Monday, November 26, 2012

My Story

My  12 week transformation with Venus Index systems

Growing Up Giant

     I have always struggled with my weight. As young as I can remember- 3rd to 5th grade, I did not like my body and felt fat. I remember being in 5th grade and wearing ladies size 8 pants, but being about 5'4". I was my Gramps' "chunky monkey". I would eat and eat when I got home, sad about the way I looked. About 7th grade, I shot up in height (to my present 5’9” stature) which evened my weight out, but was still bigger in both directions than all my friends. My freshman year, I played for my high school’s tennis team where I was introduced to weight lifting. That year I took biology class, where they taught the principal of calories in-calories out= weight. I tried to eat as little as possible, and it worked. I remember being 140 lbs by the end of my freshman year of high school, slimmer than I had ever been. But the never-ending up and down weight cycling started then. Despite working out and playing sports, I would balloon up to 160-170 then lose down to about 150. By my freshman year in college, I was up to 175. By my sophomore year, I did Atkins and Body for Life lifting and got down to 155.
Second from right, about 160 freshman year of college

 The Pendulum Swing

      I stayed around 155 until I graduated college and got married. Then pregnancy came, and we had our first child in 2004,  I was 195. We moved to Dallas and I got a great job that offered a gym membership, and lost some weight. We soon got pregnant again, and I decided to work out for my entire pregnancy this time! We had our second child in March 2006- I was at 185. My mom hired a trainer for me 6 weeks post-partum and I lost to 175 over the course of a couple of months, despite nursing my daughter for 9 months. It took me over a year to get down to 155. I did Body for Life stregth training, ran for 30 min on off days, and counted calories.
June 2007 about 175
     In 2009, we moved back to the Texas Panhandle- Amarillo, TX. My weight shot up to 185. I finally joined a gym with an old friend and started working out together, going to all kinds of classes- BodyCombat, Zumba, Pump, Water Aerobics, Spin- whatever we felt like. We did Atkins too and I lost to 160. Then in 2010, we moved again about an hour north to Dumas, TX.
December 2009 about 185


      By January 2011, I was back up to 182 again. I did HCG and did fitness classes 4 days per week (pump, step, insanity, kickboxing). I got down to 148 by May 2011, the smallest that I had ever been in my adult life.  From this round of weight-loss success, my local gym asked me to start teaching a pilates class that summer.
June 2011, 152 lbs

Trying to Break the Swing

     These huge pendulum swings in weight were exhausting.  I felt like if I took my eye off of the gym and eating for a second, I would balloon.  I have done all the fad diets and fitness crazes the last 10 years. I followed everything from solid, science based training to random fitness/diet advice. It would work for a bit, and get me to average but never beyond. All of the diets were not SUSTAINABLE, nor taught me about maintenance; they did not reshape my body.

 By January 2012, I was exasperated and up again to 165. I was working out 4 days a week. Why did I not look like it? I needed a new goal, I wanted visible abs. So I started "Google-ing" what I should weigh for my height to get those abs. There was no singular answer; most websites said about 15% body fat for a woman. Well I did not own calipers, how was I going to tell how much I needed to lose?

My Golden Ticket- Venus Index

     I stumbled across the Venus Index during my search- a metric measurement to look your best at your height using the golden ratio. Interesting, I was skeptical though. I listened to the whole podcast archive the next few months on my commute. They were saying things that I had not heard before (like calorie counts on nutrition labels and exercise machines are WRONG!) and backing it with actual scientific research. These guys were well-educated and had the look themselves, so obviously they must be doing something right. Then I saw the transformations coming out of the contests and I was sold.

      The next VI contest- VT5 started in May 2012 and I jumped in. I am so glad I did, just look at my before and after pictures. The middle pictures were taken in early August- after just 12 weeks of using the program at least 3 days a week.  The pictures on the left were taken in October- after 20 week with the program. I ended up winning the final VT5 contest! I got to do a podcast interview with John Barban the creator of the VI strength training system.  I hit my VI metrics dead on for it. I also won a 2013 calendar spread and a workout cover, as well as $850!

Age: 28 Height 5’9”
Weight LBS
Shoulders "
Waist "
Hips "
Start VT5
Week 12
Week 20
VI GOAL 5'9"
approx 141

What I am doing now

      I still have a full time job that requires a 40 hour work week as well as a husband and two young children that need my love. I now have another part time job too, with Venus! My health and fitness are a priority too, and I schedule in my gym time around kids' sports and social engagements.  I now train exclusively with the Venus Index strength training programs and started a VI gym class class at the Moore County YMCA! Come workout with the class at the Moore County YMCA in Dumas, TX. The group trains together on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday at 4:40 p.m.
     I love to help coach other women to achieve their best bodies using the tools that worked for me which is why I started this blog. The knowledge that I have found on my journey is no secret, and if it can help one person in their journey, it is worth my time.   I can  be your personal coach too, it is all digital so distance is no issue. You can sign up and specify that you want me as your coach -

     I am now two years away from the Venus contest that I placed in, and still maintaining just as fabulous of a body. Maybe even better. What do you think?

November 2013

May 2014

November 2015 

I am just a regular girl; if I can do this, I know you can too!

What is coming up next?

 I am currently maintaining and improving my physique. Coaching clients for Venus, writing guest & blog articles, and living life.



  1. loving the blog, can't wait to read more! you look amazing and you are totally motivating me to workout!!

  2. Sensational babe!!! Keep up the great work and I can't wait to feature you on my blog real soon x x x Dani

  3. It was wonderful to read your story. You've given me motivation to continue on! Thank you!

  4. very inspiring Ms. Liss, thank you.

  5. You are my inspiration! I love reading your story! Thank you!

  6. WOW! You are me, I am older is all. Thanks for sharing. I don't understand the contests yet, but I probably will if and when I need to. I am glad I joined. The interaction is a blessing.

  7. Thank you - great motivation and well done to you!

  8. Thanks so much for sending me your story it could have been my story the same fad diets and yo yo weight . The photos and your journey have given me the motivation to push forward thanks again - Lisa

  9. this gives me hope , i too am a mother of 2 and a tall woman .. so i really would like to not be 175 to 210 lbs .. fluctuating back and forth .. i would love to look as good as you and feel great about myself for once

  10. you encourage me....

  11. That is great! It sounds like you wrote my life story prior to Venus. I have tried everything also. I started today. I pray I have the same outcome you do. I LOVE exercising and strength training, so maybe????