Quitters are Winners

by mssinglemama on February 11, 2010

The 7-Day Quit Challenge

One (almost) year ago, on February 16, 2009 – I smoked my last cigarette.

I didn’t tell you this then, but my last cigarette was a nasty butt – what was left of the cigarette lit by a man the night before. He had appeared out of, what seemed like no where, on the sidewalk in front of what is now my new Cement Marketing office.

Funny how I still think about that guy, that moment – often. Something clicked for me that night and I decided that I wanted to be more like him and less like me. I wanted to be in control of my path, in control of where I was going – and even if I couldn’t control every pot hole I’d hit, at least I would be driving the car.

The minute I chose to change my future, to take control of my life and quit smoking – everything changed.

Now I am challenging myself to quit something else… because I am far from perfect and I’m kind of hooked to this taking control of my life thing. I am going to quit denying myself the time I need to exercise. I am not in a cubicle anymore, I set my own hours and I am completely out of excuses. And even though I don’t mind the weight I’ve gained over the past year (about 10-15 pounds, I don’t have a scale so I can’t be sure) I do mind that none of my jeans fit anymore.

I need to tone this little body of mine up, but above all – I need a stress reliever. Just ask John Bear. The poor guy looks like he may suffer a stroke or something every time I look at him funny.

To start me off I am going to work out to (gasp) this totally terrifying 30 Day Shred DVD I ordered after Kristin mentioned it to me on our visit to Vancouver last Spring and then again on her blog, or one of her blogs, recently. So I bought it and now for the first time since last summer (when I hurt myself trying to pick up jogging) I am going to attempt to exercise.

And not only attempt – but I am going to work out to this video for seven days in a row. (Starting on Sunday, February 14). I would start tomorrow but Morgan is here and we are spending a few days on a photo shoot for my client.

Your Turn.

Quit something. Anything. Pass or fail and you’ll still win.

I have read some amazing quit ideas from you all – on Twitter, Facebook and here in the comments – that have nothing to do with weight, smoking or your typical quit pledges. You’ve mentioned things like attitude changes, not talking about the ex as often. Fantastic stuff.

Here’s your mission.

Leave a comment between now and February 14th telling me what you are going to quit. Come back seven days later on February 21 and tell me how you did. Fail? Pass? Leave your comment telling me your results as a Reply to your first comment.

Just like this… see how Ian left a comment here and then I replied. Well, this time you will be replying to yourself.

Screen shot 2010-02-12 at 12.45.05 AM

That way I will be able to double check the dates and that it’s really you.

The Prize

Everyone who takes me up on the challenge (pass or fail) will get a totally free copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored – the best little eBook for single moms out there.

{ 2 trackbacks }

February 13, 2010 at 4:22 pm
Crunches and Necklaces
February 24, 2010 at 6:03 am

{ 80 comments… read them below or add one }

Shane February 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm

I enjoy reading your blog from time-to-time, and I understand the thrill of quitting smoking (those who never have smoked don’t understand the addiction). I quit January 1st and have been going strong ever since. What’s it been? 43 days, I think, but who is counting. Anyways, cigarettes I quit. What is harder? My ex-fiancee who dumped me for someone else. I am going to quit her for 7 days (and hopefully more) and see if I can’t get on with the business of living.


Jim Brochowski February 11, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I am going to quit being miserable in my day job. I have been toying with the idea of hiring a job coach to help me focus, learn how to interview properly, and come up with a decent focused resume. I even paid for a consultation session. It’s a pricey venture, but I’m sure it will be worth it in the long run. It’s time to quit just existing in my job and find something that is satisfying, rewarding, and that pays a decent wage. I love my library, but it’s time to move on. I have my volunteer work with the MJB Foundation to keep me busy and feeling rewarded in my off time. I need to find something that gives me that same feeling on a day to day basis. By Monday evening, (we are headed out of town this weekend) I will hire that coach and get things in motion, even if it does cost a ton of cash to do so.
Sign me up. I am in!


