You’re not alone in this. I quit so many times in my 38 years – but the important thing is that I never quit for good. I tried new things, and I eventually found an approach to weight loss that helped me get off the DRC and improve my life all around.
Today we’re talking about how to stop quitting on yourself. We’ll chat about why failure has to be an option and is part of the process. I’ll also share what quitting used to look like for me, and how I eventually created new pathways in my brain and stopped quitting on myself.
You are listening to the Weight Loss for Successful Women podcast with Shannan Christiansen, episode number five.
Welcome to Weight Loss for Successful Women, a podcast for women who are ready to break the diet cycle and end their struggle with weight for good. Here’s your host, Fortune 100 executive and Certified Life Coach, Shannan Christiansen.
Hello, loves. I am just so grateful that you all are listening. I just love spending this time with you. So, before we get into today’s episode, I want to do a listener shout-out. This is where I will read a review of the podcast every week.
And this week’s review is from Nana of Eight, “I really appreciate just how real Shannan is. Her honesty and vulnerability help me trust her because she’s been right where I’m at. Thank you, Shannan.” And she left me a little heart. So much love to you, Nana of Eight. Eight grandbabies is a lot. I have four, so I’m sure you just have so much love for them.
I love these reviews. They are all so good. I honestly have a terrible time picking one. It is really tough. So I just appreciate all of you who are rating and reviewing and subscribing to this show.
So, in today’s episode, I’m going to talk about how we can stop quitting on ourselves, how I learned to stop doing it. And then, at the end, I will leave you with a few transformational questions to help you start taking action today. But first, let me tell you, loves, OMG, this has been a busy couple of weeks.
I have packed so much in there. The podcast launch, we finished a five-day challenge in our private Facebook group, my Jumpstart program launched and closed, not to mention my day job and all that’s been going on in there.
I’m getting ready to go to Dallas for a one-day workshop that I’m teaching with some amazing and beautiful ladies. It’s going to be so fun, but I’m also bringing out my entire family, so my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, my son, and his whole family, including all my grandbabies and my daughter-in-law.
So, my dad has been a Dallas Cowboy fan, honestly, for as long as I have been alive. I remember watching football on Sundays with my dad. I’m also a Cowboys fan, but don’t hate me for it, I just love them. My dad has never been to a Dallas game, never. He’s never been to Dallas and he’s never been to a game. And none of us have, not my brother or myself, and we have been Dallas Cowboy fans our whole lives.
So, we are going to the game next weekend, and we’re doing a stadium tour. So by the time this airs, it will all have been done. But honestly, when I think about it, it just brings chills and tears to my eyes, thinking of my dad walking into that stadium. Honestly, loves, it is a dream for him, but it is a dream for me and my brother. And I’m just so grateful I get to be right next to him. I have no doubt that my mom is going to be right there with us.
So, I booked all of the plane tickets over a month ago, so everyone was supposed to get in on Friday morning. Everyone works except my dad, he’s retired. So everyone had to, you know, arrange time off. And then, one day, my beautiful daughter-in-law texted me that the tickets were for Thursday morning. I was like, no way. But when I looked, she was right.
They were for Thursday morning, which meant we either had to pay crazy change fees, or everyone had to look to see if they could get Thursday off too. It was a mistake. It could have been a really costly mistake.
Luckily, everyone could get Thursday off. But what changed for me is I didn’t beat myself up. I did not make my mistake mean anything had gone wrong. I just took action. I texted everyone to see, what could we do, and then moved on.
I didn’t overeat or buffer any negative feeling. I just recognized the mistake and then took action to fix it. So it leads me into today’s topic and it’s about how to stop quitting on ourselves. So I make mistakes all the time, all the time. We just ended this five-day challenge a couple of weeks ago, and on day four of the challenge, I forgot to attach the worksheet.
It was a mistake, not earth-shattering. A few of my ladies let me know and I fixed it. I did not beat myself up or make it mean anything other than I forgot while I was putting the email together.
There are a lot of things that happen in life that give us an excuse to quit on ourselves. Don’t do it, loves. Just keep moving forward. We have learned that we need to be perfect.
Have you ever heard the quote, “Failure is not an option…” that we can’t make mistakes? I remember hearing it over and over again as I was growing up and that it was supposed to b empowering. But what I have found is when I think failure is not an option, I believe I have to be perfect.
But what if I told you that I want to change the quote to failure is an option, and it’s the only option to learning how to get off the diet rollercoaster, that the way to stop quitting on yourself, to learn how to make mistakes and fail without judgment or punishment and to keep moving forward without beating yourself up.
Loves, I have quit on myself so many times. I started and stopped dieting, I mean, honestly, I don’t know, 100 times. I know the feelings of frustration, guilt, failure, and pain. Quitting became a habit, a habit I needed to break if I ever wanted to get off the old diet rollercoaster.
I was thinking about this one time, I had started a work weight loss challenge. I’m sure a lot of my loves out there have been on one or two or 10. And I had all of the intentions that I was going to win. I had these dreams I was going to follow this extreme diet and be the winner. And I was finally going to lose some weight and win the $100 that was in the challenge.
But, loves, by Thursday – you know, they always start on a Monday, you weigh-in, it’s so not awesome. And by Thursday, I was feeling a little sick. It had been a very stressful week at work and so Thursday, I ate off the diet. I said, okay, just this one time.
Then, by Sunday, I had overeaten more than following the plan. So, I quit. I took myself out of the challenge. I didn’t want to feel the shame of gaining weight, so I just quit. And then any time someone started talking about a weight loss challenge, I was out of that conversation. I honestly never joined one again.
Now, let’s rewind and imagine if I didn’t beat myself up for slipping. And then I just got back on track. Imagine if I didn’t quit on myself. Because, loved, quitting just slows the entire process because quitting, it becomes a habit. It becomes something we do without even looking at why we are quitting, what we are thinking, and what we’re getting out of the quitting.
When I talk about quitting with my clients, sometimes they do not even recognize when they have quit because it has become an ingrained habit. Ingrained habits are mostly subconscious, so we don’t even know we are doing it.
Also, we do not label it as quitting. I know I didn’t, mostly. We give up and we say things like, it was the holidays, it was my birthday, this is a stressful time for me, I’m so busy, I don’t have time, I need a cupcake. We make various excuses to quit on ourselves.
How many times have you quit and gave yourself an excuse of why you quit? I have done this so many times. I love asking my clients, what do you get out of quitting?
They almost always say, “Shannan, I don’t get anything out of quitting.” And a lot of times, they don’t even know when they are quitting. But, loves, when you quit, you do get temporary relief. You get something from it.
When you quit on a diet that you’ve been following, you get a temporary feeling of relief caused by a thought like, well now I can eat anything, I don’t have to deprive myself anymore. Your lizard brain is like, “Finally, Shannan, we get to go back into the cave. We get to eat the cupcake.”
The lizard brain loves temporary relief, even if it causes long-term pain, like overeating. Quitting used to look like this for me. I would go on a diet, then something would happen. I would get home on a Friday – Fridays were always my triggers because at the end of the week I was tired – and my lizard brain would start to go crazy.
It would say things like, “But Shannan, you’re tired, you deserve a break. You deserve the cupcake. You’ve worked so hard.” And then, loves, I would give in. I would binge. And then I would just beat myself up. And then, I would quit.
You know, loves, another reason mistakes and failures lead to quitting is because we beat ourselves up. We judge our actions negatively, which then just sends us spiraling into a bag of chips or donuts. The chips for all my savory ladies out there, because mostly I talk about donuts and cupcakes.
No one, not anyone, ever lost weight for good by beating themselves up, which honestly is just talking negatively to ourselves, having negative thoughts about ourselves, judging ourselves. So then, after I quit the diet, it would lead to weeks of being off the diet, because you know, loves, the diet rollercoaster is all about being on, where we’re being restrictive, or being off.
