22 episodes

Quitted is a podcast about quitting, hosted by Holly Whitaker and Emily McDowell.
What happens when you don't want to be who you are anymore?
For all of us, there comes a time when in order to thrive (or simply survive!), we have to walk away from something that represents a huge piece of our identity. This could be a career, a relationship, a religion, a long-held dream, a social norm, a gender–whatever it is, it’s a massive part of who we are, and letting it go comes at great personal cost. Quitting means disappointing all the people invested in our staying; it requires giving up the security of what we know, and stepping into a liminal space where we’re not sure who we are anymore.
Unlike growing and building, which our culture obsessively celebrates, endings are quiet and lonely, because we don’t talk about them. Quitting is synonymous with failure. We’re conditioned to believe perseverance is a virtue, “winners never quit,” and giving up means losing. Quitting is only acceptable when it's a waypoint to something greater, some imagined bigger and better future. But what if that’s all a lie?
We’ll talk with guests who have quit all kinds of seemingly impossible things, about the decision to quit, but even more importantly, about what happens after that. Quitting doesn't mean going directly from being one thing to being another thing; in between, there’s a middle space, a transitional space, and that space is hard, confusing, and groundless. We'll talk about navigating that space, and everything surrounding it, in order to help provide insight, permission, and illumination for others seeking the courage to risk everything to find a truer north.
We’ll also explore the concept of quitting itself, how it came to hold the meaning it does, its inextricable links to late-stage American capitalism, and how a shifting narrative around giving up could be the key to a different future.
Become a Quitted supporter on Patreon
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Quitted Holly Whitaker & Emily McDowell

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 344 Ratings

Quitted is a podcast about quitting, hosted by Holly Whitaker and Emily McDowell.
What happens when you don't want to be who you are anymore?
For all of us, there comes a time when in order to thrive (or simply survive!), we have to walk away from something that represents a huge piece of our identity. This could be a career, a relationship, a religion, a long-held dream, a social norm, a gender–whatever it is, it’s a massive part of who we are, and letting it go comes at great personal cost. Quitting means disappointing all the people invested in our staying; it requires giving up the security of what we know, and stepping into a liminal space where we’re not sure who we are anymore.
Unlike growing and building, which our culture obsessively celebrates, endings are quiet and lonely, because we don’t talk about them. Quitting is synonymous with failure. We’re conditioned to believe perseverance is a virtue, “winners never quit,” and giving up means losing. Quitting is only acceptable when it's a waypoint to something greater, some imagined bigger and better future. But what if that’s all a lie?
We’ll talk with guests who have quit all kinds of seemingly impossible things, about the decision to quit, but even more importantly, about what happens after that. Quitting doesn't mean going directly from being one thing to being another thing; in between, there’s a middle space, a transitional space, and that space is hard, confusing, and groundless. We'll talk about navigating that space, and everything surrounding it, in order to help provide insight, permission, and illumination for others seeking the courage to risk everything to find a truer north.
We’ll also explore the concept of quitting itself, how it came to hold the meaning it does, its inextricable links to late-stage American capitalism, and how a shifting narrative around giving up could be the key to a different future.
Become a Quitted supporter on Patreon
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Diane Sanfilippo Quits Diet Culture: Part 1

    Diane Sanfilippo Quits Diet Culture: Part 1

    Diane Sanfilippo Quits Diet Culture: Part 1
    During the pandemic, Diane Sanfilippo got on the scale and saw a number that was more than when she started dieting twenty years before; and she realized she couldn’t make herself diet again. This isn’t entirely exceptional, it probably happened to a lot of us, except in Diane’s case she was the author of six bestselling diet books, from Keto QuickStart to Practical Paleo to The 21-Day Sugar Detox. So it wasn’t as if she was just done dieting; she was also done with her career, livelihood, an entire identity. 
    What happens when the thing you believed in stops aligning? What if that thing is a decade’s worth of best-selling books that don’t represent your current value system? What if you’ve been the poster child of dieting and you’ve decided to not just stop dieting, but become a visible and active critic of diet culture itself? Or what about this: what if you’re career kept your life together, kept you structured, and all that just goes away and you’re left in the vacuum of what’s next? 
    In this first part of a two-part series, we get into a lot: What diet culture is, how it keeps us distracted and forever chasing acceptance within patriarchy instead of burning it down; what about using diets to actually not feel horrible or to improve our health and the spectrum of anti-diet to diet positive; whether sugar addiction is real!; how in 2021 Diane realized after getting on the scale and seeing she’d “undid” all her work and that she couldn’t diet again or spend the rest of her life managing her food, and what came from realizing she was part of the problem. 
    In next week’s episode we get way down into what happened after Diane walked away and how she’s managing a pretty extreme liminal space. 
    About Diane Sanfilippo: Diane is the owner and founder of Balanced Bites - a wholesome food company that creates frozen meals, organic spice blends and snacks - all shipped nationwide. She's a certified holistic Nutrition Consultant, and two-time New York Times bestselling diet book author turned anti-diet advocate. Diane co-hosts Full Plate, a weekly podcast about healing from diet culture, setting boundaries, exploring mental health, and finding body liberation. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Scott, and two fur kids.
    You can find Diane on Instagram: @dianesanfilippo
    and via her websites balancedbites.com and dianesanfilippo.com 
    Support us:
    Quitted is listener-supported, made possible by us and by you; you can support this podcast by joining our Patreon community at patreon.com/quitted
    Music: Michael Blumenfeld, mikebloomstudio.com
    Sound engineering + edits: Adam Day, https://www.adamdayphotography.com/
    Producer: Cathleen Kisich
    Host: Holly Whitaker, https://hollywhitaker.substack.com/
    Host: Emily McDowell, https://emilyonlife.com