Jim Brochowski February 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Unfortunately, I have to put off my coach hiring. Our dog Mulligan is very sick with a disease that is attacking his immune system. (You may have seen some of my Facebook posts) For now, all of the resources we can come up with are going towards that. I talked to my “future” coach, and told her I still intended to be there one day, but for now the dog comes first. He saved me from a very bad depression in 2005, saved my life really. This is the least I can do for him.

I don’t feel like I failed though. Just needed to reset the priorities hopefully only temporarily.


mssinglemama February 28, 2010 at 7:36 am

Oh, I’m sorry Jim… follow your gut and maybe you don’t need a coach. You can be your own coach. If not, chat with @jobjenny on Twitter – she’s an old reader and friend. http://twitter.com/jobjenny


Zoeyjane February 12, 2010 at 1:06 am

Excellent timing! I was planning on officially going vegan on Valentine’s Day. Right down to keeping soy milk at my best friend’s apartment, to put in my tea. I’m super excited to read the book, and see how awesome you feel after a week of the Shred!


Zoeyjane February 21, 2010 at 5:11 pm

So far, so good. And I have a SURPRISING amount of energy, and a new cookbook that already doesn’t look so new. How is the Shred treating you?


NewSingleMama February 12, 2010 at 3:08 am

I want to quit two things: 1) Quit procrastinating/being so lazy and putting my business on the back burner .. especially these days when we need money the most and I’m the only one bringing it in. 2) Quit being such a jealous person. Lately I let negative thoughts get the best of me, I over-analyze and I let them fill me with envy. I will stop and move on with my life.


Ian February 12, 2010 at 3:10 am

Fair play.

As someone who has lost 40lbs since September, and is probably now as lean and fit as I have ever been, I am at a loss to think of anything else to quit. Oh, I have it. Perhaps I could quit making smug boasts about my weight loss and current level of fitness? Yes, that will work, well, it probably won’t, but you get my drift.


Stephanie February 12, 2010 at 7:35 am

I am doing the 30 day shred too, but can’t do it more than 2 times a week. It is tough but good. xo, steph


Momto2 February 12, 2010 at 8:01 am

You will love the 30 day Shred. It works and really gets you toned. The best thing is it only takes 22 minutes. Good luck!


Pippi February 12, 2010 at 8:09 am

I am going to quit doing (most) of my 5th grader’s homework for him. I know, I know, I am a TERRIBLE mother for letting him coast like that, but now it is written in stone. He WILL do it himself and he will face the good or bad consequences (whether it be an A or an F). Can’t wait until the 21st to see how I did. -Pippi


Pippi February 24, 2010 at 9:53 am

I DID IT! I did not do my 5th grader’s homework for a school week. And P.S., I’m going to go a lot longer than the 7 day challenge on this one.


What2quit... February 12, 2010 at 8:50 am

I am going to quit making excuses not to clean every day and I’m going to clean my house, every day for the next week!

Thanks for the challenge!


What2quit... February 18, 2010 at 8:38 am

…Doing well!! Yesterday, I came home from work and SCRUBBED the bathroom, walls, baseboards, and everything!!


What2quit... February 19, 2010 at 4:27 pm

YAY! I did it for 7 straight days!!

Thanks for the challenge! Here’s to another 7 days πŸ™‚


What2quit... February 23, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Here is a good email address instead of what2quit@hotmail…




Kelly February 12, 2010 at 9:01 am

I am going to quit being “tired” all the time. Yes I have a busy life and probably don’t get enough sleep, but giving myself to be lazy cause I’m tired is over. My life is no busier than anyone else’s on here and to see what some of you accomplish is amazing. So, no more “tired” and back to my positive energetic self.


