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This Is Your Sign To Try The 75 Soft Challenge
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This Is Your Sign To Try The 75 Soft Challenge

They say it takes 21 days to start a habit and 90 days to make it a lifestyle, but there’s a popular internet challenge that’s meeting us in the middle to form new habits and hit the reset button to our daily routines. It’s called the 75 Soft Challenge.


Derived from the popular 75 Hard Challenge that took off on TikTok in 2020, the 75 Soft Challenge got its gentler alternative from TikTok creator Stephen Gallagher, which still promised to change your life through improved mental toughness and self-discipline.

We all have our reasons for needing a reset. At times life can get to such a place of monotony and stagnancy that we start to realize that we’re moving on autopilot. With the 75 Soft Challenge, individuals who take part in the daily routine are encouraged to go outside the comfort of their normal routines in order to build new habits that promote physical and mental well-being. While the rules can seem strict, they require a level of discipline and consistency to be tapped into, which can be a benefit to those looking to improve their self-esteem and confidence while feeling a sense of accomplishment once it’s completed.

For Dresden Davis, creator of the Curlie Cook, starting the 75 Soft Challenge was a way to kickstart a new beginning after an 18-month season of depression. Having not been in the best mental space, Davis began to see her weight fluctuate over time, which sparked her interest in taking on the 75-day challenge. With the goal to focus on her discipline, get back to herself, and restore her mental fitness, Davis tells xoNecole, “I was looking to restart my discipline.” She continues, “75 soft, in general, is about fitness and health, but it's more about discipline: can you do something that you say you're going to do for 75 days?”

But what are the rules to the 75 Soft Challenge? 

  1. Eat well and only drink on social occasions.
  2. Train for 45 minutes every day for 75 days. One day a week is to be active recovery.
  3. Drink three liters of water a day.
  4. Read 10 pages of any book a day.
  5. NOTE: If you miss a day, you have to start over.

From January 1st to March 16th, Davis embarked on the daily challenge of mental and physical transformation, one that resulted in 11lbs lost over ten weeks and a mental and physical shift that she can attest to. As a way to track her progress, Davis shared her 75 Soft Challenge meals on her TikTok account and even went without telling her immediate circle that she was embarking on the journey.

There, she showcased different ways to eat fruits and veggies that were in season, shared delicious dishes like broccolini pasta, spinach pasta, and roasted Brussels sprouts, and presented ways to prepare one type of protein or vegetable in different ways. “I took the time each week to write out what I wanted to eat, and over the years, I've learned that for me high protein, veggies, and complex carbs work best for me,” she shares. Because the rules of the challenge don’t specify what “eat well” means, Davis recommends to "define what eating well means for you."

@thecurliecook

week 8 of 75 soft. less than a month left + whew. ate out twice this week + instantly regretted it so there’s that☹️ going to finish out these last few weeks strong! i’m 12lbs from my goals. i know i got this. #75soft #75softchallenge #mealsoftheweek #weekofmeals #healthyliving #healthyeating #weightloss #roadto30

Before starting the challenge, Davis researched the results of the 75 Soft participants to approach the challenge with realistic expectations and avoid the hasty temptation of comparison.

“I didn't want people to come and look at mine and be like, ‘Well, she lied,’ or, ‘That's unrealistic.’ So I decided that I needed to be honest,” she recalls. While results of the challenge may vary from person to person — depending on their body type and personal goals — Davis emphasizes the importance of listening to your body. “Do what works for you and not necessarily what works for everyone else,” she says.

“If weight loss is your reason for doing the challenge, healthy and sustainable weight loss is one to two pounds a week,” Davis shared. “If you are losing more than that, you could be doing something drastic that's not sustainable.”

“Always do what's sustainable, especially if you're doing this for a healthier lifestyle. A lifestyle is not a quick fix. It should be something that you can maintain for a long time,” she says.

What makes the 75 Soft Challenge unique is its connection to building self-efficacy within oneself. First cited by Albert Bandura, self-efficacy is an individual's belief regarding their ability to shape the outcomes of their life events. Unlike self-esteem, which often revolves around notions of an individual's value or merit, self-efficacy is founded on one’s confidence in their ability to navigate future situations. So while self-esteem is largely focused on the present, self-efficacy is more oriented toward the future.

“The mental aspect of when you stick with something, and you see the results and feel good about it, and you're not tempted to go back to those old ways,” she says. The results of the challenge go far beyond the physical, as her mindset has seen an even greater improvement post the 75-day commitment.

“It's not even about eating well or working out; it's the commitment to yourself,” she says. “I know people always say, ‘All you ever have is your word,’ and they always relate it to other people. But if you tell yourself you're going to do something, are you going to do it? For me, this wasn't about anyone else. I was trying to get back to feeling better about myself.”

Davis admits that there were mental roadblocks for her to overcome throughout the challenge, like waking up at 5:30 a.m. in the freezing weather to head to the gym or finding time to reach each day. “You're not going to be motivated every day. But you said you were going to do this. And if you don't do it now, when are you going to do it?” she says.

Looking back, the greatest reward was the mental fortitude that she gained in the process, and enjoyed the experience overall. Sometimes it’s not always what we think we can do, it’s what we do to prove to ourselves what’s possible.

But the question is, would she consider doing the 75 Hard Challenge? “Looking back, I'm kind of like, maybe that was a little easy. Maybe I can do a little bit more. Maybe I’ll try 75 Hard too.”

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Featured image by Morsa Images/Getty Images

 

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