The Deadline for VT17 is in TWO WEEKS. Are you ready?

The deadline to get your before and after pictures in is August 1st at midnight Eastern Time.

Contest Rules and Regulations

How to enter a Venus Contest

Check Out the Previous Contests


Most of the winners had no idea how far they came and some almost didn’t finish. So don’t let your own mind stop you from finishing.  If you need some help deciding what to do please feel free to email me  You are not alone, although the process feels lonely sometimes.


Remember this is a lifestyle you want to keep.  The contest is merely a stop along the tracks.


Here’s a video of of many Venus Veterans having fun (except the handsome young man G’Angelo  in the first clip), some are previous winners and all the rest are Venus ladies who never entered the contest. Not everyone needs or wants to enter a contest. It’s not a requirement to have a Golden Venus Life!


If it’s something you want to do, go for it!

We are here for you.

-Coach Roberta


The 2016 Venus Transformation Contest Schedule:

  • VT16:   Start January 11 – End April 11

  • VT17:   Start May 2 – End August 1

  • VT18:   Start August 22 – End November 21

What does it feel like to be a 53 year old Figure Competitor?

The best part for me was showing John this picture and his reaction was "Holy smokes! Ro you look fabulous!" That means more to me than any trophy!

The best part for me was showing John this picture and his reaction “Holy smokes! Ro you look fabulous!” That means more to me than any trophy!


Today we are exactly 3 weeks out from the Venus Transformation VT13 deadline. The last day of this contest will be April 13th.

Many Venus ladies have been asking about my recent experience with a fitness competition so I figured this would be a good time to write about that. It’s a good time to discuss how to prepare for your final photographs for the current contest as you will need to plan ahead.


What made me decide to do a fitness competition?

I found Coach Miles though my friend Lauren Monday. Lauren is the model who helped me with a photo shoot for the final pictures I submitted for Venus Transformation contest #4.

Lauren is a bikini model and now a bikini competitor with several shows under her belt.

I saw Lauren’s posts with Miles on Facebook. I decided it would be fun to try something new so I gave Miles a call. I had no intention of competing in a fitness show but I found myself surrounded by other fitness competitors who had a lot of energy. I quickly made friends and was easily accepted into the group. It didn’t take long for my friends and Miles to convince me to join in the fun and try to compete as a masters figure competitor.

We decided on the Sacramento Pro Show in November 2014. I’m 54 now, but I was still 53 back in November last year.

I increased my workout sessions with Miles and got started with some posing practice.

I found posing practice to be harder than working out. As Miles knows I LOVE to workout, and I love to work hard. I quickly learned that posing was going to require many hours of practice at home, which I did.


Here's a picture of me with coach Miles just last week. Even though I don't plan to compete again, I still train with Miles once a week to "keep my head in the game".

Here’s a picture of me with coach Miles just last week. Even though I don’t plan to compete again, I still train with Miles once a week to “keep my head in the game”.


What changed with my diet?

Diet was really fun because I already knew what to do. Miles taught me to get a little more protein in with egg whites and protein powder. I already knew how to diet with Venus by using lean meat, vegetables, and just enough healthy carbs for energy. I taught Miles about Eat Stop Eat and working out fasted and we quickly became a dynamic team. Those principles helped Miles tweak his own plan and keep his fitness goals.

Miles began helping his other clients with the Eat Stop Eat principles and it was pretty exciting to watch others achieve better success by using what I had learned from Brad Pilon and John Barban. It’s great to see others ditching the fitness myths regarding when to eat and how often.

Miles taught me to get more protein in with the same amount of calories. I hadn’t thought of using egg whites and it for some reason it was a hard concept for me. What, you mean throw away the yolks!? So I got the liquid egg whites in a carton.

I have never had much use for protein powder. I prefer to eat solid protein as opposed to protein drinks. I don’t get much satisfaction out of drinking my calories.

Miles teaching me to include egg whites and protein powder along with the lean meat and fish I already consumed was a real eye opener. You can really pack in a lot of protein in a small calorie budget! I didn’t really like egg whites or protein drinks so worked to come up with various protein custard recipes and that suited me fine.

As far as the calorie deficit I took it nice and slow. I didn’t do anything drastic. I just set my own schedule and did a nice slight deficit for about two months. Even then it’s pretty hard to do when you are already pretty lean. I started out at about 12% body fat and got down to something below 10%. Even with a slight calorie deficit there is nothing easy about doing it.


What changed with my workouts?

I learned from Miles how to do some very precise weight lifting splits to develop the specific muscles for a figure competitor. My having done the Venus workouts were a perfect base to start with. I mainly needed a spotter to help me push just a little harder and add in the splits. For me I needed to work the the muscles harder in all areas but specifically needed the most work on my shoulders and upper back for the Figure physique.

I still did the Venus workouts on the days I didn’t work with Miles.

I learned those last 2-3 reps with a spotter were crucial for developing more muscle definition.


The competition mindset

I knew going into the show that I would need a strong mindset. I knew I needed to be happy with how I’d built my own body and not let the judges decide upon my own happiness.

Even going into it with that strong and positive mindset, the competition day was a hard day for me. It really threw me for a loop emotionally.

I have absolutely no regrets, but I can not say the day itself was fun. It wasn’t.

The Lauren Jacobson interview with John was helpful for knowing that even a few years ago when the Bikini and Figure classes were just starting that it was unclear as to what the judges were looking for. It seemed like bikini class is not quite as lean and muscular compared to the figure class, but it turns out that is not always the case. Every show is different and with every set of judges; it’s a constant moving target for each show and it has not gotten any better.


Here I am in the open class lineup with much younger women.

Here I am in the open class lineup with much younger women.


What about “prep week”?

It was a difficult week because I decide to experiment with the traditional old school “prep week” or “peak week”. It’s a much more hard core version of our Venus “Slim in Seven”.