And then I would get so tired of being overweight, tired of the shame, and I would work up the courage to try again after I had put on – because I always gained some of the weight back, or all of it, or a little more, you know I’d put on another 10 to maybe even 50 pounds. I would quit so often that I did not want to commit. I did not want to try.
So, honestly loves, there have been years that I have been off the entire year. And this was my cycle for almost 38 years. It’s a very painful cycle, and I know, loves, so many of you can relate. But as a coach and a woman, this is why I just vowed to learn something different and then teach others how to break out of this cycle.
I had to learn not to quit, not to beat myself up if I overate. I had to create a new neural pathway in my brain. Now, loves, a neural pathway is a series of connected nerves along with electrical impulses that travel in the body. Now, that is right from the dictionary because you know I love the dictionary.
They are responsible for our habits. So the more we do something, the easier it is to travel down that pathway. So it’s like a highway where the more we do a habit, the more lanes it builds. So it goes from like a two-lane highway to a six-lane highway, and now it can travel faster.
The less we use it, or the less we practice that habit, we start losing the lanes. It becomes narrower. We can create new neural pathways. I had a neural pathway of quitting, and I had to create a new habit, AKA a neural pathway of not quitting.
In all my research, it takes between 28 to 45 days to create a new neural pathway. When you have a mistake or failure, or the lizard brain is telling you to go back in bed and watch Netflix – I know you ladies feel me on that – I want you to ask yourself why. Why do I want to quit?
The way you stop quitting is by committing and removing quitting as an option. Honestly, loves, the only way we truly fail is if we quit for good. So, two things, notice when you are quitting. Notice the thoughts you are having. Allow for failure and mistakes. Honestly, loves, I expect them. I plan for them. I know I’m going to make mistakes. I know I’m going to have failures. And I just ask myself why, so I can learn.
So I want to go back to the Dallas example, where I booked the wrong day. I mean, this is going to sound a little crazy, but I didn’t quit. I didn’t say to myself, “Well, you’re so stupid, Shannan, we might as well cancel the trip, you messed up. No one’s going to be able to get the extra day off. It’s all over.” I mean, it sounds so weird, right?
Like, of course we’re going to figure it out. Of course, we’re not going to quit. Loves, it’s the same when we give up on our goals and dreams. I had lots of overeats on my journey to losing weight for good. I just did not quit.
I had failures and days when I didn’t make my realistic plan, which is my plan for what I’m going to eat for the day, days where I didn’t do my reflection work. I just committed that I was going to figure it out without quitting and without beating myself up.
Now, loves, what I’m about to say is so important, so listen in. We do not take positive action from a negative thought. If we have a negative thought, it causes a negative emotion, which then leads to a negative action.
Now, loves, I want to say this again because it’s so important. I want you to sit with it. We do not take positive action from a negative thought. So beating yourself up will only lead to negative action, like eating a bag of donuts, which I’ve done plenty.
Oh, love, this is so good and important to understand. So here is the secret, love. Know that you will have failures and mistakes. Don’t judge or beat yourself up. And commit to yourself that you won’t quit, that you will figure it out because, love, I won’t quit on you. I am going to show up here every week for you. This, I promise.
So, here are the transformational questions for today. Number one, how does quitting show up in your life right now? Number two, what are the thoughts or excuses you use when you quit? And number three, what do you get out of quitting? Loves, so good.
So much fun, loves, spending some time with you. And to celebrate the launch of the show, I am going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to 12 lucky listeners who subscribe, rate, and review this show on iTunes. It doesn’t have to be a five-star review, although I sure hope you love the show.
I want your honest feedback so I can create an awesome show that provides a ton of value for you. Visit bflycoaching.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter it. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode. So much love to all of you and I just can’t wait to spend more time with you on next week’s episode.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Weight Loss for Successful Women. If you love what you heard today and want to learn more, come over to bflycoaching.com. That’s B – F – L – Y coaching dot com. See you next week!