Venus Veteran Naomi Maintaining Awesome into her 50’s

Naomi Before Venus and After 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Bonus Results of Getting Lean and Strong

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Get in touch with me:

My WebSite where I blog regularly

My FaceBook Page – Naomi Rules

My Instagram Page

Here is my Venus Index community profile.

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

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

Naomi and John Barban

Naomi and John Barban at an exercise video shoot


Naomi Before Venus and After 2012

Naomi Before Venus and After in 2012


Naomi before and after Venus through the years

Naomi before and after Venus through the years

Some pro tips from Naomi

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


Naomi Maintenance Feb 2016

Naomi Maintenance Feb 2016


Naomi Maintenance April 2016

Naomi Maintenance April 2016


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

How Keturah Overcame Fibromyalgia and Hypothyroidism to Lose over 100 Pounds

Keturah Before and After Side

Keturah has been using Venus systems for over 5 years!  Her transformation stretches out further than a 12 week period though, she has lost over ONE HUNDRED pounds!


Keturah Through Weight Loss to Maintenance


Keturah through the weight loss over the years

(Left) Keturah at her heaviest before finding Venus in 2011

(Middle) Keturah in the middle of her transformation at about 190 lbs in November of 2011

(Right) in the middle of her transformation at about 180 lbs in February of 2012

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


Maintenance: Choosing life.
Maintenance is something you don’t hear much about. The fitness world is full of shiny before and after photos with big shiny smiles to match. What no one seems to talk about is the daily practice of life. 
There are some things that set apart maintenance from deficit. Let’s focus on what comprises this brave new world. 

I recently reread some of my old blog posts. It was such a wise voice, and it was speaking to me now. (The value of listening to ourselves is great!) First, let me level with you: I am no different than anyone else. Fear creeps in. Old thought patterns start repeating. Fear of rebound weight gain. Fear of not being able to do it. Fear of looking too thin. Fear of people being negative. Fear of not maintaining it for life. Fear of disordered eating. Fear of putting my value in my looks, and not in who I AM INSIDE.

I think the last argument “Fear of putting my value in my looks, and not in who I AM INSIDE” is especially real. It’s a fear that many women deal with in our current culture. I’ve come to realize that while weight, size, shape, and body shape are not my source of identity, being overweight and unhappy with my body can be a road block to feeling good about myself. My insecurity about my body, the shame and guilt I have felt in being overweight: it was real. Learning that I could change that was empowering. But also learning that my body doesn’t define me is a mindset that has taken longer to sink in and takes daily practice.
Value where you are at NOW. Comparison is the thief of joy. We all know that popular quote. Sometimes the comparison isn’t with other people, it’s with ourselves. We can lose a lot of joy comparing ourselves to the past or even to perhaps unrealistic goals and standards. Maybe right now it tough and you don’t particularly feel joy. That’s okay. I am learning to ask myself questions. Why am I feeling this way? I keep asking why. Doing this helps me get to the root of lingering insecurities or issues. I also find out that what scares me is usually not as huge as I’ve made it in my head.

We think this journey of self introspection disappears when we enter maintenance mode. It doesn’t. If anything, it began a new season of asking questions, dealing with some old triggers, and learning to trust ourselves in new ways during new seasons and situations. Which is why we also need to work on habits. 

Fear can hold us hostage and make us freak out! But the truth is, it’s about choices, not fears. I choose to be healthy. I choose to eat supportive foods that will help my Hashimoto’s autoimmune disease and fibromyalgia. I choose to lift weights so I’m strong, lean, slender, and pain-free. I choose to walk to have head space, time to think, reflect, and enjoy the outdoors. I choose to stretch to be flexible, limber, and feel good. I choose to be at peace with my body and take steps that will enable me to continue being Venus for life.

Maintenance is not automatic. It is about daily choices, habits and goals. This isn’t glamorous. Habits are choices we make and continue making everyday. I can choose to say “no” to fear and listen to the truth. I can choose not to let my circumstances and past, worries about the future, and other things define me, but to take a step forward and embrace the present, choose joy, and keep stepping forward up the mountain.

