What would Venus say?

Roberta and Denise enjoying a Sushi lunch break at Northstar Tahoe.

Roberta and Denise enjoying a Sushi lunch break at Northstar Tahoe.


What would Venus say?

As I sat down to breakfast last Sunday I declared to my friends that I would enjoy carbs and pastries! I had already enjoyed a beautiful trout dinner with elegant wine and deserts the previous night so it was quite the splurge.

It was vacation with family and friends after all!

Denise, Randy, and Gary all looked curiously at me as Gary asked “What would Venus say?”

I replied “Venus would say this is GREAT! This is part of the golden life to enjoy.”

I went on to explain that it’s all part of managing the food intake like a calorie budget.  It’s okay to “spend” as long as we realize the debt will come due.  Gary nodded.  He understands because managing finances is what he does for a living.

Gary also understood the concept of freedom when a person is “debt free”.

I’ve been debt free with regards to weight loss for over four years now, but part of that means managing a smaller “budget” with regards to food intake.  We don’t get to just cruise through the rest of life with no effort once we achieve our fitness goals.

No effort and no awareness is like credit card spending with wild abandon.  Most of us would quickly get ourselves into huge debt again.

I don’t know about you but that’s not a place I want to go back to.  I would rather roll up my sleeves and get it done before that happens.

I had a great time talking with both Denise and Gary about the Venus and Adonis lifestyle and how it relates to finances and every aspect of our lives.

My friend Denise is a family therapist so she knows all to well the hammering we take with our self image when we reach a level of unhealthiness with our bodies.  She also knows it still requires we work and care for the inner part of our being both before and after a transformation.

Denise is a pretty neat lady, both wise and fun.  We had a great time together.


Randy, myself, Denise, and Gary enjoying an elegant and beautiful dinner at the Manzanita restaurant.

Randy, myself, Denise, and Gary enjoying an elegant and beautiful dinner at the Tahoe Ritz-Carlton Manzanita restaurant.


Dinner at the Manzanita restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in Tahoe is always fabulous.  Some of you might remember Dr. Tania and I having a great time there a couple of years ago.

It seems like I’ve been spending a lot of time at Ritz-Carlton hotels lately!


The cycles and seasons of life

I knew as soon as I got back home I’d have to get right back into my normal routine and start slowly paying off some of that debt. We all have these little cycles in life. It’s not the first, nor will it be the last.

We just own it and roll up our sleeves and deal with it because the alternative (becoming obese) is just not acceptable. Many of us accept this as a lifestyle for the very reason that it keeps us healthy and vibrant.

The process for me this week is the same process I used when I wrote about recovering from stress hunger in January.

It’s pretty much the same thing every time.  We might get tired of it and it feels like “No, not This Again!”  But yes, it is this again.  It’s just paying off the debt before it gets out of hand.

We just own it, take care of business, and move on.

It’s best to get our emotions out of the equation and trust the process.  The more we do the process and see that it works, the more we trust it.


Denise, Gary, and I enjoyed a day of skiing at Northstar.

Denise, Gary, and I enjoyed a day of skiing at Northstar.


The health benefits of the Venus lifestyle

Gary, Denise, and spent Saturday downhill skiing at NorthStar at Tahoe ski resort while Randy took care of our sick kitty Squeaky. It was pretty good skiing in the morning and then the afternoon was slushy and difficult.

There are so many health benefits I still enjoy from losing the excess 85 pounds. One of the benefits is the chronic lower back pain I’d experienced for 15 years is completely gone. I had no idea when I was over weight that it had caused such a huge burden.

The last time I’d gone skiing was over 10 years ago and my calves were so big from the excess weight that I couldn’t find boots that fit correctly. I really enjoyed myself this time not having so much pain. Skiing is still hard on the lower legs, but it was all the normal aches and pains of downhill skiing and leaning forward into the boots.

The Venus workout routines seemed to keep me in pretty good shape for skiing.  I didn’t get sore, but I was slightly fatigued from the effort.


We ended the weekend together with a hike in the beautiful D.L. Bliss state park in South Lake Tahoe.

We ended the weekend together with a hike in the beautiful D.L. Bliss state park in South Lake Tahoe.


