This past winter, especially around the new year, I was seeing so many videos about the 75 Hard challenge. The 75 Hard is truly a challenge; it includes doing the following for 75 days straight (and restarting the clock if you fail one day!):


– Drinking a gallon of water every day.

– Following a diet + no alcohol

– Exercising twice a day for 45 minutes each time, one/day outside

– Reading for 10 minutes a day

– Keeping track of progress

Then I started seeing people doing a 75 Soft, which was the original challenge with some modifications to make it a little less intense. And then I saw moms adopting it for a “75 Soft Mom Edition,” which took the original framework and made it more compatible for mom life. I was so inspired because it felt like the soft challenges were doable, but a stretch as a mom. I was watching the peak of these before and after and progress videos while at the tail end of my pregnancy (when I felt the absolute worst). I got it in my head that a 75 Soft Challenge might be the perfect thing to do postpartum.

I decided to start on April 1 because it was when Rory was about six weeks old and when I knew I’d be clear to work out. I finished my 75 Soft at the end of last week and I wanted to share how it went for me while it is still fresh in my head!


I. No candy/pastries/sugary coffee drinks

2. 30 minutes of exercise 5x/week

3. At least two Stanleys of water day

4. Read every day for at least 10 minutes

5. Limit on TikTok scrolling

My “whys” for choosing these are all pretty similar. I had fallen into bad habits while pregnant because I slipped into survival mode, especially in my third trimester while Hamilton was sick and I was waiting to see if my placenta previa would resolve or not. My stress levels were through the roof, I wasn’t allowed to work out (plus I had a stress fracture in my foot), and my seasonal affective disorder was raging. Truly one of the only things getting through my day was sitting in bed at the end of every night with candy and TikTok. At the very worst, I was eating a bag (yes…. a bag) of jelly beans every night.

I had a bit of a rock bottom moment when I started hiding the empty bags (never a good sign) and my BFF found one I had forgotten about behind a pillow in the guest room. I realized I needed to nip this habit in the bud. I also was feeling remarkably better after having Rory, so it wasn’t even a coping mechanism anymore, it was a habit.

I also was ready to get back into working out after not moving my body much for almost six months. I felt weak and slow and a little demoralized. I needed a routine and what better way than diving in with a challenge to push me to work out for a designated number of days.


YES. More than anything it was a mental reset. I didn’t do this to lose weight or transform my body (though that was a side benefit). I really needed a reset on my habits. I wanted to break the ones I had slipped into mindlessly (candy, coffee, pastries) and build good ones that I had been neglecting (working out, hydration).

I think this was a big key for me actually. Choosing things that were doable but a stretch. Nothing I chose was crazy or overly demanding. They just aligned with the values I wanted to follow in my life.

I don’t intend on giving up candy or sugary drinks or croissants forever. (I’m a big believer in doing things in moderation.) But there’s a difference between allowing myself the indulgence of some candy every now and then (honestly even every day) and eating an entire bag of jelly beans. 🤪 I NEEDED a hard reset and I got the reset I really needed.

I’m ending the 75 days feeling mentally stronger. I realized that a lot of the time, I wasn’t even thinking before I put my hand into the bag of Nerds Clusters as I walked by it, or adding a croissant to my coffee order for no real reason. I don’t want to just be eating candy out of habit– it’s so much better if I can sit down and thoroughly enjoy the candy I choose or savor the flaky almond croissant. Plus there’s something nice about keeping a few things special and not just an everyday occurrence.

As big of a deal it was to kick the candy habit, getting back into an exercise routine was HUGE for me. That’s where I feel like I got the biggest benefit. I’m ending the 75 Soft in another workout challenge and just feeling so much stronger. Having 75 Soft to hold me accountable for how much I was working out challenged me to actually get into a routine, which is exactly what I needed. It took about three weeks to fully feel the effects– not the physical ones so much as feeling the excitement and real desire to start a workout every morning– and I’m so glad I’m in a better place now. I was very, very ready for a first piece of candy (which I actually still haven’t had?) and a sugary shaken espresso from Starbucks (which I got), but I did not want to lose my workout momentum! How’s that for a win.


It wouldn’t be a recap if I didn’t share the few “hiccups” I ran into. It wasn’t intentional, but I did end up having two slip ups. Again, I realized very quickly in this challenge how mindless a lot of my habits were. The challenge forced me to be much more conscientious about my choices, pretty much all day every day. I kept the candy in my house because I wanted to get in the habit of resisting the temptation. Even trying to be super vigilant, I slipped up twice. I got totally influenced by a poster in Whole Foods for a brown sugar iced coffee drink– I ordered it without thinking and took one sip and realized my mistake because it was INSANELY sweet. (For the record, the one sip I had was disgusting.) And then on Mother’s Day, we had brunch at my in-laws house and I had half a croissant. It wasn’t until that night that I realized what I had done… and honestly, I had the bottom half of the croissant so it wasn’t even worth it, challenge or not.

I had plenty of temptation and struggled significantly with craving candy, but I held strong.

Not sure if this counts as a hiccup, exactly, but didn’t know where else to include this thought. Seventy five days was a lot longer than I was expecting. It didn’t seem like it would be that hard but it’s two and a half months. Maybe it’s just because I have a newborn and the days with a newborn and a toddler can stretch out endlessly? Either way, it felt like the challenge would never end. Had I not publicly declared that I was doing it, I’m pretty sure I would have given up and made it a shorter challenge ha! (For the record, I’m glad I did it for the full 75 days because I felt the most change the last two weeks.)

MY 75 SOFT “MVPs”:

One big key for me was having things to rely on consistently to get me through the challenge. Both broadly speaking and fighting the everyday temptations. Here are some of the things that helped me the most.

Perfect Bars, Popcorn, Lara Bars, Bananas, Chomp sticks

It’s hard to say if it’s breastfeeding, working out more, or giving up candy– probably a combination of everything– but I needed good snacks around. When I felt a candy craving especially, I liked having something on hand that could help curb it. Popcorn was a real godsend for the crunch at night and Perfect Bars helped me with that afternoon slump when I needed a little boost.


I’ve been adding LMNTs to my water for just over a year now and it’s been a game changer for managing my POTS. It’s no surprise how helpful it was with my Soft 75 challenge too. It helped me stay on top of my hydration goals. Helped me recover from my workouts while breastfeeding. And it felt like a bit of a treat. Talk about a major win. It played a role with my candy, coffee, water intake, and workout goals.

– SOTO Method (I’ll have a more in depth review soon, but check out my IG highlight for a code!)

SOTO Method was absolutely crucial in my success for finding a good groove with working out. I felt a little all over the place at the beginning before I started SOTO. I was mixing together a hodge podge of workouts– things I liked and enjoyed– but I didn’t have a strategy. And probably more important, I was having a hard time gauging any kind of change. When I started doing SOTO, I immediately felt like I had a good gameplan for success.


Game plan

I didn’t have a game plan at the beginning besides just knowing what would be my challenge points. Instead, I should have determined by points and then worked on coming up with specific strategies on how I would handle each one. Before Day 1, I should have figured out what snacks I needed to have on hand to help with candy cravings, figured out what my go-to Starbucks order would be instead of a shaken espresso, and figured out my workout plan.

My game plan did materialize throughout the challenge, and once those systems were in place, I had a much easier time with the challenge.

Replacements on hand

Similar to the game plan, I wish I had been better prepared throughout the entire challenge with the snacks on hand. I would be good for a few days and inevitably run out of something. Having a subscription on Amazon for LMNT, Chomps, and popcorn ensured I would always have something available. And this goes for traveling too. I made sure I always had a few craving fighting snacks on hand with me so I could better resist temptation while out of my routine.

Take before and after photos and videos

I have one sort of photo from the beginning of the challenge. It was from 20ish days in though so not at the very beginning and also… I’m not wearing the best thing for comparison sake. I wish I had better documented so I could have the visual feedback.

– Come up with a tracker

One thing that would have been very helpful would be to have a visual representation of where I was in the challenge in the form of a tracker. People on TikTok used number sticky notes on a mirror to help and now that I’m at the end, I totally get why it’s important. I had just been relying on my calendar– and mostly just knowing the end date. Once I started the SOTO 42 challenge, I printed off a checklist where I could count and check off each day that passed and, wow, it was so helpful to have something physical to pass the time with.

Would love to know if you’ve done a similar challenge! What helped you? How did it go?! (Any brave people out there do the 75 Hard???)

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Way to go for completing this! I really love how all your areas were totally reasonable and doable and how you will still go back to some indulging especially in moderation. Thanks for sharing your progress!

Hannah S.

Thank you so much for your vulnerability and honesty in posting the good and HARD things about your 75 soft. I recently did something similar with cutting my sugar habit, and am so grateful for a hard reset. Thanks for sharing!


Congratulations on doing so well on your 75 day challenge! Your soft challenge goals seemed like the perfect ones for you. My own 75 day challenge is sort of a weird one. I am taking pictures of everything I eat in a day instead of trying to write it down at the end of the day. It’s really more about identfying possible food triggers, but it was a wake up call about how much mindless eating I do. As someone who also suffers from POTS (and EDS) I was so excited to learn about LMNTs! This could be such a game changer for managing workouts or even just the heat. Thank you!


i love your transparency here! the jelly beans moment is so real and relatable.

Shannon Burnham

Inspired to do my own 75 Soft for the rest of the summer! How did you limit social media scrolling? Any tips would be extremely helpful!


Congratulations on completing your 75 Soft!! You’ve really gotten me thinking about doing it myself and that it doesn’t have to be hard, we just need to be consistent which I think IS the hard part. Well done!! Can’t wait to hear about your SOTO experience.


It is really commendable doing this challenge and completing it! I am curious how you find cutting everything out completely and now having unlimited freedom (especially once you have your first bite of candy!)

Madison Herman

I just celebrated my one year anniversary this week and it felt like such an accomplishment because of all the changes that have happened in that time frame and I feel much more settled into our life now (I moved into his rental, my husband started a masters program while working full time, I started commuting over an hour each way 3 days a week to my job, then we bought a house in December and moved in January, I started a new job in December, then we got a puppy a couple weeks ago). In the midst of all the craziness, we have DEFINITELY gained comfort weight. Looking at the picture we took while at our anniversary dinner was my last straw. (also realizing how comfortable I had become with overeating). I feel like a “reset” is definitely what I need, but I like how your version seems much more realistic. Thanks for documenting this!