Venus Veteran Naomi Maintaining Awesome into her 50’s

Naomi Before Venus and After 2014

Naomi is a veteran Venus who has been with Venus since the beginning in 2010. She successfully transformed her body and has maintained, and even improved her physique over the past 5 years as she progressed into her 50’s!

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

“Hi! I’m Naomi Sandoval. I live in the USA but I’m not fat. I really do look like this photo. It’s crazy. Sometimes I pinch myself to make sure it’s true! I grew up during the 1970s when being fat was rare. It wasn’t rare in my family though. We all accepted that once we became adults, we’d get fat.

I skirted this “inevitability” thanks to the 1980s gym bug. I used exercise to stay ahead of weight gain. Until my mid-30s, I worked out 5 nights a week for 1-2 hours and was a weekend warrior doing whitewater C1 slalom paddling on rivers all up and down the east coast. It was a fun time for sure! I was also happy to preach to anyone about my way of life. Funny how my coworkers, all parents, didn’t really look too interested!

Unfortunately, this plan requires that you stick with it; eating more than you burn is going to lead to weight gain. There isn’t any magic ticket. I definitely fell prey to the work it off mentality.

When I became a mom, gym time came screeching to a halt and weekend warrior exploits became a fond memory.

Like most people, I found becoming a parent so time-consuming that I was not able to stay consistent with my workouts and I fell into the trap of believing that the weight gain was a result of pregnancy. I was told to love and accept my new body and be grateful for what it had given me.

Yet every morning, before I got out of bed, I felt my bloated flabby middle and wondered how I’d gotten like this. I’d remember what leanness felt like and do some magical thinking that today would be the day I’d wake up and find out this had all been a bad dream and I was still lean and trim as I’d ever been.

I’ll grant you that having small children is all consuming and is no time for personal growth. But that doesn’t do anything to temper the niggling feelings of dissatisfaction when you see this in the mirror.

If you look at many of my before photos, I’m slumping because I was constantly exhausted and in pain and didn’t even have the strength to sit properly, my smile is not exactly dazzling.

I wish I’d known then that eating less doesn’t take up any time! Heck, not eating at all once or twice a week is a huge time saver! And who doesn’t enjoy the added bonus of saving money on the cost of food not purchased! Letting go of the mythical 2000 calories a day I thought I got to eat (which did require some mourning, I’ll grant you) and finding out how much I actually needed to maintain and how much I needed to eat to reduce fat was like discovering the Secret to Life, the Universe and Everything! I’d become immobilized because I assumed if it took years to put the weight on, it followed that it took years to take it off. In actual fact, the bulk of my weight came off at about a pound per week. Towards the very end, that rate slowed to about ½ pound per week or less, which is excellent progress to avoid fat loss rebounds upon hitting the goal. After all, fat loss does require focus and effort. There’s no need to risk needing to do it all again or worse, rebounding and concluding that diets don’t work or your metabolism is broken!

The other piece of my journey was becoming aware of brilliant Venus Index ratio research as outlined in the Venus Index Workout program. Simply learning what was still not quite ideal about my shape and how to continue to make improvements has made all the difference. Achieving the ideal metrics has allowed me to finally present my body with full confidence.

A most wonderful thing happened to my family after my transformation. My husband jumped on board too! I won’t lie to you. It’s not possible to change your partner nor force them to do something they are not ready and willing to do. I’ll share a little secret with you should you find yourself in the same situation.

There are free podcasts! All the research, all the experiences of the winners, it’s all in there. So all you have to do is pop one in while you’re in the car together or doing dishes and let John’s soothing voice wash over your unsuspecting partner. I’m telling you, this stuff is pure gold! And when you’re ready to get out of The Matrix, get the Uncensored Podcasts.

Happy Bonus Results of Getting Lean and Strong

Pain management. Gone are the expensive supplements for joint pain. So long as I don’t get sedentary, I rarely suffer any neck or back pain and now these are caused by occasional lapses in correct movement form. My posture is easier to maintain when my muscles are strong and developed in a balanced fashion as per the Venus Index Program

Energy. It’s a funny thing about working out. Expended energy begets bonus energy for every day living.

Strength. Before it was a job to do the most basic of things like get on and off the toilet or squat down and get something from the floor.

Success spillover. Due to the Attitude of Accomplishment from following simple programs and seeing consistent results, other areas of my life fall into place.