I ate fairly normal all week except I cut out foods that make me bloated. For me that is dairy, wheat, and foods with a lot of long ingredient names (which I typically avoid anyway). I ate more nuts, dried fruit, salmon, turkey, banana, and gluten free crackers. I ate a little more low carb and higher protein at the beginning of the week and increased the carbs later in the week.

I limited my water all week which was a disaster. I was miserable and probably ate a little too much fruit/nut mix the last few days. It’s hard to keep track when you have containers of it and are staying in a hotel (and miserable, thirsty, stressed, and sleep deprived.)

This is what Kristen Shaffer has to say about water intake for prep week:


You’ve heard it a thousands times – deplete your water the last week. DO NOT DO THIS. You will step on stage looking stringy and flat.


Because studies have shown that water is mostly stored within our muscles. So if you decrease your water intake, your body will adjust by actually retaining more water outside the muscles, making you look bloated. Additionally, your total water retained will decrease, but since most of it is stored in your muscles you will lose precious muscle mass.

The only time you want to limit your water intake is the day of your competition, and the only reason is to not have a full-looking tummy. So only sip water that day when you are thirsty.


Coach Trish Wood IFBB Pro not only thinks the same, but she also thinks you just drink the normal amount of water on competition day. Trish has been at this game a very long time and knows what she is talking about, in fact her client (Rachelle Mittelstet) just got first place in both Figure class A and 1st place figure Masters’s 40+ this past weekend and the Governors Cup competition in Sacramento.

If I had competed again I would have been in those same classes with Rachelle. I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready for that again.  But it’s okay, I don’t have to compete to be happy with what I’ve achieved.

I have a comparison picture from approximately 5:30 pm the night before the competition and approximately 5:30 am the day of the competition. I’d spent a miserable night in the hotel room tossing and turning, I was thirsty, hungry, stressed, and the tanning solution painted on me was absolutely atrocious.


With the difference in angles and the tan it’s hard to say if there is much of a difference or not. Both Miles and I thought I was a little flat on competition day, but I'm not sure it matters much. The work was done and there wasn't much fat left.

A 10 hour overnight comparison. With the difference in angles and the tan it’s hard to say if there is much of a difference or not. Both Miles and I thought I was a little flat on competition day, but I’m not sure it matters much. The work was done and there wasn’t much fat left.


With the difference in angles and the tan it’s hard to say if there is much of a difference or not. Both Miles and I thought it seemed like I looked the best a couple days prior to the show and then got slightly flatter and less defined each day.

Regardless, everyone agrees – even John and Brad – that the real difference is in the work during the weeks and months prior to the event. It’s best not to torture yourself too much this final week if you don’t need to.

The process affects everyone differently. I’ve heard a couple of people say the Slim in Seven process is no big deal, but others have reported that it was hard. It’s a good process to follow but keep in mind it’s a guideline that can be adjusted to your own needs, just like everything in the Venus program.


How did the competition day go?

Participating in a competition is a pretty big investment. You need a good coach for your workouts and posing practice. You need an expensive competition suit, shoes, tan, hair, makeup, nails, hotel, entry fees, and a membership to the fitness organization you are competing under.


Several of my friends met up and got our hair done in the hotel room. Even though I was nervous this was kind of fun!

Several of my friends met up and got our hair done in the hotel room. Even though I was nervous this was kind of fun!


I’d only seen a couple of fitness shows, so I really didn’t know enough. I had misconceptions about the judging “callouts” as you shall see in the following story.

The first time on stage in the morning is when all the real judging happens. The audience is small. The “entertainment” part of the show happens in the evening. In some ways the evening is more fun because they have fun music and a master of ceremonies.

Being up on stage was totally different compared to practice at home. There are bright lights in your eyes and you are crowded up on stage with not much time to move from one pose to the next. They rush you though everything like cattle in a line. It didn’t seem like there was enough time to get the figure poses correctly set.

The venue for the show I was in wasn’t comfortable for the competitors. We had long staging hallways and the stage floor was uneven with a lot of metal hinges and screws sticking up.  It’s hard enough to walk around in 5 inch heels, let alone trying to balance on an uneven floor.  I was deathly afraid of tripping on the metal pieces. It made it really hard to balance.  I’m sure each of us felt we were in the worst spot ever.

When they do the judging they move you around in the lineup for comparison. You aren’t supposed to compare yourself to others right? But it’s hard when you are in an environment where they are doing just that. I didn’t find that at all fun, especially at my age around young women with pretty skin. Man it was hard.

In every class I ended up out at the end of the lineup, which I assumed was “last place” in the call out. I was literally in tears up on the stage wondering what the heck I did wrong. I’d entered five different competition classes so it was a lot of work to keep getting up on stage. Every time I went up I got more discouraged. My coach and all my friends were not with me. I felt alone and lost. It was nothing like all the weeks and hours I’d spent practicing and having fun with my friends at the gym.

After the morning judging session I ran to my room and cried for hours. I finally mustered up the strength to go find Miles and some of my friends and I know they felt bad because there was nothing they could do to make me feel better.

I didn’t want to go back up on stage for the final evening show. I knew I was in last place and I was just filling the gap for the show. But I was determined to go and do my best out of sheer principle.


I took a nap and finally mustered up the strength to go face Miles and my friends downstairs.

I took a nap and finally mustered up the strength to go face Miles and my friends downstairs.


When evening came I cleaned up my tear smeared makeup best I could. I hadn’t brought any makeup and the makeup artists were gone. I didn’t really care. I just wanted to get it over with.  I was driven with sheer principle that I wouldn’t quit or pack up and go home, although I desperately wanted to.

Then we lined up to get on stage again. In the evening the schedule was a little different because they had NPC novice competitors (of which I was a part of) mixed with the IFBB pros. When the show got behind schedule they held up the NPC women’s masters groups I was in so that the IFBB pro men could be on schedule. That meant two of the groups I competed with had to wait in the hallway in high heels for nearly an hour. It was pretty darn miserable for us because we couldn’t sit down without messing up the glue that held our suits in place. We couldn’t get our “pump” on with the little weights there because we were waiting too long.

Even though all of us girls were so miserable being held hostage in the hallway, ironically it was the best part of the day for me regarding social interaction with others. We had a chance to really talk about real fitness life nitty gritty. I told the ladies there in the line that it was the best part of the day for me.


Here I am with the top 5 winners in the Masters Figure 35+ class. I'm actually the oldest one there at age 53. I'm in 5th place.

Here I am with the top 5 winners in the Masters Figure 35+ class. I’m actually the oldest one there at age 53. The others are all under 40. I’m in 5th place.


I got a lot of compliments from some of the other girls. They told me my whole package, suit, hair, physique, etc were put together nicely. It made me feel good because I was pretty darn insecure about the whole thing. It sounded like they were genuine and that’s what felt good to me.

That’s where I learned from the others that each show is different regarding the judges. Whether it’s figure or bikini class it’s hit or miss if they want a softer smoother look, or a ripped shredded look. You have to decide what you like best for yourself and know that you’ll do well in some shows and not others.

It’s a pretty big investment for a hit or miss like that.

I was in absolute shock when I got a fifth place trophy for Masters Figure 35+, it made me realize I was wrong about the callouts. Only the judges know what’s really going on. It really was hit or miss like the girls said when we stood in the hallway.


I was in shock that I got a trophy! I took a quick selfie before I stepped into the elevator to head up for a shower I couldn't wait for.

I was in shock that I got a trophy! I took a quick selfie before I stepped into the elevator to head up for a shower I couldn’t wait for.


As I walked back through the maze of hallways with my trophy I passed the huge lineups of other girls going up toward the stage. I got a lot of congratulations and high fives. But I realize how few actually get to go home with any hardware. I barely got the one I got. I didn’t feel like it meant much. Don’t get me wrong, I was darn happy to have it, but at the same time I realize that each and every woman that showed up to compete that day deserved a trophy.

Every single woman there worked hard and put in the same effort I did. They were all beautiful in my eyes.


Even though I didn't get a trophy picture with Miles, I was just so happy to shower and be done with it. We waited for the other competitors so we could all go have a yummy dinner.

Even though I didn’t get a trophy picture with Miles, I was just so happy to shower and be done with it. We waited for the other competitors so we could all go have a yummy dinner.


I was so happy once I was done with the ordeal, got my shower, and could sit in comfort with my dear friend Miles.  I was happy to get the trophy.  I was happy to get John’s response because I still like it when John is proud of me.


What about the Venus contest?

It’s totally up to you if you want to do any version of “prep week” before your final photo’s or not. It’s not a requirement and it’s completely personal preference. The Venus Factor “Slim in Seven” is a good program and not as drastic as the old school fitness competitor prep week.

If you decide to follow the Venus Factor “Slim in Seven” there is a daily diet protocol designed by John Barban. A lot of people ask how do they know what percentage their protein, carbs, and fat are? The best way to do this is to use a tool like Myfitnesspal to set your macro percentages. In the MyFitnessPal menu you can do this by going into your Home menu, then Goals, then the green “Change Goals” button, then select “custom”, then Continue.


To set your macro percentages in In the MyFitnessPal menu; go into your Home menu, then Goals, then the green “Change Goals” button, then select “custom”, then Continue.

To set your macro percentages in In the MyFitnessPal menu; go into your Home menu, then Goals, then the green “Change Goals” button, then select “custom”, then Continue.


Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be exact.  You can change things up depending on how you feel or how much stress you are under.  As you can see from the experiments of many of us what matters most is all the work in the weeks and months ahead of time.

Whether you are finishing the contest as a transformation, cover, or calendar girl you are not required to have a professional photographer.  Be proud and make your best presentation ever!  Celebrate your hard work and success by giving it your best effort and having pictures that you will cherish for the rest of your life.  It’s a record and a reminder for you on what you have accomplished.

Preparing For Your Contest Photo Shoot – Part 1: Posing Practice

Preparing For Your Contest Photo Shoot – Part 2: Photography And Lighting

Preparing For Your Contest Photo Shoot – Part 3: The Final Week


What to do with your final Venus contest photos?

When you submit your final photos the bikini type outfit will be used primarily for judging purposes only. Please feel free to submit other final pictures in nice clothes of your choice that still show off your new shape; for example a dress, skirt, jeans and tops, sports outfits, hobbies outfits like tennis, golf, yoga, etc.

We would also love to have a before picture that tells your full weight loss story so others can see that there is more to the story then just the 12 week contest window.

Get ready for AMAZING!

Will you be next?

Get your final entries in by midnight Eastern time April 13th.

Use the contest entry form (the same that you used to enter the contest).

We’ll need from you:

  • front pose
  • back pose
  • side pose
  • newspaper pose
  • up to 15 cover pictures of your choice
  • your 250 word or more essay (please include your age in the essay)

and your measurements:

  • height
  • weight
  • shoulders
  • waist
  • hips

We are looking forward to the amazing results of your hard work.

Coach Roberta

If you have any questions or problems with uploading your pictures email me:

Contest rules and regulations

Contest schedule for 2015


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:




We are halfway through the VT-13 Contest – it ends on Monday April 13th

I'm still a Venus through and through five years into the program.

I’m still a Venus through and through five years into the program and YES I LOVE FOOD TOO!


We are now at the half way point through the Venus Transformation Contest VT-13 and we at Venus thought you could use some motivation and tips.

Any Venus client is welcome to enter. There is no fee. The schedule and how to enter is HERE.  When you finish on April 13th please feel free to enter extra pictures both before and after in a dress, suit, skirt, workout outfits, yoga pants, cute jeans, and anything classy that shows your beautiful new shape.  We also always love a before Venus “before picture” that shows other that the 12 weeks is just a small snapshot in time.

It’s a long journey for all of us.  It’s a life long journey to health.


But my problem is that I LOVE food!

Do you ever say “My problem is that I LOVE food!” when you talk about diet and fitness?