    Become a Quitted supporter on Patreon
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 59 min
    An Update Episode: Holly Whitaker and the Lost Place

    An Update Episode: Holly Whitaker and the Lost Place

    An Update Episode: Holly Whitaker and the Lost Place
    This week, we’re checking in with Holly, who in 2021, basically removed her skin and left it in the closet of her former life. She lost the thing she’d thought she’d do forever, and the person she thought she’d be forever; in her first “who’s Holly Whitaker?” episode that we recorded back in January, she was deep in the long, humiliating, humbling, sucky journey of surrender through the lost place. In this episode, we catch up on where she’s at, and talk about her shifting perspective, the completion of cycles, and the surprising peace that eventually came from living in the quiet of the in-between – and from getting to really, really know herself.
    We didn’t do an intro for this one; we just get right into it.
    About Holly Whitaker: Holly is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol. Her work has been featured in Vogue, The New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and many others. Holly's work focuses on understanding the intersections of systems, culture, and individual experience and identity through the lens of addiction and recovery. She writes the newsletter Recovering on Substack, co-hosts the Quitted podcast, and posts three times a year on Instagram as @holly.
    Support us:
    Quitted is listener-supported, made possible by us and by you; you can support this podcast by joining our Patreon community at patreon.com/quitted
    Music: Michael Blumenfeld, mikebloomstudio.com
    Sound engineering + edits: Adam Day, https://www.adamdayphotography.com/
    Producer: Cathleen Kisich
    Host: Holly Whitaker, https://hollywhitaker.substack.com/
    Host: Emily McDowell, https://emilyonlife.com

    Become a Quitted supporter on Patreon
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 55 min
    Sara Clark Quits the United States

    Sara Clark Quits the United States

    Sara Clark Quits the United States
    It was meant to be a short vacation to Grenada in February 2020, but then Covid hit, and Sara Clark, who just happened to have all her things in storage (!!), followed her intuition and stayed in Grenada and left the U.S. for good. 
    That one terrifying (and she means terrifying) leap led her to an unimaginable quality of life as a Black woman now living in a Black country and as a recovering New Yorker living on an island with just over a hundred thousand people. The move to Grenada along with Covid also forced Sara--a well known yoga teacher at the top of her career in 2020---to take a step back and reconsider her entire career. 
    In this episode we talk about those big moves, impossible leaps of faith and terrifying risks, how the voice inside can tell us to burn it all down and how that is sometimes only sane thing to do, the difference between being rich in life and being rich on paper, and what kind of sacrifices we're really willing to make to live well and follow our hearts.
    About Sara Clark:
    Sara Clark is an international yoga and meditation teacher with over two decades of experience. She has been a Global Yoga Ambassador for lululemon, faculty at Kripalu and has graced the cover of Yoga Journal twice along with Prevention Magazine. Sara has created yoga and meditation videos for Shape Magazine, Yoga Today, and Glo. Known for her compassionate approach, Sara’s teachings merge the physical and spiritual practices of yoga with mindfulness and meditation techniques that support practitioners stepping into their limitless potential. You can find Sara at @saraclarkyoga or saraclarkyoga.com
    Support us:
    Quitted is listener-supported, made possible by us and by you; you can support this podcast by joining our Patreon community at patreon.com/quitted
    Music: Michael Blumenfeld, mikebloomstudio.com
    Sound engineering + edits: Adam Day, https://www.adamdayphotography.com/
    Producer: Cathleen Kisich
    Host: Holly Whitaker, https://hollywhitaker.substack.com/
    Host: Emily McDowell, https://emilyonlife.com

    Become a Quitted supporter on Patreon
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Mar Grace Quits Trying to be Someone

