December 30, 2020

My Sister's 75 Hard Transformation

(If you're not familiar with 75 Hard, I would go back and read this post on my blog. I explained it all there.)

In August, when Jerry, the kids, and I went up north to my sister's cabin, it was shortly after I started doing 75 Hard. I stuck with my plan while I was there, even though it was--well--hard. I had to switch up my routine and going out for my second walk of the day every afternoon was tough (mentally). But I did it and I'm glad I was able to stick with it.

I told Jeanie about 75 Hard and she was interested in it but said the timing wasn't good for her right then. And in general, 75 Hard is not for everyone! It's a super tough plan for mental toughness. It's not a weight loss plan--the whole purpose is to become very self-disciplined--but people usually lose weight while following the "rules".

Jeanie ended up starting 75 Hard and she took it very seriously. She's an occupational therapist and she's been working very closely with COVID patients all year. Her job has been crazy-stressful but she still managed to go 75 full days while following all of the rules of 75 Hard right to the tee. I was amazed when I saw her Day 1 photo next to her Day 75 photo. She looks amazing! 

I asked her if I could share her pictures and for some details about what she did because I knew people would be just as awed as I was. So, here is what she had to say...

When I first listened to the podcast with Andy Frisella about 75 Hard and decided to do it, I picked out the Weight Watchers PointsPlus plan as my diet. That had worked well for me in the past and I found that I could access all of the PointsPlus information from a free app called iTrackBites. I think in the app it’s called the "carb conscious" program. Weight Watchers has since developed other programs and I never found myself as successful on them.

For workouts, I was originally planning on running, swimming, and doing the circuit at Planet Fitness. Once I started the first couple of days, I really had to find a groove of how I was going to stay organized for 75 days. I wasn’t sure if I should do my run first and then walk my dogs (I did not count the dog walking as a work out) or if I should walk the dogs and then run, etc.

I settled into a routine of getting up at 4 AM and taking the dogs for a walk, dropping them back off at home, and then going for a run. This counted for my outdoor workout. After work, I went swimming or for a walk or did the circuit.

After about 10 days, I ran into a major issue with plantar fasciitis in my foot. It has been acting up off and on since the summer but it got really bad after I started running on it. It’s a long story but I ended up seeing two different podiatrists and switching shoes and I had to stop running. So I switched to brisk walking to limit the impact on my foot.

I learned to set out all my waters and number them one through eight in a container on my counter the night before. I kept my empty bottles and put them back in the container so I could ensure I drank all eight at the end of the day.

I also downloaded the 75 Hard app and would check that in the evening when I was logging my food in the iTrackBites app. I think the 75 Hard app is a must because there were a few times I forgot to take my progress photo and then when I checked the app at the end of the day, it still gave me time to get all the tasks completely done.

As far as the diet goes, I eat a sensible breakfast--usually oatmeal or egg whites and a protein shake--and I would eat a protein bar at lunch. Then I just eat a typical dinner.

The Apple Watch or other tracking device can sync right to the iTrackBites app and will tell you how many Activity Points you’ve earned for the day. I know you can eat your Activity Points but I only chose to use a small portion of the points for food and I often had about 100 points left over at the end of the week that I did not use for food.

I also know on Weight Watchers there are no food groups that are eliminated but I chose not to have any sweets like cookies, cakes, pies, etc. The closest thing to sweets that I spent Points on was some Nutella in my oatmeal in the morning--but I counted the Points. I determined in the beginning that as long as I stayed on the program and did not go over my Points value each week, then that was considered "on track". 

I’m a picky eater and don’t like vegetables, so I feel like the Weight Watchers Points Plus program was perfect for me

For my second workout, I would just swing by the gym after work and swim or come home and walk. I found going to Planet Fitness to do the circuit was a little bit tricky because the hours are modified due to COVID. So I didn’t do much of that--maybe only a few times.

As far as organization goes, I even organized how I packed my gym bag. I had my towel and my clean clothes for after swimming at the bottom of the bag. At the top of the bag was my swimsuit and a towel for when I got out of the pool and my flip-flops to walk to and from the pool.

I only weighed myself once a week. I feel like I followed the program to the tee the way that I understood it from the first podcast when he talked about 75 Hard. He has since put out a second podcast on it and he states that you’re not supposed to use a Kindle for your reading and it’s supposed to be an actual book. But I believe this contradicts what he first said. Either way, I completed at least 10 pages of a nonfiction book for all 75 days.