You are sculpting and molding your destiny

We ended our time together at the Lake with a hike in D. L. Bliss State Park in South Lake Tahoe.  On the way home I pondered how much my life has changed since embarking on this Venus lifestyle.  I have a new career that keeps evolving.  It’s exciting and I can’t wait to find out what lies ahead for me this year.

Pretty cool for a 54 year old woman who spent many years frustrated and over weight isn’t it?

It made me think of a recent email from one of the owners of Venus and Adonis, Brad Howard.  His words describe exactly what I felt as I pondered how my life had changed.

So I shall leave you with his words.

Have a beautiful weekend.  It’s full of opportunity to make good choices.

See you on the inside!

-Coach Roberta


You’re not here just to get abs.  

You’re not here to just sculpt an ideal physique.

You’re here because Venus and Adonis is just one tool you’re using to sculpt your life.  One tool on your journey to owning your destiny.

That is what makes Venus and Adonis special.

We are the kind of men and woman who recognize… that one of the most important things we can bring to this world… is being a person of value.

And by being a person of value… we invest in ourselves.

You know what man…. keep sculpting and carving away at your life.

Throw yourself into the minds of great men and women.

Read voraciously.

If you experience failure… look at it as just golden feedback to grow.

Experience new things.  Travel to a place you wouldn’t normally think of going.

In short…

…Keep raising your bar.

It may take you time.  In fact, it will take you time. Yet if you keep putting one foot in front of the other…  If you keep learning.. if you keep sharpening your blade and applying yourself… your life.. and your success… YOU will be in control of it.  And it will open great doors for you.

Venus and Adonis is about marching to the beat of your own drum.  It’s tailored to you.  Yet the doors are open to experiment with different philosophies.  Some you may disagree with … some you may love.  All in all… you learn immensely from both. 

It’s the same thing in your life.

You get certain guide posts along the way.  

You try different things.

You are sculpting and molding your destiny.

Keep rocking it man.

Keep sculpting your journey.


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



What To Do When Your Stomach Feels Like An Endless Void with HUNGER?

How do you deal with the after effects of stress hunger?

How do you deal with the after effects of stress hunger?


The night before this picture was taken I felt the effects of extreme fatigue.  Even though I’d already eaten well above my caloric needs for the day, my stomach felt like an endless void that couldn’t be filled.  I seriously wanted to eat the entire jar of nut butter and preserves.  It was the strangest thing.  I was practically stumbling around the house, specifically the kitchen, and I just wanted to eat.

This is called being ego depleted.  It’s something John talks about this in the Venus Fat Loss Manual.  You can’t make good decisions when you are ego depleted.  You have to set up your environment for success.

I finally tore myself away from the kitchen and stumbled off to bed.  What I really needed was sleep, not food.

I’ve been maintaining my Venus shape for 4 years now so I’ve been around the block a time or two with this stress eating business. It’s never the end of the world if you CHOOSE you are not DOOMED just because you made a few ego depleted bad decisions.

When I woke up the next morning I wasn’t quite recovered from the stress of the previous few days.  I was still ego depleted but I knew what to do.  I needed water, coffee, and some hugs and reassurance from Randy.

Even though I’ve spent most of my life hiding from the camera, Venus changed that for me.  I put on the exact pair of jeans that I bought when I first achieved my Venus goal and had Randy take a picture of me on our back deck.  I had even blogged about getting this pair of “skinny jeans” back in the day,  inside our private Venus Community.  This picture and these jeans gave me assurance once again that you won’t lose your progress overnight.

The only way you lose what you earned with fat loss is if you go on for weeks and months with no regard for food intake, like a wild woman on a credit card spending spree.  At some point the bill will come due.  Just don’t let that happen.  Pay off the debt sooner.

When you are ego depleted it’s just part of the stress of life.

It’s okay. You just pick up where you left off and don’t let your emotions take you away.

Once again it is all about consistency over time. NOT PERFECTION.

If it were perfection we would never succeed.

If it were perfection we wouldn’t be human.

It is accepting that you are human and not perfect AND not giving up that will get you there.

You are human.

You are not perfect.

It does not matter.

Just keep going.

Read more about the events that caused my ego depletion and how I dealt with it here.

