The 90 day challenge [No Movies/TV Series, No Sugar, No Tea (black teas), No Coffee, No Deep-fried foods, No Maida, Every day exercise]

One of my friends wanted to do a 30 day no sugar challenge, after some negotiation, we made it for 100 days, after a few days and I added a few more of my own and made a 90-day challenge.

-> Here is what I took up as a 90-day challenge

  • No Movies or TV Series 
  • No Sugar 
  • No Tea (black teas)
  • No Coffee
  • No Deep-fried foods
  • No Maida 
  • Every day exercise

Before this challenge, I wasn’t sleeping well. I put 3 kilos in just a month(had a lot of Ice Creams that month). I wanted to put a stop to it and wanted to have new routines. I previously tried different methods and cut a few things but my sleep cycle wasn’t getting better. So I took up a 90-day challenge to alter a few of my day settings with my routines.

If you have already started thinking, this is tough, let me tell you it is not. This 90-day is the tip of the iceberg and I have been trying to control things from over a year or more by having a target, lapsing from it and going back again. As they say – Will power is a muscle, you need to exercise and make it better every day. I am going to start with what happened in this 90-day challenge and later will share the full picture of what I learned over time so it would help you understand what helped me in these 90 days.

-> Rules

  • Take it up as an experiment  – Idea is to see any failures as data points and not to be hard on me. This way I know I had a choice to break but then choose not to. Also being hard on yourself is never worth it whatsoever is the reason.
  • No journaling or noting anything though I wanted to write about my experience in the end. This is because to feel myself not being too conscious since this is the first 90-day challenge I did which I thought is a significant time to do for a starter.

-> Expected outcomes

  • Being conscious that I can control my choices 
  • Sleep early and better(I used to sleep around 1 pm)
  • Lower Fat % and better following of my diet plan
  • See what happens(because I would have more free time not watching movies)

Since I did not note how I felt every week or on timely Intervals. I am going to write it down from memory which can be pretty broad. 

First 30 days

For the first 30 days, it was a little uneasy but doable. I got into the routine pretty quickly and I did not bother much about lapsing from the routine. I don’t feel like I am missing sugars or movies/series. In Fact Game of Thrones final season was released while I was doing this. Before starting this challenge  I made up my mind that there will be a lot of hype but I should not be following the crowd. It’s okay to miss and not feel bad because of FOMO. With sugars, I have been avoiding them for a while, now I needed to be strict on special occasions or get-togethers. 

Mid 30 days

I was lapsing on videos by watching comedy videos, trailers etc,.which went till midnight sometimes.  But it did not last long, It was hardly a few days and I was back to sleeping early. At this point I was not missing on sugars. 

Last 30 days

It has been a routine by then already. I was feeling much more confident in my mind(mostly because I was in control of it, or at least that’s how I felt). I started running 2-3 times a week and it is a great experience. I decided to make it a routine on an ongoing basis. For a few days, I was only thinking that I should not screw it up at this point.

Challenges

Social Gathering: Avoiding was easy but then in a social gathering, being stubborn not to eat isn’t easy. One of my friends ended up giving me a lecture about why I had to eat in a gathering and how it will be unpleasant if I don’t. Few friends understood what I was doing and when we get together, they used to make sure there would be foods that I could eat. 

Lapsing on videos: Movies or series were a habit while having my dinner. I struggled with trying to sleep early but it did not happen. I thought of cutting the cue itself so I can sleep properly. I believe it worked well.  I did not watch series or movies for the whole period but then it did not restrict me from watching comedy clips, trailers. For a while, I started watching video songs(I don’t listen to music generally). 

Lapsing on sugar: I went to Rajmachi trek(near Pune) and it had red hot sun by noon, it was when we wanted to start to trek. We started around 3 pm since it was too hot and we ended up on the hill around 7 pm (as far as I remember), when we got up there, I couldn’t help myself but drink 5 lemon water glasses which had sugar in it. For the first 2-3 glasses I thought it was glucose. I learned one thing about myself. When I am physically exhausted, I could hardly think or use my mind for anything. (but then I compensated on food while returning from that trip. My water % increased while my fat % decreased after the trek. Also, my nutritionist who is a good friend told me I needed sugars at that point since I would have lost sugar while trekking in that sun)

Lapsing on Exercise: A group of us decided to do the challenge of this and we were updated in the group every day. After 64 days, it seemed like I was doing it and others are joining in once in a while. So after that, I stopped posting which also made me forget to keep a check on Sundays and holidays. However, a few days I did double sessions in the gym and went for a few runs. Overall I did more than 90 sessions of exercise in 90 days.

Lapsing on coffee or tea: I am a big fan of tea and a little bit of coffee. A couple of years back I  had 100 different coffee/tea in a year. So you know I love them. I had only green tea and it was just a reason to take a break from work or socialize with colleagues. I believe avoiding coffee and teas could have influenced my sleep patterns to help me sleep early.  

Started Running: Since I was sleeping early, I used to get up early, for a few days I used to lay on the bed or lost in taught. Basically was a waste of time. I and a few of my colleagues registered for the devil’s circuit. That circuit has 15 obstacles and 5km in total. I though, let me start running since it also has running involved. As of today I went for more than 10 runs and decided to continue it. It is a great experience that I would not be leaving.

As you can see, there are few distractions and slight unexpected lapses but then I tried to compensate or balance it out. I am okay with it. As I mentioned, it’s an experiment and noting to be hard on myself(Keywords: Self Care and Self Love).

After 90 days: I feel great because I feel in control(nothing better than this feeling). better fat%, better strength, better sleep( from 2am to 10.30pm), body feels better throughout the day, for some reason my water intake went from 2 ltrs to 4ltrs or more/day. Explored running and planning to continue it for long. While doing these I was also reading 2 books/month(which I was doing already). Became less needy of teas/coffees. Less interested in movies/series and became very choosy(helps do other things not watching Netflix/prime right? 🙂 ) above all, got into the habit of eating clean and healthy food.

Q)Is this worth doing?
A) Totally worth it.

I have already answered many questions about my challenge on my Twitter(Q&A) and you will have many answers there(Retweet if you like any answers there). However, if you have any questions. Comment below and I will do my best to give a detailed explanation for the same. Also, I would love to know your opinion about my 90-day challenge, put it in the comments below. I would appreciate it.

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Anirudh

Congratulations on completing the challenge. Thanks for posting all the details. This has inspired me to start a challenge of my own. If you take up another challenge after this, please blog about that too