To be honest, I really love the whole structure of the program. I treated it like a job. When my alarm went off it was just non-negotiable to get up and start. I learned to love the morning routine of walking the dogs and then having 45 minutes to myself to listen to a podcast while I walked outside.

Being that it was so early in the morning, I was sure to wear a reflective light and I also chose to carry my own protection as far as pepper spray and a concealed carry gun.

The things I wish I would’ve done differently are 1) I wish I would’ve at least put my hair in a ponytail for my before picture but I had no idea I was going to be sharing that with anybody; and 2) I also wish I would’ve taken side and back photos in the beginning.

But the bottom line is that I love the program and I actually love the simplicity of the rules. Doing them for 75 days is another story but I found it motivating and never really dreaded doing a work out.

I am taking this week off between Christmas and New Year’s but I’m not going totally wild with diet or anything like that. I’m at our cabin up north, enjoying myself but don’t plan to drink alcohol at all this weekend and I’m still drinking my gallon of water and going on a nice walk.

My next focus is going to be getting to the gym and starting to do more strength training to tone up. I think it’s important as a middle-aged female to get in some weight bearing exercise to help prevent bone and muscle loss.

Basically, I plan to continue with a modified program. I plan on only taking my photo one time a week and to read just for enjoyment and not a particular amount or type of book per day. I want to continue with the two workouts but I don’t want one of them to have to be outside. And I still plan to follow Weight Watchers and drink a gallon of water each day. I’ll check back in in 75 days and see if we can tell a difference with strength training!

I lost weight consistently every single week for 10 weeks. In the end, I lost 24 pounds total.

My advice to others, which I read from people who had done the program, would be "don't overthink it". I think there are a lot of varied opinions on how strict the program is and what Frisella means by "following a diet" and all of that--it’s easy to get caught up. So I think that just sticking to the basics and your interpretation of some of the information he says will get you through.

I think it was great to have a mental focus and a physical checklist of stuff to do. There was some guilt sometimes because I was so exhausted by the time my day was ending that when my husband was working 12 hours and didn’t get home until 7:30 at night, I was already ready for bed. I tried to make sure I was getting 7-9 hours of sleep at night because I do not function well on less than that.

The challenge has definitely boosted my self-confidence and I find that my mentally conscious time is not spent wondering if people think I’m fat, or if I’m breathing heavy while talking to a patient after I just ran up the stairs etc. I feel like I do have more confidence and self-esteem. And it’s been fun to try on clothes I haven’t worn in a long time and find out they fit!

Doesn't she look amazing?! I was stunned when I saw her photos. And her self-discipline... it motivates me for sure. Jeanie and I both love sweets, so when I learned that she didn't have any dessert for 75 days, I was very surprised--that's extremely difficult. I'm so proud of her for finishing!


  1. That's amazing! Huge congrats to her :)

    The distinction of reading a real book vs. a Kindle book seems a bit silly.

    1. I totally agree about the kindle part!

  2. Congratulations Jeanie! You look fabulous and you kicked ass at 75 Hard.

  3. Way to go Jeanie! That is awesome you were able to take care of you, while also taking care of others! 75 hard is not for everyone, but it worked for you and you rocked it!! Keep up the great work. Also thank you for helping during COVID!

  4. Amazing dedication! That's an insane challenge to finish, all finishers should feel proud! I'm also baffled by the Kindle thing. What does it matter if its a physical paper book or on an e-reader? Either way you're reading a book!

  5. Wow - amazing! Congratulations Jeanie! I love the mentality of "treat it like a job". The minute you start negotiating with yourself it instantly gets harder. I need to do the same.

  6. This is so incredible to see. She lived that challenge to the fullest and the results show. Jeanie please keep it up, I gained all of my weight back (+2) in just over 3 months since I finished mine. I’m working back on it now but the mental happiness it brought me is what I want back most so keep that up and you’ll stay great in 2021.

  7. This inspired me to try it! I'm on day 5 and the hardest part for me is the water. I wake up all night long to go pee!! Running with my dogs this morning in the snow was such a great way to start my work week! Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Damn girl! She killed it! :)

  9. Wow, she really does look amazing!!! Great job!

  10. Great job!! She looks 20 years younger in the transformation photo. Congratulations!

  11. I'm so glad you shared your sister's experience. She really rocked it with hitting everything head on! She had a plan and executed perfectly. Made a way! So inspiring. Loved this! Congrats to Jeanie!

  12. Wow. U rocked it. U look fabulous in considering it right now.


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