The 75 Hardish Challenge (Updated!)

I’ve been reflecting on my 75 hard’ish challenge for a few days now, ever since I posted about whether to reset or not.

To understand the decision I made, and how I made it, it’s important you understand a few things about me.

What I’m good at:

  • Making lists (I’m even making one right now)
  • Making big crazy goals (my friend and I are known for #nochill)
  • Getting bored of something and not finishing it
  • Making excuses
  • Negotiating with myself (usually on how I can bend the rules)
  • Just letting things fade away (if you ignore it then it goes away right?)
  • Striving for a perfect 100% record

What I’m not good at:

  • Looking in the mirror
  • Facing reality
  • Forgiving myself
  • Seeing things through
  • Eating properly (I mean, having an eating disorder is a pretty obvious example)
  • Accepting imperfections, like a less than 100% perfect record

If this was any other challenge or goal I had set myself I would be giving up, and I’d just stop talking about it. The hope would be that everyone would forget. Or I would explain away the reasons on why I can’t finish it. The best outcome would be that I just make it easier for myself, forgetting the whole reason why I started it in the first place.

Let’s revisit that.

I started this challenge because I need change

My whole entire purpose in starting this challenge was to escape from my unhappiness with how much my life had spiralled out of control. I’m sure on the surface it looked pretty decent – married, a child, dog, working full time, camping weekends away, smiles for cameras. You know the usual social media drill.

Off camera my eating had spiralled out of control, my weight was growing, and I was afraid to let my husband touch me.

Let me say that again.

I was afraid to let my husband touch me.

I hated myself so much that I didn’t think I was worthy of touch, and I couldn’t understand why he would even want to. I hated my personality, I thought I was a burden on others. I wasn’t even sure why I was around.

Something had to give. I didn’t want it to be me.

How I’ve changed already

This challenge has already had a profound impact on me. Huge.

  • I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve been learning to forgive myself. Contemplating a reset was a relapse towards my old way of thinking and looking for that “perfect record”. That was a mistake.
  • I have been forced to face the reality of my weight and my body by standing in front of the camera every morning. No more hiding. I’m learning to understand why I hate being in front of the camera, and I’m starting to feel less scared of it.
  • I have learned to keep pushing on. I’ve had days where I’ve not been perfect, and I’ve accepted it, said it’s OK, and moved on. I’ve not fallen off the wagon because of it. I understand that every day is literally a new challenge. Every day is about ticking those goals – don’t worry about yesterday, and no point thinking about tomorrow. Focus on the here and now.
  • I have been reminded how bad food affects me. After a weekend of eating far too much sugar from birthday celebrations today I was sick. My stomach revolted, and I spend a bulk of the morning in digestive agony. It was horrible. Tonight I felt a pang of a craving of the cookies my husband baked (because he’s a jerk, said in jest of course) and instead I was able to say to myself “do you really want it? You’re going to feel like shit afterwards” and guess what – I haven’t had a cookie. I don’t need it.

Let’s be real – this isn’t some miracle overnight cure – I’m still a major work in progress. But I’m already feeling a major mindset change. I’m excited by the shift that’s going on.

What’s the plan going forward

I’m still going – no reset. I’m still pushing through for 75 days, failures inclusive. Every day I’m still working on the same goals, with the exception of one.

  • Daily progress photos are turning to weekly progress

Why change this one? I want to see if I still get the benefits of fronting up weekly as I do daily. If I don’t, then I’ll swap back to daily. But for now, it’s a sheer hassle of posing for a photo every day. I’m honestly really lucky that my neighbours sleep in later than us because otherwise the first thing they’d see when standing in the kitchen would be me in the study with the windows open, gut hanging out in all its glory (if you’re reading this and you’ve had to bear witness to that – sorry!)

The rest of these challenges are staying as they are because they’re making me feel good! They’re habits that are good for my body, and good for my mind. I don’t see any benefit in reducing these.

Let me be clear – it’s not easy to achieve these every day. I have to keep my goals at the forefront of my mind.

  • 2 x 30mins exercise (with a goal for one of those to be outside)
  • Drink minimum of 2L of water
  • Blog daily (this is so therapeutic for me, even when I talk about poop)
  • 10 pages of a book/10mins of an audio book
  • Follow diet of choice (aka healthy eating)

So how do I feel today?

Freaking awesome. I’m at peace with this decision. I’ve had a solid day today and I’m really happy with where I’m at.

I feel strong, determined and in control. I’m making good choices because it’s good for me, not because it’s on a list (example of the cookies tonight).

I’m travelling a good path, and I’ll be doing my darnest to keep going that way.

Day 18 tomorrow.

Let me know your thoughts!