When the Going Gets Tough: Two Simple Steps to Keep You from Quitting!

Hey Folks! We're excited to introduce Certified 21DSD Coach Kate Garces. Kate's article is part of a series of articles contributed by our Certified 21DSD Coaches. Enjoy! – Diane and Team


You know the story: we get super pumped about a new diet, a new gym, a new plan and we charge off toward change…but then, well life gets in the way and we end up throwing in the towel and quitting, the remnants of our well-meaning efforts swept under the rug of disappointment and self-loathing.

Why do we start off so strong when it comes to a life-changing endeavor yet find it so easy to throw in the towel when the going gets tough?

Why do we quit on our quest for what we want so much?

Whether weight loss, fitness, general health (mind, body), or something else, when we make a decision to change our life for the better, why is it so damn hard to see it through?

Let’s back up for a sec…

When we are eager to change our lives it’s usually for good reason, right?

We’re unhappy or unhealthy (or both), and we know we need to change.

We dream about and fantasize about what life would be like when we make the changes we want. We do some research, maybe get some advice, and then decide on the path we need to make that change.

We get all jazzed and valiantly start down the path of said change: confident, excited, head held high.

Yet that path is rarely an easy mountain stroll, warm sun shining on our face, and a cool breeze at our back.

No, this path gets steep, uneven, rocky. There are sharp turns and ups and downs on this path. Obstacles arise that we’re not sure how to approach or get around. It gets windy, rainy, and muddy outside. It’s miserable.

This path of change is not easy; in fact it sucks!
And there’s nothing we want more to get off of it!

The EASY option of course is to do just that, to get off that damn path and go back to where we were…that place, that unhappy or unhealthy place which often feels comforting, safe, and dare I say desirable when we’re in the midst of hard-ass change.

We would rather stay in a place of unhappiness, unhealthiness, in the misery of our “stuck-ness” and the disappointment that ensues, than go through what it takes to stay on that path, to stick with it.

And that is where most people go wrong.

The pain or discomfort of where you are now has to exceed the pain and discomfort of making the changes you need to make in order to be successful in making change and reaching your goals.

Ok, so how do I do it you ask?

I’m going to give you two solid steps you can follow when you catch yourself about to give up on your new found path to change.

#1 Out it.

RECOGNIZE that it’s happening and call yourself out. It helps to say this out loud! Bringing awareness into any situation that you need to change is always the first best step.

#2 Change your thoughts.

Our thoughts create feelings which affect and dictate our actions.

So if you are *in it* and you’re thinking, “This is so hard, I don’t think I can do this one more day,” you start feeling a host of feelings: panic, anxiety, sadness, depression, disappointment, disheartenment, hopelessness, etc. And a natural reaction to feeling those crappy feelings is to do SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL better!

That’s usually when we hop right off that path, we throw in the towel, we dive into a pint of Ben and Jerry’s; you get the drift.

We give up.

So what can we do to turn this process around?

After you’ve “Outted It” you need to “Change Your Thoughts” in order to change your feelings and your subsequent actions.

Here’s an example:

Thought: I can’t believe I’m 1 week into this detox and still thinking of chocolate, I don’t think I go can go another day, ugh why is this so hard for me?

Feeling: failure, defeat, disgust, annoyance, sadness, disheartenment, depression, (you get the point)

Action: Screw it, I’m diving in! Where’s that dark chocolate bar I stashed? And while I’m at it how about a glass of wine and some cheese; I’ve already failed after all.

Results: Likely having similar, if not worse thoughts, feelings and action the next day, the day after and so on.

Alternatively we could look at the same situation and spin it around.
Thought: I can’t believe I’m 1 week into this detox and still thinking of chocolate, I don’t think I go can go another day, ugh why is this so hard for me?

WHOA! Hold on there! You have been at this a WEEK, that is an accomplishment in and of itself, right on girl! Let’s take a time out, take a deep breath and insert a new thought:

NEW THOUGHT:  I’m a week into this thing and it hasn’t gotten any easier for me. BUT I suppose there’s a reason this thing is 3 weeks long. I’m actually pretty proud that I’ve made it this far! A few more days and I’ll be halfway! It’s downhill from there!

Feeling: Proud, accomplished, hopeful, strong, capable

Action: With new resolve you make a not-sweet treat for yourself, re-commit and rock the rest of the detox. And with THAT comes major empowerment, a sense of pride, and continued health behaviors and actions that lead to positive momentum and manifesting a win-win outcome!

So do you see how what we THINK and subsequently FEEL can directly impact our actions, behaviors, and outcomes?

I personally believe if you learn even ONE thing about yourself in an endeavor or challenge and grow from that process, then there’s no such thing as “failure.”

That said, if you’re someone who tends to start and stop or can’t seem to “stick with it” on your path towards change then try this 2-step thought hack and see if it doesn’t turn  your ship around!

When the going gets tough,
#1 out it
#2 change your thoughts –the resilience will KEEP you going!


Kate Garces is a Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner who specializes in real food and mindful eating. She coaches her clients from a holistic wellness viewpoint in order to optimize mind, body and spiritual health. Fixing the diet is the easy part; healing everything else can take some work, but it's so worth it! Kate has been part of the 21-Day Sugar Detox team for 2+ years and loves supporting people through this life-changing experience! You can find Kate at www.greenplatekate.com or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/greenplatekate. Drop her a line–she'd love to hear from you!

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The 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo

The 21-Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo