Photo of a pizza.

10 Hard: When Your Fitness Goals Have Commitment Issues!

I first heard about the 75 Hard challenge from some of my co-workers, when we were discussing New Year’s resolutions. More recently, I found out that two of my friends have been doing a modified version of the challenge, which they are calling 75 Soft.  😎

This challenge has been on mind for a while now. It’s not a fitness challenge, per se, but claims to be a mental toughness challenge. I have hesitated from starting the challenge for various reasons, which I’ll share in a moment.

So what exactly is the 75 Hard challenge? The challenge is to complete each of the following tasks for 75 days. Miss any one of them, and start back on day 1.

  • Follow a diet. Any diet of your own choosing, as long as it’s aimed at physical improvement. No cheat meals allowed!
  • No alcohol.
  • Complete two 45-minute workouts, at least one outdoors.
  • Drink 1 gallon of water.
  • Read 10 pages of a book.
  • Take a progress picture.

Some of these sound really easy, at least for me. Read 10 pages of a book? No problem, I pretty much already do that 90% or more of the time already. Taking a progress picture also seems pretty easy, with a little help from my iPhone and a daily reminder.

The challenging ones, for me, are giving up alcohol, drinking a gallon of water (some days I literally drink 0 water), and the workouts.

It’s been MUCH rainier than usual here in California, and while I don’t mind exercising outside, I do not see myself going from 3 or 4 workouts per week to 14 and also doing half of those outside while it’s cold and raining.

Another issue is that I travel a lot, and those travel days seem like they’d be problematic. I’m flying from California to Athens soon, and it’s about 20 hours of travel time. I could try working out during my layout or on the plane, but neither of those options is appealing (or outside). I’m certainly not going to be drinking a gallon of water while flying internationally, or in the mood to exercise when I land. I also hate flying, and usually have a gin & tonic (or two) before getting on a plane.

As you can see, I have a lot of excuses as to why I can’t do this challenge. I found my friends inspiring though. They lowered the water to half a gallon, and made some other modifications. They don’t feel like they’re cheating by not doing to challenge to the letter, so why should I feel stuck with either failing or not starting (which is worse than failing)?

Enter 10 Hard. My birthday is coming up, and I’ll be celebrating with a drink. That doesn’t mean I can’t fit in 10 days of the challenge first. I may, or may not do another 10 Hard immediately after my birthday, as there’s exactly 10 days between my birthday and the next time I have to be on a plane.

In case you’re curious, I’m shooting for meeting the challenge as specified, but I will consider it a success if I drink 64 oz of water per day. That’s a HUGE improvement for me! For the diet portion, I’m giving up all caffeine and drinks with added sugar, not ordering takeout or delivery, and doing intermittent fasting (no food from 8pm to 10am). And lastly, for the workouts, I’ll be doing a variety of things like yoga, walking the dogs, playing Audio Trip on the Quest 2, and strength training with my personal trainer. Hopefully the weather will stay nice over the next 10 days. One unfortunate twist that I discovered today that VR headsets don’t really function outside. That would have helped with the outdoor workouts, so instead I will probably do my yoga outside.

I won’t be sharing my progress photos, but I will share other updates on the challenge.

For day 1:

Diet: Huel Strawberry Shortcake protein shake with Ripple protein milk for lunch, some black olives for a snack, and a homemade pizza for dinner. ✅

Exercise: I ran 5km, took the dogs for a long walk, and attempted to play Audio Trip outside. ✅

Water: 64 oz so far, gotta see how much more I can take today, it’s already getting late. ✅

Reading: Leí mas de diez páginas en español. ✅

Progress pic: ✅

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