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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 50 

Start of Week 8.  Time seems to fly when you think about it already being eight weeks into this journey.  In all honesty, I thought the weight would be coming off quicker and my “movement” would increase.  I was thinking not only would I lose weight, get in shape, be able to bend over, tie my shoes or run up a flight of stairs with ease, but I think in my mind I was somehow going to become young again.  Hopefully that will come as the pounds are shed.  

Today is a training day.  After working all day, eating right, getting in my protein shakes and lots of water, I head to the gym to meet Antonio.  I do a 10-minute warmup and we start the weights.  We do chest first.  HARD, heavy and four sets of 15 reps.  Doesn’t sound like much but it was so hard.  The weights were way too heavy. I got a headache like a minute into it.  I think I might have over done it.  We move on to arms and then different kinds of squats with weights.  Needless to say it was probably the hardest I have gone to date.  Antonio says it’s time to step it up and start working harder.  I keep reminding him I AM OLDER THAN HIS MOTHER!  


Day 51 

I am so sore, especially my chest.  I don’t mind it because it reminds me that I worked hard and something is happening to my body even if I can’t see it.  I walk around work oohing, awing and wincing.  Most of my coworkers are getting used to me whining about this and that.  

Another day of working out with Antonio.  Today we do a few leg workouts and then move into the dreaded “back room.”  We do mountain climbers in 30-second increments (OK, that is so dang hard. Do you have any idea how long 30 seconds is when are doing mountain climbers?) and then we do toe taps on the ball and then move on to air squats. I do all three of these one right after the other for four sets.  I finish my day with a two-mile fast walk on the treadmill.  SUCCESS!!!


Day 52 

It’s game day so you know that means up at 4:30 a.m. and at the gym by 4:45.  I am so sore from the last two days of workouts that I am just going to do a 60-minute walk on the treadmill.  I plug into the headset and zone out.  Get in my walk with a mid-incline and nice pace.  It almost feels like a little break.


Day 53 

I am feeling a little less sore so I get to the gym and decide I am going to try some activities on my own.  I start with a one-mile walk/jog and I keep the incline at 10.  Then I hit the floor and do bicycles, crunches and side crunches.   I do a little arms with the rubber bands and some squats with weights and then move on to a few machines for both arms and legs.  I spend 50 minutes at the gym all together and leave dripping with sweat.  Feels good.


Day 54 

I barely got to the gym this morning. I was up late and the alarm went off at 4:20 a.m.  I could barely get out of bed.  I forced myself and arrived at the gym to get to work.  Started with treadmill and moved on to the Stairmaster and then the step stepper.  That was only the second time I tried that machine. WOW, talk about a workout.  It definitely seemed to work because when I left I still had my earbuds in and I could hear my heart beating and going a mile a minute.  

I come home to prepare for my day and off to work I go.  After work I race to Mitch’s game in Modesto.  It’s HOT and everyone is in shorts … except me.  Not a chance in you-know-what I would be caught dead in a pair of shorts.  I suffer through the beating sun.  After the game, Mike and I literally race to the next event, the crowning of the new Miss Manteca.  We leave Modesto after 6 p.m. (which was the starting time of the Manteca Youth Focus event).  We have no time to stop for anything to eat so we both choke down a protein bar and call it dinner.  

While at the event I have a lot of people coming over and giving me cheers, pep talks, encouragement and then the best: “Girl, you are doing this for all the cougars of Manteca.” HELLO, you got that right!!!  


Day 55 

Rise and shine and off to the gym.  Its early, quiet and not a lot of people in the gym.  I do a 45-minute cardio and move into the back room where I tackle a few of the exercises that Antonio has taught me.  I even do platform jumps! I’m actually feeling like I know what I’m doing.

I race home to get ready for another long day.  I make a “real” breakfast for both my daughter Myklyn and I.  I make her a bacon-and-cheese omelet and I have a scramble loaded with spinach, peppers, onions and bacon.  It was heaven!  We top it off with fresh watermelon.  This is going to have to last us all day!

We head out the door to another busy day.  We have the second day of MYF and then later tonight the Manteca High School annual Athletic Boosters Rib Feed.  It’s a dreaded thought, I have NOTHING TO WEAR.  After the show, Myklyn and I head to the store to see if I can find something to wear tonight.  Not an easy task without a Lane Bryant around.  I am shopping around and within five short minutes I have multiple people stop and tell me they are reading my journey and following my blog.  Myklyn says “Mom, you’re a celebrity”.  We are scouring the racks for anything I could possibly get into.  Myklyn is laughing her head off at my choices. OK, please help me understand: Why on earth would the clothes designers put HUGE, BRIGHT, FLOWERS all over a shirt?  I mean really?  Why do we want to bring attention to our small planets attached to our chests?  TRUST ME, WE DON’T!  I am literally trying on clothes in the aisle. Myklyn is rolling her eyes and laughing at me.  Not only am I now completely depressed but getting more and more frustrated.  Myklyn suggests moving from the “plus” size to the “normal” size and just going to an XL.  OK, I have not been in an XL in years.  With encouragement I head to that section.  Again the laughing starts with the choices, we find a shirt that has potential.  I put it on and turn to Myklyn.  She blinks and says “Wow. It’s so disorienting, it’s distracting with the stripes and kinda makes you dizzy”.  I shout out “perfect!”  If it does all those things just by looking at it, then we know it’s the perfect choice!  I grab a pair of pants off the rack (two sizes smaller than I have been wearing) and say “I can always bring them back if they don’t fit.”  Out the door we go.


Day 56

It took a little longer to get to the gym today, but was still there by 9:30 a.m.  I had big plans for what I was going to do but I started my warm up next to a lady and the chatting began.  Neither one of us stopped talking for 90 minutes.  We discussed diets, exercising, weights, kids, marriage, and empty nest syndrome. Everything you could imagine. The time flew.  I did four miles, the most I have ever done.  I actually could have kept going but our conversation turned emotional and both of us left with tears in our eyes.  Thank you Wendy for our nice long chat and sharing our stories of our kids, families, struggles and successes!  Sure made for a fun four miles!

You know what today is – Costco.  Stock-up day.  Lots of fruits, vegetables meats, protein, nuts, the works.  Have I said this before? Sure is expensive to eat healthy. 

I come home, unload and start a nice dinner.  I make a plate for everyone and Myklyn makes a comment “Dang, you guys eat a lot.”  All that was on our plates was a small portion of pork loin and then a heaping side of asparagus and broccoli.  We tell her we eat as much vegetables as we want and to load up on the good stuff not the bad.  A college student doesn’t exactly get fresh vegetables in their diet.  

I ended the day by preparing lunch and cutting up a bunch of fresh fruit for the next couple of days.  Nothing better!

Nice way to end Week 8.  Next week is weigh and measuring week.  Wish me luck!