good experience and really helps to have a goal deadline.

I am at my personal Venus measurements for my shoulders but I am still an inch off on my waist and hips. My new goal is to eat at half the calorie deficit and do another round of Level 1 until I reach my personal Venus Index Measurement goal.

Naomi's metrics before and after the 12 week contest.

Naomi’s metrics before and after the 12 week contest.


Naomi at the beginning of the 12 week contest.

Naomi at the beginning of the 12 week contest.

Naomi after the 12 week contest.

Naomi after the 12 week contest.


Listen to Naomi’s interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

Kiya Learned The 1200 Calorie Myth Does Not Work For Small Females; She Lost 110 Pounds

Today we are honored to listen to Kiya who placed fourth in the 7th Venus Index Transformation Contest.

Check out her beautiful transformation from the 12 Week Contest:

kiya cover collage

Kiya did a lot of research and found there was nothing to substantiate the 1200 calorie myth. The myth hinders weight loss for small females who simply need less food. Once she figured this out her success took off.  She also learned that calorie needs go up as you go from weight loss to maintenance.

Read what Kiya wrote about her experience with Venus Index:

My Venus story starts in April 2012. I lost 90lbs before the start of VT7 and witnessed a huge transformation in how I saw food and myself. My focus was losing fat as fast as possible, and I worked out occasionally when I had the energy. I restarted Phase 1 and tightened up my diet in December 2012 in preparation for a cruise, so I sailed into the first 2 weeks of VT7 doing exactly what I had been doing for the previous seven. I was on vacation Week 3 & 4 of VT7 and when I returned, I started Phase 2 and kept my eyes on what I could control – my calories, my workouts, and my form. By then, I was at the point where my weight loss was slowing down, so there was a lot of managing my expectations around the scale and the measuring tape, and adjusting to the new requirements and demands of my leaner body. All of VT7 has been a dance – figuring out how low I could keep calories and still be able to push myself hard in the gym, adjusting the timing of meals so I could get good sleep, and slowly shifting from the mad rush of weight loss into the steadier, slower pace of re-composition. I still have about 10-15 pounds to lose, and I know with the skills I’ve developed over the last 12 weeks and over the last 14 months – I will have the Venus body of my dreams.


Kiya at the beginning of the 12 week contest

Kiya at the beginning of the 12 week contest

Kiya contest chart

Kiya’s before and after metrics for the 12 week contest



Kiya has lost a total of 110 lbs and 73 inches

Kiya has lost a total of 110 lbs.  She looks beautiful and she is enjoying many health benefits.


Listen to Kiya’s interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

How Liss’s Data Saves the Day


Knowledge is power.

I even apply that philosophy to my fitness and nutrition goals.

Since embarking on VI last year, I have kept meticulous records which have literally saved me from backsliding or giving up. They serve as a record void of emotion where I can study trends and data mine.

VI blog

Liss after 1 year of VI and still going strong. Photo by {forever} Grace Photography

The most recent example of when my records came into play was to answer a question that John Barban posed in the community- “Do you have any problematic foods- specifically foods that bloat you or any you have trouble with?” I randomly bloat 3.5-5.0 lbs overnight at times, and I wondered if I could trace it back to any particular food.

So out came the records.

  • First, I identified each day in the past 4 months that I had a huge weight spike (3.5 lbs+).
  • Then, I went back and looked at specifically-
    • what foods that I ate on those days,
    • how many calories I ate, as well as
    • daily macro-nutrients
    • and sodium intakes.
  • What I found was that it was not a particular food but a carbohydrate or sodium spike (compared to my normal intake) that would cause this massive bloating. I would have never known this unless I had my records to refer back to.

What Data is Worth Keeping?

I now have data in 3 major places- a physical notebook,, and a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Some data is quite useful while other pieces are only useful on occasion. I prefer to have more than enough data, because I like to know that it is there to refer back to when I need it and it is not like you can go back and take it. I think of my data collection as my “lab notebook” in the experiment of me.

What data is kept where?

2013-05-01 14.32.53

My metrics notebook

1. Physical notebook

  • Date (and fasting hours, if any)
  • Weight
  • Calorie count
  • Exercise (and caloric burn estimate)
  • Fasted weekly metric- shoulder, right bicep, ribcage, waist, navel, hips, right thigh, right calf, (sometimes neck)
  • Weekly weight average
  • Weekly calorie total
  • Weekly exercise burn total
  • Weekly average of daily macro-nutrient totals (carbohydrates, protein, fat)
Sparkpeople logo is an easy place to keep food and exercise logs

2. Sparkpeople

Sparkpeople log


Sparkpeople Exercise

An exercise log at

  • Daily food log by date (calories, macronutrients)
  • Weight
  • Exercise
April Metrics

An example of one of Liss’ many Excel spreadsheets

3. Excel spreadsheet

  • Date range
  • Weekly avg weight
  • Weekly fasted weight and metrics
  • Weekly calorie total
  • Weekly exercise burn
  • Weekly deficit
  • Weekly hours fasted
  • Weekly avg of daily protein intake
  • Some tabs with charts of weight and metrics over time, such as caliper data
Caliper Data

Caliper data in Excel

Why repeat data in multiple locations?

For example, my weight is entered in multiple  locations- my notebook and Sparkpeople. Why do I repeat some data in multiple locations? Since Sparkpeople is online, and I live in the middle of nowhere, sometimes internet accessibility (even on my smart phone) is limited. I can easily write my daily weigh in on my notebook where ever I am. But by putting my weight into Sparkpeople, it is easy to export the data into Excel to graph it when I need it. Sparkpeople  and Excel also serve as a backup in case my notebook is lost or destroyed.

I enter my weekly data and averages into Excel to easily pick out trends and patterns that become obvious when numbers are in a neat line. Again, graphing and analyzing trend lines  is easier to do in Excel. As you look at data over time, you realize what is the most efficient way for you to keep up with your data. These are some ways that work for me.

Ways that I use data daily:

I add up my calorie totals to see if I am on track to meet my total calorie goal for the week. I can recalculate daily calorie goals if needed or throw in a fast day if the week is looking like it might be going sideways.


I like to use the data that I collect to keep on track with my current goals. My current goals are:

1. Live at VI metrics

2. Eat an adequate amount of protein so that muscle growth is not inhibited

As a by product of goal 1, I have underlying goals that I need to meet in order to be in a caloric deficit to lose enough fat/ build enough muscle to be at VI, in an everyday unfasted state. These goals include-

3. Get a minimum of 3 VI workouts in per week

4. Eat a maximum of 8,000 calories a week (This is a deficit for me)

5. Fast for a minimum of 24 hours (helps with meeting goal 4 and seeing exactly where my body is each week without water/food “noise”)

6. Get in 2 hours of cardio per week

So by putting my weekly weight average, fasted metrics, calorie total for the week, daily protein average, and exercise totals on a spreadsheet- I can see if I met my weekly goals to make sure that I am on track. These things are just a reflection of my underlying goals. Again- the things that I track are a reflection of my goals. This also keeps me from getting my goals hijacked, and helps me focus on things that matter instead of noise. If I am going the wrong direction (away from my goals), it becomes blatantly apparent. Trends become very apparent at this point when you see weeks sitting side by side.


I will graph my avg weekly calorie intake (or weekly calorie deficit which includes workouts) and compare it to my weight loss over time. This gives me a more personalized look at what weekly calorie/workout totals that I lose best at- both mentally and physically. It also gives me an idea of what type of deficit is sustainable for me because it is easy to see calorie spikes. If you are  in maintenance mode, you can also see if your weight or metrics are trending up or down and make necessary adjustments to even it out. After all, calorie intake is highly individualized- nobody but you has your specific needs.

Another helpful periodic check is body fat levels, DXA data is the gold standard but I also keep up with caliper data on a tab in my Excel spreadsheet. This keeps this metric data in one convenient place so I do not have to chase down paper reports.

Keeping Emotion in Check

Sometimes after a big weekend, it is hard for me to get on that scale Monday morning and see the damage. But I need the data. It is just data, after all. (It also serves as my reality check, but that is beside the point!) This is part of the overall change that has taken place in my life with VI- it is a lifestyle now. I keep at it, all the time. It is a part of how I live now.