See you on the inside!

-Coach Roberta

How to enter the next Venus Contest (STARTS NEXT WEEK) on January 19th

Come join our community of successful women!

Come join our community of successful women!


How would you like to join our community of successful women?

Those who have the most success participate in the private online community of women only.  This is where they meet new friends and find support. They learn from others things they never would have thought of.

This is how we learn SUCCESS and how to live the life of a Venus.

Some like to enter a contest for motivation.

Instructions for entering a Venus Contest are here:   How to ENTER A VENUS CONTEST.

The 2015 schedule of contests is here:  2015 Contest Schedule.

See you on the inside!

-Coach Roberta

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What does a gun blowing up and holiday eating have in common?

Never give up!

That is what it has in common.  Never give up!

PS If you want to know more about the contest deadline keep reading.  Information down below.

The cracked barrel in the upper left is a very rare and infamous occurrence.

The cracked barrel in the upper left is a very rare and infamous occurrence.

This a very rare occurrence and it happened to me last night during our training and qualification at the Sheriff’s department.  I still have the chills thinking about it and all the deep meaning it has in my life.

Never give up.

Vaclav wrote this about my initial transformation several years ago.  It applied then as it applies now.

What happened last night was called a “squib load” and it’s a very rare and infamous occurrence that gets a lot of attention when it happens. It happened to my very precious and expensive Wilson 1911 (for those who understand guns).

I am still kind of in shock about it and my beautiful piece of machinery being so broken still makes me want to cry. Emotionally I’m waffling between sadness about it and yet deeply thankful that it didn’t happen on duty or that my hands or face didn’t get blown up. Instead I’m just stuck with some emotions and deep thoughts about life in general (and a very much broken masterfully made piece of machinery).

So how does this apply to us at Venus and the holidays?

Last night’s incident with my gun blowing up reminds me that we all must NEVER GIVE UP. First, it was nobodies fault. Stuff happens. It’s life. I am very lucky no one was hurt and that it the drill itself was TRAINING. The malfunction however COULD happen in a real life scenario on duty.

The training and qualification scenario was this: I was advancing on a threat with my shotgun. Aggressively walking forward and firing the shotgun. When I got up to close range I ran out of ammo in my shotgun so transitioned to my handgun. I proceeded to rapidly empty it into the threat. But after several quick rounds it “jammed”. I attempted the failure drill and quickly realized it totally broken and saw the cracked barrel. Lucky it was training/qualification.

My initial reaction was deep sadness for my most precious beautifully machined mechanical item and I really wanted to cry for a second about that. I thought Oh My God and in fact I think I said that. The range master quickly came over, saw what happened to it, quietly took it from my hands and set it safely on the shelf nearby and all he said was “FOCUS!” Then he proceeded to finish teaching the class.

So had this really happened on the street what would I do? I was at close range. Did I have a backup plan? I would need to keep the mindset of NEVER GIVE UP. We all need to work on that AHEAD OF TIME. I have a lot to think about now. And it was a perfect reminder that this applies not only to our physical training at the gym, out on runs, driving our cars, on our jobs, at the mall, at home with our families, in EVERYTHING WE DO.


Giving up on your fitness goals for the holidays is like slashing all your tires because one is flat

I stole this saying from a Jillian fitspiration poster on Facebook.

The same thing with diet and the holidays. We don’t have to give up. Enjoy those feast days but the pressure increases and strategies fail. Never give up on that either. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. We are human. We are messy. We will have moments or days of feasting, but it doesn’t have to go on for days on end.  You are not doomed.

You have a choice. You have options. You can DECIDE to stop at any time. You can have just a little portion control and maybe some days in between of “dieting’ so to speak, or just a little bit more in control. Even eating at maintenance a few days is a WIN. You don’t have to over eat at every meal every day during the season.

We have to deal with it every year. Why not embrace it with a plan and a backup plan? We live our habits for life. Don’t give up just because the holidays are hard.

OWN what you put in your body. Don’t let anyone else own it.

Never give up.

Never Settle.


What about the contest deadline?

Many of you will be submitting the final pictures for the contest this weekend.  In the 12 weeks of hard work and focus some of you may have forgotten where the contest entry form is. It’s the same form you used to enter the contest. Get your final entries in by midnight Eastern time November 24th.