Kelly February 19, 2010 at 11:13 am

This week has gone well. So now I’m headed into the weekend with the goal of cleaning and organizing my house. I moved in in June and there is still stuff that never got put away right. I’m not feeling as tired- I think cause I’m not letting myself use that as an excuse. Getting back to working out has probably helped too. My momentum is building… πŸ™‚


Kelly February 21, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I did what I needed to over the weekend- I think because I didn’t let myself say I’m tired and not do it. It feels good to be headed in the right direction again.


Angie February 12, 2010 at 10:18 am

I have the same 30 day shred video. My New Year’s Resolution was to work out to it regularly. I think this is the perfect time to start that back up since I have failed miserably with my resolution. I am going to quit making excuses to exercise! Thanks for the reminder!


Angie February 23, 2010 at 8:08 am

Well I didn’t work out every day, but was definitely more active last week! Hopefully I can continue with this trend. Thanks for the challenge!


Steph February 12, 2010 at 11:00 am

Well It seems i’m in good company! I also quit smoking on 16 feb but in 2007 so its coming up to 3years for me. i think i’d like to quit being so hard on myself all the time it would be nice to give myself a break i know this sounds so simple but its pretty hard to stop and change a pattern you’ve had for many years!


steph March 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

Hi I’ve completed my task well, truth be told this isn’t something I wish to complete but is an on going challenge for me, I did and still do find this hard some days but overall I think I did and am doing pretty well, when I catch myself being too critical I try to dismiss it right away and it seems to be working.

So thank you Ms Single Mama for helping me pinpoint some of my issues and finding a way to deal with them.


Canadian Bald Guy February 12, 2010 at 12:03 pm

For one week, I’m going to quit being so damn hard on myself. I’m not perfect, but I’m a good person and a good father. I need to lighten up on myself every once in awhile…so no time like the next seven days!


Melissa February 12, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I am going to quit sugar/sweets. My family suffers from diabetes and I never take it seriously. This is my chance to change that because God know how bad my sweet tooth is!


Melissa February 19, 2010 at 9:50 am

I failed. On the 2nd day I fail and I have not been able to keep my end of the deal. I have realized that sugar has become so part of my life that I don’t even realized when I eat/drink it. GEEZE! Well, I will continue to work on slowly deleting sweets/sugar from my diet but I guess I can’t due it cold turkey. πŸ™


Melissa February 20, 2010 at 7:10 am

Just realized that I was more tired than I thought when I wrote the post above. TYPOS like crazy! Please ignore. πŸ™‚ Just wanted to add that since the challenge and despite giving it up on the second day….I am consuming a lot less sugar than before. Yesterday I actually denied drinking a coke (which is a must for me at least daily) So….I would like to say I haven’t failed. I have succeeded in the goal to eating healthier! Thank you for the accountability and the motivation.


christine February 20, 2010 at 2:38 pm

you know, i had the same challenge and i’m in the same boat as you. i didn’t realize how much i was eating sweets/sugary snacks until i decided to stop. i’m taking the same approach, because it’s going to be a lot tougher to quit than i expected.


Melissa February 25, 2010 at 7:47 am


We can do it! πŸ™‚ Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone.


LJ February 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I will quit… eating out so much. It gets expensive!! I was doing so well but have slacked the last few months.. Plan- take a lunch. take a snack. get back to cooking almost every night! etc. =-)


LJ February 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

Ok, so I sucked. lol.
I bought the 30 day shred, and some weights. So.. maybe I’ll keep eating out and be poor..but look fabulous doing it?! πŸ™‚


Star February 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I’m going to quit negative self talk.


Jewel February 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I am going to quit wasting so much time focused on the misadventures of my (to-be) ex-husband. I have all the proof I need to go to court and I don’t want to waste my very precious free time (I’m a single mom with no support from the other half) sleuthing and finding out information that does emotional harm. Plan- at least one week without investigating/thinking about his business. Also, February 13 is an especially significant date- one year ago he walked out the door, blaming me for our problems. And this will be my BEST February 14 ever because I’ll spend it with my precious infant daughter.