Five years ago, I would have freaked out after I got the scale that morning and threw in the towel for a few weeks- starting another vicious cycle of weight gain. But now, after seeing so many particularly high Monday mornings, I have finally realized that I just need to get back on the horse and hit my nutrition and workout goals all week. I am usually fine by Thursday at the latest. This is just one personal pattern that I have found, which makes getting on the scale Monday morning not as bad anymore.  Knowledge is power.

Why Record Data? A Summary

  • While it looks like some work on the front end, keeping good nutrition and fitness records can actually make reaching your goals easier.
  • It helps focus on your goals, and block out “goal hijacking noise”
  • It also takes the emotion out of the equation, and forces you to look at the logical aspects of the numbers.
  • It also helps keep me accountable, and has become a habit which helps me identify if I am potentially backsliding.

So in the end the data helped me solve the problem regarding bloating with sodium and carbohydrates.  It also helps me set personalized calorie needs each week. Data collection might be something for you to consider if you are trying to solve a problem.  It might even help you stay on track with your goals.



The Aztec Venus Story; Fit And Fabulous At Age 44

Today we are honored to listen to Barbara Highland who placed first in the 7th Venus Index Transformation Contest.

Check out her beautiful transformation from the 12 Week Contest:

Barbara is fit and fabulous at age 44!

Barbara is fit and fabulous at age 44!


Read what Barbara wrote about her experience with Venus Index:

The Aztec Venus Story…..

I always believed that people who claimed to love the gym were crazy or compulsive liars. Who in his right mind could love being sweating instead of sleeping???

Three years ago I was in the middle of my worst nightmare, after two years of fertility treatments and three miscarriages, my newborn baby just passed away, doctors told me I was unable to carry another pregnancy and was 70 pounds overweight. When you have a baby and you are overweight you don’t care, because every time you see the baby you know it was worth every single pound of fat. But I had no baby, I was grieving, devastated, hopeless, bitter and horribly FAT…I could even see my cellulite with my clothes on!!!

Another year of unsuccessful fertility treatments to get a surrogate mother pregnant didn’t let me loose much of that weight, probably just around 20 pounds. After my last egg retrieval I decided that I was done with treatments and that this was my last one no matter what. I lost 40 pounds very fast and at the same time my surrogate mother got pregnant with one of those eggs, so I was thrilled. I was having a baby and was skinny again….flabby skinny, butt less skinny, but skinny again…..and with a baby on the way!!!!

I started exercising, just cardio and still hating the gym, but this managed to keep my weight off so I thought it was worth the effort. I looked pretty well dressed but I had no tone, no muscles and no butt, so I decided the easy remedy, butt plastic surgery!!!! I started looking for the different options (implants, fat transfer, threads), until  my sweet and loving husband told me that there was no way he was paying for a fake butt and told me that I had two choices, exercising to build it up or paying for it. I had no money, so I had no other choice to stick to the first option and started doing leg press and all the damned glute machines available at my gym, beside my regular (boring to death) cardio routine.

After several months and very mild results on my flat butt, one day I received an email that changed my life. It was John Barban’s with the pictures of the last Venus Index contest. When I saw the pictures I felt jealous of the blonde in the second place and said “I want that body for myself!!!” But I heard the nasty little voice inside me saying “You are too old for that!!!” 

Browsing the pictures of the past contests I saw Roberta and said to myself… “She is very hot and older than me, I have good genes, a lot of discipline and if she could do it, I can do it too.”  I bought the program, went to Christmas vacation and decided to start in January (diets and programs always start on some Monday of January). Roberta became my role model, I even placed her picture on my fridge, with another one of Linda Hamilton’s arms in Terminator 2.

After following the program to the T, here I am now, three months after, 44 years old with the same waist I had in college, with a ten month old baby, fit and strong as ever and with the toned body I always dreamed of (without exercising, of course). I look better than most of the girls I see at he gym that are less than half my age. Thank you John…thank you Roberta….and thank you hubby for not  paying for my fake butt!!!!

Now I belong to the crazy group of people that can’t have a day without hitting the gym. Rest days are a nightmare!!!

