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From size 22 down to 14
Its been 200 days since Jeanette began her journey to a better health
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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 197

Monday, here we go! Another full week of working out with Javi, cardio and eating right. I feel like all this weight training will make me gain on the scale. Muscles are heavier after all. I’m ok with that as long as it shows everywhere else. The flabby arms, the loose skin etc. Today I meet Javi for shoulders. I do all kinds of drills and I am sweating and my heart is pounding out of my chest. It’s a great feeling, to be honest! I have so many friends and supporters at the gym now. Everyone is so friendly and they high-five me, cheer me on and compliment me…except Mike. He avoids me like the plague. I always ask him why and he says that I am so focused and working so hard and going from rep to rep and he doesn’t want to bother me…BULL….Everyone else comes up to me and it doesn’t bother me. I finish my day with 20 minutes on the Stairmaster and then 15 minutes on the elliptical. We barbeque a good dinner of chicken thighs, salad and vegetables.

Day 198

I love blog day! You can all read about my week and my struggles and my complaints and most of all my accomplishments. IF I CAN DO IT, YOU CAN DO IT! I hope you all know that. It’s basically just starting that is the hard part. Just do it. Start today. Come down and join Cal Fit. Sign up with Javi, it will change your life! Today I meet up with my daughter Myklyn and we hit the gym together. She is in front of me on the elliptical and I am on the treadmill. I do four miles and go from jogging to walking to jogging to walking. Raise the heartrate then drop the heartrate, over and over. I plug into my guilty pleasure reality shows on my iPad and the hour just flies by! It’s quiet in the gym today…which is a good thing. I laugh so hard at the stupid reality show that I miss a step and crash on the treadmill. It’s ok, I feel like we are all family here now and I just brush it off and get back to work. A lot has changed since I started six months ago. Remember when I stepped off the treadmill and my legs buckled from under me? I thought I would die. Now, who cares… Tonight we barbeque chicken breasts and I toss a Caesar salad and for a treat we have fresh peaches for dessert! Exhausted and in bed by 8:30. Tomorrow is Javi day.

Day 199

I can’t tell if I’m nervous or excited for today’s work out with Javi. A little of both I guess. I always wonder what he is going to put me through next. I basically think about it all day while at work and then by the time I go in I am prepared and ready to tackle it. Today Javi texts me while I’m at work. Ask me if I’m ready for today, it’s going to be “circuit training”, cross training. UGH OH…here we go. I ask if I can bring Myklyn with me. I warn Myklyn early enough for her to prepare and all she says is…ugh oh! We are both on the same page. We arrive and Javi has the back room all prepared for us. He has 6 stations all set up for us. WITH BIG weights, mind you! Myklyn’s eyes grew big the minute she saw the weight bar and the jump platform. Off we go. With no disrespect…I spanked Myklyn. Yes, I have been doing this for six months and yes I have always been bigger and stronger and muscle strength has never been her best asset (she has a big brain, that’s much more powerful than my muscles)…but I tore through the exercises. Yes, it was hard, very hard but I still managed to do it. After we completed the half hour of circuit training, we hit the mat for a few ab drills. This was definitely easier for Myklyn than me. We both did great and we both knew that we would be feeling this tomorrow! When we got home neither of us felt like cooking. We decided instead to WALK to pick up Luu’s Chicken Bowl. We had chicken and vegetables and a tiny bit of brown rice. For a HUGE treat and something I haven’t done in a long time, we WALKED to Baskin and Robbins and picked out an ice cream. I was good. I had a scoop of sugar free coconut in a cup. Then we WALKED home and hopefully walked the 180 calories off.

Day 200

WOW, it’s been 200 days since I began this journey. The time went unbelievably fast. I am so thankful for this opportunity and the support and the training that I have received.  I seriously would not have gotten off that couch without this contest. I am blessed beyond words and I will NOT let this go to waste. I get my hair done this afternoon so you all know what that means. 4:45 a.m. workout! It’s always hard to get up but once I’m at the gym it’s all good. I love that my schedule has been pretty set the last few weeks. Cardio day then weights day then cardio etc. It makes me look forward to cardio day and then it makes me get excited about training day. I can’t go another day with nothing in the fridge so after the hair Myklyn and I head to Costco to load up on good, healthy foods. Meat, vegetables, fruit, water, nuts, the works! Expensive to eat healthy but worth it!

Day 201

With the fridge full and the lunch box loaded I am back on track for my usual meals. So much easier when you actually have food in the fridge. Today is Friday, that means Javi day…I’m still sore from Wednesday but I know it’s going to be worth it. I arrive for triceps and chest. We start with bench presses. Per Javi, “you breezed through the first set” so what does he do…he adds weight. Again he tells me that I breezed through that weight, so he adds more. I don’t know what he was seeing; I sure didn’t feel like I was breezing through anything. I was trying to avoid that ugly face when you are digging down deep and trying to lift the weights. Yep, that was me. I did it though, and I feel pretty stoked. We move on to the rest of my training and we finish on the floor doing core. For those of you who don’t know, that means PAIN. We do sit-ups and planks and more sit-ups until I couldn’t take it anymore. Home to a nice dinner of chicken, salad and asparagus.

Day 202

ONE WEEK from today is the wedding. ONE WEEK from today I wanted to be at my first goal of 62 pounds loss. I wanted to be at 200 pounds. I get up early to hit the gym and with all my clothes on I am 203 pounds. I head to the gym and on the gym scale I am 198 pounds. Yes, it’s pretty damn exciting see that number drop below the 200 mark but I know that the scale is light and that I really want to stick to MY SCALE that I have used since day one. That is the true test for me. I get in a four mile cardio session and I head for home. I make breakfast of a veggie scramble and a bowl of blueberries. I even have a cup of iced coffee (I pretty much avoid coffee nowadays, no reason for it I just drink so much water I kind of quit on the coffee). I have a nurse coming over for an in-home physical in about an hour. During the physical she pulls out her scale. I actually get a little nervous. I don’t want the scale to be more than mine. She has me stand on it (I have all my clothes on AND I just ate, ugh) 199. WHAT? Yep, 199! I tell her that her scale is light and “way off”. I of course didn’t mind though. She was surprised I thought it was off, so she said “ok, I’ll just use your license information”. Ha. I don’t know about you, but when I gave my height and weight for my license like 16 years ago, I was totally lying then. There was no way I was going to give my “actual” weight. In my mind I thought I would of course be that weight again…who knew it would take 16 plus years to reach that again. Now the goal is to look at that license and think, damn…I USED to be 200 pounds!

Day 203

I was the first one at the gym. I started on the Stairmaster and do a mile at level four. I move to the elliptical and do 3,5 miles on level 5, incline 15. I continue on to the treadmill and finish off a mile at incline eight. 5,5 miles in 70 minutes. Done! Today I have a little bit of excitement in me. On at least two scales I have hit my goal…not the scale that matters (mine) but I still feel good. Today is the final opportunity to find a dress for the wedding.  I have been holding out hoping to not only reach my goal but to be firm, toned and “young again”. Since we know that isn’t going to happen by next Saturday, I decide to bite the bullet and go buy a dress. Honesty, what I really want is a sexy, slinky, number…however; I don’t think I can pull that off just yet. Myklyn and I head for the mall determined and on a mission. We go straight for Macy’s and hit the dress section. Looking around, there is no way I should not be able to find something here, right? There were SO many dresses to choose from. Armed with at least ten dresses we head for the changing room and get started. Second dress, bingo! I’m satisfied. I’m not thrilled or overly excited about it, but it’ll work. I buy the size 14, even though I would have bought the size 12 had it not been damaged. Not bad considering I was at a size 22 when I started this in January. I get home, try it on for Mike and he seems to like. Again, not love, and not like “oh yeah” and “you look hot”…none of that. I will have to settle for that look another time! And trust me; I will get to that point…promise!