©2019 by Gemma Ray

Lessons from doing the #75Hard discipline challenge

January 24, 2020


#75Hard Complete! ✅


Would I recommend it?


Hell no!


Am I glad I did it?




My thoughts on the past 75 days and what I learned.


#75Hard - What is it?


#75Hard is a free discipline challenge created by American entrepreneur Andy Frisella.


In his 20 years of business and self improvement Andy came up with a formula for "winning the war on yourself" and his #75Hard discipline challenge was born.


  • 2 x 45 minute workouts per day - one MUST be outside

  • drink a gallon of water a day

  • read 10 pages of a self development book - audiobooks not allowed

  • take a progress picture every day

  • pick a diet and stick to it


This is the template for #75Hard (save it if you're going to have a go):







Why I decided to do #75Hard



It was my Mum's 60th birthday weekend and we'd rented out the most amazing country manor in the middle of Wales.


A few things happened that weekend. Mainly a heck of a lot of fun and memories made. Yet that weekend also highlighted just how bad my binge eating and binge drinking had got. I woke on the Saturday with next to no recollection of the Friday evening but a load of highly entertaining Instagram stories I'd filmed documenting the drunken evening!


I also found myself eating chunks of butter and binge eating crisps and sweets the whole weekend.


I wrote a best selling book about Self Discipline and had got to the point where I felt a fraud. I was disciplined in so many areas of my life but my food bingeing was out of control. I was so stuck in my own head and needed something drastic to pull me up and out.


On the Sunday of our weekend after a boozy pub lunch we took a long family stroll that culminated in a walk up a giant hill. Luckily the kids were playing Pokemon Go and hanging back to catch a Snotlegodder or Pikawanka or whatever they're called. It gave me the excuse to keep stopping and I was so grateful for the moments to stop. I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest. At that moment, staring up the steep hill at my family walking with ease, I knew I couldn't go on like this. I knew I needed to change.


My friend Carolynne was halfway through #75Hard herself and posted something about it on Instagram with the hashtag. I ended up in a scrolling worm hole looking through the #75Hard hashtag and reading the stories of people all over the world who were midway through or who had completed it. It wasn't about weight loss for these people. It was about mental fortitude and realising what they were capable of. I needed in. I wanted this so badly. I was so utterly miserable with myself and annoyed at my lack of discipline around food and exercise that I knew this would help.


I started the next day on Bonfire Night - 5th November.



Me second from right. A couple of days before I started #75Hard. I swear I am never feeling this unhealthy, overweight and uncomfortable again.



My advice for anyone thinking of doing #75Hard



Don't do it! 


I'm kidding. (A bit).


I was at a point of desperation. I had no excuse. I'd had support from expert coaches and hypnotherapists and I still wasn't taking action.


I had been on a bit of a self love journey preceding starting #75Hard which really did help. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done - staring in the mirror with love and acceptance. By the time I came to making the decision to start #75Hard I think I'd got to a point where I couldn't keep staring in the mirror and accepting how I was without trying to improve. I knew the way I was living my life was not healthy. If I really wanted to stare into the mirror and say "I am enough." I wanted to know in my heart that I was doing enough to make that statement true. At the time I just wasn't.


So I was ready for it. I was in too much emotional pain to not make a change. That would be my first piece of advice - make sure you're absolutely ready.


Also try and get as much as you can done in a morning. I found I would walk quite a lot late at night which sometimes wasn't the safest thing to do (I did have my dogs with me). In the last three weeks I ramped up my workouts and would be in the gym 6am - 7am, I'd read my 10 pages when I got home over coffee and then I'd walk to school around 8:30am - 9:30am. This made me feel super smug and significantly reduced the stress knowing that the exercise and reading part was done. The progress pic was always taken first thing in the morning too. I was shocked how easy it was to get into the habit of taking the picture.


I spent the first 50 ish days pretty much walking twice a day. I was criticised for this on a #75Hard group on Facebook. Apparently this wasn't 'hard' enough. Yes, they might have been right but I needed to start and I needed to start somewhere. Throwing myself back into a gym routine would've been too much for me. So I walked and walked and walked until the last three weeks when I started back at the gym again.


I took each day one at a time. I planned in advance when I'd get my workouts and all the other tasks in. I even walked to a friend's New Year's Eve party and did things like get my husband to drop me 3 miles from our son's football training or football match and then meet them there 45 minutes later. I was shocked at how easily I was able to fit these walks into my life when I had to.


I was selfish and said no to things or moved things around to work for me. My diet was me choosing to abstain completely from all my trigger foods so it was no bread, no sweets, no fizzy drinks, no crisps and no alcohol for me for 75 days.


My video about #75Hard


I spoke at length about my experience on my IGTV video here;





My #75Hard Before and After



I was pretty over the moon with my results. Considering this came mainly from water, abstaining from my binge foods and walking. My physical differences after 75 days are striking (watch the video of me jiggling my belly before and after here) but it was my mental difference that mattered the most. 


I feel like I can trust myself again. I know I am capable of so much more than I thought. I can keep my promises to myself.



If you want to join in with 75 Hard, take a listen to the podcast by Andy Frisella here which outlines the programme and the rules. 

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