We will be setting a schedule soon for next years contests. There will be 3 contests and the first will start in mid January so you can all enjoy the holidays (even without giving up!)  Keep your eyes peeled for an email from John and Brad Howard regarding the schedule.  Once that is all settled we shall post it here on the website as well.

Have an awesome weekend!  I can’t wait to see all the beautiful pictures of hard work and dedication!

– Coach Roberta

For any contest questions I can be reached inside the community or via email roberta.saum@gmail.com


PS just for fun here’s one more thing my new awesome expert martial artist friend Jarrod and I will never give up on.  A few years ago I couldn’t do a pushup or curl up, so once again, NEVER GIVE UP applies to all of life.


A new Venus Kool Kat; Meet Katharina

Kat went from a size 14 to a size 6 and has lost more than 36lbs since April.

Kat went from a size 14 to a size 6 and has lost more than 36lbs since April.


Different things work for different people

She goes by Kat and she is one of our newest successful Venus stories.  Kat and I met behind the scenes within the Venus online community and in our Venus Live Internet Chat tool.  We quickly hit it off and became friends on FaceBook.  Like many of our Venus customers Kat didn’t feel like she had time for an online community.

She joined our transformation contest and quickly felt like she was pushing too hard and that it was not sustainable.  For some people it’s good choice to focus on a sustainable process instead of a contest.  Although both the online community and the contest are good tools for motivation; they are not required for success.

As most of us learn; we are all different and yet the same.  We all have to experiment a bit to find what works for us. The one thing that is the same is that if we became over weight it was because of too much food.  Finding the right energy balance for fat loss for each individual is unique.  So is finding the right foods.


Kat and I share a love for organic foods so she brought me gifts from her garden.

Kat and I share a love for organic foods so she
brought me gifts from her garden.


The Venus tools are what gave Kat a new life

Venus helped Kat realize that she had too many good food and bad food restrictions.  The tools helped her learn that her all organic food was simply too much food for her.  Once she found the correct energy balance for her own needs everything clicked.

It’s been fun for me getting to know Kat because she lives in my old stomping grounds where I graduated from high school.  She also learned to love a style of organic eating that I also followed.  We both learned many of the same lessons about food.  She goes hiking along the beaches of Northern California where I grew up.  Her husband owns a business in the town where I once owned a house.  We share a lot in common.

Kat loves to lift weights and exercise.  She came to visit me a few days ago and we shared a workout with my coach Miles Cortez.  We had all had a blast.  Kat took Miles and I out to coffee after our workout.  We all spent hours talking about how much we all love the persistent lifestyle of eating within our means and exercising for our health. We all share a passion for the lifestyle.  It was a beautiful day.

Kat said one of the biggest keys to her success was the immersion program. She absolutely loved the uncensored podcasts.  There are times she felt like reverting back to old habits and eating more food than she needs. The podcasts helped her get past all that.  She listened to one after another. She said they were a lifesaver for her.


Kat’s world changed when she came across Venus Index.

Kat’s world changed when she came across the Venus Factor.


Here’s what Kat wrote to me in her own words:


Hi Roberta,

I first came to the US in 1995 as an exchange student. I stayed for a year and went back to Germany to finish my high school. The day after I got my German High school diploma I was on a plane back to the US to try my luck into getting to live here.

In April 2000 I met my husband trying to sell his business a website template. Never sold a single one, but we started dating and got married in 2003.

My husband owns Jake’s Performance Hobbies in Rohnert Park, a local hobby shop, selling radio controlled cars, airplanes, etc.

Once a week I do the bookkeeping for him, the other time I am a stay at home mom.

I come from Karlsruhe in Germany. It is South West on the Rhein river close to the Black Forest.

I like about America that I can do whatever I want and no one minds 🙂 I like how open and friendly Americans are (in comparison to Germans). I dont do well with people telling me what to do or how to do things 😉 Americans are also less judgmental and easy going. It really fits my mentality a lot better.

I went to a holistic nutrition school to become a Nutrition Educator, then I got my certificate as a Nutrition Consultants from the American Association of Nutrition Consultants, an online course.