Anonymous February 21, 2010 at 6:39 pm

I quit and already feel better. In fact, I made time to almost finish unpacking from my move 3 months ago and I cleaned the house top to bottom in preparation for a crawling baby. Woo-hoo on to better things.


mssinglemama February 28, 2010 at 7:41 am

Come back and leave me your real e-mail Jewel, so I can send you your book – better yet – just e-mail me at mssinglemama@gmail.com



Jessica February 12, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I’m quitting Facebook for a week! And I might never go back πŸ™‚ It’s such a distraction to me and I’ve often noticed I can waste an hour or two a day on there. Ridiculous! Hopefully, after going a week without it, I’ll be able to control my use of it better when I log in again and quit posting such lame status updates all the time!


Jessica February 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Doing good so far! I have been very tempted, but have not logged in!


Jessica February 19, 2010 at 10:42 am

Yay! I did it! A week without Facebook. I was a lot more productive this week too! Coincidence? I think not!


mssinglemama February 22, 2010 at 6:51 am

Awesome Jessica! Nice work… your book will be on its way soon! Proud of you!


Betsy February 12, 2010 at 7:16 pm

I’m going to quit reading your blog. It’s fake like you.


ann February 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm

I’m going to quit pushing things off until tomorrow. Like housecleaning. Yay!


Heather February 13, 2010 at 6:36 am

I am going to stop snoozing and getting up late every day. I have such a difficult time getting up in the morning…largely due to a medical condition, but by snoozing, I think that I am making the getting up process that much harder. As a result of my hand pounding the snooze button, I have been just a few minutes late or nearly late every day. Both very bad since I just started a new job and need to be on time and make the best impression that I can. This will be difficult for me since it has become a bad habit, but I am going to give it my all to quit…at least for seven days. πŸ™‚


Heather February 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

Ok, so I failed miserably. I think that today was the only day that I didn’t snooze…but…I am getting up earlier than I have been and I’m not running as late anymore. The latest I got to work this past week was 8:02am, and I don’t even think anyone noticed. I think that I will stop focusing on not snoozing and just focus on a positive-getting up when I need to so I can be on time. Here’s to the continued effort and a continuing work in progress.


mssinglemama February 22, 2010 at 6:53 am

That’s okay, at least you tried – that’s 90% of the battle. You’re right about needing to wake up well-rested and in tune with the world around you before going into a new job. Especially in this economy – those of us who are employed have to be on our A game, 100% of the time.

Your eBook will be coming soon! Nice work Heather.


Staci February 13, 2010 at 8:33 am

I’ve had that frickin’ 30-Day Shred video for over a year now…and I think I’ve actually popped it into the DVD player twice! I’m with you on this one – going to quit making excuses and challenge myself to do the video for seven days straight – starting Monday, Feb. 15. Thanks for the reminder!


Staci February 24, 2010 at 6:11 am

Can’t say that the challenge was a success for me – ended up battling a cold last week and still not dusting off the 30-Day Shred video. I did, however, spend more time walking the dogs. I have realized that the whole ‘working out at home’ thing doesn’t work so well for me, when I also work from home, so I’ve joined a local gym and will be dragging myself out of bed extra early beginning next week to get a workout in before the work day starts. Hoping that the monthly payment will serve as some extra motivation! πŸ™‚


Becca February 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I’m going to quit putting off the gym… I stopped going over the holidays and never started up again. I keep making excuses for not going, but the truth is I’ve just been lazy. But I quit!! Time to dust off my tennies and yoga mat!! πŸ™‚


Melissa February 13, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I am going to give up drinking Pepsi for 7 days. Pepsi is my one addiction that I could not give up even during pregnancy. If I can get through 7 days without it, then I think that I can give it up for good.