Before and after metric data for Barbara

Before and after metric data for Barbara


Barbara's before pictures at the start of the 12 week contest.

Barbara’s before pictures at the start of the 12 week contest.

Barbara when she was 50 pounds heavier.

Barbara when she was 50 pounds heavier.


Barbara has become addicted to the gym which can be a Venus side effect.

Barbara has become addicted to the gym which can be a Venus side effect.

Listen to Barbara’s interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

The Creation of a Masterpiece: The Venus

Re-framing Fitness

One thing that eluded me throughout my fitness history was a concept that could have saved me from the beginning. You see most people go to the gym to work off their “eating failures.”  If I could have re-framed what the gym was about, it could have saved me years in getting to the body of my dreams.


You choose your statue’s look

Carve and Sculpt at the Gym

The gym is to build muscle and sculpt your body. Period.

I compare it to the carving of a statue. Without weight lifting, you are a blank piece of marble, just another stone in the quarry, nothing unusual.  The beautiful statues that are preserved in museums and studied by scholars the world over all have a sculptor who took time to carefully carve each muscle, getting each angle just right.

The artists used the Golden Ratio which is exactly what John Barban designed into the Venus Index Ideal for goal setting metrics.

This is what weight lifting can do for you- build each muscle until your physique is just right. You can even take down a prominent muscle group if you need to. The end result is a beautiful, well-sculpted body that is pleasing to the human eye.

Showcase your Work with Calories

Your calorie intake is akin to a sheet that covers the statue. It does not matter how much sculpting and time you have put into your statue, you cannot see the details beneath a sheet.  So until you get your intake in check and start bringing down your body fat percentages, that physique is going to be hidden underneath the covering.  As your body fat percentages come down, details will slowly start to show through the covering- collar bones, then bicep muscles, some veins, abs, etc.

Calories are King

Let me re-emphasize that you cannot out train a bad diet. A friend of mine once jokingly said that it takes her 30 hard minutes on a treadmill to burn 300 calories and about 30 seconds to inhale 300 calories of chips.

Do not mix the two:

  • the gym is for sculpting
  • the food is for showcasing the work.

Brad Pilon calls this “Fat Loss Divide and Conquer”

We do not work out to burn calories here at Venus Index, we workout to build our best bodies.   Once I sorted this out I found my success.

Liss found her Golden Ratio Venus Ideal by using the Venus Index goal setting metrics

Liss found her Golden Ratio Venus Ideal by using the Venus Index goal setting metrics

At some point close to the Venus Index Ideal, women usually find a happy medium where they have their best shape.  The “best shape” can be highly individual and is a level that fits your lifestyle; it is different for each person.

This is when your best attributes are showcased, and your calorie intake does not feel restricted.

That is what living at Venus Index should feel like- an everyday Venus.



Learn To Love The Gym By The Power Of Habit

Today John talks to Jessie T who placed Fourth in the 6th Venus Index Transformation Contest.

Check out her transformation pictures from the 12 Week Contest:

Jessie's pictures before the contest

Jessie’s pictures before the contest

Jessie’s pictures after the 12 week contest

It takes awhile for the mind to catch up with the body

Jessie tells John she still remembers herself as over weight with long curly hair.  She has a hard time recognizing herself in the mirror with short hair and being fit now.

It takes a while for the mind to catch up with the body.

She likes what she sees in the mirror now and was thrilled when she first started seeing her own ab definition.

Jessie said she would not have joined the contest if it were not for the Venus Index Community Forum. She said it was the best thing she ever did for herself.

The contest got her motivated to do the Venus Index Workout even though she hated the gym and with it she got amazing results.

All that matters is calories

Like many of us Jessie tried several different eating styles and did not get that all that matters is calories.

She found that most of the diets she looked at seemed to cater towards people’s desire to eat as much as they want;  all the fruit they want or all the fat and protein they want, and the list goes on.

She spent a lot of time finding many ways that did not work.  On some diets she was hindered by restrained eating.

She was sold on the program when she heard John and Brad talk about how there is no secret to weight loss;  eat what you want, just less.

Jessie loved Brad Pilon’s article “Fat Loss Divide and Conquer“and found she loves to fast.

