Back in March, I started doing the 75Hard challenge by Andy Frisella. I jumped in and was super pumped to try it! Then, I failed. I’ll talk about why I tried this challenge, why I failed, what I learned, why it’s important to love myself, and how you can modify 75 Hard to be more realistic.

It all started while having dinner with the team, and they encouraged me to do a podcast on this topic, since it’s something that we’d all talk about with our girlfriends. And, that’s what my podcast is all about anyway. It’s hard to admit when you failed at something, but it’s important as well. So, here’s my confessional: I failed at 75 Hard.

Why I tried 75 Hard

I was really drawn that this was really more of a mental toughness challenge more than anything else. The program asks you to two 45-minute workouts a day and one had to be outside. You have to drink a gallon of water a day, take a progress picture a day, read 10 books and a business book, and allow zero cheats on your diet. You have to do all of that for 75 days. I was so amped when I listened to the podcast about it. I hadn’t been super consistent lately, so I wanted something that would really challenge me. Well, it definitely challenged me! If you screw up on this program, you have to go back to day one.

Honestly, it wasn’t like I was doing a hardcore workout or anything. I count walking my kids to school as a workout, and sometimes I’d do a little extra. I worked in my garden all day one of the days and counted that as a workout. But yeah, hence the name, it was really frickin hard! Even the gallon of water was one of the hardest parts. I posted about it on social media, and I could have lied. I’ve done that in the past where I’ve been like, “It wasn’t THAT hard…” Or continued to count my gardening as a workout, but what’s the point in that? I just want to be honest.

Why I Failed

One time, I tried to get my kids to come on one of my walks with me. It was torture! The first 20 minutes were great, and then the kids were trying to trip me on purpose, so I said, “Guys! I need my space! Don’t walk in front of me.” Phoenix got her feelings hurt by that and thought I didn’t like her and didn’t want her around me, so she’d walk 20 feet behind me then she’d just stop and I found myself just wanting the walk to be over. At one point I wasn’t even walking, I was just standing there trying to convince her to walk with me.

My point is, as a single mom it’s hard. If I’m going to do a walk, I have to take the kids with me. I can do my walk while they are in school, but those are my working hours. So, no justifications, but I’m just explaining the process.

The diet piece was hard, but it’s not so much the sugar I have a hard time with. I would have dinners with work people and I’d have a drink… and that’s when I sort of realized I was not going to do the challenge anymore.

What I Learned

I really do feel better when I drink a gallon of water a day. I feel better in the morning, I feel less bloated, it curbs my hunger, and I feel like my skin looked a little bit better. I do enjoy my daily walk, so I learned that I’ll still continue to get my walks in even if I did a different workout that day.

Honestly, the stuff Andy Frisella talks about really did help. It got me in the right mindset, I was excited, and I did have like nine really good and consistent days. I always want to work on mental toughness. I think it’s sexy to toughen up your game and your brain, but I need to be realistic. I’m pretty competitive, so when I hear about these challenges I get pumped. Maybe in a different place in life when I didn’t have kids, or a business, and I wasn’t a single mom, I could have done it.

Am I making excuses? Yes. Were there a ton of people who had a ton of stuff going on who still stuck with the program? Yes. For me, I need to do things that are realistic. And honestly, there were a lot of parts of this challenge that went against everything I believe in like to do everything in moderation, never do fad diets, only do things that are realistic and maintainable long-term. This didn’t fall into any of those categories.

However, it did give me a kick start and I’ve been better with my workouts. The weather was great here in Idaho, so I’ve been doing more daily walks and trying to get 10,000 to 15,000 steps a day. For me, and hour and a half of activity is hard to do on some days. For me, I like going out with friends and having a drink, so here I am raising the white flag. I’m done with 75 Hard.      

