Yesterday was Day 60 of the 75 Hard Program for me, meaning I’ve now completed 80% of the initial phase of the LiveHard Program.
To say that I’ve benefitted from this challenge would be a huge understatement, as I believe I am becoming a totally different person the longer I stick to the program. To date, I have lost 8 pounds and 2-1/4 inches off my waist, which, according to previous work I’ve done on myself, should mean that I’ve lost 9 pounds of body fat and gained a pound of muscle. I will find out for sure what this breakdown is the day after I finish the program, as I have a DEXA scan scheduled for October 15, which I will compare to the one I had done 1-1/2 months before starting 75 Hard. And while 8 pounds in 2 months might not sound like a lot, keep in mind that I was already in pretty good shape for a guy in his mid-50s when I started.
To recap the daily, non-negotiable rules of 75 Hard:
· Take a progress picture
· Read 10 pages of a personal development or entrepreneurship book
· Complete two 45 minute workouts, and one has to be done outside
· Follow a diet – no cheat meals or alcohol
· Drink a gallon of water
When I started this program, I gave myself very little chance of success. I started mainly because I had talked about it to my tribe and got tired of kicking the can down the road after reading the book 75 Hard by Andy Frisella, the creator of the challenge. However, not only do I believe I have thrived on this program, but I have actually looked for opportunities to make it even more difficult, such as the following:
· In addition to the daily required reading, I am highlighting keys points and then using a running email to journal lessons I am picking up, then occasionally going back to reread.
· The diet I chose was pretty simple: no junk food or sugar, with an emphasis on real food and protein supplementation. To take this a step further, I have tracked every macro since starting the program, which I will detail once I have completed this initial phase.
· I have chronic sinusitis and insomnia. Previously, I rarely went longer than a week without requiring some Nyquil to help me sleep. However, knowing that alcohol isn’t permitted during this challenge, I’ve avoided it. And guess what – I lived…
· Additional workouts: As if doing two 45-minute workouts a day wasn’t hard enough, I occasionally add mini-workouts (ala Mark Sisson) consisting of functional strength activities such as dead hangs, planks and other mobility exercises.
· Two weeks ago, seeing that I had hit a fat-loss plateau, I reduced my calories by another 200 calories per day, which was almost all fat (180 grams/90% of total calorie restriction) and have continued to watch my waist get smaller and my abs become more visible.
As I mentioned earlier, I started this program with a lot of self-doubt, not being sure if I had what it was going to take to complete 2-1/2 months of such a strict challenge. However, as I enter the last 2 weeks of 75 Hard, the question is no longer whether I will finish, but whether I will go directly into Phase 1 of the LiveHard program, which is 30 additional days of the same program, along with a few more daily tasks added in. I also have a big opportunity that has come about related to the internal work this program has me doing….stay tuned…. more to follow….