Family success spillover. We are now all exercising consistently and have improved our body fat levels. Through leading by example, the family lifestyle of health just is. There is no nagging nor persuading the kids to move and they understand about enjoying treats, just not every day.

Sleep. There is nothing like being healthy, movement and the feeling of accomplishment to facilitate healthy sleep.

Mental focus. Gone are the binge induced foggy afternoons. The losing the thread of the conversation.

I come from a time when it was not the norm to be fat. I see us winding up in wheelchairs like in the movie Wall-E and far sooner than we all think. I would like to be the touchstone you can believe in as you find your way on your own journey to your best self. I want us to reverse this trend and return to being lean. As with all growth, you must take responsibility for your journey. I am here to offer experience, wisdom and motivation. You do the rest.


Get in touch with me:

My WebSite where I blog regularly

My FaceBook Page – Naomi Rules

My Instagram Page

Here is my Venus Index community profile.

My first interview with John after winning the Open Level I Contest

My second interview with John after placing in the Open Level II Contest”

Naomi and John Barban

Naomi and John Barban at an exercise video shoot


Naomi Before Venus and After 2012

Naomi Before Venus and After in 2012


Naomi before and after Venus through the years

Naomi before and after Venus through the years

Some pro tips from Naomi

  • Put your health first
  • Realize that you can improve your health at any point
  • Find a sustainable look for your lifestyle
  • Explore nutrition and fitness, you can always learn more


Naomi Maintenance Feb 2016

Naomi Maintenance Feb 2016


Naomi Maintenance April 2016

Naomi Maintenance April 2016


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

Venus Body Sculpting Tips from Coach Roberta

FRAME-Sculpting mindset tips

What are some mindset tips for sculpting your Venus body?

I could write a book on it, but today I’ll stick to this one aspect. These were my thoughts recently my all female FaceBook support group:

For many of you, you need to keep this VISION that there is an amazing YOU inside, waiting to be chiseled by your own hard work. You have your own unique fit and beautiful shape.

Focus on nutrition to chisel away the body fat.

Focus on resistance training for chiseling and building the beautiful Venus lean body mass.

Most of us don’t get to know what it is until we get there.

We can use others as an example, I know now I’m often an example. But we are never the other person. If we think we will be just like the example and we set our sites on that we’ll be disappointed.

Even me. When I saw the picture of myself in the mirror that I posted recently, the ab picture at the Sheriff’s department, it reminded me of my own battles with my own image.

I have a hernia right there in the middle and it bothers some people, it doesn’t hurt and the doctor says leave it. I never knew I had it because it doesn’t hurt and it never showed until the fat was chiseled away.

Also, I don’t really have a six pack abs like others. It’s my own unique definition. It is not from lack of work or lack of fat loss. It just is what it is.

So my point is; Keep that VISION of your own beauty beneath all the sculpting. Your own sculpture will be unique.

For me, I just need to be happy with what I have. I have had to work on a “happiness mentality” with my own body just like most females. And yes it’s a constant mental work I will have to continue for life as the seasons ebb and flow.

We have to put the same amount of “work” in on our own perceptions and happiness, just like gym time, just like nutrition planning.

It’s all part of the lifestyle package.

This is how we do it!!


Never give up
Never settle
Live your dream

Happy Friday!

-Coach Roberta

How do you BUILD your own MOTIVATION?

Gold Run Sunset Sept 23 2015 FRAMED

Motivation happens when you STEP into it and then feed it.

You can’t feed your own momentum with negative thoughts.

And you can’t feed it with positive thoughts without ACTION first.

The other persons success that you might admire does not give it enough fuel.

You must create your own momentum.

By taking steps.

By taking action.

And the focus on your own process and your own momentum with those positive thoughts.

You have to have the end goal in sight, but even it is not enough.

You have to EMBRACE the process.

You have to BUILD the constant reminders in your mind, the mnemonics, of why you make those hard little choices throughout each day.

Make those choices your daily victories.

Make each day a victory in your mind then.

Have a string of daily victories.

And ride each victory to the next.

Constantly tuning out the negative from yourself and others.

What action will you take today?
What step will you take today?

To build your own motivation.


Never give up
Never settle
Live your dream

-Coach Roberta

Elizabeth Found Her Perfect Fit With Venus

This picture says it all.