I liken maintenance to keeping the house neat, or perhaps tending the garden after the plants have started growing. If you let the little things go–laundry and dishes pile up, floors need swept, garbage overflowing, weeds growing wild–pretty soon the place is a disaster needing a complete cleaning and overhaul. Some daily tidying and daily weeding would have kept those things from happening. Some days we let things go. It’s about attending to the dishes before the pile gets too big. Or put it this way: it’s paying of the credit card bill at the end of the month instead of letting it stack up for a couple of years until it becomes a mountain of debt!
The habits you begin and consistently choose and practice will be habits that keep you going, even if they change in form. My daily habits are movement (for me that’s resistance training, flexibility, and walking); including protein and either fruit or vegetables at most meals; good rest; hobbies I love (makeup, knitting, and reading are just a few!) and relaxing with my husband on the weekends. I am learning to balance my meals and intake. If we go out on a brewery tour I will enjoy a burger and beer. The next meal or day, I have my coffee  but enjoy water, fruit, salad, and some light protein for the rest of the meals. There is no punishment, no reproach. No starvation, no forcing of food. I just listen to myself. 
Maintenance is the season I have really learned to enjoy living life and how to be flexible. Shortly after reaching my Venus metrics a couple years ago, I was still in “get competition lean” mode. It took a couple months for me to realize I wasn’t really getting anywhere with all my hard work and was frustrated. Mostly, it was mental. I decided to do something crazy. I stopped trying so dang hard to reach smaller metrics, body goals, and all the other stuff I deemed necessary to joy. Instead, I let go. I began listening to my body, doing what felt both right and good, and relaxing about the rest. It was, and still is, the very best thing for me. I learned another lesson in trusting myself. There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting competition lean. But it’s a season, and for many it isn’t a season that can be stretched out for indefinite periods of time. Sometimes we have to count the cost. The cost at the time wasn’t best for me. 
There is also adaptive components to maintenance. I am learning to change up my routine or my workout when I feel unmotivated about workouts. There are also life changes that require workouts changes. My husband and I recently relocated 2300 miles, from mountain life to ocean life. While I had spent the last couple years lifting heavy weights at the gym, I was suddenly faced with a new challenge. There was no gym and our new home didn’t have space for heavy weights. At first, I was frustrated. What was I going to do now? I quickly realized my new life change meant a change in my training. This wasn’t an easy change at first. The first few weeks of no gym I had a lot of anxiety! Heavy weightlifting had become a security blanket and it was time to put it away for a while. Without access to the barbell rack, I’ve had a chance to work on some old gymnastic training, flexibility, and explore other workouts–areas I neglected for years, and that I really missed doing. 
Final thoughts. 
Honestly, maintenance is about learning to live from out truest, healthiest selves. The main focus of fat loss phase is so you can make changes in your body and, most importantly and what gets left out by a lot of people, live life with new lifelong habits, and keeping Venus tools for when you do let the house go and need to whip it back into shape. You learn to listen to yourself, learn what works best for you, what is sustainable, what is joyful. You learn balance. 
Maintenance is choosing to be Venus for LIFE.


Keturah Before and After Front

Ketty’s Metrics Using Venus

(Note Keturah had lost about 100 lbs before even finding Venus in 2011 on her own! WOW!)

Weight Height Waist Shoulders Hips
June 2011 217 lb 71 in ~35.5 in ~46 in ~50 in
April 2016 175 lb 71 in 27.5 in 43 in 42 in
Deltas -42 lb 0 in -8 in -3 in -8 in




Keturah Happily Ever After Maintaining

Keturah Happily Ever After Maintaining at her Wedding in Summer 2015


Watch Keturah’s interview with Liss below:

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

Maintenance with Venus Veteran Carly

Carly Venus Before and After

Carly has been using Venus systems for over 3 years.  She did a phenomenal job with her initial transformation and her continued results display the hard work she puts in. Her transformation stretches out further than a 12 week period though, she has lost FORTY pounds using Venus!

Carly Venus Before and After Side

Carly before starting Venus in 2013 and after VT14, unbelievable!

