October 22, 2022

A New Challenge: Who's In?

With cross country coming to a close, I can already feel the extra time I'm going to have freed up. While I'll be sad to see the season ending, I'll most definitely enjoy feeling less pressure.

A few days ago, my sister mentioned that she was going to start another 75 Hard challenge starting November 1st. The last time she asked me to do it, I said no way. It was SO much work last time! If you're unfamiliar with it, there are some simple rules to follow for 75 days. When you read them, they actually sound pretty easy:

1) Do two (45-minute) workouts per day. One of these workouts must be outside--no exceptions. They can be any workouts you want.

2) Follow a diet of choice. There are no "cheat meals" or alcohol allowed.

3) Drink 1 gallon of water a day.

4) Read 10 pages of a non-fiction self-help, or inspiring, book. Audiobooks do not count.

5) Take a full-body progress photo every day.

When you look at each of those, they seem rather simple! The big kicker is that you cannot stray from the rules even one time or you have to start over from day one.

I'm not interested in losing weight, but this isn't designed to be a weight loss plan. It's a plan for mental toughness--you're learning self-discipline by sticking to the rules for 75 days straight.

When I did it before, I chose walking as my exercise. I walked 45 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the afternoon. It took me over an hour and a half a day, which was much longer than I was used to! But I listened to a bazillion audiobooks. (Those didn't count toward my reading).

My plans for this time around:

1) I'll run (likely on the treadmill or the rec center's indoor track through the winter) for 45 minutes inside. And for my second workout, I'll either walk Joey outside, ride my bike if the weather is nice, or maybe even bust out the old Wii EA Sports Active "game" (Amazon affiliate link) I used to do, which was basically a strength training workout). The exercises for 75 Hard are technically up to you, which you want to do; the whole point is to do *something* active for 45 minutes twice a day. The only caveat as that one has to be outside.

2) My diet is pretty much the same. I'll continue my vegan way of eating. I've been sober for 1 year, 8 months, and 7 days now, so alcohol won't be a problem. The only change I plan to make is that I'm going to eliminate sweets altogether. I don't eat many sweets now that I'm vegan (they're inconvenient, unless I want to bake something, so I'm just too lazy--haha). I will still include cocoa powder in my oatmeal because it's unsweetened, but I can do without the chocolate chips. I don't drink sweetened anything, even soy milk. So I actually feel like the diet part is going to be easy!

3) Drink one gallon of water a day. This should be fairly easy, despite how much I write that I have a hard time drinking water. I know that if it's a part of the 75 Hard challenge, I'll just make sure to chug my 1 Liter bottle four times a day. I usually do once in the morning (first thing after waking up), one at around lunch time, one in the afternoon, and one at around dinner time.

4) I've been wanting to read "How Not to Die" by Michael Gregor and Gene Stone. (All links to these books on Amazon are affiliate links, meaning I might get a small commission if you purchase through the link. I haven't read them, so I can't recommend them, haha!) It's super long (over 500 pages) so it'll take me a very long time to read it! But I've had it on my Kindle all year and I keep moving it down the list for my fun fictional novels.

Also, a reader named Ann wanted to send me a book called "Love Your Home Again: Organize Your Space and Uncover the Home of Your Dreams", by Ann Lightfoot and Kate Pawlowski. You all know I love to organize, but since my house doesn't have an attic or a basement or even a storage closet, I have a hard time organizing everything. Another interest is "12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos" by Jordan B. Peterson. And finally, "Atomic Habits" by James Clear. I've had this book for ages and I still haven't read it. I've started to a few times, but I just don't like self help books!

One book that I have read (and listened to!) several times is "Can't Hurt Me" by David Goggins. If you're looking for inspiration, or you think you can't do something, or you think something is too hard, you NEED to read and/or read his book. (FYI, there is a lot of swearing, but I think they may have a "clean" version if you're not into that). I can't recommend this book enough!

5) Take a full-body progress photo every day. I'm not trying to lose weight, so I don't think my body will change much, but I'll still do that. I'm thinking I might wear the same clothes every day for the picture--just black running tights and a tight black shirt--so that it shows my body. Or *maybe* I'll be brave enough for a sports bra and shorts. Probably not, though! This was Day 1 of 75 Hard the last time I did it (in 2020). I didn't make it through the whole thing, though.

And that's it! The hardest for me, by far, is going to be the double workouts. But I did it before, when I was very much overweight, so I know I can do it again. I walked in snow storms! When I injured my knee by kneeling on a screwdriver, I just switched to riding my bike. And Joey can certainly benefit from the extra walking, too. I've been wanting to get back to running, so this is a good way to force myself to at least get out there. I may not run the full 45 minutes, but I can walk some of it (either at the end or take walk breaks in the middle.

The biggest catch: If you miss even one single item on the list, you have to start over from day one!

Anyway, my sister is the one who said she was going to start 75 Hard on November 8th, and I only thought about it for a minute before I said I'd like to join her. I wanted to start earlier, though, so I'll start November 1st. The dates will run from November 1-January 14. Right through the holiday season! Holidays have never been a big deal for me as far as food goes, so I'm not worried about that.

I wanted to write about it now in case anyone else is interested in doing it with me. I had thought about creating a Facebook group to keep in check, but in the past when I've done those, it's hard to get people to participate. Also, I need to take on 

There is a great podcast that explains the whole challenge, which you can find links to below: 75HARD: A 75 Day Tactical Guide For Winning The War With Yourself, with Andy Frisella. (Again, the the language is pretty explicit.)

Here it is on iTunes
Here it is on Stitcher

I'm actually really excited about starting this! For once, I'm not doing a weight loss challenge; I'm doing this for mental toughness and something to keep me focused. My body can certainly benefit from the exercise as well ;)


  1. I'd like to join you on this. I've been putting it off for months, and this gives me the impetus to jump in. Also, Atomic Habits is by James Clear - it's an outstanding book, and well worth the read. I may read it again.

  2. I'm in! Perfect timing.

  3. Jordan Peterson is extremely problematic, so please -- if you read his book, just also take the time to look into why.

    Good luck with the challenge!

  4. So I've been interested in this. I do a lot of ultramarathons that take multiple days (100-200+ mile races). I assume those days I can count as two workouts?

    1. According to the "official" rules, there has to be two separate workouts. Take from that what you will of course.

  5. Audiobooks count as reading!! That's all I have to say :D


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