5 Lessons On Day 15

I’m on Day 15 and feeling strong on the 75 Hard Challenge.

For those who missed the original post, two weeks ago I started a 75 Day Challenge that consists of….

  1. Two workouts per day, 45 minutes each, one has to be out outside

  2. Follow a diet, no alcohol, no sweets

  3. Drink a gallon of water every day

  4. Read 10 pages of personal development every day

  5. Take a progress picture

Week two brought on its own set of challenges and I’ll share those five with you today…

It’s easy to get lazy: Week one had all kinds of energy behind it. This was something new, I was excited, and I was pretty laser-focused. However, what I noticed in week two was something different. The momentum and routine of things caused me to get a little lazy. Now, I guess that term is all relative, I’ve yet to miss any of the five things each day, but I started noticing small things. For example, in week one I would log my food in My Fitness Pal right as I was eating it, or within five minutes after it. On days 8 and 9, I remember getting a bit “lazy” and waiting until the end of the day to log all my food. Or, on the workout side, I typically get my outdoor workout done in the morning before the family gets up. However, I noticed I started pushing it forward from 530am to 630am, 730am, etc. It was still getting done, but it was starting to get pushed. Now, I’d love to tell you I know exactly what got me back on track, but really it was a combination of being self-aware and self-reflective, paired with the social accountability of telling everyone what I’m doing. As always, those traits can carry over to any facet of life.

The scale still sucks: I never went into this challenge with the number one goal of fat loss. Sure, it would be a cool benefit as I’m still carrying a few extra, rocking that “Dad Bod.” I mainly did this challenge for the mental toughness and discipline piece of it. However, I begin getting curious, so I hoped on the InBody on day 7 and again on day 14. Now, keep in mind, I’m taking a progress picture every day as part of the challenge, and I could tell a visual difference. I also feel my clothes fitting better, and I’m getting compliments from my wife, so that’s a win. But guess what, the scale weight was the same. Instant frustration had built in. However, as I dug deeper into the report, I had lost 4% body fat, but because of the double workouts each day, I have been packing on the muscle. Now, I still want to continue to drop some weight, so I adjusted my calories again, but I just thought it was a great reminder that the scale still sucks.

Outdoor workouts may be my favorite part: I’m all for a good strength training session, and I’m well aware that there are benefits you get from strength training that you can’t get from an outdoor workout. Ideally a balance, they would say. However, the time outside has been one of the best things about this challenge so far, for a couple reasons. One, it’s summer and Maine and so any reason to be outside more is always good. Two, it’s forcing me to explore areas of my surrounding town that I never frequent such as paths, trails, and beaches. And finally, there is no agenda other than move for 45 minutes. That has forced me to pick my head up, take it in, and be present. Sometimes I bring Kaden along, sometimes it’s just me. Either way, there’s no agenda, so expectation, just movement, and nature.

Everything takes longer than you think: It’s a natural law at this point. Everything we think takes 10 minutes, is going to at least take 20. The house project that you think will take five weeks is going to take nine. The reason why I bring this up is in order to prioritize this challenge, especially the two workouts, I’ve been forced to stay disciplined, plan the day, and choose what things are most important. I caught myself saying “I’ll sneak in a 45-minute workout right here in this 45-minute gap between calls.” The problem is, inevitably one goes over, or god forbid, you take a pee or talk to your spouse. Now you look up and you only have 40 minutes. This is true for work, deadlines, personal progress, and really anything. It always takes longer than you think, and you need to plan for that time. By far, the best characteristic that has carried me through this challenge so far is planning, and it’s just a great reminder to plan for things to take a little longer.

Win the day: The end can feel far away. Today marks 20% through the 75-Day Challenge. That can feel very daunting. I still have 60 days, two whole months, to get through. I’m already troubleshooting in my head all of the obstacles including traveling for 50% of October, and how I’m going to stay on point and get two workouts in. Or small stuff, like when I travel by myself who is going to take my progress picture (Megan so graciously, every night, has taken my progress picture)? But I have to remind myself that although it’s important to plan for those things, and I’ll do that, it’s most important to “win the day.” Focus on the present, do what you can today, make it your best, and take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Some might say, One Percent Better.

New challenges await, but so far, it’s been a “fun” 15 days.

I look forward to updating you next week.

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling