Prior Miss Texas got her Venus back at age 52, and the pageant dress fits again!

Bonnie said "I fit back into the sequin dress now, my rear is smaller and my shoulders are bigger.  Glory hallelujah!"

Bonnie said “I fit back into the sequin dress now, my rear is smaller and my shoulders are bigger. Glory hallelujah!


Bonnie Thwaits came in second place in our Venus Transformation contest VT10


Bonnie’s own words regarding the Venus Factor:


I was a senior at Texas A & M in 1985, I was also in the Corps of Cadets at A&M with an Amy contract.  Women were not allowed in the school band and out of 21 female fish (freshman, like a plebe at Westpoint or Annapolis), only 4 of us (women) made it to our senior year.  There were plus or minus 3000 guys in all branches at the military program which is the heart of Texas A & M.  So about 4 army women out of 900 guys for the class of ’85.  There was also a Texas superior court case argued at the same time to force A&M to allow women into the band and other military groups. (started in 1979) .  We were controversial to say the least.

Staying in shape was not a problem! But getting respect as women was.  I went out to prove that the girl with the rifle could look like the girl in the contest AT THE SAME TIME!

I was selected as one of the top four ROTC cadets in the nation, as well as top cadet in the third region over all ROTC Cadets.  It is important to note that Texas started their women’s program before Westpoint.

So way back in the day!

But the guys accepted us as sort of neuter.  We couldn’t be a Venus and a cadet at the same time. Hah!  So I went on to represent Texas A &M in the miss Texas USA pageant.

The beach photo is myself sandwiched between two of my children in June of 2013.  Ruh-Ro.  What happened?  I was 52, already owned the Venus program, (for a few months) and just sort of drifting.  Like I kinda sorta thought I might not be wearing my old clothes anytime soon, but it wasn’t that bad? Right?

We took my son in the beach picture back to start as a Plebe at the Naval Academy, so ‘glory days’ by Bruce Springsteen was sort of playing in the back of my head.  THEN I saw the beach picture.

I had to own that.  That was what I looked like.  I didn’t feel like I looked like that, but I did.  So I plunged into immersion and got to work.

I do listen to the podcasts.  Sometimes I even run one when I go to bed, similar to sleeping on one of my Veterinary Books on Surgical technique in the hope of getting smarter, or brainwashing myself, or.. or …something!

Most of the time I listen while I’m commuting.  Yet another new habit.  It’s hard to pull into Wendy’s while you are committing your time to STOP pulling into the same fast food joint for a quick pick me up (with a few thousand calories) on the way home from work.

Would you like to super-size that, ma’am?

Not anymore.


Questions and Answers with our Venus winner Bonnie


How did you find the Venus Factor?


I originally started with Isabel de Los Rios before she even had the beyond diet program, I also bought the workout booty for wife and a basic get a shape program from John Romanello .  I didn’t adhere strictly, but liked the idea of a workout designed to give me curves.  I use the bio trust supplements and that dropped me into the email list that led to your link.


A) liked the name Venus Index, ‘I’m your Venus, I’m your fire, instantly played in my head

B) just evaluated the unflattering ‘moment of truth photo‘ (beach picture at the top)

C) never thought about a shape or number ratio as a goal.  This was rather objective rather than subjective.  My ever vigilant scientist popped out.


What aspect of the program was most beneficial to you?


Workouts I could do at home with my kid, watching TV!  Whole new habit.  Instead of eating popcorn/chips/ice cream, I do a workout.  John asked me what about listening to podcasts?  Well…I want to look forward to having relaxing time, playing with my kid while watching TV that I normally would not have time to do, that is sponge bob or finding Bigfoot, not CNN, while my seven year old boy laughs and jumps around on my ball.

I replaced a bad habit with a good one, listening to Venus podcasts!


Did you like the Venus workout?


See above, it’s like twister at my house. Nor am I secret about it.  I just do it while husband attempts to watch seventeen shows at once.  Now he is forced to peer around whatever position I happen to be in.  Assuming you can edit this!  One morning husband queried/hinted…’ You could do that naked you know’. That was the day I got it!  He had not been supportive during my transformation.  Suddenly he had formed a new habit as well, and was not afraid of the new me.


Which workout(s) did you use?


I just stayed at 12 week level one the whole time.  Now that I moved onto operation build a booty, I’ve moved up to level 2- building muscle is harder than losing fat.  I understand the tightrope analogy now.


What kept you motivated?


I OWNED that hideous beach picture.  I have pictures of who I was but I needed to face what I had become.  I used that beach photo as my avatar, I posted it on Facebook.  I knew if I didn’t do something, nobody else would do it for me.


Do you have a particular style of eating?


I usually do a lot of less than 50 calories snacks through the day, even if I am not on deficit mode. Other than that I do fruit in the morning, salad or veggies at lunch and a big salad with some protein at night.

I’ve always been a natural faster.  It’s my work schedule combined with a busy mind.  That also means I have been a natural binge eater.  ‘I haven’t eaten all day, better suck down a gallon of blue bell, while cooking dinner’


Did you use the undulating  diet protocol?  If so how did it work for you and did you make any modifications?