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

Before children, I never worked out. I never counted calories. I didn’t have to work hard to keep my figure. I was young then too and now I’m older. All my factors have changed so I need to change my habits in order to keep the figure I desire. I am thirty two years old. I have two children. My son is six years old and my daughter is three years old. I found Venus in June 2013, two months after I had my daughter. I had a lot of weight to lose. I was ready to hit the gym to lose my baby weight.  Liss Graham was teaching Venus at my local gym so I decided to join her class. By April 2014, I hit my weight loss goal. I had dropped FORTY-FIVE pounds! I was in my measurement goals with the nutrition calculator. But once I hit that goal, I already had another goal in mind. TONING!! I kept using Venus from April 2014 to May 2015 but I felt like I was just in the motion and not really learning or thinking about how to better myself. I felt like I was in limbo. For me, it has been hard to build muscle. I didn’t know what I was doing. I felt stronger every time I lifted and I was getting sore but I couldn’t grow. I wasn’t pushing myself to the level I could have gone. Even though, I was very successful with weight loss, I felt like I didn’t know how to maintain my weight and I didn’t know how to tone the muscles. For me it was like, “Well, I lost all this weight but now what?” I felt uneducated on how to maintain my weight and build muscle at the same time. To reach this goal and to get motivated again, I decided to join a contest. I felt like I truly started TONING when VT14 started. When I joined the VT14 my mission was to tone up every muscle from head to toe. I added more days of lifting. I went to the gym six days of the week instead of the recommended three. I watched my intake more. I researched more by listening to podcasts and reading fitness articles. I started following fitness guru’s on Instagram and facebook. I dedicated more time to reading and understanding the VENUS program. Sometimes I even worked out twice a day. I took advice from other Venus expertise. Liss Graham came for visits at my gym and I learned from her every time. She’s an AMAZING coach by the way! I took professional pictures every 6 weeks to help push me along. I had some vacations during the contest and I didn’t want it to derail me. I used myfitnesspal and held myself accountable for every meal. I was dedicated to making progress. Twelve weeks later, I felt like I had the body of my dreams. I know what to do now to keep my transformation. I can see my growth with photos. I know how to keep toning my body without being lost in the process. Venus has educated me on how to be healthy and fit for life. Venus has helped me reach my weight loss goal and my toning goal. Venus has given me the body that I craved. Before children, I weighted one hundred and seventeen pounds. I weigh less now and have way more muscle. I look way better after kids then I ever did before kids. I have been very successful with Venus and have hit many goals. I didn’t know anything about fitness before Venus. I think everyone should watch the how to videos and learn how to eat right and learn what a simple carb is versus a complex carb. I literally didn’t know anything! The biggest change for me is making trips to the grocery store. I know not to just look at the pretty labels on the boxes that are misleading to shoppers. I know how to read ingredients and what to look for in them. I read the nutrition label, which I used to ignore. Venus has changed my life and for the better. I eat clean now. I have the confidence and education it takes to make Venus a lifestyle and not a fad. I’ve done it for three years and I plan on doing it for the rest of my life. It is too good of a program to ever stop doing.

Carly Venus Before and After Back

Carly’s Metrics

Weight Height Waist Shoulders Hips
June 2013 150 lb 63 in 33.5 in 41.5 in 42.5 in
February 2016 113 lb 63 in 26.8 in 36.0 in 36 in
Deltas -37 lb 0 in -6.7 in -5.5 in -6.5 in


Carly and Venus Friends

Carly (right) with Venus veteran and friend Julie (left)

Carly is a beautiful Venus! Nothing can stop her now!


Carly Venus Class June 2015

Carly, Coach Liss, and Venus friends at the Moore County YMCA

Carly Venus Class July 2015

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

What is Venus Coaching and who is it for?

Venus Index Coaches

Your Venus Index Coaching Team


I have answered a few questions lately regarding Venus coaching and how it differs from our Venus Immersion.



Venus Immersion is comparable to a “do it yourself” home project. You know it will take you a bit longer than a contractor but it will save money and you will learn the basics along the way.  The other benefit is that you have access to Venus training programming much longer than a 12 week period along with access to all the uncensored podcasts.



