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  • Health & Wellness, Lifestyle

    75 Hard

    75 Hard, Andy Frisella, Lyman Winn, Power Couple, Fitness Couple

    I have invested thousands of dollars looking for “the secret”, you know that one thing that all the successful people are doing that is going to fast track your success. I was under the impression there must be some extra special technique that you could buy in a program and THEN you would have everything you needed to find success. Ironically, the first program that I followed that didn’t cost money, was the one that taught me everything I needed to know about creating success. It’s simple really, show up and do the work.

    75 Hard Journey - weekly Sunday Sprints

    75 Hard Journey – weekly Sunday Sprints

    While the concept is simple, the lesson was hard to learn, 75 hard to be exact. I kept looking for the shortcut, the easy path, and I thought if I bought enough programs, that “easy path” would magically appear. It does not exist. Read that again. The easy path does not exist, the past 75 days has taught me that.

    It’s nearly impossible to explain what you experience going through the 75 hard challenge by Andy Frisella. If you are unfamiliar with what the 75 hard challenge is, I highly recommend listening to the podcast he did on it, where he explains in depth the concept of this challenge. There’s a follow-up podcast for after you complete 75 hard, I highly recommend listening to both. He explains it far better than I can, and it’s incredibly important to understand why it’s designed the way it is, especially if you decide it’s something you want to do. It’s also important to understand it’s not a fitness challenge, even though a physical transformation is a part of it, that’s not the point. 75 hard is a mental toughness challenge, and it radically changed my life. And yes, as I said above, it doesn’t cost anything, but it certainly isn’t free.

    I had to sacrifice my old self to go through the program.
    It was the best decision I ever made.

    Here’s a simple run down of how it works, for 75 Days straight you must follow these rules:

    1. Workout 2x a day for at least 45 minutes each (One of the workouts has to be outside…no matter what)
    2. Follow a diet with zero cheat meals for 75 days straight, no alcohol
    3. Read 10 pages of a non-fiction entrepreneurship / personal development book per day, audio books don’t count
    4. Drink a gallon of water per day
    5. Take a progress photo every day
    -No exceptions. If you change it at all, you’re not doing 75 hard.
    -If you mess up or miss anything, you have to start over at Day 1

    75 Hard Transformation

    75 Hard Transformation

    I started 75 hard on March 11, 2019 and I failed on Day 50 in May, setting me back to Day 1. That’s probably one of the hardest parts of this challenge is holding yourself accountable, no one knows if you actually do any of this. You can lie to yourself the whole way through the 75 days and pretend you did it, it’s easy to do that. What makes it so hard is you actually show up and do the work and also be able to admit when you fail.

    75 Hard Journey - Ran my first half marathon, Salt Lake City Marathon, Utah

    75 Hard Journey – Ran my first half marathon

    When I first saw Andy launch this program in March, I had a really hard time understanding how these 5 tasks could radically change my life in 75 days. But I was up for the challenge, I thought I was tough stuff and said let’s go. HA! You think it’s all fun and games from the outside looking in, till you get in and you realize this isn’t a game, this isn’t a “cute” internet challenge, this isn’t some trendy bandwagon thing, this isn’t so you can show everyone else how tough you are, this is a full on battle with yourself. You VS. You for 75 days.

    If you do this correctly, the person you show up as on Day 1 will no longer exist on Day 75. This challenge will break you down and build you back up into the baddest version of yourself in a short, yet incredibly long 75 days. However, the break down part is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I can tell you one thing for sure, this challenge was appropriately named, because it sure as heck isn’t easy.

    It’s 75 days of battling your own worst enemy, yourself.
    It’s 75 days of facing every excuse you’ve ever made in your life.
    It’s 75 days of realizing all the the lies you’ve told yourself.
    It’s 75 days of uncovering what you’re capable of.

    75 hard changed me as a person, I don’t act, operate or even think the same. It’s been interesting to observe how much I’ve changed in 5 months since I had to do a big reset on Day 50 back in May. As hard as it was to start over and do 75 hard for this long, looking back, I am incredibly thankful the reset happened. A couple weeks after restarting 75 hard I entered one of the toughest emotional periods I’ve had in a really long time. June 2019 rocked my world on a personal level and 75 hard was the only thing that saved me from myself. I didn’t understand how powerful this program was until my darkest demons came out to play.

