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  • Writer's pictureLeah VanHoose

75 Hard

Now that I have completed 75 hard I wanted to write about my experience. The good, the bad, and the not so ugly.

I’d been on the fence for months. I started thinking about possibly doing it last summer. So I was going to “prep” myself and try to add some consistency back into my life. I chose to use September and October to get “ready” then I spent most of October sick and back to square one.

I’ve been consistently working out since 2007 when I decided to change the trajectory of my life. There have been some breaks in there like when I moved here to Florida but nothing like the 2-year break I took after the gym I was going to closed and I had a hysterectomy. I started and stopped and started and stopped and each time I thought I was getting over the hump I got derailed. Getting older and more and more depressed I knew it was time to do something drastic. I’m very good when I have a schedule and a routine and very disciplined when I have a plan. I have done every 30-day challenge in the books but immediately upon completion, I am right back to the crappy habits I try to erase. I won’t lie, 75 days seemed too big to tackle. Did I REALLY want to change? YUP.

I waited for January first. I like day 1. I like starting on a Monday. I like new years resolutions, not that I’ve ever stuck with one. I just like the new fresh feeling it invokes I suppose.

If you are unsure of what 75 Hard is, I’ll tell you. A man named Andy Frisella developed it. It’s not a weight loss challenge, it’s a mental toughness challenge and if you’re not in the right headspace it’s impossible to complete. You have to want it more than you want your bad habits. I’ll tell you about my experience with each bullet point.

  • No alcohol

I have been a binge drinker most of my life. 6 or more beers per day since I was 18, maybe younger. I stopped when I was pregnant and later had random 30-day challenges. Until last year. Last year I was in a deep dark depression and I didn’t want that anymore. I didn’t want to be hungover anymore either. The older I get the harder it is to recover. So, last year I quit drinking for 100 days. I found it was easier than I thought it would be so I knew 75 days would be a piece of cake, especially in the winter. I found that I only thought of alcohol once or twice the entire time, granted I didn’t really put myself in many social situations where alcohol was a thing so there’s that. Honestly, at this point, I don’t know if I want to ever drink again. I certainly have zero desire to be hungover. So we will see about that.

  • Follow a diet

Andy doesn’t specify what diet so that was very helpful. Through my years in the fitness industry, I have tried ALL the diets. I know what works for my body and lifestyle and what doesn’t. I know what makes me bloated and I know what makes me feel good. I wanted this program to incorporate good habits with food back into my life. I had gotten VERY lazy when it comes to food. I suppose 20 odd years of being responsible for feeding my family I was sick of it. I had no desire to shop, prepare, cook, clean up. None of it and since I live by myself 50% of the time I no longer have to. It all leads to utter laziness and a LOT of Chick-fil-A. For my diet, I chose 1500 calories(which I upped to 1800 due to total lack of energy) and gluten-free. I chose to eat mostly whole foods and lots of stupid salads. I will say the air fryer Jason bought me has been a game-changer, making cooking and clean-up much easier.

  • Drink a gallon of water

I think I resisted this the most and it was the biggest game-changer. I believe I have spent the majority of my life in a constant state of dehydration. The majority of my liquids came in the form of coffee or beer. The first two weeks were the worst. I randomly peed myself when I sneezed and I had to run to the bathroom constantly to the point of utter annoyance. I didn’t like this one. Then it shifted. I didn’t have to run to the bathroom every 5 minutes, although I do pee a LOT. I started noticing that I really didn’t get all that sore from the gym which for YEARS I would get almost incapacitated from certain movements, ahem, wall balls, fuck you! And I haven’t been consistent in such a long time, I should be sore. Super sore, but I never got there. I think it’s the water. The key to drinking that much water is to have a big cup with a big straw. You’ll drink it and you’ll get to the point that you do it without even thinking about it.

  • Read 10 pages of educational material

I love to read. I have always loved it. I’d hide under my bed and read for hours as a child. I’m in my car all the time so I listen to a lot of books now instead of actually reading. With this part, you have to actually hold a book. I made it part of my morning routine. Feed animals, make coffee, read 10 pages, write 3 pages, go to the gym.

  • Workout 2x per day 45 minutes each and one must be outside

This portion was hands down the most difficult part. It is not only time-consuming but you are expected to be outside no matter the weather conditions and I am a BIG sissy when it comes to being cold. I did CrossFit and hot yoga as my main workout then I walked for my second. I am a huge proponent of taking walks. I would put my phone on airplane mode so I had access to a camera but not distracted by the phone and I would use the time as a moving meditation. It is where ideas, dreams, solutions, and peace come to me.

  • Daily progress picture

Y’all already know I’m great at the selfie so this wasn’t an issue at all. Well, except the first few where I was super unhappy as to where I had gotten to and forced to see it.

I am VERY glad I decided to do this. I have incorporated all of the habits I have been wanting to do for a long time but never did. I now know what it feels like to feel REALLY good again! I do not want to go backward, so I don’t really see myself binging or halting the workouts. I may have a cocktail from time to time and I am NOT walking in the rain but this train ain’t stopping! I have always had a goal to actually see my abs and I’m closer than I’ve been in a very long time!

Day 1 vs day 75

Oops, these two are backward day one on the right.

Day 1 vs day 75

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