Venus coaching is comparable to hiring a contractor for your home project. You want an expert so it gets done right the first time or maybe you have a special case.  Other reasons may be that you have no background knowledge in fitness or your time is valuable so you want to cut to the chase. A coach will get your background and prescribe a nutrition and training regimen based on your needs.


All the coaches do things a little differently based on their personalities. You can request any one of the coaches and if we have space we will accommodate your request.   We all touch base with clients weekly and take client biweekly progress reports. Based on that, a coach will modify programming for the client.  Clients can email their coach at any time with questions or concerns. I like to talk to my clients face to face so we Skype if the client desires, some of the other coaches do as well.


If you think Immersion might be right for you, there is more information here –


If you think coaching might be for you, there is more info here –


Either way you go, you are investing in your health and priorities which is a win.


X- Coach Liss

Be stronger than your EXCUSES!

Coach Carla is stronger than any excuse!

Coach Lita is stronger than any excuse!


The thing I love the most about Coach Lita is she never stands behind a list of excuses.  Like all of us, she wears a lot of different hats, and her life is full of other things called LIFE.  She just owns it and moves on.

I’ll tell you a secret.  Even once you are done raising kids, life still fills up your plate.  You move from one season to the next, and life just keeps throwing things at you. The parents have aging issues, the other jobs place demands on you, the car breaks down, the bills pile up, your spouse needs your support, forest fires, tornado’s, hurricanes and other natural disasters threaten your home, your friends get sick and need help, tragedies happen around you and your community needs you, your aging pets get sick.  Family members have tragedy and illness. You have illnesses. It is endless. There will always be a huge list of excuses.

But they are not really excuses, it’s just life.

So, the best thing to do is just own it and keep moving.

Today is a new day.

We all have 24 hours.

We all wear different hats.

We all have responsibilities.

We all have stress.

We all have adversity.

We all have our own unique genetics.

We all have possible excuses.

We all make mistakes that give us doubt.

Even yesterday.  Whatever mistake you made, let it go.

Today is a new day.

Learn from it and move on.

DECIDE what you want today.

Make it a victory.

Nobody wants to hear the excuses.

Just do what you gotta do without the excuses.

If someone else succeeded in what you want, applaud them instead.

Don’t demean them just because you haven’t done it yet.

Don’t make excuses as to why you have not achieved it yet.

Just do it.

Just do it anyway.

Once again it’s the little steps every day and biding your time.

YOUR time will come too.

If you let go of the excuses already.

If you make today a new day and let yesterday go.

This is how we do it!!

Never give up
Never settle
Live your dream

Have a wonderful weekend.  It’s full of opportunity to make good choices.  A clean slate.  Like every fresh new morning.

And of course if you need help with those day to day choices, you can always choose your own Venus coach, or you can find friends in the Venus forum, or the Venus Facebook group.

-Coach Roberta



Looking Good At 50 and Beyond – Lorie’s Story

During the phase of life when many women struggle with their weight and body image or just decide to let “nature take its course”, Lorie took a look in the mirror and decided that there was no reason she should settle for anything less than the best for herself. Inspired by all the changes she saw her own daughter make using the Venus program, Lorie decided to start working out with her so that she could learn for herself how to change her lifestyle and fitness for the better. What happened as a result? Lorie lost an amazing 24 pounds in just 12 weeks and she ended up placing in our recent VT11 contest. Here are her before and after pictures:


In her own words, this 50 year old mom and grandmother told us, “I babysit for my 2 year old grand baby while my daughter goes to work. In that 2 years I have enjoyed eating way too many snacks, cokes and just about whatever I wanted. I did not go too many places, so I just wore my sweats all day and the weight has just crept up on me. I really was feeling depressed, and it was harder to run and play with my grand baby. I decided to do something about It. I joined the Venus contest, and now 12 weeks and 24 pounds later I am seeing muscles I thought were gone forever.”

lorie_after 1During her transformation process, Lorie learned how to change her eating habits and the way she thinks about food and snacks. She also learned that she actually enjoys working out at the gym and seeing the changes in her body and feeling the improvements in her strength and overall fitness. Now Lorie has committed herself to the process of ongoing and lifelong change. Pleased with her results, but not willing to backslide or ever give up, Lorie told us that she plans to keep applying all that she has learned so far and to keep working on her habits, lifestyle choices and fitness level.