Venus not only helped me, but saved my life. It freed me from labeling my foods as bad and good and therefore labeling myself as being bad or good depending on what I was eating. It freed me from yo-yo dieting and let me enjoy life and my body and finally love myself.

I do love Venus as a lifestyle. My motto is progress and not perfection! I love that Venus has given me all the tools to be in the shape I always wanted to be and better. It talks about so many aspects that are vital to successful weight loss that other programs don’t even touch upon.

I want to jump up and down and give everyone at Venus a big hug, especially John, Brad and you! You have no idea how much you have changed my life and the freedom you have given me! I am soaring right now. I am so happy and grateful! I will continue with the Venus principles for the rest of my life. I cant imagine anything better.

I will send you some pictures later….




This month Kat was featured in a newsletter success story


Kat Anytime Fitness success story


Kat is one tough chick for sure!

Kat’s been following what I’m doing on FaceBook so when we were setting up a time to visit she made it very clear that she wanted a workout with me and Miles. One thing both Miles and I noticed was that Kat loves to work hard!  We had so much fun working out at the gym.  Like the Anytime fitness author said “This tough chick deserves a big high five the next time you see her!”  We did a lot of high fives at the gym during our workout.


Kat like to work hard and we all did lots of high fives at the gym!

Here is Kat, Miles, and me; Kat like to work hard
and we all did lots of high fives at the gym!


Like Kat, Venus has changed my life for good. It is the very reason I’m living my dream today. Coach Miles has helped me take that farther and even get a trophy recently, but that’s all a story for another time. Today is all about Kat.  Miles is a coach that found freedom from food restrictions with Eat Stop Eat and we all share a common bond and a common lifestyle.  It’s awesome to find other coaches embracing the truth about food and willing to leave old school myths behind.  It is pretty exciting and we are all thankful to Brad Pilon and John Barban.

Here’s a little video of us having a blast at the gym:


I hope you enjoyed Kat’s success story as much as I have.

Have a great weekend, full of opportunity to make great choices!

-Coach Roberta

You can find me in our online Venus Community



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Is this the New Normal?

Is this the New Normal?

Is this the New Normal?


As the current contest winds down to the end, some of you are preparing for a photo shoot and others decided this wasn’t your time for a contest.

This can be a time of excitement or disappointment.

A couple of weeks ago I encouraged those ready to forge on to the photo shoot to not let fear stop you.  This week I want to encourage others.  Most likely you made some progress but you aren’t giving yourself credit for because you feel like you did not “finish” the contest, but that is not true.

Sometimes the contests are simply not the right time for you.  The lessons you learned in the last 3 months are still valuable for the rest of your life.

What we do here at the Venus Factor is like fish swimming up stream.  Our lifestyle of impulse control goes against the grain of the rest of modern society.  I bet even with a few mistakes you overcame adversity and many hurdles already.  This is no small accomplishment.  The skills are important skills to keep for the rest of your life.


Modern society currently has an obesity epidemic

To quote an article that ran in today’s Daily Mail Online:

A vast majority of overweight and clinically obese children in the U.S. believe they are ‘about the right weight,’ a major study finds – and nearly a third of all kids incorrectly judged their weight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied over 6,100 children aged between eight and 15 and discovered that 81per cent of overweight boys and 71per cent of overweight girls believed their weight to be in the ‘right’ range, i.e. healthy.

Of children who were diagnosed as obese, almost half of boys and over a third of girls thought they too were of about the right weight for their age.



NCHS Data Brief (From the Centers for Disease Control)


Normal tends to be relative.  Kids growing up now are learning a new normal. Unless our habits change as a society this is the new trend.  According to the NCHS Data brief people are consuming more calories and becoming more sedentary.

What we do at the Venus Factor is the opposite of this.  Even though you are embarking on a perfectly healthy lifestyle you will be viewed as “extreme”.  This makes the new lifestyle you are trying to learn become a hurdle.  Any progress is hard earned.


It is not a contest, it is a lifestyle

The contest is a mere train stop en route to the rest of your life.

I have several coaching clients who started the coaching program to help them complete the contest. They ended up realizing that the time was spent learning some valuable lessons and have decided not to finish the contest.

