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You can’t outwork your diet

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POSTED January 22, 2014 1:03 a.m.

Editor’s Note: Susan McCreath has been selected to participate in the Year of You, a fitness challenge hosted by The Manteca Bulletin and CORE Athletic Performance. McCreath will keep a weekly journal, highlighting the strides and struggles of her fitness journey. These are her thoughts and feelings shared with you.


I was  super nervous all day, not knowing what to expect. I ate horribly today, thinking it’s the last time that I will ever get to pig out. Had a mocha and a sausage biscuit sandwich from Starbucks. Then Taco Bell for lunch.  Seemed like a great idea until I worked out tonight. Robert (Iniguez) weighed me in today for the first time – 248 pounds. Thank goodness I am doing this challenge because this has just spiraled out of control. Next he took some measurements. He didn’t tell me any numbers and I didn’t ask. He did tell me that I would be weighing in once a week and taking measurements. He told me that it would take a good couple of weeks to see progress in the inches-lost department. He reminded me several times today that we are doing this for a year. Sometimes I can wrap my brain around that and sometimes I can’t. I want instant results.

Next we went into the gym. It’s so different. It’s like a warehouse and the big garage doors roll up, bringing the outside in. I like the fresh air. As we were getting ready he asked me what my biggest fear was — puking. He laughed, but I’m serious. I want results but I don’t want to puke doing it. He asked if I had any other fears and I told him that I had a fear of failure. It took him less than a split second to tell me that he wouldn’t let me fail.

So we started to warm up. Eight laps around the turf area. It’s disgusting how winded I got doing that. Next he had me do some high knees, side steps, monster walks, lunges and a few other things. At this point I told him that my fear was not making it through the warm up. After the warm up, I did a series of three exercises: kettle bell, resistance bands, and dumbbells. Round 1 went pretty well. Round 2 was hard. Round 3 sucked! After, I had 2.5 minutes on the treadmill. Sounded like a cool down to me, but I was wrong; that was a long 2.5 minutes. The incline was painful. Now it was time to cool down. He had me go outside and do two laps to cool down. He told me I could walk or jog. I walked and choked back vomit the whole time. After the laps I did some cool down stretches. Those felt pretty good except that my heart was still racing. Set time for tomorrow at 6:30.

I was exhausted and tired driving home and was pretty sure I was going to lose my Taco Bell. Kept thinking to myself what have I gotten myself into, but when I think of my weight I know this is where I need to be At home I started to look through the food pantry and made a list for the store. I can only think a day in advance so went to the store and bought just what I needed for tomorrow. It was kind of relaxing preparing the food and I’m all set for tomorrow.

• • •


Sore when I woke up, but not as bad as I thought. I actually woke up 15 minutes earlier today so I would have time to make some eggs. Then I proudly took my lunch to school. The article hit the newspaper today. It was definitely hard to look at my weight and measurements in the paper and thinking that the truth is out. All my friends and family and neighbors know. I knew what my weight was, but when Robert had taken my measurements I didn’t even ask and he didn’t share. It was really amazing to receive so many positive words of encouragement through text/e-mail/ Facebook. … The workout tonight was awesome; lifting weights (all arms). This is the type of workout I like, and reminded me of how I used to lift in college. I also felt great because I was spot on with my eating today. Using an app to track everything that goes into my mouth.

• • •


It’s funny how slow I’m getting out of bed to measure whether I’m sore or not. My arms are tired, but not bad. I had oatmeal for breakfast because I was running late this morning as usual. Thankfully I had packed my lunch and snacks last night. That is one thing that I’m struggling with because I am not a planner, but am fully aware that this is a main area where I need to change. When I got home from work I so did not want to go and workout, but my children and my husband were all home and they were not going to let that happen. I must admit that I was proud of myself for going, plus when I remind myself that my weight is going to be in the paper every week that kind of motivates me.

• • •


I’m tired. My stomach hurts. This fresh food is killing me. A long day at work and I didn’t get home until close to 6:30. There is no way I was going to the gym. Real life hit tonight. The laundry was piled up. There was no food in the house. I just wanted to go to bed after work. I convinced myself that I would get things taken care of around the house and that I would definitely work out tomorrow.

• • •


I feel great today. It’s Friday. I’ve eaten well all week and I completed my fourth workout tonight.  The workout wasn’t pretty, though. Robert had the workout written on the whiteboard. He told us to take a picture of it with our phone so we wouldn’t have to waste time during our workout to walk back and forth to the whiteboard.  This was a new thing for me. Plus, how was I supposed to catch my breath if I wasn’t walking back and forth to the board between exercises!?! The exercises were basic: jumping jacks, crunches, squats, and push-ups. Seemed pretty simple until you’re on what seems like your 1000th push-up. 

• • •


Saturday. Robert had me come to the 8 a.m. class. I was not thrilled about this at all.  Saturday morning means sleep to me. I showed up at 8 and it was freezing in the gym, but that didn’t last too long. This workout kicked my butt … I mean face-down, crawling-on-the-floor hard. My arms were so tired from yesterday that two of the exercises were next to impossible for me, but Robert modified them a bit. The hardest one though was working through a mental block for one of the exercises. We had to jump onto tires. In college, we used to have to jump onto boxes. A LOT!!! I’ve seen too many teammates miss the box, hit the box, bleed because of the box, and sprain an ankle. I’ve jumped and hit the far edge of the box causing my back to slide down the edge of the box. So when he said we were going to jump onto the tires all these visuals came back to me. I convinced myself that the tire is obviously much safer and was able to jump onto it a few times.

• • •


My daughter has a volleyball tournament in San Jose and we will be spending the night. This usually means that we eat all of our meals out and I sit in a gym for up to eight hours each day. It also means that I drink mochas like they are going out of style and munch all day. I pack some fruit, nuts, cheese sticks and tons of water. The day goes pretty well until it’s time for dinner. The family decided on California Pizza Kitchen and I’m like a crazed maniac trying to figure out something to eat while I am absolutely starving. I so wanted a pizza, but then I remembered something that Robert told me: You can’t outwork your diet! And since the only exercise I had today was walking around downtown San Jose in between matches, I decided I better choose wisely

• • •


The tournament ran long today. Our first match was at 8:30 and we finished play at 4:30.  It was stressful at times because I’m so used to holding a mocha in my hand during these tournaments, especially when it’s so cold inside the convention center where the girls play. But, I had a water bottle with me at all times and drank a ton of water to compensate. I left my snacks in the car today on purpose so that I would at least have to take a walk to the car and get some exercise and that seemed to help. I haven’t exercised in two days now and that kind of scares me. But on a positive note, I did try to walk between games, I took the stairs whenever possible and I tried to eat the best I could. I’m sure Robert would feel different about it, but in my mind it was a huge improvement over how I’ve always been at these tournaments.

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