    75 Hard Journey - Embracing the elements, running in a white out blizzard at 6AM

    75 Hard Journey – Embracing the elements, running in a white out blizzard at 6AM

    These habits I created from doing 75 hard carried me through the incredibly tough days when I was feeling weak. I felt paralyzed by events in my personal life for a few weeks and this program was the only reason I got out of bed some days. I have gone through many seasons of severe depression and extremely hard life events, those periods of life usually throw me down a dark rabbit hole and off track for MONTHS. I’ve never seen myself overcome a paralyzing season of depression this quickly before, I can 100% attest that sticking with 75 hard through that storm is what helped me conquer it with a clear mind and not let it throw me off course. Every day in June I woke up so incredibly thankful for this program and these habits to help me keep my head above water and not fall down the dark rabbit hole I’ve been down so many times before.

    Which brings me to a few of the biggest lessons I learned through this journey:

    Lesson #1: Create good habits. They will be there to help carry you through the tough times. The opposite is also true, your bad habits will drag you down a rabbit hole when life happens and things get hard. Life will always happen, tragic, unexpected events will randomly hit you like a ton of bricks throughout your life, so you better figure out how to get yourself through the tough times without sending yourself into a downward spiral.

    Lesson #2: Keep promises to yourself, it’s important. Show up and do what you said you were going to do when you said you were going to do it, no excuses. No matter the condition, no matter how you feel, show up and put in the work. I used to be the queen at altering the plan to make it more convenient for me when conditions and circumstances changed. How is it I am the first person to show up for everyone else, yet constantly failed to show up for myself? Not anymore. I deserve the best, especially from myself.

    Lesson #3: Be consciously aware and intentional about finishing the job 110%, whatever it may be. Do the extra rep, go the extra mile, push forward for one more minute. Intention is everything in this challenge, you have to intentionally show up and challenge yourself the whole way through. I noticed as I became aware of being intentional throughout this challenge, I started to become more intentional in every area of my life.

    Lesson #4: If you’re looking for an excuse, any will do.

    Lesson #5: You are grossly underestimating what you are capable of, I guarantee it. I know I have been selling myself short for far too long. The limitations I have put on myself for so many years were absolutely shocking, 75 hard showed me EXACTLY how I’ve been slowing myself down. Completing 75 hard doesn’t only make you feel unstoppable, it makes you realize you are unstoppable if you actually apply yourself.

    All I can keep thinking in attempts to sum up 75 hard is it all boils down to overcoming yourself, overcoming the lies you constantly feed yourself, the excuses, the reasoning, the stories, we tell ourselves so much BS on a daily basis and we usually buy into it without a second thought. I don’t tolerate my own excuses anymore, or anyone’s excuses for that matter. It’s sad we all make so many excuses for ourselves because the reality is every single one of us is made for so much more. I promise there is so much untapped potential hiding under all those excuses. You will be absolutely amazed what you find hidden inside yourself if you have the courage to dig deep and uncover what’s underneath.

    75 Hard - I've NEVER had abs like this..ever.

    75 Hard – I’ve NEVER had abs like this..ever.

    This is a mental toughness challenge, as I said before, you will emerge an entirely different person at the end of it. But it’s also impossible for it to not spill into every other area of you life in the process.

    Since I started my 75 hard journey on March 11, 2019 through my completion of the 75 hard program on August 8, 2019 here’s just a few highlights that I loved about the journey and some pretty incredible things that happened along the way.

    • I ran my first half marathon
    • I ran over 150 miles, clocking over 313 miles so far this year. (This actually inspired me to set a massive goal of running over 500 miles by the end of 2019!)
    • I ran in every weather element, rain, hail, extreme heat and a white out blizzard
    • Read 6 books (almost done with #7), not to mention the countless audio books and podcasts I listened to along the way. I’ve definitely consumed more educational/personal development content in the past 5 months than ever before.
    • Earned my biggest check with my company to date
    • Quadrupled my income
    • Featured in my company newsletter
    • Launched my first online course
    • Broke my fastest 5k time
    • Finally found my 6 pack I’ve been looking for for 6 years
    • I’m hands down in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in
    • Discovered I have a gluten intolerance, learned how to cut gluten out of my diet
    • I’ve spent more time outside in the past 5 months than I probably have my entire adult life
    • I’ve watched the seasons change from winter, to spring, to summer and it was the most remarkable thing I’ve ever seen
    • Started hiking for the first time in my life…then the hikes naturally turned into trail runs
    • My marriage is thriving, our conversations, communication and every aspect of our relationship is better from doing 75 hard together
    75 Hard Journey - Weekly hikes/trail runs with my husband

    75 Hard Journey – Weekly hikes/trail runs with my husband

    There’s so many emotions that have come up as I finish 75 hard and get ready to start phase 1 (oh yes, there’s more.)
    Mostly extreme gratitude and pride. I am extremely thankful to Andy Frisella for creating this program, even more thankful he made it free so ANYONE can have the opportunity to experience the life transformation that happens if you complete it.

