Five weeks out and things are getting rough.

It was my birthday this week. Now is the dreaded question: Do I cheat and go out for a lovely birthday dinner with my family? or do I disappoint those people around me?

Hmm … I judge how I am doing.

I know family is the most important thing. I also know that I do have a ‘cheat’ coming next weekend and maybe I should make this my last treat meal and forgo next week’s?

I know if I make a decision to do this, I cannot turn around and feel guilty and be cranky to all those around me. So, I decide to go out for dinner, order a chicken salad, eat half and have no dessert. It was a lovely dinner.

There … that wasn’t so bad, right?

Well, I wake up the next morning feeling awful. Bloated. Sick to my stomach. Too much salt. So, instead of withering in self-pity and quitting (which is very tempting at these low points), I jump out of bed and get my next hour of cardio in.

I also make sure I drink my four litres of water today and get my next hour of cardio in.

Phew! I am starting to feel a bit better. Back in control.

I had to send my weekly pictures in last Friday. It is always a hard thing to do. I never know how they are going to be judged. Am I doing well? Do I have a long ways to go? Am I disappointing my trainers? Will they think I am not working hard enough?

I wait and wait for a response. Well … this is the first time I have had such a positive response. I am feeling great – ready to roll.

But wait. With the response comes my next week of programs. What! I now have 75 minutes of cardio for twice a day, seven days a week, plus weights fives times a week, plus routine practice, plus (yes there’s more) extra abs and legs three times a week.

(My legs and my abs are my ‘problem areas’. I quite like my legs, but there’s just too much to love.)

Only 25 days to go. We can do anything for 25 days, right?

I create a calendar for my fridge – a countdown to when we leave – with motivational quotes, a daily countdown of meals and check-off boxes for my vitamins. I am a very visual person and having a reminder that it is not far away helps me keep going.

I am also a huge sticker person. I get stickers for everything. Done my cardio? Sticker! Done my weights? Sticker! Practised my routine? Sticker! Got all my meals in? Yup, sticker it up baby!

I also received messages about my hair, makeup, tanning, after-party, pictures, videos, meeting times, jewellery, suits, shoes and messages from friends who are going to be there.

This, gets me pumped and excited. I cannot wait to be there on stage, showing off all my hard work and dedication over the past four months. I am on a high.

Seventy-five minutes of cardio? Is that all?

So, now I regretfully send the news to my trainers about my birthday dinner and wait to see if my Valentine’s Day treat is going to get removed … sigh.

This column is provided by Peak Fitness. Mrs. Lee Randell is an ACE-certified personal trainer. Contact information and past articles are available at www.pkfitness.yk.ca/Clients. Anyone who wants to begin an exercise program should consult their physician first.

This column is provided by Mrs. Lee Randell, independent fitness consultant, who is an ACE certified advanced health and fitness specialist and personal trainer. You can reach her at www.mrsleerandell.com.