Donette Lost Over 100 lbs with Patience and Consistency

Donette Heaviest before and after

Donette at one of her heaviest weights before Venus and after, unbelievable!

Donette placed in our recent VT15 Venus Transformation Contest.

She did a phenomenal job and her results display the hard work she put in. Her transformation stretches out further than this 12 week period though, she has lost over 100 lbs!

Donette Start of Venus 2014 to Winning VT15
Donette before starting Venus in 2014 and after this 12 week contest, unbelievable!

Here is what Donette had to say in her own words:


No matter how many times you are told something, do we really hear it? How many times have I heard “the scale is just a number?” ” Don’t let the scale get you down” “the number on the scale does not define who you are” Yes I have those sayings up on my computers both at work and at home, on my mirror and my refrigerator. But I never really listened and opened up my mind till now. Let’s rewind 14 years ago when I moved here from Arizona a depressed 270lb single mother of an almost 3 year old. I had once had a membership to Bally’s before I married my first husband, but I was way too embarrassed to go back to that meat market setting, so I joined Curves for women. I did well with Curves, between their diet program and workout machines I dropped 70lbs. For several years I would bounce between 200-230. I couldn’t get below 200 then I would go back up. I tried Medifast, HCG, diet pills, 3 different Curves diet plans, everything would work for a little bit, but then I would put some back on. For my second wedding I was able to get down to 175, then after the wedding I was right back up. March of 2014 I was on Facebook and saw an ad that has changed my life. Do I normally look at ads? Nope, and I have no idea why I that day I chose to watch the full add for Venus Index but it was the best decision I ever made (along with the best $47.00 I have EVER spent!) March to November I did well, I followed the protocol, all my days weren’t perfect but life is a learning process. I wasn’t really interested in the weight lifting. I hated it when I had to in school, me Bally’s experience was horrible so there was no way I was joining a “real” gym. My son and I would do a workout or two per week and that was about it. I was able to drop down to the low 170’s and would go back up to 180. I introduced my sister to Venus in November, she was going to Gold’s and I decided to start going with her @ 5am. We would work the machines 2 days a week and were doing the main Venus program the other 3. dropped down another 10lbs into the 165-170’s. Starting in January this year Gold’s was doing a contest coinciding with Venus, I thought perfect I can do both at the same time! Did well the first 6 weeks then fell apart. I was higher at the end than when I started, and I didn’t even finish VT13. So VT14 came around, again I’m going to do this, made it 8 weeks and crashed and burned. At that point I felt my body was wanting to stay right where it was at and I was done. My only goal at that point was to just finish the contest, which I did. I started this contest balls to the wall staying at my 1000 calorie deficit with maintenance days, working out 2 times a day, then 4 weeks or so in Labor Day hit. I was running my Chihuahua in an AKC Agility trial and at the end of my run: I came down hard on my right leg, jamming my knee and messed up a ligament. Holy Crap! I don’t have time for this, I’m trying to get Fiona to AKC Nationals next year, I’m driving across country with 3 dogs that I have registered in the TDAA Nationals in October. I’m kicking butt and staying on track and all of the sudden it all comes to a screeching halt. Or so I though at first . Turns out this injury that kept me from doing and lower body work besides walking for 4 weeks ws the best thing that could have happened to me. Liss put me in touch with my mind. Yeah I know it sounds kinda weird, but she sent me homework to work on my mind, to change the way I think of myself and to improve my self-confidence. Instead of throwing in the towel, I put up the scale. Instead of giving up on me (like I have done so many times before), I gave to myself. I gave myself the freedom to quit worrying about the wrinkles, the stretch marks, hips, belly and bat wings. Instead I have found the good in them. I realized I need to love myself. Once I started to love myself, so many good things started to happen. Barriers and walls that I had built on my mind started coming down. My self-confidence is rising and I’ve been able to do some of the things I though I could never do. The best thing is that none of them had a thing to do with a scale or what “number” I’m at. Vacation was a blast; my girls ran great with me and even earned placements at the National event. I was able to make great choices travelling for 10 days and maintained the entire time. Even though I had fun with Liss’s band workouts she sent to me to use at the hotel, I realized I LOVE my weight lifting and missed it! After we came back from vacation, I hit another 20+ year goal of climbing the Manitou Incline. I was afraid to try, 1 mile up over 2,000 steps and I can not remember the elevation change. It took us 2 hours, but we did it and I can’t wait to do it again! I also bought my very first “little black dress”. Besides my wedding dress, my husband had never seen me in a dress before. My son rides a dirt bike and my husband and I have ATV’s that we like to ride when we get a chance. All of my ATV pants are what the call OTB or over the boot pants. I would have to buy those because I could not get my calves and pants both into my boots. The beginning of the year I bought a pair of regular pants, the calves fit, but I could not get them zipped. WOOHOO they finally fit, now I’m ready to ride! Yes I’ve had my stumbles along the way and will continue to have more in my journey. Now I have gained the knowledge and I have the tools to move on and get past those struggles to a greater place in my mind. I have the loving support of my husband and son, and a wonderful Venus family. What’s next? No longer are the thoughts of I can’t, because I know I can do anything I put my new healthier mind to. Balloon ride, Whitewater rafting, zipline again this summer, hiking a 14ner in my new boots I earned just this week, they are on my short list. Who knows you just might see me running one of my girls on TV someday 🙂

Donette Heaviest before and after black dress

Donette at one of her heaviest weights before finding Venus and after, WOW!

