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Cheating for just one meal, not a day
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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 78

Here we are – the start of my 12th week. This is the week that “technically” everyone starts to notice, right? Let’s hope! I meet Antonio after work for a training session. This day will go down as the hardest workout of my life (so far). I did new stuff today and let me tell you it was hard! Squats with a weight bar over my shoulders. Then box squats, and then a last exercise with my legs that was the final straw. Antonio yelled several times that he was proud of me and then said “good job” and sent me home. I acted tough and walked out the doors. Then I immediately called my husband and said “Help, I can’t get home!” My legs were literally shaking. After laughing “with me” not at me, he helped me get home and I fell into my recliner and never moved again. 

Mike took care of me; made me dinner and we went to bed. I was done for the night!


Day 79

Day No. 2 of working out with Antonio this week. As usual, he KICKS MY BOOTY. We work on arms, abs, shoulders, basically everything above the waist. I’m still sore from yesterday’s leg workout but can manage the upper body. Today was the first time I had to say “NO” to Antonio when he asked me to do something. I just absolutely couldn’t do it. I promised him I would another time.

We have a great barbecue with salad, vegetables and lots of water. I have to drink my third protein shake of the day and really, it’s kind of hard to get all that down. Mike suggests instead of three shakes a day using one scoop for each shake, that I use one and a half scoops twice a day. Makes it so much easier! 


Day 80

Third day in a row of working out with Antonio. By now the legs are officially in significant pain. I am hobbling around work, the baseball field, the gym. Just when you think you are getting stronger and fitter, you do something to a muscle you have yet to use. I actually feel old … like really old. I can’t believe I can hurt this bad. I am determined to keep up the hard work though. Mike and many others are telling me to take a rest day and to give my body a chance to rebuild the muscles I am breaking down. Nope. I’m sure there will be time to rest but not yet. I am on a mission!

Antonio takes me right to the back. You all know what that means. Here goes death. Sure enough, mountain climbers. This is what I turned down yesterday. I just couldn’t do it. Today, there was no way he was going to let me get away with it. I had to do four sets of up and back the length of the gym. Not only is the hardest thing in the world for me, but it is just so not pretty. This better get me one step closer to wearing shorts, that’s all I have to say about that. 

I’ve been keeping up on the protein, the water, the meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts etc. I have sworn off that scale and I will not look at it till Monday.


Day 81

Early morning at the gym. Days like this are “easy” compared to training days. I feel like it is actually resting. I do a full hour on the treadmill and since my legs are still so sore I just maintain a nice pace and don’t push it too hard. Mike reminds me to stay in the “fat burning zone” and not the “cardio zone” so that I can rest my muscles. I oblige and leave feeling loose and energized for the day.

I pack my usual lunch with fruit, chicken, salad and nuts and head off to work. It’s game day so we don’t get home till close to seven so I throw on some chicken and stir-fry some vegetables. Quick dinner but easy and good and it leaves us plenty of leftovers. Finish the night with my second protein shake. 


Day 82

Another early morning workout. Today I warm up with a one-mile walk/job and then move on to the back room. I do 200 crunches and then 100 on each side. I do planks and more stomach and abdominal drills as well as inside legs and hip flexors. Most of you know that is my BIGGEST part so of course that needs the MOST WORK!

My legs are actually starting to come around, feeling somewhat better. I can’t believe it took four days to recover.

Tonight is going to be tough with dinner. We have a late game up in Galt and we will be leaving before we get a chance to have dinner. We decide to order burritos from Chipotle. I get chicken with just the healthy stuff. I avoid all the “good stuff” and off we go. Of course I end up going the entire game without eating my dinner. Not good but on the other hand, I can’t sit in the stands woofing down a burrito in front of everyone. It’s a proven fact. Nobody wants to watch the fat girl eat! Mike drives home and I eat half of my burrito. It was the perfect amount. Finish my night with a protein shake and bed.


Day 83

I sleep in till 7 a.m. That is late for me. Mike and I talked about doing a walk/jog/run together today so I kind of wait around for him to wake. I do some laundry, dishes, clean the kitchen, make breakfast, and I’m still waiting. Seems most of the morning is quickly disappearing and I see our workout slipping away. Once Mike gets up, we decide to do the “BIG” Costco trip today since tomorrow we will be gone all day. We know it’s going to be an expensive trip since we are literally out of everything. 

I decide I better hit the gym now or never. It was so hard for me to finally get up and go. I arrived and there were literally three people in the entire gym. I feel great about my workout. I do 20 minutes on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the Stairmaster and 20 minutes on the elliptical. I finish with 20 minutes of resistance-bands. Very successful trip to the gym!

Mike makes an awesome dinner. We barbecue tri-tip, asparagus, cabbage salad, fruit salad and a sweet potato. I serve mine on a luncheon plate so it looks like I had a full plate when actually I just had a little bit. Whatever works, right?


Day 84

Today is the long anticipated “cheat meal.” My sister is graduating today with her Masters’ in Education. We are attending the ceremonies and then going to a restaurant in Sacramento that I have literally been dreaming about. My mom took me here at Christmastime and I have been waiting to come back ever since. When I started this journey in January, I told myself today was going to be my first time “cheating.” Antonio reminds me you never want to cheat for an entire day; you only want to cheat a meal. So that is my plan.

I wake up early and head to the gym for a morning workout. There was no way I was going to miss working out before we left for Sacramento. I knew I would never enjoy my dinner if I hadn’t done my work out first. I do a three-mile walk and call it good.

The ceremony was beautiful and we are all so proud of my sister’s accomplishments. We head to the restaurant and my family is teasing me about salivating over the menu. I’m debating on this and that and my hubby is so good he just allows me to order for both so we can “share” and I won’t feel like I missed anything. I end up being pretty darn good. I have a small corner – the size of walnut – of the garlic bread, a house salad and then we share two meals I selected for us. Yep, it was amazing alright. I push my plate away before it was empty. I am stuffed! I just hope it was worth it in the morning.

I end the night with a protein shake and pray for good results in the morning.