This one most precious young lady put her lesson into words so beautifully.

Yes she wrote the note to me, and I left it as is, but there is nothing special about me, it’s the lesson itself that she learned that is priceless. We all learn this lesson when we get so close to our goal.  I don’t think I can put it out any better than she just did:


Oh dear Roberta you are the most wonderful person I’ve ever known!!!

When I started the contest I was committed to starve myself and workout like crazy to get to my goal by the end of it, thinking that 10 weeks would go away like nothing! I thought you would support me on my plan to reach my goal, but instead you were honest and told me what I didn’t want to hear, that I was short and losing weight the healthy way would take longer. I was disappointed but realized you were right. I was tired of eating the way I was and relying on fasting to compensate for binging. I felt so lost during the long fasting and decided to listen to your advice and thank God I did.

It’s true my body is not quite at my goal, but it has improved a lot. And the most important thing is that thanks to you I learned to be patient, now I still have a goal, but not a deadline, I know if I keep going I will get there with what you taught me.

Thanks so much for what you do for me! I could never thank you enough. You coached me not for the contest, but for a lifestyle!


When people do the cycle of eat low and binge repeatedly I call this the “eating yo-yo”.  It’s a point of plateau or even going backwards.

No matter how much it would make me look good to produce a bunch of contest winners by cheering on with “eat less, eat less” I won’t do it. It doesn’t look good when they rebound after the contest anyway. None of us need that. We need our lives back.

All those in this situation are within a three inches of the VI waist. This is a critical point where the body refuses to be rushed. This is where the Venus Factor “Theory of fat availability” and “Reverse Taper” come into play.  You can’t make things happen any faster than the body will allow.  The rate you build muscle is genetic.  The rate you lose fat at this point is so low it might not show an indication on the body weight scale.

When you get to this point you can’t eat so low anymore.  You also can’t eat too high or for a long string of days if you want to lose that last bit of fat, because you can’t eat low enough anymore to make up for it.  It’s needs to be more of an even keel.  I call this the calorie tightrope.


Our Venus contest winners all learned valuable lessons for life.

Our Venus contest winners all learned valuable lessons for life.


 You are already a winner!

So the main thing to remember is that if you are learning to eat less for your deficit, or walk the calorie tightrope, or learning to make lifting weights a habit for life, these are all swimming against the stream of normal society. Each victory is hard earned.

No matter how far along you are in your goals, if you have been making progress it is a huge win.  It’s a huge victory.  Do not sell yourself short.  Just keep swimming and never give up.

The deadline for submitting the VT11 contest final pictures is August 11, 2014 midnight.  If you are in this contest and you are delayed due to waiting on photography final processing all you have to do is email me (roberta.saum@gmail.com) and let me know.  The front page newspaper picture must be dated August 11, 2014 or earlier.

I look forward to seeing your hard work shine!

-Coach Roberta

(You can find me in the online community.)


Find out more about Venus Transformation contests:


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The final sprint for the contest; Don’t let FEAR stop your DREAM.

I'm still pinching myself the way I did back in my Venus Transformation contest days.  What, am I really Cat Woman now??!!

I’m still pinching myself the way I did back in my Venus Transformation contest days. What, am I really Cat Woman now??!!


The final contest sprint

Many of you are now in the final stretch at the end of the VT11 Venus Transformation contest.  This is where you can make the final push with workouts and and a little more effort on the diet compared to a normal season of life.

It’s okay to put in that extra effort which is a bit more than a normal sustainable effort.

It’s okay to sprint for a few weeks.



Along with that sprint comes fear.  Fear of letting yourself down.  Fear of letting others down.  Fear of failure.  Fear of being a dork.  We all have these fears, and they don’t all go away.  We have fear when we push for something hard and try something new like a contest.

Even though there really is nothing to fear, we fear.  In many ways there is nothing to lose, but we conger up the fears.

I’ve been ready and in shape most of this year for a photo shoot, yet fear was stopping me from actually booking one.  I do a lot of networking online and have met some amazing and talented people.

About a month ago I finally contacted one of my online photographer connections.  His name is Ryan and I really liked the work I’d seen him post.  When I showed Ryan some examples of what I’d like to do with the superhero theme his interest seemed to perk up.

