#75Hard: The First Two Weeks

I have made it through the first two weeks of #75Hard. If you are not sure what I am talking about check out this post about my 75Hard journey.

Let’s look at all the mandates of the challenge and see how each one is going rather than me babbling on with no where to go. I will do that later in the post.

Just to add a little side note about this post. By the time I actually completed

Workouts:

As mentioned in the previous post, everyday there needs to be 2 workouts, one outside, spaced 3 hours apart and one must be done outside. With this current heat wave, trust me when I say the outdoors have been a struggle. Heart condition, swelling, all that fun stuff really likes to come out and play in the humid heat. Anyway, that is neither here nor there. It’s been rough, but going out at night has definitely helped.

This part of the challenge has not been terribly difficult, other than the aforementioned heat issues. I was already basically doing two a days and one was usually outside. I tweaked the timing and voila, it worked out. Not including my teaching or training other individuals in my workouts is perfect. I decided rather than try to do the 3 hour spacing from my teaching or leading classes, I would time it to be three hours from my first workout. Which logically makes sense but part of me thought maybe I was cheating the experience of 75 Hard by doing so, but there is literally not enough hours in the day to make that happen.

On days where I am not weight training, because those muscles still need a rest day, my friends, challenge or no, I did an hour of yoga for one and I did about 45 minutes of heavy bag training. Yesterday I double walked and did an ab class for 30 minutes.

The ab workout has been a bit of an issue for me somehow. I keep forgetting to add it in and end up doing ten minutes of abs work before bed. At least I am getting it in, but I would like it to flow more naturally. By the end of my lifting sessions, I am exhausted and forget. Going to have to push the abs a little more. Only because I like doing abs. I have several compound movements that work my abs anyway, so there is not a “need” for me to focus on my abs training, but I do find that it helps my back and strengthens my control when doing my martial arts training.

Diet:

I have not cheated, there has been no alcohol, no chocolate (other than protein powder), no pastries, cakes or cookies, etc. Granted I was following this before, but still let’s enjoy the moment of success. I have kept my calories under 1650, actually closer to 1500. I did start to split my meals up. I am now doing 5 meals every day to avoid some stomach/digesting issues I have been dealing with. (Not related to this challenge, but the challenge made it clearer.)

Water:

4 Liters every day, at least for the last ten days. What have I noticed? I pee a lot. Like a lot a lot. I have had to pause my walks to take care of things. I thought I had the timing down but looks like no!

I find myself chugging down one litre of water at a time. I am pretty sure this kind of goes against the idea behind the water, like it should be drank consistently throughout the day. This is working for me and I am keeping it going.

Reading:

I actually forgot how much I enjoy reading before bed. I struggled with focusing solely on the reading. I “need” background noise. My heart ticking is very annoying to listen to. I don’t think I have discussed my mechanical valve here yet, we will. Anyway, constant ticking noise in my head. I made an effort and have successfully read without adding in background noise, like a podcast or music. Ten pages is a great number, a few days I read more. It’s been wonderful. I managed to complete my first book and am now looking for a second one. I am sure there are a few on my shelf however I am thinking I will check out my local bookstore to see what they may have.

Daily Progress Picture

I have taken an image every day. Usually at the gym, a few times I completely forgot and had to do it from home (very bad lighting and not a large mirror). I don’t think I will be posting these until the end of the challenge. I think it will be far more dramatic in a before and after style of progress picture. I may change my mind, we’ll see.


Some Thoughts So Far

I managed to gain weight the first week. How? Who the f*ck knows? I am thinking it was the increased water intake combined with humidity. It was actually a significant number like over 2 kg over the course of a day. It has since evaporated or whatever, and weight loss has since continued. I cannot possibly explain to you have frustrating that was. Rationally, I understand fluctuations are normal and increased water intake, humidity, and cardiac patient usually equals weight gain from water retention. But when the scale goes up, all attempts at rational thought tend to fly out the window. I even had moments of “should I decrease my calories even more?” I did not because that would be a first class ticket to coocoo town. I don’t like visiting there.

Speaking of calories, I am actually thinking mine are too low. But because of that weight gain, I cannot tell what the trend is. So I am going to continue watching. Ideally, I want to only be dropping body fat and not start eating into my muscle mass. I have far less room to play with lower calories than I did when I started this journey. In looking at my calculated TDEE, (not completely accurate, by the way, you have to do your own experimenting to really get proper insight) I should be consuming something like 750 calories more than I am currently eating. Since TDEE calculators are not super accurate I am not going to change just yet. I will be watching the scale to see, I would like to avoid losing more than 1 kg a week.

So let’s take a moment to get a little personal… The constipation is a real issue. I don’t understand it. I am drinking tons of water, getting lots of fibre and still things are not on track. They are stuck in the track. I am at a loss in what to do here. I have changed my eating so that I am eating more frequently.

I have not been doing any IG story check-ins, cause I am a bad person. This week I will start. I don’t really want to load up my feed with just 75Hard stuff, and this seems like a great opportunity to learn how to use stories. Yes, I am an old lady. I don’t know how social media works.


Summaries from the Last Two Weeks

I know these are not too exciting at the moment, working on my excitement skills as we speak.

See you in the next one.

Nic

Time for #75Hard

You may have seen the 75 Hard Challenge floating around the interwebs lately. It has been around for a while but seems to have ramped up in popularity since COVID. That’s neither here nor there. This is a challenge where the end goal is mental fortitude. There seems to be added biproducts, like weight loss. So let’s get into this.

What is it?

What is it going to look like for me?

Why do this?

Starting thoughts.

What is 75 Hard?

75 Hard is a list of daily behaviours that need to be done every single day for 75 days straight. Any deviation results in starting over to Day 1.

Workout Twice a day:

Every day you must work out twice. One of those must be outside (regardless of the weather). Some are saying they should be spaced no less than 3 hours apart. Each workout is a minimum of 45 minutes. The workouts will depend on your current fitness level. If you are not an athlete, and let’s face it, few of us are, you will not be performing 2 45 minute intense workouts. Walk outside, yoga, elliptical, dancing, whatever, find a workout that suits your current fitness level. Do not go out there and start doing plyometrics and ridiculous calisthenics if you can’t perform them properly. The risk of injury is high. Adapt to what you can.

Follow a diet:

Any diet. Just have a concrete plan that you will not deviate from for the entirety of the 75 days. This can be some sort of popular eating protocol like keto, paleo, whole-30 etc. Find something that suits your goals. If you want to gain weight, don’t plan a calorie deficit. And vise versa. There are no cheat days, and no alcohol. So, if your plan is to go keto and you ate 40% of your macros as carbs, well, guess what? You are starting over.

Drink 4L of Water:

Everyday you must consume a gallon (4 Litres) of water. This is plain water, not juice, not sports drink, water. Like from the tap.

Read 10 Pages of a Non-Fiction Book:

It may not seem like a lot but carving out the time to read 10 pages every single day. This cannot be an audio book. Yes, it has to be non-fiction. What that means to you. Some people are saying must be self-help or entrepreneurial, just pick a book and read it.

Daily Picture:

Take a daily progress picture. Post it or don’t, doesn’t matter. What matters is that you can reflect on the changes.

Learn more about 75 Hard from the creator:


75 Hard for Me:

Starts June 1st, 2021.

So for the challenge this is my plan:

The workouts:

I will be doing my weight training at the same schedule. 3 days on, 1 day off. On weight rest days I will be performing some other sort of workout, like heavy bag training, elliptical, rowing (there is no way I can row for 45 minutes), we will see what the rest days will look like.

The outdoor workout will be walking/jogging. This is my usual thing anyway so not much change other than committing to the jogging. I watch a friend of mine run by me the other day while on my walk and I was like “Damn, I wanna do that too.” So I am doing it too. Plus there are many other people in my circle that have taken up running, and I find it incredibly inspirational, so I am doing it too! We just have to hope my knees decide to cooperate.

One of these two work out will include ab specific exercises. I have been neglecting my abs lately and would like to put some more focus on them.

Added information for the workouts. If I am leading a class, regardless of how many calories or what my heart rate is at the time, it does not count toward my workouts.

How will this effect my step counting? Well, I am hoping to continue reaching my goal of 11,000 steps per day, so if I am short, I will be getting more steps in. That’s just the way it is.

Diet:

So, here is where I am going to have some trouble. Not in the execution of the task but rather finding something I can stick to the entire time that has enough calories for me to increase my muscle mass and decrease my body fat percentage. Since I don’t know how many more calories my body will need with the increased expenditure, I am going to have to make a guess and hope it will be a good amount for me to not crash and burn.

The plan is going to be simple. I am not aiming for a specific macro nutrient distribution. I am going to create a maximum calorie consumption and a minimum protein requirement.

So 1650 kcal is the maximum daily. I am going into this feeling confident in that number, however, I am adding a wrinkle, if this is not sufficient to run my body on, I will up it but will keep the same idea of a maximum calorie consumption. I just know that if I start burning 3000 calories a day and am only eating say 1500, it is going to be bad. I will use my weight loss and muscle percentage to keep track. I will be consuming a minimum of 130 grams of protein daily.

To sum up: 1650 Calories a day made up of a minimum of 130 grams of protein.

Water:

I see we meet again, my arch nemesis. If there is one place that I see being the BIGGEST challenge for me, it is the water consumption. In case you have not been following my journey, water and I struggle to be together often enough. 4 Litres is a F*CK ton of water. I guess I will be peeing all the time. (might need to buy something to run with).

I am going to break this down into manageable increments. Say 4 shots of 1L at a time. I will set up timers and just basically hope for the best and make sure the majority of my water is consumed way before bedtime.

Reading:

This part of the challenge works out really well because I have been wanting to add some reading time to my daily life. I have not decided which book I will be starting with, but since it begins tomorrow I better hurry up.

Progress Picture:

Shouldn’t be an issue for me.


Why Do 75 Hard?

This is not about weight loss. This is about creating a mental toughness that I lack in certain aspects of my life. I would like to gain the ability to do all the things. Right now, I am great with following eating plans, working out, those things that are necessary for weight loss. In the future, I want to be good at the things that will go beyond my wellness journey. Like marketing my business. Keeping my house clean (my house surfers when I “run out of time”). I would like to take control of my time management, and just all around prove to myself that this is something I can do. I am a sucker for a challenge.

For those of you thinking about joining on this challenge, please find your why. Like with weight loss, it is important to remember why you are doing this. This challenge is not meant to be sustainable. It is not meant to be something you implement in your daily life. It is a challenge to overcome. This is a sprint. Where as most things in life are a marathon.


Starting thoughts

There is not much to say other than water…. I am going to have a tough time there. The reading might prove to be a bigger challenge than I am giving it credit for right now, since it is something new to add in. Ultimately, I am excited to see how this will go and if I can make it the whole 75 days the first time around without starting over. Fingers crossed.


Be sure to follow my IG account for daily check ins. These will be in my stories (are they stories on Insta? I don’t even know. Might need a book on such things). I will try and cross-post on Facebook as well, and do recaps on Twitter.

Dates All Twisted

All right my friends, I seem to have all my days twisted. You see what happens when you don’t remain consistent. This applies to so many things and apparently journaling as well. So here’s the thing. I could go back and calculate what week we are actually at, and I probably will at some point. (Side note: I did check it out and I seem to be a week off. This is the 21st week of the year and I started this journey very close to New Years). However, I think the bi-weekly changes are coming to a close. I have a pretty solid understanding of how my body responds to a variety of stimuli.

Now is this to say my journey is finished? No! Now that I have a clearer picture I can play around with my goals and challenge on a more lengthy timeline. I am thinking month to month with a weekly check in. Check ins will not be for weight, but rather for the other challenges outlined for the month.

This is going to be a lot of new, since my intention come June 1st was to follow the #75Hard trend. I know, but I am a sucker for a good challenge. I am actually adding in a whole series of challenges for clients and members of the gym. Anyway, not related really. I will write out the idea behind 75 Hard or you can google, some great stuff comes up, and full disclosure, some not so great stuff. Like anything really. This is not a post about 75 Hard this is more to let you know that I am all screwed up with my dates and week counting and all that. I wanted to be fully transparent.

I do have all my stats for every single day written down in my spreadsheet, so I didn’t take a little side journey. I think one two-week plan ended up being three without my realising the week had disappeared somewhere. That’s what happens when you get busy. Happy problems, I guess. I do love being busy. I actually thought we were on week 18. How? Blame Covid, or confinement or whatever.

It has also just come to my attention that I did not do an April Recap. I will work on that this week. I do have pictures, at least I am fairly certain I do. I should have it up just in time to do the May one… I might have to start vlogging instead of typing, always looks so much easiest. I am most certain it is not. Just seems like it would be nice to turn on a camera and go. I am fully aware more work and effort goes into it.

To tide you over, here is a beautiful picture of my supper this evening:

I didn’t do any filters or anything, just some raw deliciousness. Grilled chicken breast, plastic cheese on top. Sautéed Bok Choy with garlic. Oven roasted sweet potato and asparagus. Cal: 420

Well that is all I have for today. I don’t know how I got everything topsy turvy but it is what it is. Now to finish writing anything post about the lessons I have learned about weight loss.

Nic

Week 17 and 18: Plan

I know I have not posted the previous weeks and the week 14 and 15 done post. Shit got busy. However I am working on putting them together I did have a set of goals throughout those weeks and kept records, just haven’t put pen to paper, so to speak.

These next two weeks should be interesting with an eating protocol change and new resistance training plan. I am really looking forward to it actually.

Starting off:

Weight: 85.7 kg

Hips*: 106 cm

Waist*: 83 cm

Body Fat Percentage: 33.9%

VO2 Max: 37

*From May 2nd


The Plan

Movement:

Karate:

Aiming for thirty minutes per day focused on my own training.

Steps:

Minimum 11,000 steps every single day

Weight Training:

Changing my programme to a Push/Pull/Leg split. 6 different workouts. Three days on, followed by one day off, repeat. The workouts are about an hour each including warm up.

Ab Work:

Aiming for daily ab workout. Nothing structured per se but there should be some ab specific time in every day.

Walking:

Minimum 5 km every day. The goal is to do these outside as much as possible. With the warmer weather and later curfew it should be possible.

Cardio:

Trying to fit in cardio daily, beyond the walk that is. I am having some difficulty with time during the day. However, I would like to try. I am not committing to anything longer than 5 daily minutes (this is on top of the karate training). If a schedule starts to manifest, I will make loftier goals for the following weeks.

Yoga and Stretching:

No specific goal for now, however, making sure I add a little bit every day. As the weather warms up, it is perfect to work on flexibility.


Fuel:

Calories:

The goal is to remain below 1800 but above 1400. I know this is a big range. At the beginning of this weekly plan, my energy was way down. So I bumped up my calories and feel much better. My reasoning is so long as I stay below 1800 I am winning. Especially given the number of calories I am burning through every day.

Macro Distribution:

Changing this up a little. Rather than having a particular distribution for all macros, I am aiming for 140ish grams of protein per day. The remaining calories can be in whatever ratio that keeps me satiated.

Water:

Oh one day…. Aim 3L


Other Things:

School is finished… For the moment anyway. So this frees up a significant amount of time.

I will be teaching often, including a new Bootcamp Kickboxing class (so excited for this).

I will be participating in a Kickboxing class weekly.