November 08, 2022

75 Hard: Week 0 Recap

No, that's not a typo--the first week of 75 Hard goes in the books as Week 0. Ugh!

The 75 Hard challenge is not at all lenient in its rules, which is part of what makes it enticing; it's hard! You have to follow the rules right down to the letter, and if you break any of them, you have to start over at Day 1. Even if you just forget to take a progress photo on one of the days, it's back to Day 1. As a reminder, these are the rules (excerpted from this article on Today); I like the way they are written here, because Frisella (the person who came up with the challenge) tells you WHY the rules are the way they are.

Frisella says the rules of 75 Hard are simple, but that doesn't mean the plan is easy. There are daily tasks which much be executed consistently for the entire 75 days:

1. If you skip a day, you must start over. If you miss a task, you must start over at day one. "You cant tweak the program to your liking ... it's supposed to be inconvenient and it's supposed to be hard," said Frisella. "In life, conditions are never going to be perfect; you're always going to have to do things that you don't want to do and the minute you start tweaking or compromising, that's what opens the door to quitting."

2. Pick a diet to follow, with no alcohol or cheat meals. You must choose a diet based on your goals and stick to it. But there's a second caveat to the rule: No cheat meals and no alcohol. In a culture that depends on after-work drinks or wine once the kids are in bed, Frisella acknowledges the difficulty of this task. "Not a drop. Not a beer. Not a wine. Not a glass when you get home. Nothing for at least 75 days," he said. "There's a number of reasons for this: Empty calories, psychological addiction, physical addiction. Also, we’re talking about detoxing your body for 75 days ... You don’t understand how foggy you are because of this (alcohol-drinking) lifestyle."

3. Drink a gallon of water daily. "Make sure you start early and be consistent throughout the day so that you're not chugging a gallon of water before you go to bed," Frisella said, which, he admits, he had to do a few times himself.

4. Complete 2 daily workouts. One of the most time-consuming parts of 75 Hard is the workouts: Two 45-minute workouts of your choice must be completed per day and one of those workouts must be done outside, regardless of the weather. "This is the point of the program — conditions are never perfect," said Frisella. "And one of the reasons that most people can’t get through life in an effective way is because the minute conditions are tough, they throw the towel in on their plan."

5. Read 10 pages per day of a non-fiction book. "This is not entertainment time, this is not 'Harry Potter' time, this is learn new stuff time," Frisella explained. "The book has to be a self-development book of some kind and it has to be for personal growth." He also stresses that it needs to be a physical book, not an e-book you read on your phone or tablet.

6. Take a progress photo every day. "This is not just to show your physical transformation ... once you start getting some progress, fitness or business or anywhere else, you start to forget the little details as you go," said Frisella. These photos will help you remember the daily progress of your journey, he said. He also encourages people to take photos that show their body, recognizing that this may be difficult, but that these photos are for you only and don't need to be posted.

It's actually kind of a funny story how I got bumped back to Day 1. On Sunday, I wrote about the power going out Saturday night; I said I was so glad that I had already finished my second workout for the day, because if I hadn't, I'd have to walk in the wind storm or march in place in my living room, depending on whether it was an indoor or outdoor workout that I had left.

Even as I wrote that, IT DIDN'T OCCUR TO ME that I'd done both of my workouts indoors that day! I don't know what I was thinking. When you do two workouts a day, they all kind of blur together. I'd done both workouts outside on Saturday (I ran for the first one and walked for the second) and then Sunday, I did two workouts on the Wii Fit U.

The Wii Fit U is no joke--this is how good I am at yoga, hahahaha. I have zero balance and zero coordination. Flexibility? What's that? (I forget what this yoga pose was called, but I had to stand on one leg and hold my balance.) The scribbly lines show how my balance was distributed for each leg; ideally, the scribbly line would just be a small dot in the center of the yellow circle. My legs were so shaky and my balance was terrible! The spots where the line goes out of the circle completely is where I literally toppled over:

At around 11:30 PM on Sunday, I was lying in bed trying to sleep, and it hit me that I hadn't done an outdoor workout. I wasn't going to get out of bed at 11:30 to do it (if I had been on Day 46 or even Day 16, sure; but on Day 6, I just decided that I'd count the first week as a lesson learned). I definitely won't make that mistake again!

Since I had to start over, I took yesterday and today off. I ran into an issue with the bathroom remodel and I spent time working on that. I could have started Day 1 today, but I figured that since I've always started my week on Wednesdays (my "Wednesday Weigh-In" day), I would just start 75 Hard on Wednesday.

The week wasn't a waste, however, in any way. I got in twelve 45+ minute workouts, including two 4+ mile runs! It made me excited about running again. During my second run, my fourth mile was actually sub-10:00 and I didn't even realize it. I used to run all through the winter until I became a big baby about the cold. Now that I'll have to do a workout outdoors every day, it'd be nice to get back to running outside, even when it's freezing.

I still feel like I snacked too much, so I am going to adjust my "diet" plan. Before, my plan was just do continue to eat a vegan diet. Since I'm having a hard time with the mindless snacking, I'm going to make a simple rule: if I snack after dinner, it has to be 300 calories or less. I'm not going back to counting calories, but I didn't want to eliminate snacking altogether, or eliminate certain foods, so I think the 300 calorie rule will help a lot.

I was really good about drinking a gallon of water a day. I spread it into four quarts: one when I wake up, one after my first workout, one after lunch, and one after my second workout.

The non-fiction book is hard for me--you would think that would be the easiest task! But I was incredibly bored with Running & Being (there were a few interesting tidbits, but I had SUCH a hard time reading it. I only read the minimum 10 pages each day, so I didn't finish it.

I'm going to read something different tomorrow for Day 1. I'll have to dig around and see what I can find as far as a self-development book goes! I don't want to buy a physical book, knowing I'll never read it again, I may end up going to the library. It was SO hard not using my Kindle to read this week--I missed being able to look up unfamiliar words in the dictionary by just tapping them, I missed how lightweight it is, and I especially missed the fact that it lies flat so that I could eat breakfast while reading! I think I have a couple of physical books that I could read, but I might just have to request some at the library.

Anyway, I'm bummed that all of the six days I did don't count, but I learned from them so they weren't wasted. The biggest being that I need to control my snacking. I'm hoping I don't see yet another gain on the scale tomorrow. I've been eating healthy vegan food... just too much of it! And I certainly won't forget to get in an outdoor workout ;) 


  1. Whoa! This challenge is tough. And I wish I could send you a digital copy of Make Every Move a Meditation (my new one), but I can't. The ebook is on kindle now though and there's also an audiobook. Might not be your thing, but it's nonfiction. ;-)

  2. I think a great book is Glucose Revolution. I read it thinking I wouldn't get much out of since I follow Jessie Inchauspé (the author) on Instagram. But I feel like I learned SOOO much! And her suggestions have totally changed the way I eat.


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