I had wanted to keep it a secret, in case I failed.  I wasn’t planning to tell anyone.  But Ryan was so excited that he posted a status update stating that we were doing a superhero photo shoot and that it was going to be “epic“.

Then the pressure was on because the secret was out.  All his friends and all my friends could see it.  So the panic and fear started.

I can honestly say that every day since then has been filled with fear, sometimes to the point of feeling ill and losing sleep (which makes EVERYTHING worse).  Some of my friends know as I posted some funny status updates, or even gym workouts at the “lonely sheriff gym” which made some of my friends chuckle. Fear makes us feel alone.

Someone had posted an inspirational poster about “Setting a goal that is so exhilarating that it excites and scares you at the same time.”  That pretty much summed up the two weeks for me prior to the “superhero photo shoot”.

I’ve got some amazing and talented people I’m connected with now. Every time I post a question about a personal problem the knowledge and generosity never ceases to amaze me. Not only from local friends but from people who I’ve never met in person. It’s simply amazing.

So some of my fear was that I didn’t want to let these amazing people down, or look like a dork or failure to them.  I know I shouldn’t care about what people think. I’ve learned not to care about what mean people think, but I still care about what people think who I know and respect.

I was so sick with fear that at times I wanted to just call the whole thing off, so the pain would go away.  But then I knew I’d have other regrets, and other pain.

I’m really glad I didn’t give up, because the prize was amazing.


It takes a TEAM

I can’t say enough about the fact that it takes a TEAM to pull this off a photo shoot like this. All I did was work on my body and the costume, and even all that took support of family and friends.

Then add in hair color, nails, hair style, borrowed boots (for the Ninja scene not shown in this post), general assistance and driving around, makeup artist, amazing photography skills, etc.  Things like this don’t happen solo. It takes people helping people. It does take a team.

A team takes teamwork skills, and thinking about how you effect others around you.

When you get a chance, help others out. What goes around comes around.

This was my team:

Photographer Ryan Lazalier

Makeup artist Diana Jeanette

Hair Stylist Shayn Guenther

Assistance from my dear friend and amazing woman who will soon realize her own dream of being a fitness competitor Nancy J. Meuer

I’m actually the 53 year old model living my dream (Roberta Saum)

In the days prior to the event my nails and hair color were done by HairHouse ‘N’ NailSaloon and Mekayla Ladd

The amazing thing about this event was that no money exchanged hands. This was totally made up of a group of people helping everyone else build their portfolio’s.  Not everyone gets this type of opportunity.  I was lucky, but I also spend a lot of time helping others out.

That’s how this sort of thing works.  It also helps when you are willing to do something different, out of the box, and scary, like dressing up like a cat woman.  This gave the creative people on the team an ability to use their talents in a fun and unique way.  They wanted to do it. In fact they were excited to do it.

When Shayn and Diana showed up to do my hair and makeup they immediately made me feel at ease.  Diana did an amazing job on my makeup.  Shayn took the effort to add in my hair extensions and style them to match and blend beautifully with my hair.

My hair was highlighted by Danna Ladd at HairHouse ‘N’ NailSaloon. Danna used a very complicated mix to make my hair match the extensions I had.

Danna’s daughter,  Mekayla Ladd, gave me a pedicure and manicure.

For your own success in the fitness game it means setting up your own team.  Get friends and family on board.  We all need support. Every situation is different.  Some really need the online community for support if their family is not on board.  Some have local friends. Some have friends who don’t agree with methods.  Remember this is YOUR journey and not everyone will understand.  It might be a fight for yourself, the fight is worth it.  So keep fighting the good fight until you get the team that works with you.  And always remember team is about give and take.


About the costume

Many people have asked about the costume and scene so here are the details on that.

I pieced together most of the costume with items from Yandy.com.  That is where I got the black pleather pants, camo top and shorts, cat woman mask, whip, and gloves.

I had to experiment and try things out for the costume.  At first I put the camo belt around my waist in a crisscross pattern, then went shopping for a waist belt and shoes.  I scoured the big local shopping mall and almost gave up, then at the last minute I found the shoes and the belts which I ended up using for the crisscross.  I decided to use the camo belt around the waist.  Then I had the idea to cut off the top of the camo shorts (along with the belt loops) and attach them to the black pants.  It took a bit of sewing skills and some Velcro pieces.

