Seeing Myself through Other People’s Eyes

I was not seeing what other people see (I probably still don’t)

I just got back from an amazing week away and I am reflecting on how some of us are our own worst judges of our own physique and level of fitness.  As females we are usually much too hard on ourselves.

I’m going to confess that for several months now I’ve been a bit hard on myself.  I’m constantly judging myself against the photo shoot I did in March of 2012.  I’ve at times felt like a fraud since I didn’t maintain sub 10% body fat and have let myself come up a bit (to what is probably a healthier level).

My husband Randy has been trying to help me and he hates seeing me squander away this time by not fully appreciating my achievements.  It is very frustrating to him to see me not fully happy.  In his opinion I look my best right now when I feel I’m at the higher end of my “range”.

When John came out to California earlier this year we talked about the judging of ourselves and feeling like a fraud.  I learned that this is quite a common feeling and that it’s not necessary that I ever to get down to that sub 10% body fat state ever again if I don’t wish to.  I don’t have to keep proving it.  I proved it.  I did it.  It’s done and there is nothing fraudulent about that.  I can decide to go lower than I am now if I want, or I can stay where I am, I can do whatever I choose.

At the time of my 2012 photo shoot I had several people tell me I was too skinny.  Sometimes this happens when people are scared or worried about seeing you transform from overweight to fit, other times it is jealously or other emotional issues within the other person, and other times it is really someone’s honest opinion.  Although that level of low body fat produced great pictures for me, in real life many people thought I was too skinny.

Randy thought so as did many of the deputies I work with, some of my neighbors, and many of my friends at the gym.  A few others thought it was fine, but overall most people thought I was too skinny.

I volunteer to work as a reserve deputy at our local Sheriff’s department.  This last week our department hosted a convention for all the Sheriff’s in our state.  As I packed to leave last Sunday I had Randy take a picture of me.  I didn’t like the picture.  I didn’t like how I looked.  I felt fat.  Since Randy thinks I look perfect right now he was sad to see me not appreciate it and as I was leaving he said “You look stunning.. do not squander this time by feeling fat.. that is ridiculous”.

I adjusted my own attitude

I spent the time driving up to the conference adjusting my own attitude.  I decided what I thought didn’t matter.  No one around me at the gym or out and about seems to see what I see.  In fact I continue to get compliments about my level of fitness and a lot of attention even though I feel fat.  It is a strange phenomenon that seems to happen to many females.  By the time I got to my room and saw the beautiful view I decided I was going to enjoy myself and not squander my time as Randy advised.

By the time I got to my room I decided I was not going to squander the opportunity I had before me

By the time I got to my room I decided I was not going to squander the opportunity I had before me

I think sometimes when you get to this level of fitness (close to the Venus Ideal) when you think you are just right you might be too skinny.  When everyone else around you (of those you can trust that are not jealous) see you as just right you probably are just right.  The Venus Ideal metrics don’t matter at this point.  Your scale weight doesn’t matter at this point.  The size clothes you think you should wear at this point don’t even matter.

If you really are “just right” then it’s time to keep the clothes that fit you, not fit yourself to the clothes you somehow think you should fit into.  If you are like me then you are not the best judge.

Women are supposed to have a little more body fat.  The body fat level does not matter.  It is different for each person.  The shape of how you look, how pleasing it is to the eye, and how healthy and strong you feel are what matters.

Being told that heads are turning is a clue

I got to the conference a day prior to going on security duty planning to hit the gym and relax a bit.  I did get a chance to do both but I got caught up in some necessary duties first as we were conference hosts and I ended up running around the conference in my gym clothes.

I did finally get to the gym for a Venus workout

I did finally get to the gym for a Venus workout

I didn’t learn until a few days later that as I was running around taking care of business heads were turning and people were asking “Who the heck is that girl?”.

Law enforcement is a tough place to get respect and it doesn’t come easily but I seemed to have finally earned it.

I earned the respect of the station commander

I had a day off in between my security shifts and had planned to spend the day at the pool and gym but the night before my day off I went out with our firearms range master team and they invited me to come out to the shooting range the next day instead.   The day at the range ended up being amazing.

I was tired when I got out there because I hadn’t slept well and I was wondering why the heck I wasn’t hanging out by the pool.  Then one of the range masters gave me an assignment.  We had a lot of shooters to get through the various competition stations and things needed to happen efficiently so my job was to go down range and set up metal targets after each competitor shot them down.

I decided to make this fun for myself as well as more efficient so I ran down range and back in between each shooter.  After I was warmed up I was itching to add pushups to the circuit but decided all the people watching might think I was a bit loony so I held off.  But I continued to run the entire time which ended up being about 4 hours or so (I had plenty of rest while competitors were shooting).

The Venus Index Workouts have given me functional strength and endurance, although I do add some HIIT running to my routine as well.