"All of my ATV pants are what the call OTB or over the boot pants. I would have to buy those because I could not get my calves and pants both into my boots. The beginning of the year I bought a pair of regular pants, the calves fit, but I could not get them zipped. WOOHOO they finally fit, now I'm ready to ride!"

“All of my ATV pants are what the call OTB or over the boot pants. I would have to buy those because I could not get my calves and pants both into my boots. The beginning of the year I bought a pair of regular pants, the calves fit, but I could not get them zipped. WOOHOO they finally fit, now I’m ready to ride!”


Donette’s Metrics

Weight Height Waist Shoulders Hips
Before 165 lb 69 in 31 in 42 in 40 in
After 151 lb 69 in 28.5 in 42 in 38 in
Deltas -14 lb 0 in -2.5 in 0 in -2 in
Donette before and after side 12 weeks

Donette before and after side 12 weeks


Donette before and after - she can run her dogs and hike any mountain!

Donette before and after – she can run her dogs and hike any mountain!

Donette is a beautiful Venus! Nothing can stop her now!

Listen to Donette’s interview with Liss below, or download it for later:

Ask Nicola; How do you deal with social pressure after you achieve fitness?

Once you achieve your fitness goals some people have negative reactions.  You must decide what you want for yourself and fight to keep it.

Once you achieve your fitness goals some people have negative reactions. You must decide what you want for yourself and fight to keep it.

How do you deal with social pressure after you achieve fitness?

We are social creatures. Although losing weight and getting fit are personal choices, it does impact us socially because it changes our appearance. The world will respond to our transformation in a variety of ways–some positive and some negative. When people around you are not being supportive or even critical of your transformation, you need to break free from their their negativity and own your own power.

We’ll discuss the reasons why people can have such varied and negative responses to your transformation and how to become immune to it.


Dr. Nicola Bird

Nicola’s Online Program

Listen to John’s interview with Dr. Nicola Bird here, and please “like” it when you’re done:

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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Are You Running To Stay In The Same Place?

Are you running to stay in place?

Are you running to stay in place?

Life sometimes gives us setbacks

How many times have you heard someone say that they got sick and so inevitably the weight started to pile on? Yup, we all nod in agreement. It’s not your fault. It’s too bad about that but of course you became over weight when you:

  • broke your leg
  • had to take care of your sick relative
  • traveled 7 months of the last 12
  • <insert your situation>

Life will throw you curve balls. Regardless of the reason, just because you’re not able to exercise, gaining weight is not inevitable.

Because in order to maintain how much you were eating you exercised.

Since you had a valid excuse for why you could not exercise, you had every right and reason to gain weight. Right?

Do you tell yourself this story? It’s hard not to. Anywhere you turn, including the news, movies, fiction, even supposedly scientific books, you will find the perpetuation of this myth: You have to work it off.

The flaw with this logic is the minute you hit a setback, if you habitually eat the same amount, you will gain weight and you will believe it’s out of your control.

Illness is no excuse

Your next setback is waiting to happen.

It happens to all of us.  It’s a matter of when.  What will be your plan?  You can learn to handle the situation and maintain your weight.

How fast are you “running”?

Have you read “Through the Looking Glass”, the sequel to “Alice in Wonderland”, by Lewis Carroll? A famous quote from The Queen has always resonated with me:

“Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

The fact is that simply maintaining is work.

You can’t over exercise too many calories, but you can learn to eat within your correct maintenance calories which are dictated by your height, gender and activity level.

The sooner you learn how much your body actually needs each day to maintain with your current lifestyle constraints, the better prepared you are for life’s setbacks.

This year I was broadsided by illness that set me back for two months, I could not work out at all. After that, I began the arduous process of regaining my strength.

Do you suppose I piled on pounds of fat?

No indeed, I did not.

And why is that?

Because I have a very clear idea of how much I need to eat to maintain my weight.

When I was forced to drop the gym habit, I simply cut back a bit on calories. I didn’t cut back as much as you might think. I just made small changes. A little less here, a few missed breakfasts, ice cream less often.

I made simple changes and I watched my waist metric. Without the ability to lift weights I simply had to eat less.  Every time the tape measure started to increase, I made a few adjustments to keep it in check. I rested, got well, and got the mental mindset to get back in the gym.

Every single time you have to start the gym habit again, it does require some discipline. The good news is habits don’t ever go away; they lie dormant.

The first week I was very sore. I had to talk myself into showing up for the first 3 weeks.  I eventually built up the strength to do the Venus Index Workouts.

We all have illness now and then

In November, my whole family got broadsided by a virus that was sweeping the town. I lost 10 pounds in one week.

I’ve never been more grateful for the simple fact of health and a strong body. To honor this body, I will not overfeed it or overwork it.

I will instead eat what I need. No more, no less.

I found myself faced again with the need to build strength in the gym. I “ran” to stay in the same place (not overeating in order to maintain) when I was sick. Now I am “running faster” (lifting heavy) in order to get my muscles back into the shape I like.   I follow Brad Pilon’s “Fat Loss Divide and Conquer” rule.

What about you? Are you making excuses or are you “running” towards your goals in whatever way you are currently capable?


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.

Click this image to check out Nicolas book on Amazon

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.