Ep #118: Little Quits

Do you ever quit on your goal, just for a moment? Maybe you stop putting in effort for the rest of the day, or the rest of the week, and you just say it’s not big deal, you’ll start again tomorrow or Monday. It may not seem like a big deal at the time, but it might turn into one.

In this episode, I’m exploring the concept of little quits. These are momentary quits where you just stop trying for a little bit. I’ll be talking about why we have them, how you justify them, and how to stop doing it so much. Each one can make it take longer for you to reach your final goal. Quit less so you can achieve more, and more quickly.

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  • What a little quit looks like
  • How you justify little quits
  • The consequences of little quits, even if it seems like there aren’t any
  • How to stop quitting on yourself as often as you are

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Hi! Are you all enjoying your Autumn? I definitely am. After living in California for so long, I didn’t get to experience much of a fall season. But now that I’m back in New England, I’m loving it and taking advantage! I told you before that we did apple picking a few weeks ago, so fun, and this past weekend we went up to North Conway in New Hampshire and enjoyed the cool weather, the beautiful foliage, the mountains, and each other of course. We were going to go to Vermont but restrictions held us back, so maybe next year. But we had a great weekend doing what we did in our state. So much fun and such pretty sights!

Alright, let’s get into today’s topic. Today I’m talking with you about little quits.

Little quits are when you momentarily quit. They’re when you give up on putting in effort for a moment, a short period of time.

The big quits are when you’re just done forever. You completely give up, the goal is not going to be achieved, you’re not going to put in effort anymore.

Big quits are like when you quit a job and move on to a new one, never returning to the old one. Or when you quit trying to put together Ikea furniture by yourself and ask someone else to do it, or to help you. Or, and this is a good one, when you quit trying to change people and accept them for who they are. Let’s all do more of that! Not an easy one, but something worth quitting doing.

Little quits are what you’ve probably experienced with your binge eating and maybe with weight loss too.

You haven’t given up completely, otherwise you wouldn’t be listening to a podcast about stopping binge eating. You’d just let it continue to happen without trying to stop it.

However, most likely as long as you’ve been binge eating, you’ve had many, many little quits.

Just little quits here and there where you stop putting in effort for a little bit.

Maybe it’s for the rest of the day, the rest of the week, or until whatever point in time you’ve chosen.

You maybe set the amount of time that you’re going to quit for or maybe you do have moments of hopelessness, thinking you really are never going to be able to stop this forever. It may look like a big quit but it ends up being a little quit because you do eventually start trying again. Sometimes those may even be medium quits though, where you go a longer period of time before you get back to putting in effort to do better.

But whatever the size of the quit, little or medium, they have their consequences.

However, in that moment, you may tell yourself they don’t. That’s where you get yourself.

You justify those little quits. Here’s what those justifications may sound like:

I don’t care.

It doesn’t matter.

It’s not that big of a deal.

One won’t hurt.

I’ll just start over tomorrow.

I need a break.

I’ve already blown it for today anyway.
I just really need this right now.

You think one of those and there’s your justification to quit for a little bit.

You make it sound okay for you to stop putting in effort and just eat whatever food is available or to go eat whatever food pops into your head.

So you do it. And then what happens?

Well, it may have an immediate effect on you, and it may not.

When it doesn’t, that’s when it gets tricky. That’s when you may start reinforcing that it’s really wasn’t that big of a deal and so you do it again another time, and maybe another.

Now, let’s say you have a plan for yourself, which I always recommend, even if it’s a loose plan.

So for example, when we went away this weekend, we had a list of restaurant recommendations that friends gave me but we waited until closer to meal time to decide where to eat. So I didn’t have a set plan for what my meal would be. However, I did know what I wanted my plate to look like and what I didn’t want it to look like. Like, I didn’t want fried foods, pasta, or sandwiches, so I didn’t get any of those. So I had this loose plan for meat, veggies, and a carb.

Now, with this loose plan, I could have just added to it or changed something if I felt like it. The first night we were there, the meal I wanted came with french fries, but that wasn’t what I decided for myself before I went. They listed the side options on the menu and everything else was either also fried or something I didn’t like or want. At that point, I could have just given in to the temptation of fries and quit my plan, or, I could inquire about whether there were any other options, and that’s what I did. Come to find out, they also had rice that wasn’t listed and heck yeah, that’s exactly what I wanted so rice it was.

It took effort for me to look through the sides and ask our server about options. Not a ton of effort by any means, but still, it would have been easier to just get the meal as it was listed.

I could have justified it by thinking things like, “It’s okay, I’m on a mini vacation,” or “This is just what options they have,” or “I’ll just get back to my plan tomorrow.”

I could have, but I didn’t want to quit on myself, especially on the first night.

I didn’t want that. I wanted to see how I could make it work instead of just giving up because of what’s written on the menu. I wanted to put in the effort for myself, for what I wanted long-term, and to avoid possible consequences of eating crappy food, like having my mood or energy drop.

But let’s say I got the fries, and then everything was fine. I didn’t feel too full, I felt physically okay, nothing bad happened. I slept well, my energy and mood were good, no downside.

I quit my plan for that meal and everything was just fine.

So then, what could happen? I could start justifying again that since that time was fine then another time should be fine too.

Instead of setting myself up for success by starting off my mini vaca right, I could set myself up to be someone who doesn’t follow my plan again the next day, and be okay with it again, and justify it because it wasn’t a big deal when I did it the first night, I felt fine afterward, and it’s a mini vaca and basically just give up on what my true self wanted for that weekend.

I could continue with my justifications and I could extend my “starting back on my plan” until I get back home.