By the time the competitions were done just about everyone there noticed the short little lady wearing the black ballistics vest running up and down the range all day.  People asked how I felt and I said great and wished I could have added pushups.

The commander who was at the range is a pretty fit guy and wanted to know about workouts I recommend (of course I recommend Adonis for the guys).  Both my husband and I know the commander and that getting his respect is a big deal and is not easily earned.

As everyone at the range was in line for the catered lunch the commander asked me to show the crowd my biceps flex.  Then right in front of the crowd he said “You should be very proud of what you have achieved, especially for your age.  You should have gone ahead and added your pushups to your running down range and you would have put these fire guys to shame”.

The firemen in line (who had just seen me in action all day and the quick muscle flex) nodded with respect and said “That’s okay, we don’t need to see any more for her to prove it”.

I gained the hard earned respect of the commander.  This is us later at dinner.

I gained the hard earned respect of the commander. This is us later at dinner.

The range competition wasn’t the only event of the day but all the various guests and staff gathered at the hotel pub for debrief and apparently my getting noticed running up and down the range was part of the topic of discussion.  I was asleep during the “debrief” since I had the early morning security shift, which was probably just as well.

I found out while working the next day that I had earned the reputation as the “Energizer bunny”, and in reference to the my fitness transformation “You really took the bull by the horns didn’t you?”

More fun at the shooting range

We all got a chance to shoot the 50 caliber rifle

We all got a chance to shoot the 50 caliber rifle

After lunch we all got a chance to shoot the 50 caliber rifle and an MP5 fully automatic rifle.  We got some of it on video.  It was an amazing day.

I think it made my young patrol partner a believer

My security partner for this event is a young guy. He really wants to lose weight and get fit so we had a lot of time to talk about calories and workouts.  I wasn’t sure he was totally convinced about what works since like most other people he’s heard a lot of conflicting and confusing advise about diet and fitness.  It’s hard to believe it could be so simple and that he does not have to do endless cardio.

We spent several days together and he got to see my interactions with convention guests throughout, on and off duty and during meals. After awhile he kept noticing the attention I got and the heads turning constantly.  He said “That guy really likes you.  I mean he REALLY likes you!”, “I think that guy was hitting on you”.  “Don’t you ever get tired of this?”

I told him if he really wants to gain respect when he walks into the briefing room, get fit; become an Adonis.  Anyone who sets their mind to it can do it.  Anyone.  It will change your life.

I told him that if I could gain this much respect in law enforcement as a small 5’1″ female than imagine what he could do as a 6′ male.

The security detail with the state Governor.

Last night we had a visit from the state Governor.  My partner and I had the opportunity to work with some of the state troopers on the security detail for the Governor.  It was fun and fascinating to be in on it and work with them.

We had a visit from the state Governor

We had a visit from the state Governor last night.  That is our sharp looking honor guard in the background.

My partner and I got a chance to talk to many of the state troopers.  Once this shift was over our work for the convention details were complete and we could finally relax a little.  I changed out of the uniform into a summer dress and once again my young partner was shocked by the number of heads turning as we walked around, especially all the young state troopers who worked with me all evening and watched me transform out of my uniform.

We walked into the pub and it literally took me 20 minutes to get to our group because we kept getting stopped by the guests; “Hey I met you at the gym today, I’m the one who helped you with the treadmill”, “Are you a fitness model?”, “Are you the deputy who was working tonight?”, “What cross fit gym to you go to?” (WHY do they think this?), “I can tell you are a cop, look at those arms”… on and on.

I think my young patrol partner is getting a clue now how being fit can change your life, really and truly.

The growing community of Venus transformations

The moral of this story wasn’t for me to talk about all the compliments and head turning (although I’m proud to tell it) but to bring up the phenomenon of self perception that happens even after you have reached your fitness goal and stayed there awhile.

It took the contrast of my recent self perception with the reactions I got at this conference to make it really sink in for me.  I have a feeling this is something most of us girls struggle with and will continue to always somewhat struggle with.  I can’t say I understand why this happens to us, but it does.

I’ll be writing more about others but I’d like to picture a few of our amazing Venus women who have transformed and maintained for awhile now.  They’ve likely struggled with many of these issues and are a part of our amazing online community.

There are many willing to help and although this is a smaller segment of our community it continues to grow and and we all continue to prove that the Venus lifestyle may not always be easy, but it is sustainable.











There are many more but these are just a few who have struggled and proved it can be done.  These girls enjoy life to it’s fullest and still maintain an amazing physique;  living the Venus lifestyle every day.  We all have our struggles, but somehow we manage to keep what we set out to do.

It’s so good to be home.






About Roberta Saum

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

More about Coach Roberta

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  1. Mary Mills says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article thank you so very much! And the women are looking fabulous!

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