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Shes rising up to the challenge
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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.



OK, so to be honest, I was hoping I would wake up, step on the scale and see a drastic drop. I’m dreaming, and I know it doesn’t work that way, but I was still hoping.  It would have made me happy.  

I feel good, no soreness and I know today is a cardio day and Antonio will not be there for my training. I want to make him proud so I gear myself up for a long, hard cardio session.  Due to an appointment, I end up coming into the gym later than I have ever been.  It’s busy and has a lot of really good bodies all around me.  I’m a little intimidated but plug in my ear buds and get to work.  Throughout the work out I actually get a few texts from several of my friends saying they too were at the gym and they were increasing their incline on their treadmills to match mine.  GOTTA LOVE IT!  I finish the session and get home to a perfect dinner made for me by Mike.  Chicken breast, spinach and broccoli.  


Day 9 

Today my first blog ran in the paper. I get tons of feedback from so many of you.  Majority seem to like it, laugh at it and connect to it.  At least ONE of you thinks it’s a little too long.  I am assuming it will start off with lots to say since this is all new to me and my body and every day I am trying something new in the gym.  I stopped at three places today in town and all three places someone recognized me and talks to me about the challenge.  It’s a great feeling.

Today I do a 15 minute warm up and Antonio is running late so he says to keep going and he’ll grab me when he is done.  I end up doing a 45 minute cardio and then we moved on to arms, back and core.  As always its tough, but I make it and feel good afterwards.  Shortly after I get home Mike and I head to Costco to restock our healthy foods and I can feel the pain setting in.  I can barely pick up my purse by the time we get to checkout.  It’s one of the first times we manage to spend under $150 and get a cart full of good food.  Tons of vegetables, fruits, lean meats and waters.  We usually make great dinners and make extra so we have it for lunch the next day.  I have been trying to stick to around a 1200-1400 calorie diet.  I have one piece of low cal wheat toast and 2 pieces of bacon first thing in the morning.  About 2 hours later I have a piece of fruit or a 100 calorie Greek yogurt.  Lunch usually consists of a salad with chicken sliced up on it or turkey with avocado slices.  I then snack right before I work out and then dinner.  It is a lot easier to follow Monday through Friday since my routine is the same every day.  I can tell you one thing; it’s a lot easier having my hubby being helpful, supportive and willing to either eat or make anything to help me (us) in this fight against fat!


Day 10  

Ok, what the heck, nothing seems to be coming off. I am trying not to get discouraged but I was thinking I should be down at least a few pounds by now.  I know it’s only been 9 days but please give me something!  I head to the gym knowing that its cardio day and jump on the treadmill and start to work.  After more than half way done, Antonio surprises me by coming up behind me and stopping the treadmill.  He says lets go and we head to the back. That is always a scary room….it usually means “this is going to hurt”.  Sure enough we start with the medicine ball and move onto a jumping, bouncing thing.  OH LORD PLEASE NO!!! Here is a pointer, never do a jumping bouncing thing in front of the mirror at my size, trust me it is NOT a pretty sight!  I finish off with pushups.  Antonio tells me, back to the treadmill for 15 hard minutes.  I have to say, I think today was the first day I over did it.  I was light headed and had no appetite and literally just crashed when I got home.  I’m sure in a few weeks I look back at this and think “wow, I was really, really out of shape”.


Day 11 

Today was my first day at over a full hour of straight working out. I felt great.  I turned on my show, cranked up the treadmill and went to work.  I made it 65 minutes, went 2.3 miles and burned 595 calories.  WOO HOO!  I felt so good after.  Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I think I could have gone even longer!   I can’t believe I have worked out every day for 11 days straight.  I’m proud of myself but know there is such a long way to go that is a little daunting to actually think about it.  I have to keep reminding myself that I can do it and not to give up.


Day 12  

Feeling good, ready to tackle my training session with Antonio.  A little nervous for what he has in store for me.  I do a nice warm up of 30 minutes and then we head over to do some abs, and legs.  Oh its seriously the most embarrassing thing when I have to do any kind of bouncing.  My body shakes and it’s just horrible.  Antonio has zero sympathy and basically says get over it and get to work.  I do and finish out strong.  I get home, I have a nice clean, light dinner and then I decide to head back to the gym for Zumba.  My bad, it’s only Monday through Thursday. Oh well, I should rest my old body.


Day 13 

We actually sleep in a little; I don’t get to the gym till about 7:45. I know today is going to be cardio, and I will just get lost in my phone by watching my shows and not even think about putting in work.  I set the treadmill for fat burning for 60 minutes.  That means heart rate needs to stay at about 150.  I get about 35 minutes in and I am greeted with a friendly face and lots of chatter. We talk for the next 25 minutes. LOVE it, never even noticed. NOW that’s a great way to pass the time!  I decided to restart the treadmill and I do another 30 minutes and finish off my show.  Whew!  


Day 14

Today is kind of a dreaded day. SUPERBOWL SUNDAY. Nothing is better than nachos, super bowl snacks, and all that stuff that I CAN’T HAVE!  Mike and I have a plan.  We are going to make healthy snacks and a big pot of lean chili with tons of veggies.  We can do this and we won’t miss a thing! My son is heading down to the family and friends annual football game.  Mike can’t play this year due to his shoulder recovery.  So I tell them I will meet them there, I’m going to walk the bike trail down and then they can drive me back after the game.  I set off from home and head toward the trail.  NO, that was not a small earthquake centered in Manteca yesterday morning. That was me…on the bike trail doing something I have NEVER DONE A DAY IN MY LIFE….I was jogging.  I saw a couple pass me, looking fit and barely winded.  They were jogging nice and slow, so I thought…I can do that.  I made it all the way to the game.  I have never been so proud of myself in my life.  I arrive to a few chuckles and a big high five from my son.

The men asked a few questions about my journey, my challenge, etc. We talked about the fact that I am middle aged, extremely over weight and a woman, and I am going up against a kid half my age, who has been working out for a long time and then my nephew, who is a die hard CORE 209 member, dropped it. He came at me with fighting words.  He said “you guys underestimated them”.  DING….do you hear that?  That my friends is the first note in the “Rocky” anthem.  Can you hear it?  I can…  The start of one of the greatest comeback, survival, climatic stories of my generation!  If you were planning on betting against this girl, you better think again!  

….so I walked back home, what’s another 2 miles!