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Faster, Stronger, Thinner
Balmut conquers 5K run
Jeanette Balumut with her son Mitch this past weekend at a 5K race. - photo by Photo Contributed

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 141

Up early and to the gym by 4:50 a.m. Mitch has a game today so I need to work out in the morning. Today is leg day. I do six machines (three sets of 15 reps each) and then move to the back to do air squats and box jumps. It takes me 45 minutes and I leave sweating. I get home to shower and get ready for work and decide to step on the scale to see what my week will start out like. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON? HOW CAN I NOT BE LOSING WEIGHT? I DON’T GET IT! Everyone always says “you will hit a plateau” “you will be stagnant for a while before the weight starts to come off again.” Ok, when is that going to happen? I am going to try my best to not get discouraged, to stay positive and to keep on working hard, eating right and going to the gym. I WILL NOT GIVE UP! I make fajitas for dinner and use chicken, peppers, onions and wheat tortillas. Great dinner! Easy and yummy. Perfect for 108 degrees outside.


Day 142 

Working out with Antonio today. Yep, he kills me. It’s such a great feeling though. I love days I get to work out with Antonio. I always feel so accomplished when I am done. He puts me through a long and tough workout. We do bench squats and shoulders and core and sit-ups and abs. The works! I am dripping with sweat when I leave so I know it worked! I get home and it’s just me and McKenna tonight. We decide to go see a movie and then go to Pete’s for dinner. It worked out great. I ordered the turkey, bacon and avocado wrap and a house salad. I eat half the wrap and bring home the other half for lunch tomorrow. We watch the end of the basketball game and head home. Good day.


Day 143 

Can you believe the scale is STILL NOT MOVING? Well…it’s NOT! I have an appointment with Antonio today so I get to the gym and do a mile warm up and then get ready for our workout. Antonio has a meeting so he has Javi do my training today. We do all different drills that I have yet to do. The first and most obvious is PULL UPS. WOW, let’s just say pulling up MY BODY is not exactly easy. I can tell you I will be feeling this tomorrow. We move on to a bar with weights and work on my core. Then over to a machine that concentrated on my chest and back. I felt like it was working right then and there, like the muscles were actually getting more defined as I was doing the exercises! We moved on to the back room and did bench squats with weights. Finished strong. THANK YOU JAVI for helping me out today! Came home and had grilled hamburger patties and a big salad for dinner.


Day 144 

It’s game day so the plans were for me to get up and get to the gym. NOPE, that didn’t happen. That means after the game tonight I will be heading to the gym for a late workout. It’s just cardio today so I am going to do the 5K again and try to reach that 45 minute goal. I only have a few days left before the race. This will be my last training day for it. I do 3.5 miles. I didn’t push it; I just kept a nice pace and did a full 60 minutes. Came home and made an amazing dinner. Grilled flank steak, roasted cabbage, and wheat pasta. It was so good! Watched the game and hit the sheets. Tomorrow I will be up early for a workout before work. 


Day 145

Early morning workout since I have a night filled with activities. Try to get in my arms today since I want to keep my legs fresh for Sunday. I have a great lunch —all leftovers from last night. YUM and easy! My daughter arrived home from Singapore and I was anxious to hear what she thought of the new me. 


Day 146 

Since Myklyn’s schedule is completely off, she was up at 5 a.m. and ready for the day. We decided to stop at my parents, wake them up, visit and then head to breakfast. I was good with one egg, two pieces of bacon and one piece of wheat toast. Myklyn and I went grocery shopping, first the regular store and then to Costco. With all five home for the summer and this healthy eating — $750 was spent VERY QUICKLY. Loaded up on meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts. Seems like it should last forever but I know it will literally last a week. Crazy! Myklyn crashed by mid-day so I hit the gym. I did all nine machines, 3 sets of 15 reps on all of them. Finished with crunches and sit-ups.  Came home and barbequed chicken, broccoli, salad and couscous. YUM.  Off to bed early. Tomorrow is my first 5K.


Day 147 

Up at 5 a.m., making wheat/pecan pancakes and turkey bacon. Loading up on carbs for my 5K. I am excited. Not nervous at all. I reflect on two years ago and the feeling I had back then. How can I walk 3.1 miles? I can barely walk to the mail box. Are my legs going to cramp up, will I be able to finish. I am only 45 years old and I am close to 300 pounds Fast forward to today. I am feeling great, excited, and full of energy. I am taking pictures (something I would have NEVER DONE two years ago). I am elated to pin my race number to my shirt. I got this! My goal is to run, my goal is to finish in 45 minutes (the best I have ever done at the gym is 47 minutes) and my goal is to just do my best. 

Off I go. Mike and Mitch take off, shortly after they are out of my sight. We girls are all still together. My sister pulls ahead but I stay within sight of her. My daughters are right with me for the first mile. The hills are the worst part for me — believe it or not; the downhills are the nastiest. A lot of pressure on my knees. It actually makes me a little nervous. I walk on those parts. Myklyn eventually pulls away too and McKenna and I pretty much stay together. Onto lap two of the course. By the time I hit two miles I am alone but the marker shouts out “two miles, 27 minutes”. I feel pretty good about that. I can’t see anyone in my group in front of me or behind me so I just keep on running.  At about 2.5 miles McKenna appears out of nowhere. She had sprinted to catch me. KIDS! I was glad though, I needed the last little push. We tackle the final hill together and can hear the music at the finish line. At this point, I seriously wanted to stop and walk. I didn’t think I could run the last little bit but I could see the finish line so we kept telling each other we could do it. I can, I can, I can. Then I could see them. My hubby, my daughter, and my sister —all cheering us on, all yelling “you can do it, keep it up, you’re going to beat your time”. I pushed for that last few yards and finished in 43 flat. Honesty, it was all I could do not to cry. I was holding the tears back until I turned in my bib number. Then I hugged my hubby and kind of lost it. It was just so emotional. Seriously people, I know it’s not Mount Everest. I know it’s not far, or long, or some amazing accomplishment…but to me…it was. It’s all those things to ME. I didn’t set any records or do anything awesome, but for me personally….I DID. I beat my time, I conquered my first 5K and I WILL DO IT AGAIN….and I WILL keep getting fitter, stronger, faster, thinner, etc.