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I Spent Months Focusing on my Physical Health—This is how it went


Shortly before Christmas my friend texted, “Do you wanna do the 75 Hard Challenge with me?”


“I have no idea what that is, but it sounds hard and challenging,” I responded.


I told her I would take a look and get back to her and set out to investigate.


After a quick Google search, I had a pretty good idea as to what this new adventure would entail. To paraphrase:


  1. Take a progress photo every day.

  2. Drink a gallon of water every day.

  3. Choose a strict diet and no alcohol.

  4. Complete 2 45m workouts every day.

  5. Read 10 pages of non-fiction every day.

  6. If you miss a day, you have to start over.


Maybe you are familiar with the 75 Hard? Maybe you’ve done it? If so, I would love to hear all about how it went for you.


My first thought after reading this was that it would indeed be hard and challenging. “I’m so intuitive,” I giggled to myself. My second thought was, yeah...that’s gonna be a “no” for me.


However, making some positive health changes was getting higher and higher on my radar, but I was stuck in the contemplation phase of things.


Where should I start?

What should I focus on?

Will I be able to stick to it?


Simple enough questions to the outsider looking in, but I was just coming out the other side of some pretty significant life changes and I was at a bit of a loss.


Luckily, I’m learning that the most correct thing to do when everything feels murky is to wait.


As a Human Design Generator, life is coming to me. I don’t have to figure anything out. Wait for it to come and then respond.


Because this invitation felt a lot like life coming to me, I decided to wait for my mental story around the recommendations and my emotional reaction to them to pass and then revisit the question.


A new response came. If I can customize this process to be correct for me, then I’m in!

She was down for a little customization as well and we started to formulate individual plans.


Side note: Did you make any New Year’s resolutions this year? I’m curious to know how that went for you? Did you see them through to fruition? Or did you get frustrated and give up?


I ask because I did a little astrological investigation for the new year and found that those energies aren’t the most supportive for resolving anything. If you remember anything about the headlines during that time you may find corroborative evidence.


According to Human Design it’s a lot more likely that you’ll experience success if you wait until a little later in January and the start of the Rave New Year.


Which is what we did.


And it worked for me. I don’t recall ever experiencing this level of success with a normally timed resolution. Just saying. Something you may want to add to your calendar as a reminder for next year.


Anywho...


I sat with each item on the list and here is what I initially came up with:


  1. I could take a progress pic every day. Sure. Why not? This didn’t spark much resistance within me.

  2. Drink a gallon of water. Yeah, I could immediately feel this was not going to happen. Rather than blindly go with the recommendation of someone outside of me, I decided to tune in to my body’s need for water myself. I landed on 3 liters. That felt completely doable.

  3. You’ve heard me talk about my Primary Health System of Hot Thirst according to my design before (in case you haven’t though, check out my Intuitive Eating blog). I was already moving in the direction of eliminating cold things. I didn’t feel like getting rid of the occasional gelato or cold beer was going to be a big deal, so that’s the “strict” diet I chose.

  4. For physical activity I landed on 60-90 minutes of movement everyday. I gave myself a lot of freedom here and that felt really good.

  5. I didn’t resonate at all with reading non-fiction. I decided to go with nightly journaling or some sort of creative endeavor instead.

  6. Starting over after a missed day felt silly to me. That didn’t make it on my list.


Here’s how it went:


The first 3 weeks were a bit of a transition. I haven’t been in a super great sleep cycle for a while now and that took a toll. But I adjusted and eventually began to sleep again.


I took progress pictures for the first 20 days or so and then I stopped caring about them. No particular reason that I can think of, I just no longer resonated. I switched to getting on the scale every morning instead and I kept up with that for the duration.


I know that some people have a complicated relationship with the scale. I do not. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have put on this insulation if I had been regularly checking in with this number from the beginning.


Shortly after starting into chiropractic practice I convinced myself that a uniform of yoga pants was completely appropriate. I mean, in my defense, it is a lot like doing manual labor. I was sweating through my business casual wear. The combination of stretchy clothes and never stepping on the scale was not a great combination for me.


