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Doing deadlifts for first time
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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 190 

I am so close. I hit 205 this morning on MY scale. That means I have five pounds to get off in 19 days. I have officially lost 57 pounds. I feel great and still motivated which is the most important thing! I didn’t really feel that great going into the gym to meet with Javi today. I was overly tired and just felt a little off. He absolutely worked me hard. I did all triceps and chest and felt shaky and weird leaving. I literally fell into my chair when I got home and actually told my family “goodbye”. I thought I might die right then and there. It took about an hour to start feeling better, but never really felt well again. I had waited all week to watch The Bachelorette with my girls, but I fell asleep and missed the entire thing. Yes, I worked out hard, but I think it was more like my body finally hit that wall that I had been expecting and just needed to crash and sleep it off. Tomorrow is another day.

Day 191 

I pack my lunch box for the day. I have fruit, salad, protein and lots of water. I pretty much do the same thing day in and day out during the week. It’s so easy to stay on track when you pack up for the day and you only pack the stuff you can eat for the day — makes it easy to be good. Today is just cardio day. I feel like that is “vacation” for me. I don’t mind it at all. I did my 20 minutes on the Stairmaster and then 20 minutes on the elliptical and then finished out with 30 minutes on the treadmill. Running on an incline! Tonight we had a great dinner of pork loin, grilled asparagus and a big green salad!

Day 192

Sore, sore, sore…every part of my arms and chest are sore. It’s a good feeling though because I know what Javi is putting me through is working. Today is back and biceps. We row, we pull, we all burns but I manage through it and finish strong. Javi puts together a complete log of all my workouts so I have a schedule and I know what day I will be doing what exercise. I like it! I can look ahead and know what I will be working on come Monday or next Wednesday. We have a “quick” dinner tonight, I make the girls turkey, bacon and pesto wraps and I make Mike and I a lean ground beef wrap with avocado and salsa. Hit the spot!

Day 193 

It’s my “vacation” day — just cardio. I do four miles, two on the elliptical and two on treadmill. I run for half mile and then walk for half mile then run then walk. This way my heart rate goes up, comes down, goes up, and comes down. This helps my metabolism burn!

Day 194

Ok, I am worried. Javi texts me throughout the day to remind me to hydrate and be ready for a big workout. I do as I’m told and drink lots of water and prepare myself mentally for what is to come. I arrive at the gym nervous of course. I put on my new hot pink gloves (starting to get calluses and they are not pretty). Javi explains what we are going to do today. WHOLE BODY which translates to HOLY COW! We start with something I have never done. Dead lifts. AND .now I know why I have never done them. OMG, talk about a work out. I could actually see my heart pounding through my chest. Only half way through the workout I was literally dripping with sweat, to the point that my hair looked as if I had just showered. It was not pretty but dang…I knew it had to be doing something great for my body! I loved the work out. It was intense and exhilarating. I felt empowered when I left. Like I can do anything. I left knowing I would be hurting tomorrow, but back here on Monday to tackle the shoulders.  Javi explained to me why we want to work the shoulders….he tells me that it will bring the waist in and give me the feminine hourglass body. Yep, I want that…considering I have like a two hour body right now! For dinner we barbeque pork loin, broccoli, and salad for McKenna’s last dinner at home before heading back to Long Beach for her second year of college. 

Day 195-Day 196

Busy weekend planned and unfortunately not a chance of working out. My goal is to eat healthy and make smart choices. We are up at 3:30 am and out the door for our drive to Long Beach. We stop at Denny’s and I order an ABC omelet (Avocado, Bacon and Cheese) and fruit. We arrive in Long Beach at 10:30 a.m. for signing of the contract and we start the move in to McKenna’s first condo. We unload and head out to IKEA for all her furniture. By the time we finish it’s after 4 and we are all hungry. We stop at a Subway and I order a turkey on flat bread and I opt for just the six inch loaded with veggies. Tells me on the menu that its 210 calories. Not too bad I’m thinking. We return to the condo and start the building of five pieces of furniture. If you have not built IKEA furniture before then you don’t know what you’re missing….It requires one tool, patience and a few cuss words here and there!! Since Mike is the builder, I am the runner. McKenna is on the fourth floor and the recycle bin is on the first floor so to get my work out in I use the stairs instead of the elevator. I make five trips back and forth for the dumping of all the boxes. It was hot and I kept a good pace so I got a little exercise in! By the time we finish putting everything in we are all exhausted and starving. I suggest El Pollo Loco. I had seen on advertisements they had meals under 500 calories. We find one in Long Beach, and head in. Mike and McKenna have no idea why I want to go here and they are perplexed. We walk in and the counter clerk shouts out “no chicken for 30 minutes”.  It’s after 9:30 p.m. on a Saturday night, what do we expect. We leave frustrated but decide to go find another one. By the time we do it’s almost 10 p.m. and our fingers are crossed. Sure enough they are open and have everything we want. Thank God because I was about to lose it! I have a chicken, black bean and broccoli bowl. It was awesome and totally worth the drive. Hit the sheets and we will be back at it in the morning.

Up and out of there by 9 a.m. It’s a beautiful day in Long Beach. Perfect weather. We find a quaint restaurant by the water and eat outside on the terrace. I could literally eat everything on the menu. It’s all staring at me “eat me, eat me, eat me”. I want one of everything but decide to split the “bad meal” with McKenna. The most amazing French toast I have ever had, scrambled eggs and bacon. I would do a thousand dead lifts to eat that again!

We “walk off” our meal down by the water and then head out to finish the last bit of shopping for McKenna’s place. As we are walking around Target we realize all this stuff is half the price at IKEA. Yep you got it, back to IKEA. Poor Mike had to build five more pieces of furniture. We SCRUBBED the patio (I did the windows and the walls and pulled the nails and staples out while Mike scrubbed his heart out on the floor). We set up an awesome little retreat for Nenna. She is going to be so happy out there. 

We hit the road at 4:45 p.m. for home. After close to two hours driving to get to the grapevine, we stop and pick up a water and protein bar. This will tide us over till we can stop for dinner.  Close to five hours later I am STARVING and so cranky and starting to be like that commercial where the girl loses it because she is so hungry. Yep, that was me. The traffic was horrible and we attempted one stop in Kettleman City but the line to every place was a minimum of 20 cars deep so we kept going. Finally decided on In-N- Out (I was going to do protein style) but the line was no lie was 50 cars long. So we parked and went into McDonalds. I knew I could get a premium chicken wrap and it wouldn’t be too bad for me. Nope, their system was down and they couldn’t help us, so back in the car and to the point of freak out. We go to the only other option. Panda Express. Ugh, probably the worst choice for me but at this point I didn’t care. I ordered the 210 calorie green-bean chicken and asked for half the rice they normally give. It hit the spot and it was needed! I’ll have to work extra hard this week to get all this crap food out of my body! I am literally on the count down. I have 13 days till the wedding and still no dress and still have that few pounds I want off. No pressure, ha!!! I am actually looking forward to tomorrow and see what kind of workout Javi puts me through. I won’t panic too much if the scale goes up because I KNOW FOR SURE that I am building muscle. I hurt all weekend and complained to Mike and McKenna at least a thousand times a day how I hurt, was sore, couldn’t bend, and could barely walk down the stairs…so I know that is my muscles telling me they are being worked!