The Importance of Loving Yourself

So, I have these two friends named Ricky and Mandy. We don’t see each other in real life all that often, but we talk on a video chatting app called Marco Polo every day. We are there for each other and vent to each other and it gives me a little girlfriend time everyday. The other day, I put on a pair of jeggings and I sent them a video of a shirt I was wearing to get their opinion on it. In the video I just casually said, “Welp, these are the only jeans that fit me right now, but I think they look pretty cute. What do you think?”

Ricky was like, I don’t think you realized what you just did there. So many people who can’t fit into their jeans realize that and their day was ruined. But for you it was just a small part of your day, and you said it so casually, like it’s not a big deal. And honestly, I find that it’s so important to practice self-love and positive self-talk even when your jeans don’t fit. I think I’m in such a good place mindset wise. I know I’m not where I want to be right now with my body, but I don’t hate myself through the process.

I learned this years ago. I got really lean in 2014 and 2015, but I was miserable in a lot of other areas of my life. Even when I was super skinny there were still things I didn’t like about myself, like that I couldn’t build a perky butt not matter what I did. I still had cellulite, and I still had stretched skin. I’m about 30 pounds heavier now than I was then, and there are habits I can change, but the main habit I can focus on is how I talk to myself.

Lynn Manning was a great example for me about looking in the mirror and not allowing yourself to say something negative. I just try to remember that I don’t put all my value as a person on my looks. Do I like looking pretty and attractive? Yes. But that’s internal work that needs to be done that doesn’t have anything to do with size. So when I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t allow myself to be negative. I started forcing myself to be more confident. I’m not going to walk out of the room with a blanket or towel around me, this is my body. So I just started forcing myself to start doing things that made me uncomfortable, and the more I did them the more confident I felt.

I try to focus on the things about myself that I do like. I still have muscle definition in my legs, I love that I have so many great followers that don’t like me because I fit into my college bikinis, I like wearing self-tanner and getting that glow, I like my smile, I like wearing makeup, etc. And all of those things help make me feel better outside of the size of my clothes.

Modifying 75 Hard

The moral of this story is that I have to be cautious about these extreme challenges because they feel sexy when you first hear about them, but I have to remind myself that I’m too busy at this point in my life. I never sit down, I don’t watch TV, I’m taking care of my kids, and working, and cleaning my house, and fixing my garden, and I’m just too busy. It’s important to be realistic. Also, it’s important to keep the conversation positive when you fail at something. It’s about realizing the challenge wasn’t right for me, but that I can modify it to make it work realistically in the long-term. I still want to be consistent with my workouts, it’s just not going to be as hardcore. I’m still cheering on my friends who are doing it and being consistent, but yeah, it’s not for me.

If you do fall off the wagon and fail at something you started, just make sure you don’t go into that dark place. Don’t let yourself start saying you suck or you can’t do anything right, just modify your goals and make it more realistic and easier for you. That momentum and those small wins can help you to take it up a notch a little bit at a time, instead of going from not exercising or drinking any water to working out twice a day and drinking a gallon of water. That’s not a good strategy for building good habits. Add one new habit at a time.

Looking back, I think about how crazy it was for me to think I could completely switch my habits like that. So, give yourself permission to enjoy the things you enjoy but to also he honest with yourself about what you need to change and how to get there realistically while still loving yourself.

I feel better getting that off my chest! My friends want to start 75 Easy challenge for all of us who failed at 75 Hard! However, if you’re looking for a realistic and maintainable program, I do have a program called Modern Mom Lifestyle. It’s a monthly program where you get a daily workout and a weekly meal plan with a grocery shopping list. There’s videos of me doing all the workouts and you can do all of them from home. The workouts are workouts I really do, and they are about  15-20 minutes long, but they will work you hard! We’ve had so many people have great success on it. AND you get a free trial for a week if you want to give it a try.

Thanks so much for listening to my confession!

It turns out, 75 Hard is pretty hard.

Talk to you soon,

Natalie

P.S. If you’d rather listen to this story, I have an episode about it on my podcast. Listen here!