Lorie has figured out what so many people never realize – that having a fit, strong and beautiful body is a lifelong “project” worth pursuing for the many riches it brings. I so enjoyed spending time talking with this wise and engaging woman who has so much to offer and share and we are so proud she chose to share her journey with us!

– Coach Lita


Listen to our conversation with Lorie here:

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:




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


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.


Ask Nicola; How do you Successfully Sustain Your New Fit Body?


We have many women who have sustained their fitness level but Kimberley was the very first to be labeled the "Every Day Venus".

We have many women who have sustained their fitness level but Kimberley was the very first to be labeled the “Every Day Venus”. We now have many in the community who have followed in her footsteps.

How do you sustain your new body once you achieve your fitness goal?

Why do people relapse? 

It is a new way of living.  It’s not the way you lived that got you to gain weight, and it’s also not the way you lived to lose the weight, it’s a new third way of living.

This third way is usually not thought of for maintenance.  It is 90% mental. You are moving from a honeymoon phase back to dealing with real life in your new fit body.

Sustainability for maintenance is a new concept completely.  There is a lot of mental change that needs to take place.


Expectations – Shift your expectations once you’re in a new phase of your diet and fitness life.

Change of your expectations; you aren’t going to have the same rush of excitement as when you were losing weight.  You thought this was going to fix everything in your life, but now you are just dealing with the day to day stress of life.  There are not really any exciting changes anymore with regard to fitness goals.


Flexibility – Must learn to be flexible with your thoughts, and actions.

Be Flexible; with the challenges of life, the messiness, and boredom, you can’t let the bad days define you.  Don’t let yourself get into a negative cycle because your expectations about what maintenance were not what you thought it would be like.

You are worth the effort to stay fit.   For the 12 weeks during a contest or challenge you may have been able to be more inflexible but that is not a sustainable way to live.  Now as you move on in life you need to learn to live your normally life again.


Vulnerability – Must accept and manage your vulnerability.

Bad days will happen; you must get back on with life and it’s messy sometimes. If you don’t accept your vulnerability you will fall into a trap of having unrealistic expectations of yourself that leads to a feeling of failure.

Accepting your vulnerability; you are still going to have fears.  You are still not going to be supported by everyone in your life.  Life is still hard, messy, work stress is still there, fears still exist, relationship issues still happen, your insecurities and self-image are still there, you are still you.


We all stumble a little as we mature

When I first achieved my fitness goal, no actually even when I exceeded my fitness goal, I didn’t even realize I was there yet.  It takes awhile for your mind to catch up with your body.

I’d spent so long losing weight that I didn’t know how to stop.  I was afraid I’d gain it all back.  I was afraid to eat more.  I had a lot of fears.  There was a lot of jealousy and shifting relationships in my life.

Yes I was fit and confident and that was fun, but all the problems that have always existed were still there.  All my fears and insecurities were still there.  I’d pushed a lot of things out of my mind to focus on my fitness goal, now it was done.  Now what?

You learn to live a normal life again.  You learn to socialize again as the new fit person.  And you keep maturing and learning. You stumble and you make mistakes, and you learn and you keep going.

What will you do to make sure you succeed when you reach your new way of life?  Make a plan.  Start now.

There are many in the community who are willing to help.



Dr. Nicola and John talk about many of the issues that are important to start working on right away, before you reach your fitness goals:

Several veteran Venuses have written about their struggles and what they have learned:



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:

Ask Nicola; Three Things That Can Hinder Your Success

There are three major things that can get in the way of your success:

This goes for all success, not just diet and fitness.

  •     Relationships with others
  •     Relationship with self
  •     Life stress and pressure

These will be your major challenges.  John and Nicola talk about these issues in today’s podcast.

You will experience negative backlash as you get in shape.  You will never be able to guess who will be on your side or who will not be as supportive as you thought.  As you gain your success it will put your relationships in a state of flux.

Some people who were your friends or that you are close to will become jealous or insecure because of your success; while at the same time you will make new friends who will support you.  All of your relationships will be tested.

