A Day in the Life of a Venus; Roberta

Roberta at over 171 pounds on the beach and at the end of her transformation at 114 pounds.

I was over 171 pounds in the beach picture.  At the end of my transformation I weight 114 pounds.

Realizing you are obese and need to take action is daunting

It is a humbling experience to suddenly realize you reached obesity and know it’s time to take action. It’s daunting. Many of us in the Venus community remember that feeling all too well.  Even though Randy says he always loved me and I was always his beautiful wife even back then, we jokingly refer to the beach picture as “The beached whale picture”.

Randy likes to joke about it with me but he will never allow disparaging talk.  He is happy for my success, but he reminds me that I was always his pretty wife.  We were on a vacation together when he snapped that picture of my on a beach in Bermuda.

During my weight loss phase starting at over 197 pounds and getting down to 114 pounds I tended to eat around the same amount of calories nearly every day including weekends.

Now I like to look at calories over time (7 days, 30 days, and 90 days), but back then it was easier to think of it daily.  That worked for me then.

This is my current 30 day picture. There is a "vacation bump", some normal "eat up" days, and a stress eating day when I worked a 17 hour shift this last weekend, and some deficit days.

Now I like to look at my calories over time.  This is my current 30 day picture. There is a “vacation bump”, some normal “eat up” days, some stress eating days (one when I worked a 17 hour shift this last weekend), and some deficit days.

What I ate for weight loss

I was at my peak of obesity when I fanatically ate 100% organic food.  Yes even “clean” food, too much food is too much food. 171 pounds is obese for a 5’1″ female.  I also lost all my weight eating 100% organic food.  By organic I mean foods bought in a organic co-op in Nevada City, California called Briar Patch.  I only purchased grass feed meat and true free range poultry from a local farm, or wild caught fish.  Most of my produce was from local farms, as were the organic dairy products.  Because of the Anything Goes Diet I know you don’t need to eat all organic to lose weight, it’s just what I did at that time.

I started out NOT counting calories.  I simply ate on desert plates and ate what felt to me like very small portions.  I ate breakfast because I didn’t know any better, and I stopped eating at 7pm each evening.  I learned that if I wanted to lose weight I had to feel hunger and it was really hard.  Many nights I went to bed feeling hungry.

I ate three meals a day and usually one snack, sometimes two snacks.

After months of losing weight at a fairly steady rate I learned to eyeball the amount of food needed to make this consistently happen.  If I was hungry and ate my portions by 3pm or 5pm I realized I had to stop eating for the day if I wanted to keep progressing.  After stopping my eating early many times I suddenly realized that I was fasting for the first time in my life.

Fasting is something I thought I could never do. I called the success I bumbled upon “mini meals” and “mini fasts”.

I did step on the scale every morning.  I went for long periods of time where my weight stayed the same, then it randomly dropped.  It was a slow process that took about two years.


A typical breakfast for me was black tea with liquid French vanilla stevia or English toffee stevia and 2-3 ounces of meat previously cooked in the crock pot or baked.  I would take the meat out of the fridge and heat it with broth and spices, and pour it over tomato and avocado slices.

Sometimes I had a fried egg with tomato and avocado or hummus.  I might have oatmeal with a small dab of butter, a tsp of raw honey, cooked with sliced apple.

Lunch or Dinner

The rest of the day some combination of the following foods listed below.  My estimate is that it was around 1000 calories a day, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.

A typical lunch for me was 2-3 ounces of taco meat, organic free range chicken or beef that I had cooked myself, 1/2 ounce of raw organic cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato or salsa, sometimes some avocado, one or two sprouted corn tortillas (usually only one tortilla), fresh cilantro and fresh squeezed lemon or lime.

Sometimes my lunch might be chicken or beef or fish, 1/2 avocado, half an ounce of raw cheddar cheese, any combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, beets.  Sometimes I make it into a salad and instead of a tortilla I have cinnamon toast.  Sometimes my lunch might be a fried egg, hummus, veggies with lemon, and cinnamon toast.

Other foods that I drew from for lunch or dinner were:  Greek yogurt with vanilla stevia, cottage cheese, homemade hummus, celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, fresh steamed beets, one fried egg (cooked in a very small dab of butter or ghee), or an ounce or so of almonds, or 2-3 macadamia nuts.


I’m older so I take vitamin supplements which includes whole-food calcium/magnesium, vitamin D3 and K2.  That combo seems to take care of the various muscle cramps I get in my legs, back, chest, and stomach muscles.  I also take a zero calorie electrolyte powder mixed with water and flavored stevia.

Sometimes I would mix 2 ounces of yogurt, liquid vanilla stevia, and a couple tablespoons of milled chia fiber replacement because I needed more fiber.  That seemed to be really satisfying.

