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British vlogger Cookie decided to give himself a fitness challenge and run 30 minutes for 30 consecutive days. He was inspired by similar videos that portray a subject going through a significant transformation as they achieve their goals—but he wasn’t exactly prepared for what a challenge would mean for him.

“It’s very clear to see from my videos…I’m a chunky fella,” he said. “I want to be able to change that, so I’m going to give this a go.”

In order to do make the challenge more than just one-sided, he decided that more than just his fitness regimen needed to change. Cookie dialed in on his diet, too.

“Before taking on this challenge, my diet has consisted of bad food: chips (a.k.a. fries), pizza, more chips, more pizza, burger, ice cream, chocolates, and the list goes on and on,” he said.

So he also switched up his diet to go along with the running challenge, ditching sugary drinks and limiting his junk. He started the journey at 263 pounds.

On Day 1, five minutes into his run, he was huffing and puffing.

“As the minutes went on, I could feel my body shaking as I ran. I think the thing that hurts me most is my calves,” he said. “This is hard.”

On Day 2, his legs were again killing him, and he started walking after 1 mile.

“I’ll carry on running again in a minute,” he said. “I think the idea is to keep moving at all times, don’t stop.”

And he’s also starting to chafe.

“My nipple feels like it’s about to be sawed off,” he admitted. “It’s absolute agony.”

On Day 3, he felt like he had a breakthrough, and ran for 20 minutes straight. By Day 7, he was feeling great. “I feel leaner, I feel like I’ve got more energy,” he said.

And after he weighed himself, he’s lost about 3 kilograms (almost 7 pounds).

But by Day 14, he hit a wall.

“I really don’t want to run today,” he said. “It’s one of the first days where I really, really, really don’t want to go out and do it. My ankles hurt. My Achilles hurt. I’m tired.”

However, he pushed through, clocking one of his best runs yet at over 4 miles.

“I want this to be a lesson to myself and anyone watching,” he said. “If you ever feel like you don’t want to do something, just do it. Do it anyway. ‘Cuz I’m so satisfied now. I’m so happy.”

He kept his streak up for another five days, but after his run on Day 19, his body was in serious pain.

“I can run, and I can push it to the back of my mind. But afterwards, my legs hurt,” he said. The problem I’ve got is I’ve got no rest time. It’s not enough time for a rest, and it’s started to catch up with me. My left Achilles is really not comfortable at the minute.”

He convinced himself to give it a few more days—but by Day 23, he had enough.

“It all came to a stop. My legs just couldn’t cope with it anymore,” he says. “I’m really disappointed that it came to end the way it did. I was sure I was going to be able to complete this.”

He says he debated posting the video he had made over the first 23 days, but because he didn’t finish the challenge, that felt “disingenuous.” But he thought long and hard about the message he wanted to send. So three months later, he did.

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“That’s what documenting things is all about,” he said. “You can’t just have the positive, and not have the negative. It’s just not real.”

He was disappointed that he couldn’t finish the challenge he set out to accomplish—but the attempt wasn’t all for naught. “This experience has helped me in more ways than I was expecting though,” he said. “I came into this thinking I would do it easily, I would lose a bit of weight, and that was it. It turns out though that I’ve learned a lot about myself as a person.”

Ultimately, he says that he’s now more active than ever, and he’s lost a total of 14 pounds since attempting the challenge.

Before you jump into a challenge like this yourself, make sure that you’re prepared mentally and physically. Always make sure to warm up before jumping into physical activity—and if you’re running, don’t just try to push through the pain. Most importantly, listen to your body. You can push through a certain point—but there’s no shame in taking a rest day for active recovery when you need it.

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