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Mom: Keep going, work on tummy
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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. These are her thoughts and feelings shared with you.


Day 71 

Start of week 11. Sure seems to be going fast when you say it like that! 

I load up my lunch bag with a bigger lunch and lots of waters. I have grilled chicken and peppers and fruit and nuts and plenty to keep me full all day.

I have an afternoon appointment so I have to miss my workout with Antonio today. NOTHING I hate more!

My daughter and I attend the Zumba class at CAL Fit (love it) and then after she wants to hit the treadmill for a one mile run. I tell her to go ahead and I will walk next to her. She starts it up and begins her run. She looks so good and so in control so I think, I can do that! I up my speed and think to myself, just do a half mile, I can do it. I keep my pace up and constantly look at the numbers. I keep telling myself “if you can just get to the half mile then you can quit”….I get there and keep going, then I tell McKenna I am going to stop at ¾ of a mile. Then I pass that…..Now I am pushing myself to get to that mile. Nonstop, I can do it! I would never have thought I could RUN like I have been. I am so proud of myself and actually think I could do the Lupus 5K in June. I will continue to practice and gain endurance.


Day 72 

I DID IT; I hit 26.8 pounds down this morning! It seems like it took forever to get here. It’s been 72 days since I started and I have 137 days until the wedding. I have 35.2 pounds to lose before that! The whole thought of that terrifies me. I mean isn’t the first few pounds supposed to be “the easiest”? Ha, nothing has been easy about it. To be honest, I don’t know what else I can do to keep this up. I guess this entire process will just test my patience and I have to keep telling myself that it’s FOREVER, not just six months or a year or 100 pounds. IT’S FOREVER! 

I have good meals, lots of water and drink my protein shakes throughout the day. I arrive at the gym to workout with Antonio. He has me hit it hard (a little too hard). I don’t know why but I just could not keep up today. I tried hard but I was literally spent. He had me start with pushups and leg lifts and then move to mountain climbers (I started to get dizzy and see spots) and then on to planks. Man it was hard. I barely got through it. It was probably my worst showing yet. I had to quit in the middle of my sets a couple of times, and that is unusual for me. I was very disappointed in myself but then I had to remind myself this is my 72nd day straight and I’m OLD, FAT, and OUT OF SHAPE (I am working on changing two of the three)! I finished strong with lunges and triceps. I am determined to wear short sleeves….and soon, it’s HOT!

We race to all our evening activities and get home after 8:20 at night. We threw a lean hamburger patty on the grill and tossed a quick cabbage salad. Small meal but it was late and we needed to eat before it got too late!


Day 73 

Up at 4 a.m. and out the door by 4:30. I do an intense cardio and complete two miles while on a level seven incline. I move to the back room and work on my core, my abs, and my biceps and back to my abs. I leave after 50 minutes and I feel great. Like I reclaimed my status in my mind since yesterday I was so weak.

I pack a good lunch, leftover salad, hamburger patty, fruit, nuts, and lots of water. I am convinced once again that I can do this!

You know how “they” say…at four weeks YOU can see it, at eight weeks, your family can see it and then at 12 weeks everyone else can see it. Next week will be 12 weeks and I am starting to get a few “I can see its”. My hubby is being the most complimentary. I’ll just be talking to him and he’ll say “babe, you look so good”, and “babe, you’re getting skinnier”. He is always telling me that he is proud of me. That right there is enough to keep me going!

Thank God for moms….they tell it like it is! I need that too. I love the fact that my mom doesn’t sugar coat it. She hasn’t seen me in a couple weeks…her response “keep going, you still got that tummy”. You know what that means…ABS TOMORROW!!!!


Day 74 

Another crack- of- dawn workout. I do two miles and then move to some machines. I do legs…ALL of my legs. Inner, outer, back, front, the works. I move on to chest and then finish with 100 crunches. I leave feeling good and like this is all starting to work. I look back 74 days ago and I could NEVER have done a mile on the treadmill. I remember getting on the very first day and “cranking it up to 2.0” and thinking I AM GOING TO FLATLINE. My heart rate was 180+. Now, I can run, fast walk on an incline and rarely my heart rate gets above 130 and that’s really pushing it. I still die when I try to do some of the drills Antonio gives me, like the mountain climbers and the planks…and many more, but at least I am trying and getting stronger and fitter every day. ANYONE can do it if I can do it. Don’t wait; get started now…the first day is the hardest!

I bring leftover barbequed chicken for lunch as well as veggies and a fruit salad. I pack my bag with some snacks for the game….nuts, protein bar and waters. 

 I have decided right this minute that I am going to have my husband hide the scale. It just consumes me and all I think about is the numbers that light up. I am going to allow myself a once a week weigh-in and no more than that. Hopefully this will keep me going for the inches and turning my fat into muscle and not worry so much about the pounds. 


Day 75 

I wake early on my vacation day and hit the gym. Its workout day with Antonio so I expect to be exhausted when leaving today. I start my warm up while I wait for T to get here. I walk for 90 minutes straight; I think we mixed up the times. Oh well…I have a great cardio!

Today I have the day off to spend with McKenna and Mitch. We are going out to the Riverbank movie theatre. I am excited but nervous for the temptations. I end up getting popcorn…NO BUTTER. Why on earth would anyone eat popcorn without butter just baffles me. I was still proud of me for turning it down.

We end the night at LaPlaya restaurant for a goodbye dinner for McKenna. I once again have the taco truck tacos dumped on shredded lettuce, no tortilla. Looking at this dinner…it can’t be that bad for me, right?


Day 76 

I wake early and prepare a good breakfast for McKenna and myself before she leaves to go back to school. I have scrambled eggs with peppers and onions and two pieces of bacon. It hits the spot and should tide me over while I knockout the gym. I go in later than usual for a Saturday. I mix it up a little and do the treadmill for 2 miles, then 15 minutes on the Stairmaster (at level 5) and then finish on the elliptical. I move to the back room and do a ½ hour of abs. I feel pretty good with what I accomplish for the day.

Mike and I do our shopping for the week today since tomorrow is Easter and we won’t be able to go to Costco. We buy the regular staples of fruits, vegetables and meats for the week. 

With no kids around we decide not to cook a big dinner and just eat leftovers. Super easy and just enough to fill me up.


Day 77 

So the gym is closed so that means I need to do something on the streets. I set up a GPS system on my phone that will record where I go and my distance, speed, time etc. I head out early so no one can see me “attempting” to look like I know what I am doing. At the first mile my GPS tells me, “ONE MILE, your pace is….” Of course that was all I needed. I knew I could do better than that so I kicked it up a notch and jogged a little faster. I improved by two minutes on the next mile. I finished three miles all together and I have to say…street running is WAY harder than the treadmill. I was so sore. Every muscle hurt. I felt like I ran 30 miles not just three. I better do this at least once a week if I want to be ready for the Lupus run come June.

We head to church and then home for a nice breakfast. I have one scrambled egg and one piece of bacon. I save my calories for tonight. I know Easter dinner is going to be hard to pass up.

We have a beautiful dinner at my sister’s. We have the usual spiral ham; my mom’s amazing scalloped potatoes, yams, beans, salad, the works! I stick to a small plate of veggies, salad and two small slices of ham. I pass on all the “good stuff”. A couple hours later when everyone else is having pie, ice cream, and dessert, I get a luncheon plate of round two. Veggies, salad and another slice of ham. It’s not the best but it’s better than eating the desserts. 

On to week 12! Please keep the support and good wishes coming. It’s so hard for me to stay positive.