Melissa February 17, 2010 at 11:51 pm

This is kicking my butt. The headache is the worst, and I am so tempted to go get a Pepsi knowing that it will take it away. But since I have no car and the store is too far to walk I have no way to get it, which is a good thing. I am going to make it a week, but will have to come up with a long term plan to keep it up.


mssinglemama February 18, 2010 at 7:25 am

You can do it!! John Bear completely kicked pop when we started dating. It’s amazing how addicted you are to it – huh? Keep going!!! I will be SO proud of you.


Melissa February 20, 2010 at 1:51 pm

One of the biggest tests for me this week, was when I had dinner out last night. I did not even order Pepsi like I normally would. I had water instead, and the best part is that they water was free instead of $3 like a soda would have cost. At home I have been through about 16lbs of ice and 6 gallons of water, but I actually feel better and have more energy than the Pepsi was giving me.


mssinglemama February 21, 2010 at 6:32 am

That’s awesome! Yes, I am a pure water drinker. Saves $$$ and future healthcare bills. Pop/Soda = poison. Seriously. Congratulations! Your book will be on your way soon – that goes for everyone who leaves a comment here, checking in with their status.


Melissa February 21, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Woo Hoo! I made it a week, and am still going strong. I have a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese next week, I hope they have good water.


mssinglemama February 28, 2010 at 7:48 am

I’m SOOOO proud of you… come back and tell us how you feel after two weeks, okay? Pop = poison. Seriously, so proud of you!


Anonymous February 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I am also going vegan, getting rid of the standard, cancer causing, cardiovascular destructive American diet and eat a more plant based, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.


eb February 13, 2010 at 6:09 pm

How about, I am saying “ditto” to yours! Imitation is the highest form of flattery right? I don’t get the exercise I need and a workout video is the only answer to my schedule woes, let’s face it, I can only exercise at 10 pm at night when the babe is asleep and I’ve settled in for the night. So goes singlemotherhood. So I bought the same video you did along w/ some 2 lb weights and between now and the 21st hope to have carved out time to have at least done it 3x- which will henceforth be my weekly workout goal. I have to be realistic, right?

Thanks for the idea and inspiration to do better for myself! See you on the 21st, sore I’m sure!


mssinglemama February 18, 2010 at 7:25 am

I’m SO sore already. How are you doing?


eb February 21, 2010 at 7:08 am

Just finished day two yesterday. The DVD didn’t arrive until the 18th so that’s my excuse for not doing it more. I’m definitely sore today, but it’s not toooo terrible. I am thinking a full week of level 1 then I give level 2 a try. I LOVE that it’s only 20 or so minutes, totally do-able! I think I found a solution to my single-mother-can’t-find-time-to-workout woes! I teach Yoga and practice pretty regularly but this is a different kind of workout. I never really do cardio so this is a great solution.

I can’t wait to hear about your 30 day shred results!! Thanks again for the inspiration.


mssinglemama February 22, 2010 at 6:54 am

I have LOVED it. Took two days out of the 7 off, but on day 7 my knee problems kicked in. So, although I can seriously see results – more chiseled abs and arms already – I have to stop until I get into the doctor. But I am going to go really soon. He may tell me I need to be swimming laps, not squatting, etc. But whatever it is, I’m doing it.

Your book will be on its way soon!


Tashina February 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

I’m giving up Pepsi too, like Melissa.


mssinglemama February 18, 2010 at 7:26 am

How is it going Tashina? Are you keeping up with Melissa? Headaches? Hang in there – SO worth it.


Tashina February 19, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I completely failed at this challenge. I had a Pepsi the next day, and each day since then. I’m not terribly upset about it though, my intake of it is much less than it used to be. I guess I’ll just continue with consuming less and less until I’m completely over it.


Melissa February 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Dont feel bad, I think if I had a way to get to a store and buy Pepsi then I would have failed on Day 2. This is harder than I thought it would be.


Tashina February 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm

I find that having bottles of cold water around help with drinking less Pepsi. Since I can’t stand tepid water, I’ll have to invest in a Brita water pitcher to help the taste too.

Amanda February 14, 2010 at 12:25 am

Yeaaaah to the people who are quit being negative. I wish you the best in that direction. I am gonna try to lose 20-30 lbs. I am tired of being “feeling” unhealthy”. I love organic food. My 30th birthday is coming up so I want to be a uber hot mommy so that gives me enough time. I wish everybody the best!! Chow!


christine February 14, 2010 at 1:45 am

sugar. i’ve gotten into an awful habit of indulging in junk. cake, frosted sugar cookies from the local bakery…chocolate hearts that my sister brought over for valentine’s day. you name it, if it’s sugared i’ve been eating it. i need to knock it off. and it probably would be a good kick start to shedding the rest of these lingering pregnancy pounds, too.


christine February 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm

like i commented to melissa above, i’m not doing so well with my challenge. i haven’t bought myself any sweets, which is one success–i’d gotten into the habit of rewarding myself with frosted sugar cookies from a local bakery, or having a bowl of ice cream after dinner. i haven’t had either since the 14th, but yesterday i found myself halfway through a chocolate bar my sister gave me, before even remembering i was supposed to be off sugar. this has absolutely been a wake up call as far as my snacking habits go. i used to be so strict with myself about sugar and sweets, and since my separation i realize that i’ve stopped monitoring what i eat as closely as i used to. being fat and unhealthy is certainly not going to help me move forward in my life.


mssinglemama February 22, 2010 at 6:55 am

You’re right about that… break the bigger issue of habit, one little habit at a time. Take control of your diet. It’s yours. Your eBook will be coming soon! Thanks, Christine.


christine February 22, 2010 at 4:53 pm

thank you!


Heidi Griesmer February 14, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I will quit living with clutter. Every day this week, I will remove some form of clutter from my home. I’m tired of feeling tired and making excuses for not making progress on something that makes me feel empowered (getting rid of stuff). So every day for seven days, I will work to rid clutter from my life.

Thanks for the inspiration!


mssinglemama February 18, 2010 at 7:27 am

How is it going? What an awesome idea!


Heidi February 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I worked on getting rid of clutter most of the seven days. I fell off the wagon on Wednesday because I had a crazy day at work and was exhausted. It is amazing, though, to see how much stuff you can get rid of working at least a little bit (half hour to hour) every (or most) days. I plan to keep up the decluttering. Thanks for the challenge Ms. Single Mama!


Tassilyn October 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm

You’ve really cautrped all the essentials in this subject area, haven’t you?


jjxqpaeh October 2, 2011 at 4:52 am
Lisa February 14, 2010 at 7:51 pm

For one week, I’m going to quit procrastinating. I’m going to tackle my to-do list head on and take care of the tough tasks first, instead of waiting until the last minute and not having enough time to do quality work.


Danielle February 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm

I am not a single mom, but do enjoy reading your blog. I just quit smoking..my last was last Friday..tomorrow makes a week. It’s still hard some days, but I got this and will win!


JJ February 24, 2010 at 8:04 am

I gave up a man! He’s a good guy no doubt, but something was missing. Today is Day #7, and he is not taking it so well. But me, I’m good, strong, and definitely more emotionally mature than when I went into the relationship.


Nicole February 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I’m fairly decent about getting to the gym on a regular basis but what I’ve needed to quit doing is putting off things that make me happy because I “don’t have time” or I feel guilty about taking even more time away from my family.
I’m quitting the guilt!
A little bit of time for me makes me a better mom, a better girlfriend and MUCH easier to live with! lol


Nicole February 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Since I realized that I need just a little bit more time for me — time to think or just relax — I’ve quite feeling guilty.
Now I take pleasure in spending some time a few nights a week running.
I’ve even signed up for a 10k run in May!
Sometimes I think it may have been too high of a goal for me but if I keep this up every week until then I know I’ll be able to do it!
I’m super excited!


Nicole February 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

*quit feeling guilty!


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