Actually most people will say this. Of course you love food! We all love food. We are human and we need it to survive.

Stress makes us hungry.

We as humans were designed to eat when food is available, especially when stressed.

The problem is that it is always available and we are almost always stressed.

So the trick is to reduce stress and attempt to make it “not so available”. This is done by changing your habits.

Changing habits happen slowly over time.

  • We call this “setting up your environment for success”.
  • Forgive yourself for being human. Of course you love food!
  • You can’t count on willpower, so set up your environment for success.
  • Allow your body to adapt to the changes you need to make.
  • Take it in smaller steps sometimes if you need to.
  • Learn to reduce stress.
  • Get trigger foods out of the house.
  • Focus on protein and veggies first along with calories and the diet falls into place.
  • Package up foods in appropriate sizes (don’t do this when you are super hungry)
  • Place motivational posters or symbols any place that will help you make the “right choice” (a mnemonic).
  • Never give up.
  • Get those workouts in and remember they don’t have to be ALL or NOTHING.
  • Use the online community for support.
  • Get your family involved, if you can.
  • Have a plan but learn to be flexible.
  • Listen to the contest interviews


Have a plan but be flexible

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make with diet and fitness is taking a good thing and running it into the ground until it’s not good anymore.

Just because fasted workouts are good some days does not mean it’s good EVERY DAY.

Just because fasting or the calorie deficit really works does not mean it is good EVERY DAY.

Routines and rituals are GOOD and those certainly help build good habits. It is what has helped me through some seasons in my journey.

But at the same time it’s not the end of the world if you change things up ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR BODY GIVES YOU WARNING SIGNS.

Have a plan. But learn to roll with it a bit when your body clearly says the plan might not be the best.

If you are used to delaying your first meal of the day until noon, it’s not going to ruin the day if you have something at 10am instead.

In the end it always comes down to total calories at the end of the day, and even then, it’s really not the one day, it’s the rolling daily average over time that matters.

I like to look at the 30-90 day average more than the day or even the week. Our mind tends to forget the peaks (because those are easy like spending with a credit card). But we always remember those HARD days where we were “GOOD”.  It’s that negative dominance thing again I wrote about recently.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking “But I’m doing so good and IT’S NOT WORKING” and “There must be something wrong with my metabolism”. But all you have to do is take a look at the facts to see that is not true. Time and time again our emotions get in the way of the facts.

I’d say stress and lack of sleep are the biggest hindrance to success. When things are not working balancing those should move up to first priority.


Plan for your final pictures

Now is the time to start planning your final pictures.


Preparing For Your Contest Photo Shoot – Part 1: Posing Practice

Preparing For Your Contest Photo Shoot – Part 2: Photography And Lighting

Preparing For Your Contest Photo Shoot – Part 3: The Final Week


PS: Here’s a tip I learned at the recent magazine photo shoot. I learned it from the high fashion models who were there with me that day. When a picture of you is being taken sitting with your legs crossed like I am in today’s picture – don’t rest the top leg all the way down. Kinda hold it up. Try it and see the difference. You might have already known this tip, but I learned it the day of that picture. Good thing I had those other ladies helping me!

Credit for the picture goes to:

Victoria Napolitano, owner of Hopelessly Romantic Media Productions, San Francisco, California.

Make-up and hair by Shiree Collier – Makeup and Hair Artist.

Shirt and Skirt by Navins in Sacramento, California:

PSS I wrote a fun story in my Venus blog about this very suit when I was going through my Venus journey, and blogging like many of you are now.

The VT-13 Contest ends on Monday April 13th.

Keep up the great work out there!

See you on the inside,

-Coach Roberta

How do you meet your protein goal on a calorie deficit?

Last Friday I said I’d have more to share about the magazine photo shoot.  I do, but I’d decided to talk about protein today.  My inbox has been flooded with questions about my strategy for fat loss and how to get enough protein.

My strategy for fat loss is simply finding a sustainable calorie deficit and attempting to reduce stress.  Stress is actually unavoidable sometimes, so some of my recent articles are about stress eating and recovering from stress eating.

I’ve had a lot of stress lately, some of it really great and exciting, but it’s still stress.  Stress makes it very hard to stay in control of eating so my strategy is to simply get on track as soon as the major stress subsides.  All we can do is our best and motor on, a sort of controlled stumble forward as John would say.

The only way to make up for over eating is some calorie deficit days.  Usually it can’t be paid for in one day so fasting is not always the answer.  The deeper the deficit the more stress on your body, and the last thing you need when you are recovering from stress is MORE stress.  Nice and easy and slow does it.  Give yourself weeks.


What protein should you eat?

You can select whatever type of protein you want depending on your eating style.  The key for getting enough protein while on a deficit is to select foods with the highest protein per calorie ratio.

I put together some charts of various protein sources showing how many protein grams per calories:


Protein and Calories for Meat, Fish, Poultry, and Dairy.

Protein and Calories for Meat, Fish, Poultry, and Dairy.


Common protein supplements.

Common protein supplements.


Some Vegan and Vegetarian items (Vegans don't eat eggs or dairy).

Some Vegan and Vegetarian items (Vegans don’t eat eggs or dairy).


Vegans will get most of their protein from a total sum of the day in plant based foods.  Here are some Vegan example meal plans with the focus on protein.


An example of a deficit day for me:


Start the day with protein and vegetables.

I usually start the day with protein and vegetables.

My first meal is usually protein and veggies.  This was the first meal for me last Thursday.


Later I decided to have protein waffles.

Later I decided to have protein waffles.


A few hours after that I had lunch meat, more veggies, and an apple.  Right before dinner I decided I wanted popcorn with coconut oil, so I kept my dinner light; Soup with more protein and veggies.   Before dinner I’d consumed 100 grams of protein for the day so I  reduced the amount of turkey in my soup compared to normal to make room for the popcorn.


Soup, more protein and veggies.

Soup, more protein and veggies.


I planned ahead so I could have my popcorn!

I planned ahead so I could have my popcorn!


I usually easily get in 100-125 grams of protein most days. For me this is a perfect deficit day.  I can’t go lower than 1300 calories and feel okay, in fact some days when I workout hard I can’t go below 1400 or 1500.  I have to pay attention to how I feel.

I feel best with this amount of protein.  I had to find ways to make the egg whites and protein powder work for me.  I’m not a fan of drinking my food so I make protein pancakes, waffles, and custards.


Every day is different for me, but I always get the protein in.

Friday was a little different pattern, I had soup with rice in my first meal:

Friday's first meal of the day.

Friday’s first meal of the day.


I had my carbs earlier in the day.

I had my carbs earlier in the day.


Today I ended with protein instead of carbs

Today I ended with protein instead of carbs


So Friday was totally different compared to Thursday.  I ended the day with more of a protein meal and my overall protein was 108 grams, but the calorie total was the same. It’s still a deficit for me.

Some people might think that is too low for me, but overall for the week it works out because I had some high days too.  In fact I’ve had a lot of high days in the last few months, so a few more deficit days will be needed for me when I can fit them in.


MyFitnessPal gives a nice weekly report.

MyFitnessPal gives a nice weekly report.


Even though I don’t do the math for weekly calories I keep an eye on the daily average.  MyFitnessPal has a weekly chart in the mobile app and I also keep an eye on the 30 and 90 day charts like this one in the web browser app on my computer.

What matters most is the daily average over time.

So that’s what I do.  I don’t really plan a whole lot.  I just keep an awareness going with a focus on protein and vegetables, and then make room for carbs and fat as I go along.  It all falls into place for me that way.

I hope this helps.

In the future I plan to write more about the fun with the magazine and my experience with the Fitness Competition because many have been asking about it. I wrote a little about the high fashion models I worked with in my Venus blog inside the community. I’m learning a lot from them and I love to pass along what I learn.

I’ll also write more on the most common questions coming into my inbox now.

Have a great weekend!

It’s full of lot’s of opportunity for good choices to be made.

-Coach Roberta


How do you recover from the SPLURGE of stress hunger?

Sometimes you have to have a warrior mindset to get back on track!  My friend Ryan took this picture of me last summer and I felt he caught my warrior spirit!

 Sometimes you have to have a warrior mindset to get back on track!

My friend Ryan took this picture of me last summer

and I felt he caught my warrior spirit!

What happens when your body adapts to too much food?

Do you ever notice that sometimes after a feast like Thanksgiving or maybe Super Bowl Sunday that you wake up the next morning feeling really hungry? You might even feel more hunger than normal.

The same thing can happen after vacation, or stress when you sort of “just let it go” with eating. It’s easy to lose track of how much food you actually consume.

Your body adapts to what you do and it’s hard to change. It’s kind of a catch 22. When you over eat your body gets used to it, and you’ll still feel hunger when you don’t really need the extra food.

There really isn’t anything wrong with you when this happens. It’s probably a rare case when it doesn’t happen.

The same thing can happen when people get used to a calorie deficit. Your body can also adapt to the less food. You will feel it’s normal and can sometimes have a hard time eating up to your true needs. This is okay as long as it does not cause a vicious eat low then binge cycle. It also can be okay if your body has plenty of body fat to draw from.  At some point you have to train your body to accept the normal amount of food. This becomes more important as you get close to your goal. This is why the Venus nutrition plan is designed the way it is.

Hunger is complicated. It ebbs and flows in the body according to stress, emotions, exercise, health, and a whole lot more.

Last week I wrote about the stress hunger I experienced. It happens to us all. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. There is a lot of stress in modern life.

Not only do you have more stress, but every where you turn there is all that food. You are constantly bombarded with it. The stores and restaurants purposely pump out the aroma to tempt you. The advertisements everywhere are designed to tempt you. All the treats the co-workers bring in tempt you. It’s constant temptation.

The more stressed and ego depleted you are the harder it is to make good choices or have willpower.

If you rely on willpower alone, you won’t succeed. You have to find a way to setup your own environment for success. That is different for each person. Most of us have to enlist the help of others.

You have to plan ahead. You have to have some strategy. You also have to adjust as you go along. Things don’t always go according to your plan. Your own body and the amount of hunger and stress doesn’t always cooperate with the plan. But as long as you do not give up and feel doomed, you can still succeed.

The only way to fail at fat loss is to give up. You will have the peaks and valleys; we all do. Keep plugging along and it becomes a lifestyle. It takes time and practice.

When you arrive at your goal and you won’t just stay there. You keep living life, you keep getting bombarded with stress, and you still have to put in some effort.

It’s not the long road effort like when we had over 50 pounds to lose, but it is the same skills.

As for getting back on track, you have to muster up a warrior attitude and get yourself determined to make it happen.


How can you recover after a splurge?

Get back on track ASAP. Get back to your normal routine. Everything you do feeds on itself both positive and negative. So tune out all the negative thoughts from your mind, and start trimming your interactions with negative people short or avoid those people altogether if possible.

If you keep doing your routines that move you toward your goal the momentum will start snowballing. This includes anything that helps you; The routine of taking supplements, stretching, workouts, meditation, getting enough sleep, food prep, etc.

The best thing you can do is get going on that as soon as you can. Don’t just think about it and make plans, pick something and just do it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I can be going for a walk or cutting out some portion sizes. Take action right away to get the momentum going.

The first day is usually the hardest. The next day gets better. If you keep it up you end up on a roll with it. Your body starts adapting to the routine again and it feels good.

Find a good support group. The private online Venus community is a great place to find support if you need it. Not everyone has a family who supports their fat loss and fitness goals. There may not be many in your life who understand your goals.

Keep something near you that reminds you of your goal for yourself. This is called a Mnemonic. It could be a picture, a slogan, a statue, or whatever you want it to be. As you move forward from one goal to the next this symbol can change.

When I was losing 85 pounds in my long fat loss phase my Mnemonic was a picture of a swim dress I wanted to wear someday.

Right now my Mnemonic is a trophy I recently won at a fitness competition. Since I don’t plan on continuing with competitions I’ve attached a business card to the trophy of someone I’ll be working with very soon. In fact I will probably be on location as you read this and it’s a surprise. It’s pretty exciting for me and there is no way I want to blow it. The Mnemonic is right there on my kitchen table to remind me why all of my daily routines are important.  The trophy itself is still a good Mnemonic for me because it represents the same skills I need right now.

You use all the tools and strategies over and over for life. The very first article I ever wrote for Venus was about this concept “How to Sharpen your Sword and Win the Battle.”  This is still true for me three years later, except this time I am the warrior in the picture!


It didn't take me long to get my groove back.  I like to get right back on it!

It didn’t take me long to get my groove back. I like to get right back on it!


It didn’t take me long to get back on track after the stress last week.  I followed the exact process I lined out here and felt back to normal by the end of the week.  I like to get back in the groove as soon as I can.  Here I am doing one of my favorite exercises; pullups.  This is a collection of the last few months, the video of me in the black ball cap was last Friday when I finally started getting my groove back:



Some of you are starting the Venus contest this week. Some of you are shadowing (not actually entering, but putting in the same effort).  Some of you are just plugging along daily towards your goals.

Whatever phase you are in please be encouraged that you are honing your sword to win the battle!

Keep going!

See you on the inside!

-Coach Roberta



The Dark Side of Workouts; Uncensored podcast

John and Brad are talking about Exercise-Induced Rhabdomyolysis

John and Brad speak to us about Exercise-Induced Rhabdomyolysis


In today’s uncensored podcast John and Brad will speak to us about Exercise-Induced Rhabdomyolysis.


General adaptation response is a normal part of working out, but if exercise is taken to the extreme you can go into Rhabdomyolysis. Normal exercise is just enough to have general adaptation response. It’s important to realize that muscle building and fat loss happens in short consistency over time. It can’t be done too fast.

There is some glorification regarding extreme exercise exertion and exhaustion and even Rhabdomyolysis, but this is a serious condition that can be fatal.

When I listened to this podcast it suddenly dawned on me that I’ve most likely experienced Rhabdomyolysis and didn’t know it.  I’ve always talked about my ultra running experiences and the fact that I got sick and the doctor prescribed antibiotics each time I ran more than 40 miles in one day.  At the time the doctor didn’t know what was wrong, just that my white blood cell count was high.  I’d never thought to tell him that I had recently run more than 40 miles in a day.  The doctor didn’t ask if I’d done any strenuous exercise and I’m willing to bet at 5’1″ and 150 pounds I really didn’t look like much of an athlete.

The third time this condition happened I’d called it quits.  I realized that this wasn’t healthy for me.  I didn’t know what was happening or why, but it became clear to me that ultra running wasn’t healthy for me.  I’d completed the “Run on the Sly” 50 mile race on Sept 6, 1998 at the age of 37 and that was my last ultra run ever. The 26.2 mile marathons didn’t give me this problem, but certainly there was a pattern for me when I went over 40 miles (over 26.2 miles is considered “ultra running”).  I had wanted to train for the “Western States 100” race but it was time to put that on hold.

The Western States 100 is a popular ultra endurance race held annually in California.  Having been a long time runner it was my dream to complete it as it’s almost literally in my back yard. I’d always thought I’d come back to it someday, but now I know that I won’t.


It's difficult 50 mile ultra run, quite hilly, and it was hot and humid when I ran it in September of 1998.  I'd earned my shiny brass belt buckle by completing it and I'd always been proud of the accomplishment.

“Run on the Sly” is a difficult 50 mile ultra run, quite hilly, and it was hot and humid when I ran it in September of 1998. I’d earned my shiny brass belt buckle by completing it and I’d always been proud of the accomplishment.


The “Run on the Sly” is a 50 mile run is also in the mountains in California and is a qualifying race for the Western States 100. It’s difficult run, quite hilly, and it was hot and humid when I ran it in September of 1998.  I’d earned my shiny brass belt buckle by completing it and I’d always been proud of the accomplishment.  I used to always tell people when life got rough or when I was having a bad day that it could never be worse than getting up at 3am (and dragging along a grumpy husband who thought I was nuts) and running up and down hills for 11 hours and 40 minutes.

That was my bench mark for a rough day.  I still remember how much I hurt when it was over and I needed Randy’s help getting into the passenger seat of our lifted Toyota 4×4 pick up truck, literally in tears, and I had said “I’m never going to do this again!” Ultra runners will say you should never make a decision about running after a race like that, but now 16 years later I know it’s really true, I never will.

Since I’ve been a part of the Venus community and lifestyle I realize you don’t have to exercise to an extreme to lose fat or to get whatever physique you want.  With much less effort I now look like a fitness competitor when I’m actually not.

At the Venus Factor we believe exercise should be fun and enjoyable.  There is no need get extreme.  In fact too much strenuous exercise can decrease your leptin, increase your hunger, make you fatigued and lethargic, and hinder your ability to lose fat.  Our workout and nutrition programs are designed to help you keep your leptin level up and to be a sustainable lifestyle long term.  Of course you will have days you don’t feel like working out and have to push through, all of us have those days, but there is no need to beat yourself into the ground with exercise.



Listen to what John and Brad have to say about Exercise-Induced Rhabdomyolysis here:


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…


Beware of Fitness Goal Hijacking

Michele and Christina on the left took me under their wing at the Spartan workout. Next to them is Andi who was our instructor for the day.

Michele and Christina on the far right took me under their wing at the Spartan workout.
Next to them is Andi who was our instructor for the day.
It was a really fun day!

What are your reasons for weight loss?

What are your reasons for embarking on this journey in the first place?  What are your goals?  Keep them in the forefront of your mind as you move forward.

I remember when I was frustrated, overweight, and obese for so many years.  My goal at first was simply to get back to health, maybe wear a size 8 or so (the smallest I’d ever been as an adult), and just be able to enjoy life and physical activities with my family the way I’d used to.

Since I started working in law enforcement I also wanted to be a super fit chick and be able to do all of the physical duties well.  What happened instead, to my absolute horror and disappointment, is that my weight crept up until I’d finally reached the obese category.

I hadn’t yet learned what the Venus system taught me; that there was nothing wrong with my metabolism – I’m just a tiny person.  Tiny people don’t need so much food. When you are overweight it’s hard realize how small you really are, but your height should give you a clue.

In general, when you are short – you are tiny.  Just because you have a lot of muscle for your height doesn’t mean you get to eat more (if you want to stay trim). My muscle is off the charts high and I still only get to eat the same amount as the average 5’1″ female.  That’s because muscle does not burn as much energy as your internal organs.

Even when we exercise many of us don’t really get to eat that much more either.  Of course we burn some energy when we work, but not nearly as much as all the HRM’s report. Even at 12% body fat I don’t get to eat that much more, although I do have to consider it more now when deciding how much to eat each day. I base the amount on how I feel – not a calculator or what some fitness guru says.

If I’m gaining fat that is a huge clue, in fact the only clue, that yes I am eating too much food if my goal is to lose or stay the same.

The bottom line is that you can’t outwork or outrun too much food.

My goals changed along the way.  I had reached size 8 before joining Venus.  Why did I keep going?  My friend told me about Eat Stop Eat and I wanted to learn WHY what I was doing for fat loss finally worked.  Through Eat Stop Eat I found the Venus Factor.

With Venus I found the goals to achieve the ideal shape intriguing and frankly I LOVED the workouts.  So with these two programs I exceeded my wildest dream of ever being fit. I even finally impressed some pretty fit guys at the Sheriff’s department and yes I can now do my physical duties well!

It’s okay to change your goal, but it’s important to think about why and make sure you don’t let your fitness goals get hijacked.

Here’s how I let myself get goal hijacked

I have a couple of examples where I still tend to get goal hijacked if I’m not thoughtful about WHY I’m doing what I do:

1) I sometimes still try to get to a size 2 – it is a goal hijack

2) I sometimes still want to test my race strength – it is a goal hijack

Neither of these fit my long term purpose; to be healthy, functionally strong, have a good quality life into older age, and feel good about my shape.  Yet I find myself striving for both of those at times and I have to pause and think about it.  It’s not wrong to pursue either of those, it’s just that sometimes I might have other goals and these may conflict with those.

When my dear husband Randy can see that I’m pursuing hijack goal #1 he sometimes shakes his head.  That was the size when I was 10% body fat for my Venus Transformation Contest pictures for VT3 and VT4.  When I tell Randy “but I don’t fit into some of my favorite jeans anymore!”, he replies “Then you bought the wrong size pants!  Go buy the right size!”

So I take a deep breath and realize I let myself get goal hijacked once again by going down a strange female emotional path.  We are all human after all. The best I can do is be aware that this is what happens to me and then get back on the right track. I just let it go and remember why I started this journey in the first place.

John likes to remind me that I already proved what I needed to prove when I finished my contest pictures.  I’m done.  I don’t ever have to do it again.  I don’t have to keep proving it.  I can just live my life now.  I’m happy and healthy.  But I am merely human, I get sidetracked with these hijack moments, and I am a bit hardwired to keep improving and be my best.

So I’ll just keep reminding myself that I’m living my dream already, and Randy will keep nudging me when he sees me veering off track.

I almost let my goal get hijacked again with Spartan races

Recently I almost let myself get hijacked again with #2.  I had started training a client who wants to improve her strength and get a bit leaner for Spartan Races.  I’d never heard of Spartan races before and it kind of sounds like fun, so I went to a Spartan workout event to check it out.  It was a fairly intense 2 hour workout.

I met a woman close to my age with the daughter of a friend of hers, Michele and Christina.  I had never been to one of these events so they took me under their wing during the workout and we had a fun picture taken at the end of the day.

When I checked in at the event they had T-shirts for everyone.  I’m pretty small, only 5’1″ and with the small T-shirt fitting kind of loose and being middle aged I could tell no one really thought much of me at first.

But as the hundreds of people lined up in rows and I blended in with the crowd for the 2 hour workout people around me started noticing me purely by my strength. With no prior experience I could pretty much do anything the instructor threw at us.

At rest we were supposed to hold the plank position. For example when the Spartan instructor (Andi Hardy) said do 10 pushups, she also said if you can whip them out quickly and it’s too easy then keep doing them or get in the plank position and rest there. Then she said if pushups are too easy (me me, yes, pick me! haha) then do the dive bomber pushups.

So I started doing dive bomber pushups. Then when she called out burpees I did the dive bomber pushups with those – and yes that finally got me tired out by then end. I was able to do the duck walk across the gym, alligator crawl, and a bunch of other stuff.

It was all a FUN DAY, I got a really cool T-shirt, I made some new friends (Michele and I are staying in touch), and I re-established my long term goals, but I must admit it aggravated the arthritis in my hips for over a week afterwards. I am 53 years old after all, and my hip problems are hereditary.

Here’s a video of the dive bomber pushup:

For me the day was a real testament to the awesomeness of the Venus Factor workouts.  Venus is all I ever do besides a little HIIT running and low intensity cardio.   Venus workouts made me functionally strong.  This is why I recommend the 3 day a week workout as cross training for these types of endurance races.

The reason I can even do the dive bomber pushup is a direct result of the Venus Factor workout, so I called it a Venus Factor dive bomber pushup – but it is not actually part of any of our workouts.  From now I will almost always do the dive bomber pushup when the workout calls for pushups.  Why?  Because I can – and it still fits my long term goals.

Michele has done several races and said she can tell I’m strong enough right now to any of them, even the long races. So I got caught up in the idea.  I almost let myself get goal hijacked again.