Elizabeth had struggled with her weight for so long that she wondered if it was even possible to be happy in her own skin.  Determined to be a positive role model for her daughter she had tried other diets and fitness programs, but didn’t find her perfect fit until she stumbled on a Venus ad.  Within weeks her clothes were looser and she was on her way.



“I am 38 years old and I never thought I could ever be slim. I have struggled with my weight all my life. One of my childhood memories is of a boy saying that I looked like I was pregnant. In the last 2 years my weight seemed to balloon up and I could no longer fit into 90% of my clothes. I was very discouraged but also not hopeful since I had tried SO many diets and fitness programs. Some of these helped somewhat, but they were so restrictive they did not fit into my lifestyle. Others were very structured but even though I put in so much effort, I did not see any significant results. I had my thyroid issues corrected, but my weight problem still did not change, as I expected it would. My 6 year old daughter made the comment that, “Mommy is a little bit chubby”. That really upset me, because I want to be a positive role model for her. I wanted to overcome this issue in my life so that hopefully she will not struggle with negative body image and weight issues. But I did not know how to lose the weight unless I starved myself. It was only a few weeks later that I came across a Venus Factor advertisement online. I felt like it was an answer to prayer! I immediately started to lose weight with Venus in April 2014. In less than a week my clothes started to feel looser. I found many tools for losing weight that I can use according my needs and my social calendar. This is what I love most about Venus: it is 100% flexible. I live in Asia, where the constant social events are all about food, and to not eat is culturally offensive. In the past I did not know how to navigate this. Now I participate in eating with everyone and I am still losing weight. The concept of budgeting my calories makes a lot of sense to me. I budget my money – why wouldn’t I count and budget my calories as well? When I started the VT12 Contest, I had a pair of size 12 grey jeans that were way too tight for me. I could not even do up the button. Now, just 12 weeks later, those jeans are too big for me and I need to replace them with a smaller size. I am so happy. For the first time in YEARS I feel comfortable and confident in my own skin. I am so, so thankful for the Venus program and what it has done for me.”


You can listen to Elizabeth’s story here:




Avoid Discouragement and Gain Your Best Physique Ever

Jenny Weaks and John Barban

Jenny Weaks and John Barban


As we move into the final stretch of the Venus Transformation Contest VT-10 some of you have probably learned a few things; such as we are all human, we all stumble forward, and the results of our work dramatically delay the consistent daily efforts.

John talks about the delayed rewards in his interview with our VT-9 first place winner Michelle Hahn.  The interview is motivating and well worth the listen.

Here are some tips for staying on track during the final home stretch as well as life long strategies to keep your shape:


  •       Remember what it feels like to eat too much food.
  •       Remember what it feels like to eat at a deficit.
  •       Remember what it feels like to eat just the right amount.
  •       Admit that you must stay aware of food intake for life if you want to keep your shape.  It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself, just stay aware.
  •       Not gaining weight for a period of time is always a WIN.
  •      With exercise it’s okay to make a grand final push during the last stretch, but after that keep workouts fun and sustainable to avoid burnout.
  •       Focus on eating vegetables; lean protein, and then carbs and fat will generally fall into place.
  •      Treat your food intake like a financial budget.  When we store extra fat it’s like a mortgage debt, it will stay there and it will accumulate unless we make payments.
  •      Don’t fall pray to “hormone mania” and broken metabolism theories (if you are in doubt make a visit to your doctor). For the most part we gain fat as we get older because we have more time to accumulate “debt” without realizing we need to take action.
  •        Exercise does very little to lose fat.  Of course we burn some, but it’s not significant except for very lean athletes (especially males).
  •        It’s okay to skip any meal you want, even breakfast. There is no scientific evidence to prove you need breakfast. Breakfast food companies mainly propagate the myth that you need breakfast.  Breakfast can be whatever food you want, at whatever time you want, sometime after waking.
  •        Even if exercise doesn’t burn as much as everyone thought, of course it improves your health.  Just a little every day is beneficial, even just 20 minutes.
  •        Too much strenuous exercise is counter productive to fat loss because it makes you fatigued, lethargic, and extra hungry due to the stress it’s placed on your body.  Small bursts of any activity you enjoy is great, and just enough resistance training to maintain health and bone density.
  •        Everyone does a “fast” when they sleep at night. So a trick to eating a bit less is to prolong the nightly fast either by eating dinner early then no snacking or no more eating in the evening, or skipping breakfast and just having some coffee instead.  This creates a shorter sort of “eating window” which helps many people stay in budget.
  •       Fasting isn’t for everyone, but if it works for you that is okay too. People have been fasting since the beginning of human kind, for spiritual and religious purposes and also for survival when we were merely hunter/gatherers.
  •        It’s okay to feel hungry sometimes when you are attempting to lose fat, it won’t kill you, and in fact it may be a necessary part of “paying off the fat debt”.
  •        It doesn’t matter when you eat or don’t eat; all that matters is the cumulative daily calories over time.


One key thing to remember is that your day-to-day work, effort, and choices are not very exciting at all.  The excitement comes much later, it’s very delayed, and there is not much instant gratification in the actual process.  If you can’t be patient and just keep going you will get discouraged.

To avoid discouragement focus on the process and not the results.  Rejoice in healthy new eating habits that stick, healthy new workout habits that stick, enjoyment of your new healthier lifestyle, and all the other positive things that come along in the process (there are many!)

Before you know it the results will be there and will catch you by surprise and you will have the best physique ever.

It will be just like Jenny who is happy with her physique now in her 40’s compared to any other time in her life. She also learned that you can’t out work too much food. She learned to be patient and she got what she always wanted, in fact even in her 40’s she’s got a physique a teenager would die for.

Jenny is one of our Venus coaches.  She answers questions in the forum and she is our expert on exercise form all keeps all of our exercise documentation up to date.  We will all see and hear more about Jenny very soon. There are new and exciting developments in the works.  It’s something we can all look forward to.

And of course we all very much look forward to seeing the results of VT-10 in just a few short weeks.

The deadline for VT-10 final entries will be April 14, 2014.  There will be more updates on this in email soon.

Keep your eye on the prize.


You can find me inside the community here:  RobertaSaum

What equipment do you need for the Venus Factor Workout?


Shannon is a young mom who lost 50 pounds and is in the best shape of her life.

Shannon is a young mom who lost 50 pounds
and is in the best shape of her life.

The Venus Factor workout can be done at home, or at a gym



The workout is designed for all levels; beginners to advanced

The beginner workout is one hour for three days a week.

If you are a beginner and new to exercise you can break up the sessions.  For example you can do one set of everything and that would take 20 minutes a day.

Everyone starts somewhere. All that matters is that you start and then build up your strength from there.  You can also modify exercises to your own level, you can do pushups against a counter until you build strength, or start them on your knees.

No matter what your level you use the correct size dumbbell weights for you and then work your way up.  It does not matter what weights someone else uses.  All that matters is that you start at your own level and build your own body and your own strength.

Sometimes when you are just starting you can do the exercises with no weights, and you can hang onto something to help keep your balance if you need to until you build up strength.

What you will need:

  • Dumbbells; 1 pound up to 25 pounds
  • Stability ball
  • Sturdy step up block
  • Sturdy flat bench


  • Kettle bells
  • Ab wheel
  • Barbell
  • E-Z curl bar


Shannon is one of our veteran Venuses who has lost weight and also maintained her new shape with the Venus Factor for several years now.  She recently started a thread in our online community explaining the workout equipment she purchased for her home.

Here is more information regarding our workouts:

What about doing other workouts along with the Venus workouts?

We encourage you to do all the exercise you enjoy.  The three day a week Venus workouts are perfect cross training for many activities.  I have found that the Venus workouts improved my running performance.  Recently I found that my strength gained with the Venus Factor workouts were put to the test.

The Venus workout is designed for women to improve the female physique. It also has the added benefit (like any other lifting routine) to improve bone density, health, strength, endurance, and functionality.  For many women other more cardio intense workouts might cause extra fatigue, stress, and hunger.

I described a recent workout experience where I experienced increased hunger and inflammation, and I’ve also experienced “compensating for the increased energy expenditure by being less active throughout the rest of the day” when I was training for marathons and ultra marathons.

If your goal is to lose fat, the longer more intense cardio workouts might contradict that goal.


Shannon’s in-home gym setup

1.Dumbbells-Some people like adjustable ones. I do too, but I prefer something like a PowerBlock or Bowflex adjustable DB set because I don’t like changing weights on and off a bar with clips when super-setting two exercises back to back. If you want to make it easiest without any need to switch, get solid dumbbells of varying sizes. I would not buy anything smaller than a 5 unless you are totally new to working out. You will outgrow 2’s and 3’s very quickly.

Hopefully you have some idea where to start. If you are totally new, maybe 5’s, 8’s, 10’s, 12’s? For back and chest exercises, you may need to go heavier. As you need more, you can buy heavier DB sets. If you have a husband who also works out, you may end up with quite a lot of DBs. We eventually bought a rack ($200) after keeping them on an old coffee table for years! This is in no way required but if you end up buying a set off craigslist, I’ve noticed people selling sets with racks included, it’s a nice to have for organization.

Shannon's at home dumbbell rack

Shannon’s in-home dumbbell rack 


Some kind of step or bench for step-ups. An aerobic bench step, or a basic but stable weight bench. The bench will also be useful for chest presses and one-arm rows and other exercises. If you don’t have a bench, you can step up onto something stable like a bottom stair, use a yoga mat for chest presses, and rest your hand on a chair for one-arm rows. Keep in mind at the highest, the highest step you use should probably be about knee height for you (I remember Denise saying that at one point and it definitely works much better for me not to try to step too high.) So while my husband uses the flat bench we have, I use a shorter bench for step-ups.

3. Stability ball. These are pretty cheap and around new years you can pick one up for under $10. They look to be around $20 on Amazon. Read reviews as I’ve found some of the pumps can be less than durable. Be sure to get one that is appropriate for your height, they will say a certain size “For heights 5′ to 5’5”, etc. And never stand on one. One of our stability balls is blue and visible in one of the pictures.

If you are getting into the work out at home thing, as we have been doing over the past 13 years, you can accumulate quite a bit of stuff making your home workout area just as good as any gym. Mind you, we haven’t paid for a gym membership in over 13 years…nor have we used this equipment consistently all the time we’ve had it, but have been using most of it very consistently for about 4 years now.

We have a half cage squat rack, which my husband Brian is using for floor bench presses in this picture. It cost us maybe $400 for the cage + barbell weights over 10 years ago. It has a pulldown attachment and seated row attachment and you can use it for barbell squats, bench presses with a bench, use the bar for inverted rows or elevated push-ups, bent over rows, and various other barbell exercises.

We have a half cage squat rack, which my husband Brian is using for floor bench presses

We have a half cage squat rack, which my husband Brian is using for floor bench presses.

To the right of the cage, you can see the PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells on a stand that we picked up used off Craigslist for a total of $150 (new PowerBlock DBs + stand are $800 total on Amazon).

In the following picture you can see our poor neglected elliptical and upright bike. They don’t get a lot of use…To the right is a blue incline bench we picked up off Craigslist for $75. It goes from sitting straight up (I use it for step-ups at this height as it’s perfect for me at 5’4.5″) to pretty far inclined for seated incline presses, curls, etc.

Our poor neglected elliptical and upright bike. They don't get a lot of use...To the right is a blue incline bench.

Our poor neglected elliptical and upright bike. They don’t get a lot of use…To the right is a blue incline bench.

Finally, a flat bench we picked up for $50. Technically it’s an ab bench but we just use it as a flat bench for various exercises. Brian uses it for step-ups as he’s taller than me (5’10”).

 Technically it's an ab bench but we just use it as a flat bench for various exercises..

Technically it’s an ab bench but we just use it as a flat bench for various exercises.

We also have a doorway pull-up bar with resistance bands I’ve used for assistance when working up to these. Bands called FitCords (you can get them on Amazon) work well, and you can search band assisted pull-up on Youtube for a video of how to do pull-ups with bands. We also have a TRX which I use occasionally for push-ups and inverted rows and a kettlestack handle which allows you to use standard weight plates to make kettlebells of various sizes depending on your needs. I don’t do much with those right now but they’re good for variety.

Anyhow, hope that is helpful to give you a vision of what you can do at home given some space and investment! Gym memberships vary it seems from $10 a month to higher. If you prefer working out at home and have a room or half a large room to dedicate to it, you can definitely apply that membership money instead to giving yourself a nice workout area. The mirrors we have are inexpensive ones we bought and mounted, and some are mirrored plastic film stretched on frames. I like having plenty of mirrors around for checking my form and admiring my Venus body.

Happy workouts, all!