The change in the relationship with yourself:   Are you being compassionate, kind, and loving to yourself?  You can’t rely on others to validate you.  Give yourself permission to be good to you.  This will help you with your relationships with others.


I’m finding out who my real friends are.  I’m happy to say that my friend Carla here is a true and trusted friend.  Our support goes both ways and we both cheer each other on and help each other when we are down.  It’s great to have true friends.

I’m finding out who my real friends are. I’m happy to say that my friend Carla here is a true and trusted friend. Our support goes both ways and we both cheer each other on and help each other when we are down. It’s great to have true friends.


My support circle changed.

Like everyone else who has paved the way before me, and what I also see happening for newer women finding success in our community; all the relationships around me changed.  I’m blessed to have an incredibly supportive husband (my dear Randy).

Randy has actually changed along with me regarding healthier eating habits.  He was the one who helped me get started and he has been my support all along.

Even though Randy was never over weight we both agreed that some of the steps we took to help me lose weight we will keep for good, like not having snack foods around the house as a normal routine.

Randy has even taken up Eat Stop Eat practices as a way to maintain his physique.  He also decided to join me regarding not consuming typical breakfast cereals and discarding a lot of the eating habits that are ingrained in our current modern North American society.

We both have evolved to a non-conventional eating lifestyle where neither of us puts pressure on the other to eat at specific times or when the other is not hungry.  We both respect the needs of each other while staying healthy and fit.

It does not mean we have to neglect time together.  Sometimes I’ll have a cup of tea and chat with him while he is eating, or other times we will skip a meal together yet sit outside on the deck sipping coffee or tea instead.  Other times we make an effort to plan a meal together.

I’m not sure how successful I would be without Randy’s support.  He was there for me during all the painful flux of my relationships with others.



We both have evolved to a non-conventional eating lifestyle where neither of us puts pressure on the other to eat at specific times or when the other is not hungry.

We both have evolved to a non-conventional eating lifestyle where neither of us puts pressure on the other to eat at specific times or when the other is not hungry.


Other people are still used to the old you.

The thing is; the others who said hurtful things to me many times didn’t even realize how hurtful they were.  When you gain success it changes how others view you and themselves, it causes insecurity, uncertainty, and it is scary to some people.  They were used to the old you. 

I have found out who my real friends are.  Friendships continued to change even after my fitness success and as I progressed along and found success in other aspects of my life. 

As my success increased, I had yet even new “fitness support” friends become negative and hurtful.  Again, I don’t think they meant it, I think they are just so wrapped up in their own insecurity that they don’t even see it.

It doesn’t mean that I can’t still be friends with them, but I’ve learned I have to put my guard up a little now and establish new boundaries.  It’s just part of life.


Don’t look back.

My new motto for when people are mean, jealous, and ugly towards me is to be thankful because they are a reminder of what I don’t want to be.  I can’t control them.  I can’t change them.  I can’t tell them they might need counseling for their insecurities, constant negative talk, or constantly putting other people down.

I can only change me.  I can decide I do not want to be like that.  Besides that, I know that the real reason they are hurtful towards me is because they themselves are hurting.  I can decide to be the one with compassion, yet refuse to be a doormat.

I also can’t spend the time to think about their negativity as it hinders my own growth and my own effort to strive to be positive and forward thinking.  It’s a waste of time and it is toxic.  My life is moving forward too fast to turn backwards and look at them.  Just like everything else we do; keep moving forward.

Randy and I have seen some funny changes over the last several years with the interactions I now have with people all around me in all aspects of my life.  As a female you will find that as you become fit many other females will become frosty towards you, yet the men will become friendlier and you will get more attention.   In general you will get more respect.

At the Sheriff’s department Randy jokingly says that I went from being an “ink blot” deputy (I would say I was frumpy and more matronly looking), to someone who looks more youthful and is highly respected. I am now sought out for advice and opinions or sometimes just for chit chat when I was previously mostly ignored.

It’s mostly all fun but it’s hard when at times it costs you some friendships.  It’s the price you pay for doing something extraordinary and improving yourself.  It is something we all have to work through.  Like Nicola said, the best place to start is with you.



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: