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75hard – exercising with children

Comic showing gel Mel trying to do an outdoor workout for #75hard and her internal dialogue. Comic shows the ways our brains sometimes aren’t helpful in achieving our goals.

Wow, so I’m now on day 5 of 75hard! 75hard involves sticking to 5 rules for 75 days with absolutely no cutting corners or cheating. The idea is to develop mental toughness, or ‘grit’.

The 5 rules of 75hard

Pick a Healthy diet and stick to it. No alcohol

2 45 minute workouts a day, 1 must be outside

Read 10 pages of a non-fiction book per day

Drink a gallon of water per day. This rule’s a little ‘meh’. It’s clearly set with large, muscular men in mind. The program doesn’t specify different amounts for men and women (boo). Honestly, it does irritate me a little. Personally I’ve found it fine, but I’ve heard some women say it’s way, way too much water for them. They’re following the rule, but seem to be using it as a ‘I have to get through this’ kinda deal. Given the ‘grit’ aspect of 75hard I can see why people would use it as a ‘challenge’. I suspect it was intended to be healthy though. Andy is muscular and was 360lb when he started the program. So drinking a gallon of water may not have been a massive stretch for him. Anyhoo, that’s the rule.

Take a progress photo every day

For full details of the program see Andy Frisella – 75hard. I actually never thought I’d make it past day 2 or 3. I’m pretty chuffed that I’ve got this far.

75hard mental toughness journal in comics

Andy stresses that the program is about mental toughness (grit), not weight loss or body building. Although that can be part of it. I can already see this aspect of it. I’m much more aware and noticing when my mind’s coming up with excuses (usually to be lazy). I’ve wanted to do a psychology or mind based comic series for a while. So this was the perfect opportunity to document my mental journey in comic form.

Sign up to the newsletter for updates on my progress. And here’s my 75hard days 1-3.

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#75hard days 1-3

2 panel comic showing gel Mel about to exercise, seeing a rain cloud and then demon brain trying to get good brain to give up

So, I’ve just started #75hard see and will be documenting my mental journey in comics. This first comic introduces demon and angel brain. I’m quite fond of demon brain, actually, but it does cause me trouble sometime. Here you can see it try and convince me back indoors because of the slightest of rain drops. After this little mental interlude, I actually continued my workout, outdoors, for the full 45 minutes without a single sprinkle of rain. Suck it, demon brain.

75hard – no excuses

2 panel comic showing gel Mel listening to a podcast and the brain listening to it
2 panel comic showing Gel Mel checking watch, brain trying to cheat at #75hard, hearing Andy’s podcast and changing its mind

This was one of my first experiences. Of basically trying to cheat to make things easier for myself. That stopped pretty quickly when I listened to the bit of Andy’s podcast warning you not to cheat! Yes, Andy, message received.
It was very illuminating for me, though. I honestly hadn’t noticed how often I put off things I knew would be beneficial, tried to ‘cheat’ to make things easier for myself or made excuses.

75hard – mental alertness

2 panel comic showing brain before starting 75hard (dark, gloomy, surrounded by comfort food) and brain after a few days - bright, alert

I realised last night how mentally alert I felt. It’s so weird how our minds work. I was chatting the other day to my husband about how I felt less happy, less energetic and generally worse than last year. We talked about all the things we were both doing (exercise, eating well, meditating, intermittent fasting). Somehow I came to the conclusion that it must be because we’re in a different country and I couldn’t possibly get back to being that happy unless we uprooted our lives (again) and took off into the sunset. That genuinely felt easier at the time that trying something simple like more exercise and better diet (probably because it was a daydream. Damn daydreams).

I’m so glad #75hard came along and gave me the kick up the *** I needed to start fixing my body and mind right now. See Andy Frisella’s podcast for details of the program.