Oops. Lesson learned.


Onto hydration:


It took a little while to get into the flow of drinking 3L of water every day, but it was easier than I had anticipated. I picked up a 2L bottle and added a little pink salt and lime to my room temperature water for better absorption and drank the rest in the form of hot tea.


Upping my water consumption has made a huge difference. We live at 8200 feet above sea level and at that altitude my body was definitely asking for more water than I was giving it. I was having tension headaches almost every afternoon, my nasal linings were super dried out and crusty, and so was my skin.


Side Note: How much water would your body like you to consume?


I noticed a difference in each of these areas almost immediately. The headaches completely went away, the inside of my nose was no longer so crusty, and my skin feels much better.


As far as the “strict diet” went, I had zero resistance to letting go completely of cold foods and beverages. I was already heading in that direction and it feels good to have completed that transition. I did add a couple of  parameters as I progressed through the challenge. First, I committed more deeply to staying away from the things on my avoid list according to my blood type.


Have you ever looked into the Eat Right for Your Blood Type diet? Would it be correct to do so?


When I first heard about it years ago I just kind of rolled my eyes and thought, yeah, right...that’s not a thing. But then I got curious and saw that I naturally gravitated away from most of the things on the avoid list because I didn’t feel well after I ate them. I found that to be fascinating.


Secondly, I decided to follow a 16/8 intermittent fast. For the most part I wasn’t eating anything past 6 anyway, but I noticed that when I did that’s when I tended to overeat or be a little more lax with my choices. I always felt bloated when I ate late and didn’t sleep well. Because of this I’ve been more focused on having bigger breakfasts and lunches and then eating more of a snack at 4 or so. This has made a huge difference as I’m no longer overeating or feeling bloated before bed.


In terms of alcohol, I think I had 4 glasses of wine the entire time—each of which were at social events which seem to pose the biggest challenge for me to do what is correct for my body.


I do have some concerns around some of these changes as I move forward. Food culture and conditioning is real. We went to a neighbor’s 80th birthday party and his wife was listing off mixed drinks, beers, wines, iced tea, and lemonade, inquiring as to what I’d like to drink. She was a bit discombobulated when I told her that I don’t drink alcohol or cold things. I mean, of course she was!


It was never my intention to completely or permanently give up alcohol—I mean, I am a lot more fun when I’ve been drinking, just ask the happy hour wait staff at Don Gallo’s in Hardin Valley—but it seems as though that’s the direction I’m heading.


Nothing about alcohol feels correct or beneficial in any way. My concern here is that I often think I need a little lubrication to overcome the paranoia I sometimes feel in social situations. My husband, Matt, who has been sober since before we met, does not at all have this problem, even though we both have some of the same Human Design aspects that precipitate the paranoia. He’s a natural in social situations.


Sobriety concerns me because I really do want to be a part of a community here and I may not be at the point where I’m trusting that’s a real possibility. In Knoxville I had community in spades—church, tennis, neighborhood, and my tribe of healers. That’s not something I’ve been able to recreate here and the need for it is deeply interwoven throughout my design. I’m at a bit of a loss here.


False-self me is super concerned she’ll be viewed as a social pariah. True-self me knows that I’ll find my peeps—the volume of her voice just isn’t as loud.


Luckily, big lunches and small or at least early dinners are popular here. So I won’t be a total weirdo in that regard.


Dietarily, I’m calling it a success and totally sustainable. If there’s something I really want to eat, I eat it. I still have the occasional croissant, keep dark chocolate in the house, and enjoy a mochachino when out at local cafes, though I have noticed my desire for these things has significantly decreased.


Maybe your body is asking for more subtle and less restrictive changes to your diet. Is that true? Does it feel correct or helpful to give some attention to what it has to say? There’s likely a lot of space between where you are and where you mentally think you should or are supposed to be.


A favorite question of mine to ask is, “What is the smallest thing I could do that would make the biggest improvement in how I’m feeling?”


I started with ice cream and beer. I would never have gotten there mentally, yet that is exactly what opened the door for significant and sustainable change. What is your version of ice cream and beer? Maybe start there.


Onto physical activity...


Getting in that much movement was definitely a shift, yet one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making! I’ve loved moving my body since my teenage years. From playing tennis and teaching step aerobics in high school, to military conditioning, small group personal training, and even an undergraduate education in exercise science. While intensity levels go in fits and spurts I’ve never been a sedentary person.


I do some combination of yoga, pilates, pickleball, mobility, and walking every day. I’ve had a few workouts where I went “full out” but that has not been the main theme in any of my exercise. My goal was to move more. Not to overdo it or try to kill or punish myself. And that’s exactly what I did and it’s something I can sustain. I’ve enjoyed all of it.


We live in a very walkable city and we have a dog so it’s pretty easy to get steps in that way. There’s a great pickleball community here and we typically play a couple times a week for 1.5-2 hours. I discovered EleniFit on YouTube and love her pilates style HIIT workouts. It’s not done nearly at the intensity of HIIT I’ve done in the past, thank goodness, and I find them to be the perfect combination of challenging and fun. I enjoy mobility workouts as well and am a big fan of Kaisa. I love the Down Dog yoga app and started taking Ashtanga at the local movement center.


I did/do cut myself some slack on Sundays because I typically get in 2 or more hours of movement on Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays. So, if I wanna be still on Sunday, I do.


Finally, let’s move onto the creative endeavor and journaling...


Hmmmm, I lasted maybe a month in keeping up with these. I did a little crafting and water color painting and I enjoyed it. But that only lights me up intermittently.


Journaling is supposedly really beneficial to those of us that ride an emotional wave. And I did it until I stopped. In the beginning I was waking up for a couple of hours in the middle of every night and the journaling I did during that time was super helpful and very productive. Once I started sleeping a little better, my resonance with recording my thoughts and exploring my opportunities to learn and grow decreased. I’m OK with that. I’ll do it when it feels correct and let that be enough.


*****


I am beyond grateful that my friend invited me to do this challenge. At some point around half way through, she decided it was no longer correct for her to continue and I was OK with that. I just needed a little help to get the ball rolling and then I was fully committed.


Results


Somewhere around the 40 day mark, I realized that this isn’t something I was going to do for 75 days and be done. Because it’s correct, it’s sustainable. This is now my way of life and that still resonates as true.


My main reason for doing this was the desire to take better care of my physical body. Weight loss in particular was never the goal, but it has been a nice side effect and pleasant surprise. So far, I’ve lost 13.5 pounds and I’m quite tickled with that. I felt like I’d put a heavy winter coat and it feels really good to take it off. And, it was easy. I’m about to be 47 and am well into perimenopause. Weight loss isn’t supposed to be easy at this age, yet here I am.



I share this with you because when it comes to weight and middle age it can be super tempting to buy into all of the things “they” say. I encourage you to resist that mental story, listen to the wants and needs of your body, and give it those things.


A simple reframe away from what you should, have to, need to, or want to do to, to what is correct to do, can make a huge difference and lower your resistance. Maybe give that a try?


Overall, I feel better in my body and it feels good to care for myself in this way. I’m experiencing more clarity and feel like I have a better awareness of my intuition (or sacral response) and am more confidently making decisions.


I’ve not experienced a huge improvement in my energy levels. I had hoped that completing this challenge would resolve my sleep issues and while things have improved, I'm still not waking up feeling super rested.


In closing...


I truly believe that your body is your earthship. It is the vessel through which your soul gets to experience life on this planet. If you didn’t need it, you wouldn’t have it. So, if you’ve not been caring for yours and giving attention to what it needs, it may be time to ask yourself, “Why not?”


If you’ve been thinking of prioritizing your health, maybe this is life coming to you or an invitation you’d like to accept?


Let me know if you’d like a little guidance. I’d be honored to guide you through the process of connecting with your inner knowing. Tap the link below and let's begin!


Love,

Dr. Kate



PS. The Welcome Video for the School for Active Deconditioning is now live on YouTube! Would it be correct for you to check out?






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I enjoyed reading this. You write really well. I can hear your voice as I read it. lol

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Thank you, Sally!

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