    75 Hard Journey

    75 Hard Journey – Embracing the elements, running in the heat

    I am extremely proud of myself for sticking it out, seeing it through, and completing 75 hard, because lord knows it was not easy. I am thankful I didn’t quit when I had to reset on day 50, I’m thankful I didn’t quit all the times it was incredibly hard, because I would have never met the woman that showed up on the other side of 75 days.
    I love her, I am proud of her, and I know without a shadow of a doubt she is unstoppable.
    I am her.
    I am proud.

    75 Hard Journey, the finish line!

    75 Hard Journey, the finish line!

    You want to know the secret? Every single one of us already has the “secret sauce” to be successful. If you’re like I was, going to every conference, buying every course, hoping that someone out there is going to give you some secret hack that they are using to jump start you to where you want to go. Thinking if you just buy “x” or sign up for the next “z” you will FINALLY have what you need…here’s the secret, you can’t buy it. You can’t buy it, because you already have it. It’s tucked down beneath all those excuses and lies you tell yourself every single day. It’s up to you to dig it up, it’s up to you to overcome yourself, face your excuses one by one and decide if you are stronger than every excuse you make. You have so much untapped potential hiding underneath all those silly little excuses, once you start to overcome them, you realize just how ridiculous they actually are.

    75 Hard Journey - Weekly hikes/trail runs with my husband

    75 Hard Journey – Weekly hikes/trail runs with my husband

    The secret is simple;
    You have to show up and do the work, every single day.
    Even if you don’t want to, even if the conditions suck.
    Show up and give 110% anyway.
    Take care of your body and your mind.
    Move your body.
    Feed your mind.
    Hydrate your body.
    Fuel your body with good food.
    Capture the progress.

    Do that for 75 days straight and you’ll understand what I mean.
    This is truly one of those things that you can’t fully understand until you experience it for yourself.
    It’s not easy, but it’s 100% worth it.

    75 Hard Journey - Embracing the elements, running in a hail storm

    75 Hard Journey – Embracing the elements, running in a hail storm

    I love that Taylor and I completed 75 hard 3 days before our one year wedding anniversary. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our first year of marriage than by completing this challenge together. To me, finishing 75 hard encompasses all of the growth and change we’ve experienced since getting married. We are showing up to conquer another journey around the sun together stronger than ever before.

    75 Hard Journey - 4th of July hike, we loved staying sober and getting active over the holiday weekend

    75 Hard Journey – 4th of July hike, we loved staying sober and getting active over the holiday weekend

    One of my favorite things about coming to the end of 75 hard is it actually helped us complete an old goal. Back in 2015 we set a goal to be sober for 30 days and if we did that, we would do a fitness photoshoot together to celebrate. Well, we never accomplished that goal, I remember how impossible being sober for 30 days seemed in 2015. 4 years later, we were finally able to cross off that goal and do a fitness photoshoot together to celebrate being sober for well over 30 days, completing 75 hard and celebrating one year of marriage. It makes me so proud to look back and see how much we’ve grown and evolved over the years. I love who we have become together and as individuals.

    75 Hard - Photo by Lyman Winn

    75 Hard – Photo by Lyman Winn

    75 Hard Transformation

    75 Hard Transformation

    75 Hard - Ran over 300 miles by August 2019, going for 500 by the end of the year!

    75 Hard – Ran over 300 miles by August 2019, going for 500 by the end of the year!

    75 Hard - Books I read

    75 Hard – Books I read

  • Lifestyle, Travel

    Wedding Adventure Part 2: Rome, Italy

    After dancing our hearts out in the hills of Belgium, we hopped on a plane over to Italy! We learned a huge lesson from our first trip to Europe, taking a train is NOT the best transportation traveling from Belgium to Italy (19+ hour commute, YIKES!). Also, I definitely wanted to limit how many different planes and trains I had to drag my dress through, she was already A LOT of dress to carry through Europe with us as-is. The only airlines that allowed me to store my dress in the captains closet was our Delta flight from the United States to Paris (we love you Detla), all the European airlines didn’t have any additional storage space…so we just had to make it work.

    Off to Rome!

    I never said bringing my dress with us was easy!