She hated the gym, but now Jessie is a regular there known by name

Jessie had a bad experience at a gym once as so she hated the gym and didn’t really know how to lift weights.

After doing the Venus Index Workout she is not afraid to lift heavy and became a regular at her gym and now they know her by name.

Jessie didn’t have to stop running and in fact completed a half marathon during the contest.  She found that it does not matter if you do cardio or not.

She stopped doing cardio at the end of the contest and it did not hinder her weight loss progress.

Jessie was thrilled when she finally saw her own ab definition

Jessie was thrilled when she finally saw her own ab definition

Pick one thing, the power of habit

At one point after reading all the insane contradictory information in the diet and fitness industry Jessie realized she was paralyzed by analysis.

Once she joined the contest and focused on the workout and calories she realized that one victory spawns another and it starts snowballing into the rest of your life.

One good habit leads to the next as described in a book she read called The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

During the holidays she found if you just pick one thing to keep you on track it really helps.  She never stopped her workouts during the holidays and that kept her on the right path to success.

It is part of the power of habit.

She found that by doing this she learned to be consistent.

Links from the interview:

  • Eat Stop Eat – Diet Lifestyle protocol designed to help you to lose fat and regain freedom in your food choices
  • Original Venus Index Workout – Workout program for women that’s responsible for the most amazing transformations online
  • Venus Index Community – Friendliest and most supportive women’s only fitness community on the Internet

Advice from Jessie:

Read what Jessie wrote about her experience with Venus Index:

VT6 after photos and essay 250 words is by far not long enough to say all the things I
want to say about my experience. So I will simply share the lessons I realized …Continue reading here

Listen to Jessie’s interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

Transform Your Mind And Your Body By Keeping It Simple

Today John talks to Deanne Hernandez who placed first in the 6th Venus Index Transformation Contest.

Check out her transformation pictures from the 12 Week Contest:


Deanne before the contest

Deanne Hernandez - 1st Place - After Photos

Deanne Hernandez – 1st Place – After Photos

At the beginning of the contest Deanne did the Venus Index Workout but tried to eat gluten free because it sounded like a good thing to do.  Like many of us she was eating a certain way for no particular reason other than it seems to be the latest fad.  She realized she could not lose weight because she was still eating too many calories.  Her weight stayed the same during the first eight weeks of the contest.  She did not take her diet and calories seriously enough.  Then she got really motivated and kicked into gear, got motivated, got her correct mindset, took a good look at her calories, and ended up with some amazing results. You can change the way you look.  Deanne also decided to get involved in the Venus Index Community Forum and that helped her a lot.  She didn’t realize how much support and information was available there.  She highly recommends others to get involved there to help with your success.

Stay Motivated

Deanne realized that the process was mostly about mindset.  Like most of us have also learned she found she needed mindset techniques like cause and effect; “If I do this than what?”, and “You either do it you don’t.”  She decided she needed the contest with the end date to help keep her motivated.  She said the contest was the best thing she ever did for herself.  She realizes now that what she learned how to do during the contest is something she can do for the rest of her life.

Deanne loved listening to the previous contest winner interviews and loved to imagine herself looking like the pictures of Alisha.  Not only did the process transform her body but it transformed her mind.  She had spent most of her life with a poor image of herself and a lot of negative self talk.  The process she used during the contest and listening to Olya’s interview helped her stop the negative self talk.  She started treating her workouts and diet as gifts to her body.  She now treats herself with kindness and respect.

Knowledge Is Power

Deanne learned that managing the correct amount of calories, Eat Stop Eat, and eating foods you like were the keys to successful weight loss for her.  She learned the truth about calories from the Venus Index manuals and from the Venus Index community.  Deanne learned that the process was simple but not easy.  She decided to keep it simple and tune out all of the conflicting information that comes from the diet and fitness industry.

Keep It Simple

Deanne really liked April’s interview and the plan for doing the VI workout lifting weights three days a week.  Even though more advanced weight lifters can do the workout more days per week the three days per week kept it simple for her.  She decided she would do something every day.  Mostly she paid attention to her activity level for the day and tried to make sure she was taking 10,000 steps.  She walked while she listened to the Venus Index podcasts and that made it fun and enjoyable for her.  She decided that if she did not feel like exercising she would just do it anyway, even if she decided to make the workout easier or lift lighter.  Even on the days she decided to do an easier workout she found that once she got going she felt like pushing herself hard and it felt good.  She found that by doing this she learned to be consistent.


Look what being consistent and motivated did for Deanne. She looks fabulous.

Links from the interview:

  • Eat Stop Eat – Diet Lifestyle protocol designed to help you to lose fat and regain freedom in your food choices
  • Original Venus Index Workout – Workout program for women that’s responsible for the most amazing transformations online
  • Venus Index Community – Friendliest and most supportive women’s only fitness community on the Internet

Advice from Deanne:

  • Don’t wait, Do something NOW.
  • Keep it simple
  • Figure out how many calories you need and go from there
  • Join a transformation contest
  • It is mostly about mindset
  • Set a goal with a date
  • Even if you don’t feel like it do an easy exercise
  • Exercise as a gift to your body
  • The process is simple, but not easy

Read what Deanne wrote about her experience with Venus Index:

I vaguely remember reading somewhere that the difference between success and failure was education. That idea now makes perfect sense after completing VT6. My failure in weight loss was completely due to my lack of education about the way the human body works. I was an overweight child, and my fittest years being in early college when I was the most active. After college, my weight crept on me and I went through …Continue reading here

Listen to Deanne’s interview here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

Stop Wasting Your Time: How Women Shortchange Themselves at the Gym

Anyone who has spent any amount of time in gyms over the years has seen the same patterns repeated over and over again.

I’ve been training since the Nixon administration and I’ve seen  every diet/exercise craze, new fad and latest greatest equipment/program that has rolled down the pike since the 70’s.

I’ve even tried a few of them too.

The natural human proclivity for novelty makes us all suckers for the next new thing.

What really works to produce results seems to be a mystery to many women, even though they crowd the gym in droves.

Escape the Average Treadmill Physique

Because there are so many choices and so many people marketing their various programs/diets/workouts like religious cults, it leads to confusion for the average woman.

The bigger  problem is that most women  have no clue what they want out of their workouts and are scared to venture into the  free weight area of the gym. They listen to conventional  fitness wisdom peddled by the media and spend endless hours at the gym plodding away at steppers, treadmills and bikes.

They crowd in the studios doing zumba, pilates, yoga, bootcamp and all kinds of other “fun” activities. They think this will produce “visible results”.

Occasionally, they may see some random improvement.  I  plead guilty to falling into this trap in the past. Cardio has it’s place and purpose from a point of  health but endless cardio does not equal weight loss and a better body.

Next time you are at the gym take a look at  the women and men slogging away on the stairmaster or bikes and ask yourself if they have a body you would want.

Chances are the answer is no.

Big Fat Lie: “I Have these Arms from Lifting Itty Bitty Girly Weights”

Another thing I’ve seen at the gym is women piddling around the weight machines with no real purpose or program. Paraphrasing Martin Berkhan, this is a bad case of Fart-around-itis  (the original term is not appropriate for family publications).

I occasionally see women in the free weights area doing a few sets of flies, presses or rows with 5 & 10 lb weights. Occasionally,  I will see a  woman lifting  heavier weights. Usually a college athlete.  It’s so uncommon, I take notice.

Woman Lifting Heavy

Do you want to get in shape? You have to lift heavy, period.

Which brings me to my big question.

Why do women shortchange themselves in the gym?

Why are so few lifting weights that can actually give them results and a body that people would envy?

There are a lot of cultural issues that come in to play here.

I suspect that most women are afraid to go beyond their comfort zone and have preconceived ideas about weight training and femininity. I also think that women have no clue how strong they really can get and lack the self confidence to find out.

Have a Clear Measurable Goal

So we get to the heart of the problem.

Ask yourself this question: What is my goal?

If it not something that is clear and measurable you will be wasting your time.

Things like  “getting in shape” getting “fit” or losing a few pounds seem like goals, but they are really pretty nebulous and hard to define. It’s like people saying they want to be healthier. The definitions of “health”  being “in shape” or being more “toned” are varied and subjective.