I had to alter the pants to fit as they were baggy in places.  I also had to modify the gloves which were too long for me (I’m short so they reached up to my armpits!)  I rolled them down and then they looked funky so I added some leather and buckles to the top cuff.  I found some cheap boots at a used clothing store. I cut the leather and buckles off the boots and sewed them on the top cuff for the gloves.

I also had to modify the mask as the holes for the eyes didn’t fit my small face.

I had to use duct tape to hold the crisscross belts up in place on my upper back.  I needed my assistant Nancy to help with that. The belts were brand new like the shoes and I didn’t want to cut them as they will be useful as normal clothing items.

The weekend before the photo shoot Ryan scouted dark alleyways in downtown Sacramento and practiced some night photography.  When he told me about it I feared a bit for our safety since we would be preoccupied with our work and not as aware of our surroundings as we should be.  I arranged for someone to watch out for our safety and who would call it off mid scene if it got too dangerous.

We actually had some close calls with the local night life, but everything worked out fine.

At one point we had a makeup disaster and had to go to a local grocery store for some quick fix items.  Dressed as I was in pleather and dark makeup, I’m pretty sure the locals thought I had different business in town. Nancy and I got a good chuckle out of that, but we motored on with purpose and did what we had to do to get the job done.

The alleyway for the cat woman picture was in downtown Sacramento.  Here’s one more picture from that scene.  You can see Ryan’s creative talents in both pictures.


My friend Nancy said of Ryan, "Wow, he got down on the ground and got dirty to get some great shots of you!"  Yes he did and it was awesome.

My friend Nancy said of Ryan, “Wow, he got down on the ground and got dirty to get some great shots of you!”
Yes he did and it was awesome.


One of the comments my friend Nancy made about Ryan was “Wow, he got down on the ground and got dirty to get some good shots of you!”  Yes, we all noticed that.  And let me tell you that alleyway was filthy.  Ryan is an amazing and down to earth guy who I thoroughly enjoyed working with.  I hope to get more chances to work with him.  I have a feeling it might happen again someday.  Since then he’s asked me to help coach him on “getting lean” and I can honestly say it’s my pleasure to help.

I told Ryan I’ll be cracking the whip! I have one now you see, as I am Cat Woman!

Ryan named the first picture “Catwoman GI Jane“, and the second picture “Alley Cat“.


Don’t let FEAR stop you from achieving your DREAM

So the bottom line is you won’t really know the outcome until you do it.  Take a leap of faith.  Believe in the hard work you’ve put in.  Believe in yourself even though the fear still exists.

If it’s one of our contests you are doing, in many ways you have nothing to fear.  Just like my superhero photo shoot, if the pictures didn’t come out no one has to see them.  If you you don’t like them, just keep them to yourself and keep on swimming.

We keep everything about people in our contest completely private and confidential.  Unless you place in the top 10, no one will even know you entered unless you talk about it.  No one except the contest judges will see your pictures unless you place, and then your awesomeness will be shown to the world.

Do this for yourself, not the contest.  It’s an investment in yourself.  Even if the outcome isn’t what you wanted. That is how we all learn.  Learning is an investment as much as success is.

Think of your photo shoot as something for you to have to look back on.  Just like when you take your family portraits.  It’s a memory of a special time.  Even though my VT3 and VT4 contest photo’s are a couple of years old now they hold very special memories for me.  I’m glad I have them. Someday when I’m 90 years old I will have them to show when I tell my old lady stories about my life if anyone bothers to listen.

We all have fear.  Some of it never goes away. Some of it makes us feel ill. Don’t let it stop you from achieving your dream!

The deadline for submitting the VT11 contest final pictures is August 11, 2014 midnight.  If you are in this contest and you are delayed due to waiting on photography final processing all you have to do is email me (roberta.saum@gmail.com) and let me know.  The front page newspaper picture must be dated August 11, 2014 or earlier.

I look forward to seeing your hard work shine!

-Coach Roberta

(You can find me in the online community.)


Find out more about Venus Transformation contests: