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Almost 15% body fat is history
Jeanette Balmut recording her progress during her weigh-on on July 18.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Jeanette Balmut has been selected to participate in the Year of You, a fitness challenge hosted by The Manteca Bulletin, CalFit Manteca and CORE Athletic Performance. Balmut is keeping a weekly journal, highlighting the strides and struggles of her fitness journey.


Day 176

Ok friends…this is the start of week 26. It’s been a half of a year. How can that be? It went so fast. I am back from vacation and ready to start my new trainer and get going on the second half of this journey…BUT…the Manteca Little League Senior team is WINNING….and WINNING. That means every day is a challenge in itself to find the time to work out. Today I roll out of bed and head to the gym for a four mile walk. Takes an hour and then I race home, off to work and then the evening consists of racing to Carmichael for the next game. It’s do-or-die now so every day we will play until we lose.  Before leaving I grill up some chicken for fajitas, wrap up one for the road and whip up a little fruit salad. Hits the spot! While at the game, Javi contacts me and asks when we are going to get started. I feel horrible since it’s impossible to squeeze all the things I need to do. He assures me he will be there when it’s time to get to work! WE WIN!!! We don’t get home till midnight and I dread the thought of doing it all again tomorrow!

Day 177

With only 4 ½ hours’ sleep, I am up and back at the gym. Before leaving I check the scale and I am pleased that those two pounds that crept on are quickly off and I am back to what I started at before leaving on vacation. I have nine pounds to lose in 33 days. It seems impossible and I won’t beat myself up if I don’t hit that goal, but I am certainly going to try my best! I pack up my lunchbox for the day…fruit salad, yogurt, and a chicken salad for lunch. I will have to race home and quickly make up something for the road since we have to be in Carmichael by 3:30 p.m. Sitting in the stands, in the heat, with the smell of barbecued hot dogs and hamburgers is VERY hard to pass up. If I arrive full, it makes it easier to stay away from all the stadium food. Hoping we will have the same schedule tomorrow…should we win!

Day 178

We WON last night, so that means….up early at to the gym for my morning workout. I jump on the elliptical and crank up the tunes and complete five miles. I felt so good leaving. I burned 600 calories and did a full hour. Ready to start the day! I come home from the gym and before jumping in the shower I weigh myself again. WOOHOO, it’s still dropping. It’s the best feeling when I see those numbers keep decreasing. I pack a good lunch again, chicken wrap, salad, fruit and just “in case” I add a protein bar to my bag. Honestly the last few days have been the same…up, working out, work and then racing off to Sacramento for the game. I’ve been trying to eat by 5 p.m. and then watching the game and getting home super late, makes it easier to avoid food. Javi keeps checking in with me, he is anxiously waiting to get me started. He reminds me to keep going to the gym….and you all know… I WILL!

Day 179

Ahhh, I get to sleep in. The ONLY good thing about losing in the semi-finals was now I get to go to the gym in the afternoon. I sleep in till 5:45 a.m. and then head to work. I stick to a good food plan and have my breakfast and lunch at work. When I get home I put on my new Lululemons…..for those of you who don’t know what those are…they are VERY EXPENSIVE WORKOUT CLOTHES. I don’t own a pair of $100 pants, but thanks to my niece, I now own Lululemons. Let me just say this; THEY ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY. They grip, mold, hold, squeeze and suck in every part you want sucked in. I honestly felt like I could conquer the world. Yep, just in a pair of yoga pants! I arrive at the gym and it’s been a week and a half since I have been here in the afternoon. I see all my familiar faced friends and most have noticed my additional weight loss. Makes me feel great and keeps me motivated. I do a little over an hour on high incline with my headphones in and catching up on all my shows I have missed. Sure love to be able to watch TV while working out…makes it fly by. I had put a pork roast in the crockpot before I left for work. I shredded the meat over a bed of lettuce and put some green sauce on top. Hit the spot!

Day 180

Today is the day…my first work out with Javi. Honestly, I’m a little worried. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve actually worked out with a trainer. I’m sure he’s going to kick my butt…in a good way! I arrive, do a mile plus warm up and Javi and I get to work. He explains we are going to do “head-to-toe” to start. UH OH! Sure enough we start up top and work our way down. I manage to hang tough throughout the entire workout. He is detailed and precise and explains each exercise and teaches me what each machine or weight is doing for me. We do chest and arms and back and squats and leg-ups etc. I feel great leaving and know that I will be feeling this tomorrow. In a good way! Before I leave I ask Javi to check my BMI. It’s been awhile since I have had this done. WOW...I am pleasantly surprised. The numbers are really showing now! I started at 47% and today I am 32.6%. Almost 15% body fat is history! We plan our next day of attack and he has me finish off strong on the treadmill, slow with an intense incline. I come home to grilled chicken, Brussel sprouts and a big salad. Good day!

Day 181

I wake early and prepare for weigh-in at the gym. Most of you who have been following me know that I started on MY SCALE at 262. Well, this morning I was at 206.4. I take pictures of me on my scale and then head over to the gym where I do the same thing on their scale. I started on the gym scale at 260 and today…204. SO….ITS THE SAME! I am officially down 56 lbs. I can finally start to admit I am pretty damn proud of myself. I have just a little more than 50 lbs. to go to hit my ultimate goal. I will not give up and I will keep all this hard work up.

I do all my measurements, and honestly…I’m a little bummed but I know that it’s been about a month of me having intense weight training and I know that next month, the numbers should reflect what Javi will be doing for me. I take pictures and record all my info and then do my work out. It’s a good day and I’m feeling great! I shop all day with my girls, still not ready to invest in the dress I am wearing to the wedding….after all I really want to get that last six pounds off. My hubby and I head to Livermore to meet up with my childhood girlfriends and their husbands. We had such a great night at Campa Di Bocci. If you haven’t tried it….it’s a must! AND SO FUN! I was careful with my choices, Mike and I split a salad with grilled shrimp and a flank steak dinner topped with salsa Verde. I stuck to water with lemon!

Day 182

Officially the last day of the first six months…I rise and shine and head to the gym. Honestly, I can barely move. I am in pain to the point of not being able to sit, stand, etc. My legs and butt are killing me. I feel like I did back when I started this. I know that it’s a good pain and all worth it, but OUCH….Javi did good. I tackle a morning workout and then off to the grocery store. It’s going to be a busy day. I load up on salads and veggies and fruits and fill my fridge with all the good stuff. I’m ready for the week. We have my nieces wedding shower at Chez Shari at the golf course. It was AWESOME. The food, oh man…..I totally blew any chance of being “good” today. I couldn’t pass up the chicken fettucine. It was to die for! I fill most of my plate with salad and avoid the roll but I couldn’t pass up the pasta, it was just too good! I even had half of cupcake that was homemade and tremendous and WORTH EVERY CALORIE! Its ok, I know I’ll burn it off tomorrow because I will be working out with Javi. Wish me luck.