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Taking lots of pictures
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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 288
Have I told you all what this has challenge has meant to me?  I really can’t thank you all enough for the support and encouragement you have all provided for me for the past 288 days.  EVERYWHERE I go in Manteca I am greeted with friendly faces of pure love and support.  It’s mind-boggling to realize just how many people are following my journey.  I see you in the grocery stores, the post offices, the gas stations, my work (especially, you are all so uplifting and supportive) schools, salons, you name it….I have seen you there and you (yes you…) have said something kind to keep me on the right path to a better me.  I truly thank you from the bottom of my heart.  I could not have done this without you!   So many things have changed in the last ten months.  The first most noticeable: I TAKE PICTURES.  LOTS OF THEM!  It’s been years since I have been in a picture.  I don’t hide anymore; I am front and center with a huge smile on my face.  My husband sent me about six pictures from last fall and Christmas time.  OH MY GOODNESS, can you so gross?  Of course not one of them was me looking at the camera….I was always way in the back and just happened to be “caught” by the camera.  There was one we took at Levi stadium but I literally cut out so much of me you could only see my face…the body, oh no way! It’s a great feeling to be back! 
I head to the gym knowing its going to be a tough day.  Back with Javi.  He has a circuit all set up for me.  I do five different drills.  Start with running, then down for deadlifts then squats with weights then side lunges and finish with push-ups (after throwing the medicine ball).  Over and over again we do this and then finish with leg lifts, crunches and planks.  DRIPPING WITH SWEAT!  I get back on the treadmill for a one mile run and then before heading home I pull up the “daily challenge” that me and my girls are doing.  Today it calls for sit ups, v-crunches and squats.  I do them all and call it a night!
Mike grills chicken thighs; I toss a big salad and fresh green beans.  We eat early and call it a night.  

Day 289 
Today is straight cardio for me (and the daily challenge).  I decide to do a little of everything.  Treadmill, elliptical and Stairmaster.   The goal was to get two miles on each apparatus.  Goal attained!  I finish with my challenge and leave feeling great.

Day 290 
Today I meet with Javi and hear the dreaded words….”its leg day”.  If you know me, you know that it is by far my BIGGEST part of me — my lower half.  So that means it requires the most work and let me tell you, Javi does not take it easy on me.  My son comes to the gym with me.  We both warm up and then he goes off with friends and I get started with Javi.  Every apparatus we do, I hear Mitch saying “come on mom, keep it up…”  I do. We do 4 machines and then move to the floor.  We do side to side squats with a weight bar on my back.  Can you say OH MY GOSH???  I can barely move by the time I am done.  My legs are shaking and I feel like a young foal trying to walk for the first time.  I get on the treadmill and slowly work my way up to a nice pace and finish two miles.  All I can think about is how much this is going to hurt tomorrow!

Day 291
I can’t move.  I can’t sit, I wear high heels to work and can barely walk in them.  My legs are killing me.  Like Javi says “at least you know it’s working”. 
I do straight cardio and my daily challenge today.  I struggle with it all just because I am so sore. By the end of it I am loose and feeling better.  I come home and whip up a quick dinner for us before Mike heads out to his softball game. 
When we crawl into bed my legs are hurting so bad that I can’t even flip over.  I am wincing in pain.  Mike tells me that I need to rest my body because I broke down my muscles and they don’t have time to rebuild themselves if I just go day in and day out to the gym.  It’s the first time I actually think he might be right. I haven’t been this sore in a long time and I feel OLD.  Like really old… and tired.  I might have to take a one day break this weekend.  We’ll see!

Day 202
Nope, no break for me.  I feel great today.  My legs are a hundred times better and I am ready for the weekend.  I get to the gym and find out I am on my own.  Javi is out of town so it’s up to me to get in a good hard work out.  After a little over one hour of cardio, I move to the floor and start my “daily challenge”.  Today it calls for 25 sit ups, 25 v-crunches and then 50 squats. No problem!

Day 293 
Saturday morning, up early and out the door for shopping, errands and then a pedicure.  What a great way to start the weekend.  After “fun” in the morning I know I must get to the gym for my afternoon workout.  I don’t want to… I want to watch college football and do nothing, but since that’s how I got here in the first place…I know I must get to the gym.  Its empty, I love it.  I jump on the Stairmaster and get to work.  I set the machine for “fat burn” and let it speed up and slow down and increase in intensity for 30 minutes.  I wore long sleeves today and boy was that a mistake!  After a half hour of that I go over to the elliptical and crank it up and get going.  One hour down and I move over to the treadmill to finish out 90 full minutes.  I can’t forget my daily challenge and do everything it calls for.  Nope, it’s not getting easier!

Day 294 
Rise and shine, coffee and whole wheat pancakes with pecans.  I needed the energy this will gave me for a two hour workout this morning.  I decide to walk today, a good hard-fast paced walk.  Once I get outside its cold and rainy and I say forget it and decide to head to the gym instead.  I put on a classic movie “Serendipity” and plug in and get to work.  Crazy that I watch the entire movie, on the treadmill at an incline of 5.5 at 3.8 mph.   When the movie is over, I am sweating and pretty exhausted but I have to get my daily challenge in so I hit the mat and do 25 sit ups, 40 bicycles and then 50 squats.  It’s nice to know that it’s really nothing for me to get those in nowadays.  10 months ago that would have been all I could do in a day, now it’s my “cool down”….gotta love it!
I race home, shower and out the door to visit my parents.  Then its grocery shopping time.  I have to stock the shelves for a week of good eating and healthy choices.  Friends, do you know how hard it’s getting this time of year?  The pumpkin muffins, the peppermint cookies and candies, all the yummy winter stuff that warms the belly and of course…adds the weight.  I have to stay focused and determined and on track and keep the mentality that I have had.  I can’t give in or slack off or lighten up. 
It’s so easy to stay on track Monday through Friday. It’s get up, pack my good lunch, work all day, come home go to the gym and then eat a good healthy dinner.  It’s the “special days” and the weekends that it will creep up on me.  I WILL stay on track…..I will, I will!  Week 43 I am coming for you!