Even losing  scale weight,  while measurable does not always yield a more attractive  body.

Many women are in a “normal” BMI range, yet over fat and under muscled. Losing 10 lbs will not really help if you do not work on increasing or maintaining muscle mass.

If you have small underdeveloped muscles and you  lose 10 or 15 lbs you will  be smaller but still look soft and undefined. Muscle creates shape.

That’s what separates “hot” from NOT.

Do What Produces the Best Results for the Time You Put In

This is where women shortchange themselves and fail.

They do endless cardio and fitness classes thinking that it will “tone” them and make them look “hot”. They go and do  a couple of  light sets on weight machines. Or they pick up some 5 or 10 lb dumbbells and do some kind of weight training without a clue of what they are doing and  are clearly NOT challenging themselves in anyway at all.

Result is: no noticeable results!

Challenge Yourself and Use Heavier Weights

pudgy stockton pressing overhead

Look, Ma: Big Weights & No Bulking.
Great Results: Old School Style.

Big news flash: Women will not get big and bulky using heavier weights. You do not have a Y chromosome and lots of circulating testosterone, so you will not build huge muscles. Not now, not ever.

The women and men you see in bodybuilder magazines and competitions use  anabolic steroids and lots of other drugs you’ve never heard of to look the way they do. Lifting heavier weights will NOT make you look like that.

“But I get bulky if I lift something bigger than a  pink barbie bell” you cry.

Reality check: bulk is fat.

That blanket of adipose that covers your  scrawny little muscles is the source of the “bulk”. Lose the fat  and there is no “ bulk”. Losing fat is a question of  appropriate caloric intake for your height. You need a lot fewer calories than you think. If you are not losing fat you are eating too much.

Yes, I know, not what you want to hear.

Apparently most of people I see in public are not eating less. Which explains the expanding pant sizes and need for bigger hospital gurneys.

Define your goals.

Let’s face it, unless you are a competitive athlete,  your goal  is probably to  look better in a bathing suit. Your definition of better. If you need to lose fat, you will have to control your calories and eat less. Doing an hour of stair stepper and then drinking a 600 calorie juice smoothie will not lead to fat loss unless you are 6’4”.

Use cardio to condition your  cardiovascular system, not to burn excess calories. The actual caloric burn from most exercise is rather modest. Not the 900 calories the stairstepper/treadmill/ machine thingie says. Those are fantasy numbers.

Lift heavier weights.

Preferably  free weights, not machines.

You will build muscle by repeatedly creating strong contraction against greater resistance.

So use enough weight to create that required resistance.

At the minimum you need to lift at a threshold of 40-50% of your one rep max on any given exercise. This will vary but chances are if you have not gotten good results in the past with weight training you are not lifting enough weight.  3 sets of 10 reps with 5 or 10 lbs will not produce any results unless you just stepped out of a prison camp or famine or you are 90 years old and in a walker.

You  also need  a good program that gives proven physique results.

Venus Index is designed to give you a balanced symmetrical shape that is  universally attractive and healthy looking. It works for all figure types because it is based on the  universal proportion found in nature   (fibonacci’s number). Every woman wants to have a balanced hour glass shape. That is considered attractive in all cultures and throughout history.

It is a prime indicator of youth, health and vitality.

Even if you are not 18 years old, you can have a great body at any age if you do the necessary work in the gym.

If you are over 40, 50 or even 60, a youthful, lean strong body makes you younger and healthier.  And another news flash: It does not require hours a day in the gym or on a treadmill.

Working out longer is not necessarily better. You can do marathons and spin classes ‘til hell freezes over and not look good in a swimsuit.

More is NOT always better. Better is better.

Lifting ‘til you puke or working out ’til you drop does not equal great results.

Targeted programs give real results with no photoshopping needed. Just real results for real women with busy lives who are willing to do the work.

The Cliff Notes:

  1. Have a clear measurable workout  goal
  2. Consider what gives the best results for the time put in. More is not better. Better is better.
  3. Challenge yourself with heavier weights
  4. Choose a good program that will give real results. Venus Index fits that bill.