Part 2 of 4!
Throughout those first days of the “#75Hard Program” I began to notice a change. NOT JUST #PHYSICAL…but #mental as well. The #pivot I was making from unhealthy to healthy was starting to impact on my mental toughness as much as it was my physical toughness.
Before starting 75H I was…let’s just say…I had a hard time following through. I would start something and either get bored or go as far as I wanted, then quit. I had good intentions, but somewhere along the way, I just didn’t feel like completing the task. Which is sad because I’m the type of person who will jump off a cliff if I feel like what’s at the bottom of the cliff is #rewarding. I’ll jump in head first and give 100%…but there are times when I just wouldn’t ever reach the bottom of the cliff. I grabbed hold of a shiny rock sticking out on the way down and stopped my fall before I got to the base of the cliff and I’d see what fun and exciting things that cliff had to offer. Oh…did I mention I’m #ADD? <Squirrel!>
But for this endeavor, 75 Hard, I wanted to follow it through to the end. I wanted it BAD. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve completed things in the past. I don’t want you to think I was “a quitter” with every #journey I ever started, but this time was different. This wasn’t for financial gain. This wasn’t for status gain. This wasn’t even for personal pride gain. This was for life change. For better health and better mental focus. And once I got a taste of what life could be like through better #lifestyle changes, I was hooked…addicted if you will. Being healthy became my drug of choice.
I didn’t even miss the alcohol. Don’t get me wrong…I wasn’t a “lush”. But I did enjoy my bourbon and Irish whisky from time to time. But I began to notice I didn’t miss it…at all. I am (was) a big social drinker. But my #mind and #body began to enjoy not having the excess calories that are associated with “adult beverages”. Sounds crazy right? Not really…it’s simply a desire to be healthy.
Furthermore, in reading 10 pages of self help or inspirational books a day, a mental shift began to take place. I wanted to know more about God’s plan for the lives of men AND for me specifically. I was #learning more in those 10 pages a day than I did when I was pursuing my Masters degree in education. The knowledge intake was amazing. And the life application was phenomenal. I was reading Phil Roberton’s “The Theft of the American Soul”, Mike Yarbrough’s “Tending the Fire”, Jerry Boykin and Stu Weber’s “The Warrior Soul”, Stephen Mansfield’s “Book of Manly Men”, and Brad Minor’s “The Complete Gentleman: The Modern Man’s Guide To Chivalry”. These books were having a major impact on how I viewed other people, how I viewed various circumstances, and how I viewed myself. The mindshift was awesome!
After about a month into the challenge, Courtney began to notice a change in attitude as it pertained to my eating habits, mental focus, and spiritual aim. She wanted to be a part of the journey and partake in the good things that were coming from this new found lifestyle. So exactly one month to the day of when I started 75 Hard…Courtney began her journey to a #healthy lifestyle.
She did not want to do all of the reading, progress pictures, or water drinking…and she only wanted to do 1 workout a day…but her mind and body were ready to start getting healthy. So on June 15th, Courtney began her #health conscious pilgrimage. And she never looked back. She didn’t want to count #calories at first…she wanted me to do it on my “My Fitness Pal App”…which I tried to do, but between inputting my meals and snacks and her #food, it got really confusing. So after about 2 days, I convinced her to download the app to her phone. It wasn’t long until she was entering her #foodintake like a champ. It really is easy y’all. She utilized the free version of the app. I CANNOT stand ads…so I paid for the upgrade to have the ads removed. I’m that guy.
It was around this time that we agreed that #eatinghealthy would come much easier if we could purchase our #fruits, #vegetables, and #meats from local #farmers and #ranchers. We had already been frequenting a #roadside #producestand on the outskirts of town for about a year and a half at this time. We loved getting #fresh #produce. So we decided to up our visits to this particular stand AND we agreed it was time to start visiting FARMERS MARKETS. One of the best decisions we’ve ever made as a couple.
The whole #farmersmarkets lifestyle is definitely one of the pillars of our new #life. It’s not near as important a pillar as #Jesus…but it is still a very (very) important part of our new way of living. We began to shop at farmers markets and produce stands more and more, and we started #shopping at the “big box” stores less and less. It wasn’t long before 80-90% of our #groceries were purchased at farmers markets and produce stands. Sure, we still got our paper goods, #cleaning supplies, #dog food, and #toiletries from the name brand stores. We even purchased “#snacks” like Good Pop fudge ice cream bars, #protein bars, #lentil chips, and #veggie straws, as well as out of season fruits and veggies…and of course…ALMOND MILK. BUT the majority of our groceries were now coming from local suppliers. #Allnatural #beef. Free range #chickens. Humanely raised #pork. And all the freshly grown vegetables and fruits you could shake a stick at.
So many people were like, “It’s gonna cost you an arm and a leg to buy your #food from #farmers markets. You’ll never #sustain it!” Blah! Blah! Blah!
The fact is it does cost more. We’re buying our food from mom and pop who have to do all the harvesting themselves. They have to do all the #marketing themselves. They have to set up at farmers markets or on the side of the road and #sell their #product to their customers. There is a lot that goes into growing and raising your own #crops and #livestock to sell to the general public. So yes…it does cost more. There’s more effort, #sweat, and #love that goes into natural products than goes into #processedfoods with all its #preservatives. So we are willing to pay extra for our all natural foods.
WITH THAT BEING SAID…we began to notice that all the “other crap” that typically ended up in our #shopping cart when we shopped at the #bigbox stores was no longer showing up in and on our shelves at home. No more #twinkies. No more #sodas. No more #cupcakes. No more #potato #chips. No more candy bars. NO MORE #UNHEALTHY STUFF! And when you add up the cost of those items and add it to your total #grocery bill…we are actually paying around the same for going all natural at the farmers markets and produce stands. It balances out.
As I quickly approached my 75th day of the #75Hardprogram, I started to realize how easy it could be for me to “slip” back into old habits. You see, research shows that it takes a person roughly 60 days to form a #habit. Which is why Andy Frisella made the challenge 75 days. To form good #habits. BUT…I needed to be sure that those good habits were set in place FOR GOOD! So I extended the #challenge to 90 days. I continued doing all the things associated with the challenge for an additional 15 days so that I would without a doubt have the newly formed #physical, #mental, and #spiritual focus embedded in me for life.
After 90 days of, excuse my language, hard @$$ #work…I was down a total of 97 #pounds. I had gone from 450.6 pounds to 353.6 pounds. Two #workouts a day (at least one was done outside). One gallon of #water a day. 10 pages of a #selfhelp book a day. One progress picture of myself every day. I maintained my “#diet” every single day. I did not drink any #alcohol any of the 90 days I was challenging myself. And…I never “#cheated”! Not once.
It was one of the most #rewarding things I’d ever done for myself. It was #beautiful. It was #amazing. It was a #God thing! I had challenged myself…and I had #proven to myself that I could do amazing things if I put my #mind to it and see it through to the end. It was a total #physical and #mental #shift. And it was AWESOME!!!
But…the journey was far from over. Courtney was still in the midst of her challenge, and we had still had #goals to meet!
(To Be Continued)
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