One okay experience of a little quit might lead you into more, and those little quits can add up.

A little here, a little there, no big deal.

But what happens when a little becomes a little more? And a little more? Where does it end?

How big are you going to allow your quits to be?

Have you ever been in a situation where you tell yourself that one won’t hurt, and then after that one you tell yourself that another won’t hurt, and then you just keep justifying every bite or serving until you’ve basically justified a whole binge?

Or when you decide to take a break today and you’ll get back to how you want to eat tomorrow and then tomorrow comes and you take a break again?

When you allow yourself to have little quits, you become a person who has little quits.

You become a person that is okay with quitting on yourself when you feel like it instead of staying committed.

You have a goal, I’m assuming you’d like to reach it sooner than later, and when you stop being committed and quit on yourself, even for a day, that’s one more day you’re adding to how long it will take for you to reach your goal.

I see you all having little quits all the time. The main one is when you eat too much at one point in the day, or you have an extra something, and you decide you’ve blown the whole day so you just quit for the rest of the day.

Here you are with the option of getting back in the game immediately, or quitting until tomorrow.

Imagine if that’s how athletes were. They missed one shot, or even say they missed ten, or a gymnast who stepped out of bounds or stumbled, and they’re like, “I messed up this game or this routine, so I might as well just quit now and do better next time” and then they just walk away. What? That would never happen. They keep shooting, they keep flipping, they stay in the game for the rest of it.

But so many of you just give up and quit for a little bit once your perceive that something’s gone wrong or when things get hard.

Listen, things are going to go wrong and things are going to get hard.

This doesn’t mean you should take a little break from putting in effort and have a little quit.

This means you keep going and do better and commit to going through the hard.

You gotta watch out for those seemingly, no negative consequence decisions.

You may think it’s not a big deal if you have a mini-binge or overeat or have an extra piece of pie but here’s why it’s a bigger deal than you think.

You binge because you give in to your urges to do it. You are a person who gives in to your binge urges.

When you have these little quits where you’re giving in to little urges or big urges, even if there’s no immediate negative consequence, you’re not teaching yourself how to not give in to urges.

You’re still a person who gives in to their urges to eat unplanned food, eat when they’re not hungry, eat in response to emotions, binge when they feel urges to do it.

If you want to truly stop binge eating, you have to become skilled at not giving in to urges, at saying no to yourself, at honoring commitments to yourself, and not quitting for the day whenever it gets a little hard or if you ate too much.

I get it, sometimes you’re not even aware that you’re giving in to urges. It can happen fast, and this is why awareness of what’s happening is so important. You can’t stop yourself from eating if you aren’t aware that you’re eating, or bingeing if you’re not aware you’re bingeing.

Those are not the moments I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the conscious decisions to quit for a moment.

If you are aware and you’re having a whole discussion with yourself about whether or not to eat and you’re coming up with these justifications to quit on yourself momentarily, just this one time, or just for today, it’s your responsibility to choose commitment to your goal instead.

The less you give up, the sooner you’ll get there.

When you quit, even a little one, you’re quitting on yourself and what you want for yourself and your goal in that moment.

That in itself is a big deal when it comes to your relationship with yourself.

So here’s how you stop little quitting on yourself.

You stay committed. You choose to be fully committed every day. Now, this doesn’t mean you aim to be perfect everyday or that you only eat 100% clean. It means that you make a plan for yourself, you have small goals for yourself, and/or you have pieces to this puzzle that you’re working on, and you commit to those. Whatever it is your focus is right now, you commit to it every day.

You also have to remember why you’re choosing this goal and this commitment. When you don’t know why you’re doing something that’s hard, it’s very easy to give up. That’s when you start telling yourself it doesn’t matter or you don’t care. If you really thought about why it does matter and why you do care and those reasons are important to you, then it wouldn’t be so easy to give up.

Getting out of bed and getting ready for work and starting working can be really hard for some people but, when they think about how this is the way they’ll make money so they can keep their home, feed themselves, do fun things that cost money, pay utilities, and all that, they’re able to do it.

That’s how you get yourself to not quit, you think about why it’s so important that you don’t quit.

You can also figure out the times when you’re likely to quit based on your patterns and come up with strategies for how you’re going to handle them in the future.

And you can think about the times you wanted to quit but didn’t to remind yourself of what it’s like to choose not quitting. There were urges you experienced and didn’t eat, there were tough times you went through without eating, and it felt amazing to go all the way through those. It will feel amazing to do it again.

Now, here’s the last thing I want to say about little quits. They may happen, they probably will happen. You’re not perfect and I think we all go through these moments in different areas of our lives, even if just for a few seconds or minutes.

If you do have a little quit, forgive yourself for it. They happen. None of us are going to be perfect and 100% committed all the time. We’re human, you’re human. We’re going to have lapses in judgement and get caught up in our emotions, thoughts, and circumstances, and we’re going to have setbacks that we create for ourselves by giving up. It happens.

When it does, if you do experience a little quit on your goal, don’t quit on being kind to yourself. And don’t allow this little quit to turn into a medium quit, or a big quit. Get back to how you want to be eating the next time it’s time to eat.

Along this process of stopping binge eating, you’re going to have many opportunities to have little quits. Choose commitment instead. Remember what you really want and why and go through the hard stuff.

There’s so much amazingness on the other side of the hard stuff. Go get it and become a person who becomes more skilled at not giving in to urges, at saying no to themselves from a place of love, and ultimately gets to their goal as soon as they possibly can.

Don’t put off your goal by quitting for a little bit now.

Become more skilled and experienced now instead.

I’ll talk to you next time, bye bye.


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