I always try to put the bike together before I read the instructions so I was on 2:1 for the first seven weeks, oops. I found I sort of broke through to an ‘eat up’ day on my own.


Did you use any supplements?


I use the bio trust protein powders and make smoothies, I also use leptiburn, ic-5, absorb max, prox10, and now I use the omega desert.  I was using athletic greens and still have the packs for on the go.  I make my own green smoothie now.  I also use the krill oil 5x supplement that’s a pill.  All as directed on label.


Did you use the online community and how was that experience?


The entire experience was an evolution.  I started excruciatingly slowly.  First I bought the program about 2 months before I looked at it.

Then I tried to do the sneaky, not doing anything special with my food approach.  I did not work out at home and still went to gym.

Yet another hour not spent with my seven year old son.  I did not do much with community.  Sort of looked at it….sighed….what an ant nest.

Tried VT9 and just stopped program slowly.  Died off with a whimper.  Finally one day I realized I wasn’t doing it.

When I faced that beach picture again, that was STILL me.  Uh oh.  Then I jumped into the community and started pushing buttons, dialing knobs, checking out stories.  My motto was ‘no fear’.  I try to not repeat the same mistakes.

I Committed myself with the family.  Not an ‘I would like to lose weight comment’ but a forceful commitment.  An ‘ I am out here in the living room to exercise.  I am not waiting for you all to go to bed and yes I am doing push ups and lifting weights ‘ approach!


Did you find support with friends and family?


I was shocked that husband thought I was taking diet pills or starving.  He did some sort of negative intervention with me. ‘We are worried about you’ Do what?  I thought he would be ecstatic.  I got on scale for him.  I then got out wedding pictures.  Then I found the inner strength NOT to use this as an excuse to go graze in the fridge.  Looking back I understand he was worried about where our relationship and comfort zones were going.  He felt insecure in my affection for him. If I did not have the community I would have broken that day.  I was devastated.  Everyone on the blog was supportive, including YOU Roberta!  Thank you Bobbie, if I may call you that.


What was the hardest obstacle to conquer?


See above AND I  had to give up alcohol .  I love a glass of wine or a cold bottle of beer when I get home and plop onto the couch.  Something about drinking liquid grain or sugar leads to the desire to eat crunchy, salty fatty foods, or cake!  Why?  But I had to own this as well.  This also removed obstacle to working out.  Part of the new habit protocol. Come home, watch TV, play with kiddo, work out.  Best multitasking ever!


How did you feel about your final pictures?


Is that really me?


Is this a lifestyle you will continue?


That’s the good  and bad thing about habits.  They are hard to break.  The taper up program was also a game changer.  When I got here.  I knew how to stay here.  I am doing second contest VT 11 to get a better booty, smaller waist, better shoulder definition.


What is your best advice for other Venuses?


Do not be shy.  Out yourself.  Avoid the negative, and the negative will come.  I need to give credit to the author of the community quote ‘stumble forward’.  I made mistakes.  I used the positive affirmation of the others in the community when I was laid low. There is a roll model for every personal Venus.

Example:  my plot= I had a great body! I Had a very physical lifestyle.  I ended up with job of my dreams! great kids! lovely ranch. Lots of very bad, lots of very good.

I wanted to look like I used to, I saw Roberta’s pictures and knew it was possible for a 53 year old to get back in shape.

I included the before I looked bad photos, the beach photo and I will get photo shoot pix and send those with the essay tomorrow

Thank you Venus and my personal role model, Roberta.


You can find Bonnie active in our online community, always ready to give a helping hand.


A common theme with Venus women in their 50’s and beyond

There is a common theme here at The Venus Factor with women becoming successful in mid life.  We are finding that what the rest of the world says about us not being able to lose fat in mid life is not true.  Here are several more stories from our most successful women who found the same success as Valerie here at The Venus Factor:

Putting it all Together: VI Open Winner Naomi Sandoval

Lift Heavy for Longevity: Interview With Denise DeGrazia

Be in the Best Shape of Your Life at 50

The Girl Who Gets To Wear Cute Clothes Into Her 50′s

52 Year Old Cancer Survivor, Wife, and Mom of 5 Ditches Her Chocolate Pity Parties and Loses 100 Pounds

50 is the new 20!

Starting a Fitness Career at Age 51

Yet another mid life Venus throws out the fat pants and gets the body of a 20 year old!


Dear Bonnie,

I loved hearing about your owning your beach picture and finally making the commitment.  It was totally awesome how you cam full circle from the young woman as Miss Texas to even better that in mid life. It’s a very cool story and it’s an example for all women in mid life that we can age like a fine wine.

You are truly living the golden Venus life, maintaining and not rebounding, and living life to its fullest.  Thank you for sharing your story and for being such a bright beacon of light for many.  Your bright smile matches the bright light and passion that burns inside you.

All my best,


About Roberta Saum

Roberta is a 56 year young Elite Trainer at 1st Phorm. She achieved her fitness dream at age 50 here at The Venus Factor. She is a Fitness Consultant/Motivator for Hopelessly Romantic Media Productions, Venus Factor Coach, Product Developer, Brand Ambassador, Contest Administrator, Author, Editor in Chief for the Venus Factor, and 1st Phorm Ambassador.

More about Coach Roberta

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