What happened after I paused to ponder my fitness goals

The week after this event was a reminder to me why doing this type of workout too often goes against my current goals.  Even though I’m strong and was able do whatever was thrown at me there that day – I paid for it later.  I’ve been a bit sore all week, swollen from the soreness, bloated, and extremely hungry all week.  So hungry that I know I went over my maintenance intake several days.  I also had a bit of fatigue induced insomnia (this happens more in my middle age) which also helped to increase my hunger hormones.

As disciplined as I am with food it’s not enough to combat this type of hunger.  It’s not an “I’m bored” or “I just want to eat more” hunger.  It’s a deep hunger caused by fatigue.  It’s the type of hunger that if I try to fight too hard I won’t be able to sleep and the hunger will increase.  Some of this is caused by the fact that I’m still extremely lean for a female (as shown with a DXA scan).

So I ate a bit more food, choose healthy food, ate it slowly and with purpose, until I’d had enough that I could sleep peacefully. I was not happy that I ate more than maintenance, but I know I ate what my body needed at the time.  This does not help me stay lean if that’s what I want, so this type of training goes against my goals.

If I do a Spartan Race it will be for fun with a team, maybe once a year or so. I’m pretty much done with too many of the ultra intense workouts that push me to extreme, make me fatigued, and increase my hunger hormones through the roof.  On occasion it can be a good test of my strength.

I just need to know that I will have a week of extra hunger, bloating, and aggravated arthritis after an event.  It’s not something I want to do very often.

On the other hand I could change my workouts to include some Spartan workouts.  I could condition myself to do more animal moves, burpees, climbing ropes, mud crawling, and spear throwing and I wouldn’t get quite as sore from an event.

But that would increase my core and as you can see from the video my core is pretty thick for a female even now at 13-15% body fat.  It’s not always so attractive.  It’s part of what I don’t like about my shape, and it is partly why I tend to want to strive for getting leaner and back to a size 2.   Another drawback for me is that my arthritis would still be aggravated by those types of workouts.

So again there is nothing wrong with deciding to do any kind of intense race or workout if it fits your goals and your lifestyle.  Even though it would be a totally fun challenge for me, getting competitive just doesn’t fit my main goal for fitness at this point in my life.

I’ve already achieved my fitness and shape goals.  I just need to maintain, which alone takes effort and I’m a pretty busy girl these days.

What will you do to keep on track with your own goals and not allow them to get hijacked?  Remember your long term goals and why you chose them.

If you decide to change your goals think about WHY you are changing them and does it really match how you want to live your life?

Have a great weekend!




Growing into Venus: Age and Training Age

Upon listening to the recently released Uncensored Podcast- Fitness Trends 2013, I got to thinking about my specific age, training age, and my nutrition age. I have been at this for longer than a decade even though I found Venus a short year ago. Man, I have come a long way in a year.

Today we will discuss age and training age, next time we will look at the evolution of nutrition as you grow in your training.


Age and training age

I just turned 29. I have been weight training on and off since I was 15- making my training age 10 years if I take out the periods that I was not doing anything. My training was certainly never for specific for a look before I found Venus. I would consider myself to be middle-to-younger within the age ranges of Venii. I enjoy Venus phase 3 training sessions 4 days per week at an hour or more. I also generally run for an hour 2 days per week. I take one rest day per week.

I doubt that when I am 59 this training schedule is going to work for me, or even when I am 39 or 49. Running will probably be too jarring on my joints; I might find biking or swimming more pleasant. Maybe my rest days will need to be more frequent. I might have some injuries that I need to work around, so I will be cognizant of that. I will probably do strength training for more days that I do now because I enjoy it.

When I was 19, my training schedule certainly did not look like this either. Firstly, I was not in this kind of condition. My cardio training sessions were shorter, and focused more on higher reps when I did weights. It was the only thing I knew to do, I was not yet versed in the how and why yet. Secondly, my training was not as consistent. I maybe made it to the gym 3 days per week, 2 of them were probably for cardio on a machine.

Tailor the program for you

My point is this- your age and training age matter when you are talking about your training schedule. There is no one size fits all.

  • If you are new to training, 3 days a week of Venus is probably more than enough.  You will start to get into a groove and work up to more time in the gym over time.
  • If you have been at it for 10 years, then you can go 5 or more days a week and lift and work in some cardio as needed. You know when too much is too much. Be careful not to push yourself to the point that you end up with an injury- this is how it happens!
  • Those who have been at it for twenty or more years can lift 6 days a week along with daily cardio if they wanted to. They know that they are not going to get the huge muscle and strength gains like they used to, it all about preserving at this point.

Some parting thoughts-

  1. Learn to listen to your body. Take a rest day when needed.
  2. Train in ways that you enjoy.  If you are dreading a work out, you need to re-evaluate.
  3. More just to do more is never good. Always approach training with the idea of doing the least amount to get the best result.

Dealer says, «a lot» and so the set. If the players are identical, then such cases, the dealer takes the open, three-card blackjack, so the player visually observes where, in the dealer compare their hand on the approaches, and hands of card the dealer must finish as they do not. blackjack online All of points right after the one card dealer will offer you a big probability that the deck is interested in. And relaying to the gambler’s and play 21 Caribbean, a glance at their hand on at all stay on blackjack. Sometimes, depending on what other gamblers have doesn’t matter, the.

Ask Nicola; What is Self Sabotage?

We all step out of the gate strong. What happens when you encounter all the emotional challenges of life?

We all step out of the gate strong. What happens when you encounter all the emotional challenges of life?

Do you have a self-sabotage point?

When it comes to dieting and fitness, you likely find that it is easy to get out the gate but then you lose momentum and drive fizzles. Before you know it, despite the best intentions, self-sabotage kicks in. You have difficulty sustaining your goals. Willpower only gets you so far. You need to deal with the real reasons that you are sabotaging to sustain change and keep momentum alive.

In todays podcat we will dive into what the underlying reasons are for self sabotage and why it seems to happen at the same time over and over again.


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: casino jeu en ligne