Shannon’s Venus online profile


About her home gym Shannon says “Working out at home can provide you great flexibility, especially if you have kids. For me, the barrier of getting to the gym was just too high when I started back to working out regularly in mid-2009, and I was pretty unhappy with my body such that I would not have felt good about getting into workout clothes in a new gym environment. With my home gym, I could get up early, grab some coffee, stumble down the hall and get going without the need to pack or get into a car, etc. It’s been a life saver for me!”

I’ve found I mostly like to go to a gym but I’m also setup to workout at home.  Sometimes we get snowed in and it’s nice to have both options.

So what about you? Do you workout at home are at the gym?  There are pro’s and con’s.  We would love to hear your comments.


The scale does not matter when you have a stunning female shape! Uncensored podcast

Carla has a stunning shape!

Carla has a stunning shape!
It is a perfect Venus Ideal shape which she got using Venus Factor.
You can have your own perfect ideal shape here too!


In today’s uncensored podcast John and Brad talk about the Venus Index Ideal shape, why it matters more than the body weight scale, and when it’s time to ditch the scale.  The body weight scale is a necessary tool when you need to take corrective action for being over weight, but once you get to a healthy body weight – typically for females that might be 30% body fat or less, it is not so useful as a tool.  In fact, it might be hindering your progress.

Proportions and shape matter more than the numbers.  It is the look that is stunning, not the number.  See that picture of Carla? It does not matter what she weighs or what size clothes she wears.  She happens to have the Venus Ideal measurements and shape.  Some of us have our best shape and the measurements don’t EXACTLY match the ideal – but they are close, and the look and proportions are still stunning.

We all have our unique gifts regarding our shape, and everyone can have a chance to achieve their best and most stunning look.  When you do, the measurements will be very close to the Venus Ideal.

I hope you enjoy the podcast as much as I did.  John and Brad plan to do more of these podcasts specifically for us ladies and I can’t wait to hear what they have for us in the coming year.


IMMERSION Clients May Login and Download Podcast Here

(If you are using Venus Index Mobile, go to the left menu -> My products -> right menu -> Uncensored Season 3 -> enjoy, you can assign star to add it into Favorites for easier access next time, if you don’t have access to Uncensored Podcasts you can purchase Immersion Package inside the App Shop)

Not a Venus Index IMMERSION client? Click here to find out more…



Have Venus, Will Run

Running and Venus


An annual family tradition

I ran my second ever half marathon this past weekend in Houston, TX. It has become an annual family tradition- which I would have thought was crazy and unattainable before I got fit with Venus. It is great to have a fit family but I have never been a fan of running. I have struggled with asthma my whole life and running tended to set it off, so I generally avoided it. I did learn to enjoy lifting weights thanks to Venus though. So when the whole family decided in 2012 to run a half marathon together, I figured I could do it too since I had made an incredible transformation during VT5. So we signed up.

The race expo is heaven for a fitness junkie

The race expo is heaven for a fitness junkie

My first attempt at running a half marathon

I trained for the 2013 Chevron Houston Half Marathon using a typical fourteen week prep schedule which involved cutting way back on lifting to make time for two shorter runs a week and one long run. I got so burned out. I started dreading my runs.


There was an added benefit to all the running. My asthma started to lessen over the next few weeks of training; then it disappeared all together. My doctor did a lung function test when I told him about the change. The results were stunning. All the running had increased my vital lung capacity to the point that it basically compensated for my asthma. We were both pleased by the outcome though surprised.


The higher levels of running did cause an unintended consequence. My hunger levels went through the roof. Although I was just maintaining my physique at that point, the hunger levels were difficult to deal with. I felt like I was constantly restraining myself just to maintain.


But the training was effective. Other than a brief spell of tendonitis that put me out for a couple of weeks, I did very well in the race much to everyone’s surprise- including me. I ran it in two hours and nine minutes.

After shocks

I was done with everything running-related after the race last January. I quit running for about six months and only lifted six days a week. No cardio whatsoever of any kind. I just could not make myself run, or do any cardio for that matter. I just wanted to lift so that is what I did. However, my asthma started to return- although it was better than before.

Best part of the race is what to wear!

Best part of the race is what to wear!

A new plan

About six months into my cardio ban, we found out in June 2013 that we were selected to run in January 2014 half marathon via the race lottery. I knew that I had to do something different this year because my burnout from the previous year was not good.  I decided that I would continue lifting as much as possible. What fit my schedule and my mood was to lift 5 days a week- Monday through Friday. Then on Saturdays, I would do one long run. I scaled my runs up slowly at a mile a week, then dropped it back right before the race.  Within a few weeks of resuming running, my asthma subsided again. My hunger was manageable. I had found my happy place.