I take a sports vitamin with Glucosamine, MSN, and Chondroitin for the arthritis in my hips.

My favorite carbs

An organic sprouted corn tortilla or flour tortilla,  oatmeal with 1 tbs raw honey.  Occasionally I would have an apple or watermelon.  My favorite treat was one slice of sourdough bread toasted with a very small dab of raw butter, a small dab of raw honey, and sprinkled with cinnamon.


For a snack if I needed it:

  • celery and not more than one ounce raw cheddar cheese
  • carrots and not more than four tablespoons hummus
  • Greek yogurt and vanilla stevia
  • Any green vegetable with fresh squeezed lemon and garlic
  • A fried egg and some hummus
  • hard boiled egg
  • string cheese and 2-3 macadamia nuts
  • Watermelon, apple, pear, nectarine, or peach
  • one ounce of almonds

My favorite treat was a Starbucks oatmeal cookie

Sometimes if I felt I needed a treat I would have just protein and veggies for lunch, maybe a taco salad without the tortilla, and stop by at Starbucks for an oatmeal cookie and coffee before going to the gym.


I usually drink over a gallon of water a day because it makes me feel good and wards off headaches. I drink a lot of green tea and herbal tea all day with plain powdered stevia.

Eat Stop Eat

Once I learned about Eat Stop Eat I prolonged my 15-17 hour fasts into a couple of 24 hour fasts a week.  I started skipping breakfast and then was able to eat later in the day.  I still ate the same foods.


Once I started Venus workouts I did them nearly every day.  I only take days off when I feel I need the rest or I have overall fatigue, being sore never stopped me.  I also ran 3-5 miles nearly every day, only taking days off when I was too fatigued or my legs were too sore from the Venus workouts.  I always put running in 2nd place once I started Venus;  lift first, then run.

My favorite food brands

  • Food for Life sprouted Corn tortillas
  • Truckee Sourdough Company sourdough bread
  • Bob’s Red Mill oatmeal
  • Sweetleaf liquid flavored stevia or plain powdered stevia
  • Tazo Awake black tea
  • Numi Emperor’s Puerh organic black tea blend
  • Revolution Acai green tea
  • Tazo organic spicy ginger tea
  • Local farm meat, poultry, and dairy
  • Homemade hummus I bought organic chick peas which I soaked, cooked, and blended at home.

I’m now in the “taper” part of The Reverse Taper Diet

My diet evolved a little over time and tends to shift.  I started tracking my calories after I reached my goal and was in maintenance.  Like most people I floundered a bit at the beginning of maintenance.  I found I couldn’t simply “eat less” like I could when I was losing weight. I had truly entered the “taper” part of the Reverse Taper Diet.

Some sample menu’s from my weight loss phase

Ideas and menu’s from other successful Venus’s

Several other successful Venus ladies have said they would share what worked for them so we will be sharing more soon.  If you are a previous contest winner, or a successful “shadow contest” Venus and you have something you think would be helpful feel free to email me.

For today we have Eri who has a little bit to share:

Eri is a beautiful lady who shadowed one of our recent contests, she got down to her ideal metrics, and now she is successfully learning to maintain.

Eri is a beautiful Venus lady who shadowed one of our recent contests.  She got down to her ideal metrics and now she is successfully learning to maintain.

Eri’s menu

1000 calore day:
breakfast:  Coffee and toast (80 calories)
Lunch: 1 cup white rice (242 calories), 2 chicken tenders (220 calories), raw veggie stick (60 calories)
Dinner: tilapia (100 calories), 1 tsp. olive oil (100 calories), 1 cup rice (242 calalories)
Snack: sugar free cocoa (25 calories), 2-3 sugar free candy (10 calories)

1200 calorie day:
The same as 1000 calorie day plus ONE the following:
Cream cheese Danish (200 calories)
Or Avocado (200 calories)
Or 1/4 cup Mixed nuts (190 calories)

1500 calorie day:
The same as 1200 calorie day PLUS
2 Eggs (150 calories)
1/2 Avocado (150 calories)
1/4 cup Mixed nuts (190 calories)


Until next time, make good choices.

-Ro (roberta.saum@gmail.com)

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

Facebook comments:


  1. Carla Mar Hill says:

    What a terrific article, Roberta! It is so well written and so thorough. I was just searching for some sample menus because I feel it is time to get back to basics and also to try some new foods, so this is perfect. I love your “Beached Whale” picture, too. Thank you so much for sharing yourself so honestly. You are beautiful inside and out, and even when you are wearing your Beached Whale, um… “costume”. 🙂

    And here is a huge shout out to the Beautiful Eri. What an amazing picture and I can’t think of any woman on earth who wouldn’t want to look just like her. She is an inspiration to all. Thank you, Eri for the contribution to this article and for encouraging and inspiring us every day!

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