August 22, 2020

Choose Your Own Hard

Shortly after I started 75 Hard, Adam and I got in a discussion about what the "rule" was on the diet part of the 75 Hard challenge. He said that we weren't allowed to have junk food/dessert/etc., where I believed that we could follow our own plan based on our goals (whether it was weight loss, muscle gain, etc.).

We both listened to the podcast again, and agreed that it did say to follow your own "diet"--Andy Frisella (creator of the challenge) said he wasn't going to lay out the rules.

Well, it turns out that in another (more recent) podcast interview, Frisella specified not to "stack calories" (i.e. intermittent fasting) and that you must "eat clean, through and through". Different from the previous podcast.

I happen to love the intermittent fasting and I don't "eat clean, through and through", so I technically haven't been following the 75 Hard challenge. And you know what? I'm totally cool with that.

I have gotten what I needed out of 75 Hard. I went into it wanting to gain the control and discipline needed to drop the weight I've gained (and hopefully feel better mentally). I've certainly met those expectations! I'm not going to call what I've done "75 Hard" anymore, out of respect for those that are doing it the way Frisella recently specified. But I did do 32 days of extremely disciplined eating, exercise, reading, drinking water, and taking a progress photo every day. 

It makes me want to make a "Choose Your Own Hard" challenge--because not everybody thinks the same things are "hard". For me, working out twice a day for 45 minutes each time was hard--doable, but hard! For someone else, that might be a cake walk. For me, drinking a gallon of water every day was nothing to blink at; but to others, it may seem impossible. 

Because the challenge has helped me so much (the way I've been doing it), I'm going to continue. I'm just not going to call it 75 Hard. I'm not going to call it anything, really, at least not right now. What I've been doing has been hard enough for me to feel uncomfortable, but not SO hard that I wanted to quit before I started. 

Until I decide otherwise, I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing: 1) Intermittent fasting; 2) Drink a gallon of water a day; 3) Read 10 pages of an inspirational book; 4) Take a progress photo every day; and 5) Do two 45-minute workouts every day.

I'll share my progress now and then (assuming I continue to make progress!).

Yesterday, we went to Brian and Becky's house to celebrate Riley's second birthday. I will forever remember the day she was born because it was also the day that we started remodeling the house. It started with a single scrape of the textured ceiling, and then I was committed ;)

Riley was SUPER cute (she always is). She's very petite and dainty, but she can be a little spitfire when she wants to be. She's super smart and I loved having her show me her things.

Becky made copycat chicken Qdoba bowls (lime/cilantro rice, chicken, beans, corn, salsa, homemade guacamole, sour cream... everything was SO good!). I fasted until dinner, and I was so glad that I did, because everything was delicious. I was actually too full for birthday cake--yes, it's true. Haha!

I love this picture of Riley and my dad!

Nathan (my younger brother) bought Riley a pink chainsaw. He had given one to Eli when Eli was turning 3 years old, and Eli loved it! Then he gave one to Luke, who also loved it. And apparently, he bought this pink one a couple of years ago and he's had it in his closet ever since--of course, Riley loved it! She loves "boy" things just as much as her girly unicorn things :)

I bought Riley a silly game called Toilet Trouble (Amazon affiliate link) that Becky said she'd love. Luke and Riley have a similar game called Flushin' Frenzy (Amazon affiliate link) where you roll a die that will give you a number 1-3, and then you have to push a plunger on a little plastic toilet that number of times. Eventually, someone will hit the magic number and when you press the plunger, a little turd pops out and flies at you. Hahaha! It's so ridiculous, but you can imagine that kids love it.

So, there is a similar game (which is what I bought Riley) where you put water in the little toilet bowl and then flush a certain number of times on your turn. Eventually, someone gets a spray of water right in the face. It was so cute watching the kids play, because they actually wanted to get sprayed, so they'd put their faces right up to the bowl, hoping that it would spray when they pushed the handle.

Where people come up with these ideas, I have no clue!

After dinner, I spent some time with Riley--she showed me their sandbox (which is like a mansion compared to the sandboxes that I remember as a kid!). Brian had to water the lawn, which requires a hose that is pretty much a firehose--it's enormous. There were a few spots where the water sprayed out, so Riley and I ran through the water. The water made lots of rainbows :)

The documentary that Adam suggested I watch yesterday was called 'Overcoming Depression: Mind Over Marathon' on Amazon Prime. It's about 10 people with some sort of mental illness (mainly depression, anxiety, and PTSD) who train to run a marathon together. 

I am going to watch the second half of it tonight; last night, I actually fell asleep while watching! I was so cozy curled up on my couch under a blanket with my heating pad on my back. I felt like I blinked and then the second half of the documentary was halfway over. So, I'm going to watch it as soon as I'm done with this post.

So far, though, I really like it! It definitely helps describe what depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and/or PTSD feel like. I always hate trying to describe the feelings (I don't have PTSD, but I do know depression, anxiety, and panic disorder very well) because it makes me feel like I sound whiny. I know that I have a great life and "nothing to feel depressed about", so it's hard to describe to someone why I can't function like a "normal" person during a depressive episode.

It's kind of funny how I still love everything about running; except I am not a runner anymore. I still love to read about it, watch shows about it, talk about it, and even write running plans--I just don't actually *do* it anymore. Maybe I will again someday, but for now, I'm really enjoying the walking!

I'll write more about the documentary tomorrow after I've finished it.


  1. I really think you are being a little hard on yourself about the 75 hard and what the creator intended. A lot of these diet gurus seem to contradict themselves a little depending on which audience they are speaking to. If the program was working for you, then you were doing it correctly! What you were doing involved lots of changes for you and an additional change of clean eating (whatever that means?) could never stick or be lasting. You should be so proud and satisfied with what you are doing. Keep it up keep believing you are doing the program 100% as I'm my mind you are.

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  3. I love this idea of choose your own hard! It is exactly what I decided to do after exploring the actual thing for a bit, and I am loving it and how it pushes me but also fits me at the same time. I’m calling mine Habits of Hope because it also helps me with my overall mindset and my why. I’m enjoying your posts on this, so I’m really glad you plan to continue : )

  4. I looked up 75 hard because of you. Then I looked up Andy, and the guy who runs his twitter account is anti-mask. If he doesn't believe in that science, why should I listen to his other advice? "Eat clean" isn't scientific either, depending on what it even means to him/anyone. I was gonna start the program, but now I'm so turned off I don't know what I'm going to do.

    Maybe a 'modified' 75 hard. My "diet" would simply be plant-based plus eggs. I'd not give up alcohol entirely, but would give up wine. These two things would be very hard for me for 75 days, mentally. True believers in Andy would disagree with me, and so I'd just be doing this by myself with no community. Seems boring.


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