    Rule #1 if you are traveling internationally with your wedding dress…the dress does not leave your sight, EVER. That means you DO NOT check the dress in a bag, don’t even think about it. Especially in my case, if I checked my dress and it somehow got lost, I literally would not have a wedding dress for our actual wedding when we got home, so the dress stayed with me at all times. I learned my lesson really quick, the ONE time I let an Uber driver put my dress in the trunk of the car, instead of holding it in my lap, the trunk got STUCK CLOSED!! Yes, my wedding dress got stuck in the trunk of a car, I only had a mild panic attack. After that incident, I refused to let the dress leave my sight, it was either right next to me or locked in a hotel room.

    You just make it work.

    Once we landed in Rome, the hotel arranged a driver to pick us up from the airport, lucky for us, our driver acted as our personal tour guide as he drove us into the city, telling stories and pointing out monuments along the way. We arrived at the Elizabeth Unique Hotel that afternoon and soaked in the magic of Rome! Rome is absolutely amazing and according to our driver, it has more monuments per square mile than any other place in the world. Everywhere you walk there is something to see, there is live music playing in the streets and of course, incredible food. If you’ve never been to Italy, the food is hands down the best part!

    Eating Your Way Through Rome is Half of the Fun

    Gelato Solve All Problems

    We chose our food wisely for our limited time in Rome and somehow stumbled upon the most amazing restaurant! Dilla ristorante, as they say in Italian, had THE MOST amazing pasta I’ve ever had in my entire life, here I am a year later and I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. Order the Aglio olio e peperoncino pasta, and the bruschetta (obviously) you will not be disappointed. If I can give you ONE recommendation of something you must do the next time you’re in Rome. GO. TO. DILLA. We only stayed in Rome for 2 nights, we ate at Dilla’s both nights we were in Rome. Yeah, it’s that good.

    Dilla’s Bruschetta

    Dilla’s Pasta – Aglio olio e peperoncino pasta

    Our photoshoot was scheduled for 6AM the next day. Rome is the busiest tourist destination in the world with more than 100 million tourists each year, meaning if you don’t get up early you will have swarms of people crowding your photos. The photoshoot was the greatest thing we could have done in Rome simply because it got us outside exploring the city so early, there was hardly anyone outside and it truly felt like we were the only ones there. Irina Odoardi was an absolute dream to work with, I’ve had so many people reach out to me asking about my experience with her and I would work with her again 1000x over! I especially loved working with Irina because she told us incredible stories about each place we visited, my favorite being the story of the Trevi Fountain.

    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Legend has it if a couple drinks from the Trevi fountain they will be married forever. Naturally, we went back later that evening and drank from the Trevi fountain, our forever love was worth risking dying from any bacteria that was likely in the dirty water. Coincidence that we both woke up sick the next day…we’ll never know for sure. But what I do know is I still love him more than ever before, so I’d say it was 100% worth it.

    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    The photoshoot was scheduled for 2 hours and consisted of us walking around Rome from site to site, it was a personal tour plus a magical photoshoot at the same time. We visited the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Ancient Rome and of course the Colosseum! By the end of our shoot it was mind blowing how many people had started to fill the streets, especially by the Collosuem. Each person we passed shouted at us in Italian, after several people kept passing us saying the same thing, the photographer explained they were all saying congratulations.

    I’m sure all of the Uber drivers loved me for the amount of glitter I left in their car…oops.

    Colosseum, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    I couldn’t think of a more magical way to experience Rome, dancing in 1000 year old buildings in my princess dress, walking down the streets with my prince, and soaking in every moment without anyone else around. We went back and visited the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain that evening after our photoshoot and you truly don’t understand how many people pack the streets of Rome, until you see it without any people at all. If you ever visit Rome, my best advice is wake up super early and go explore at dawn, it truly an experience of a lifetime. Then don’t forget to go eat at Dilla’s for dinner, you won’t regret it. Perhaps my favorite thing about Rome is how it is a city full of stories, every person you came in contact with would tell you a story about the place you’re in or the food you’re eating and what makes special. Rome is definitely my favorite city I’ve visited in Italy so far, and most certainly will be going back. If for nothing else than to enjoy another meal at Dilla’s.

    Colosseum, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    As Promised, here’s more magical moments we captured while we were in Rome. Huge thank you to Irina, I cherish every photo she captured. You can find more of her work on Instagram @irinaodoardi.photographer.

    Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Ancient Rome – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Ancient Rome – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Ancient Rome – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Pantheon, Rome, Italy – Photographer: Irina Odoardi

    Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy -Photographer: Irina Odoardi