My husband & I after the half

My husband & I after the half

I had my doubts with this new plan though. I was honestly just expecting to just finish. Maybe keep my time from the year before (2:09), or maybe slightly slower.  I just really wanted to beat my husband! I knew that lifting weights was beneficial to runners because Coach John had discussed it in both Roberta and Laura’s podcasts.

Race Weekend

On Saturday, we ran a 5K. I blew my previous 5K personal record out of the water, running it in 26:05. Almost a minute faster that my previous PR! And the funny thing was that I pushed it, but tried to hold back so that I would not be sore for the half marathon the next morning.

My running partner & I before the 5K

My running partner & I before the 5K

At that point, I knew if I set my mind to it- I could totally finish the half in under two hours. And so I made a personal goal.

The cool thing is that I beat my previous time by almost 13 minutes, and am proud to say my time was below 2 hours. One hour and fifty six minutes (1:56) to be exact. I even beat my husband and the rest of our family!

Weight lifting makes better runners

Coach John and Liss

Coach John and Liss

After the race, I was so elated and had to let Coach John know! He was happy for me and said that, “Runners don’t get that a stronger muscle has more endurance. They just run and neglect other types of conditioning.” I KNEW this in my head.  John discussed it in detail in Roberta’s podcast. It all made sense.


The best part is that I think I might actually enjoy running now. Even though there is no race looming in the future, I plan to keep my lifting and running schedule the same. My hunger is manageable. My asthma is non-existent once again. I found my “for now” happy place!



Fourteen Years in the Gym and It Was Finally Venus That Gave Jessica the Shape She Always Wanted

Today we are honored to listen to Jessica Young Carbonel who placed sixth in the Eighth Venus Index Transformation Contest.

She is the happiest and most comfortable with herself than she has ever been.

She is the happiest and most comfortable with herself than she has ever been.


When she saw her before pictures she knew she was going to have to work at this.  She is very happy with the results.

When she saw her before pictures she knew she was going to have to work at this. She is very happy with the results.


Jessica found Venus changed her body and she felt the difference in the exercises.

Jessica found Venus changed her body and she felt the difference in the exercises.


Read what Jessica wrote about her experience with the Venus Factor:

My name is Jessica Young Carbonel. I am 27 years old and have worked/ been in a gym since I was 13 years old. For  the first time in 14 years that I’ve been able to say with confidence that I am happy with my lifestyle. Not just my  weight, my sizes, the way I feel but my entire life. My workouts have helped me and made a total difference in my  physique. Family have referenced my husband and I as “Models” and my jaw dropped!

I have adapted and stuck with the Adonis Workout program since January of 2013. I started with my husband who would  not stop playing podcasts and reading books called “Eat Stop Eat. ” Once I started I only stopped once when I  pinched a nerve from lack of stretching… (my fault I TOTALLY know better!)

My family has commented the most on my physique. For the first time I am buying sizes 0-4 when I have consistently  bought 8-12 ALL MY LIFE. I feel fantastic and am so motivated to keep up my work outs and my new lifestyle. I did  not utilize much of the forum/ community this time around but my husband and I are already planning on participating  in the next contest! Thank you for the introduction and the commitment for this new relationship. I am a devoted and  loyal follower!


The Venus Systems gave Jessica a complete lifestyle change, and she loves it.

The Venus Systems gave Jessica a complete lifestyle change, and she loves it.


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

Ask Nicola; What Can You Do About Distorted Body Image?

We all deal with distorted body image to some extent.

We all deal with distorted body image to some extent.

We all deal with distorted body image to some extent.  I’ve found that opening up to friends about it really helps as well as listening to how others I trust view me.  It all gets better over time.   We just keep working on being the best we can be; mind, body, and spirit.


What can you do about having a distorted body image?

  • Do we all struggle with distorted body image to some extent?
  • Will talking about how you feel help?
  • Is it possible for you remove the emotional baggage associated with your body?
  • You can turn this into a positive mindset that works for you.
  • Find your own positive, self loving, self talk that is motivating for you.
  • Opening up to others can help.


Nicola and John talk about what to do to about having a distorted body image.

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:

  Adam Lane