    Mar Grace Quits Trying to be Someone

    Mar Grace Quits Trying to be Someone
    Hi! Holly here. In this conversation between my friend Mar Grace and myself, we mean to talk about Mar being (their words) a “double black diamond quitter,” but just end up talking about our recovery, very different relationships to relapse, hating each other’s work (at times!) but loving each others’ essence, giving up on leaving a legacy or trying to be significant, divorces that you saw coming and break ups you didn’t want to and which is better, being grateful to those who quit before we are ready to, mental illness and being people who have a hard time living in the world, and writing about mental breakdowns in real time. It’s a JOYFUL conversation about all the things.
    The intro ends, and the episode begins, at 00:3:20.
    About Mar Grace:
    Mar Grace (they/them) is a dancer and writer whose work focuses on the self, devotion, ritual, creativity, and art making. Their practice is rooted in improvisation as a compositional form that takes shape in movement videos, books, quilting, online courses, and hosting artists.  You can find their zines, things they make, artists they host, and more at marleegrace.space/home; you can subscribe to their newsletter and advice column at marleegrace.substack.com/subscribe. 
    Support us:
    Quitted is listener-supported, made possible by us and by you; you can support this podcast by joining our Patreon community at patreon.com/quitted
    Music: Michael Blumenfeld, mikebloomstudio.com
    Sound engineering + edits: Adam Day, https://www.adamdayphotography.com/
    Producer: Cathleen Kisich
    Host: Holly Whitaker, https://hollywhitaker.substack.com/
    Host: Emily McDowell, https://emilyonlife.com

    Become a Quitted supporter on Patreon
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 58 min
    An Update Episode: Emily McDowell, Now With Even More Quitting!

    An Update Episode: Emily McDowell, Now With Even More Quitting!

    An Update Episode: Emily McDowell, Now With Even More Quitting!
    This week, we’re talking about the big thing Emily couldn’t talk about until now: in April, Em & Friends—the brand she founded and infused with her name, personality and life experience—was acquired, and Emily didn’t go with it. What did it feel like to, finger-by-finger, let go of the future she thought she’d have? WTF is she gonna do now? We get into it all. Big themes include the idea of comfort vs. growth; the feeling of knowing it’s time to go, but deciding to hold on anyway because the unknown is terrifying and security is seductive; and the things we believe keep us safe. 
    The intro ends, and the episode begins, at 00:10:45.
    About Emily McDowell: 
    Emily is a writer, illustrator, keynote speaker, teacher, and entrepreneur who is fiercely committed to not doing all of those things at the same time. She’s best-known as founder of the stationery brand Em & Friends (formerly Emily McDowell Studio), which makes cards and gifts for the relationships people really have. She also co-authored and illustrated the book There Is No Good Card For This: What To Say and Do When Life Gets Scary, Awful, and Unfair To People You Love; and she’s the co-host of this podcast. Find her at emilyonlife.com, and on Instagram @emilyonlife.
    Support us:
    Quitted is listener-supported, made possible by us and by you; you can support this podcast by joining our Patreon community at patreon.com/quitted
    Music: Michael Blumenfeld, mikebloomstudio.com
    Sound engineering + edits: Adam Day, https://www.adamdayphotography.com/
    Producer: Cathleen Kisich
    Host: Holly Whitaker, https://hollywhitaker.substack.com/
    Host: Emily McDowell, https://emilyonlife.com
    Become a Quitted supporter on Patreon
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 45 min
    Zach Anderson Quits Everything He Knows

    Zach Anderson Quits Everything He Knows

    Zach Anderson Quits Everything He Knows
    Zach Anderson was raised to be a devout Mormon, with the belief that he could earn God’s favor if he could only be good enough. Obedient enough. Perfect enough. But Zach had a secret: he was gay, which meant his very existence was condemned by the church—and, so he believed, condemned by God. Zach’s specific story is about leaving Mormonism and its community; coming out at age 37 after a lifetime of being told that to be gay was the worst thing he could be; deconstructing his faith and relationship with God; letting go of perfectionism as a survival mechanism. But more broadly: this is a story about the process of leaving everything you know in order to become who you are, and the courage it takes to build a new life that costs you the entirety of your old one. 
    The intro ends, and the episode begins, at 00:03:13.
    About Zach Anderson (he/him):
    Zach is a dad, gay man, attorney, nutrition coach, ex-Mormon, & former collegiate swimmer. He was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. He grew up in a devout Mormon family amidst a significantly sizeable Mormon community.
    He attended Brigham Young University and served a mission for the Mormon Church in Eugene, Oregon. While at BYU on a swimming scholarship, he had a prolific swimming career. He was a three-time All-American and placed in the top 16 at National Championships five times. He attended Creighton University Law School where he met and converted his ex-wife of 9 years.
    Beginning in 2015, he started to address some significant internal issues he had with Mormonism. In 2020, he actively started to deconstruct his relationship with Mormonism and chose to affirmatively remove his membership records from the Mormon Church.
    This was particularly done at the prompting of the expected birth of his daughter; in 2020, his daughter Maeve was born. Being Maeve’s dad caused him to deeply ponder how he could better love himself, and help equip Maeve to live a life of joy and fulfillment. And to actively remove her from a religion that caused him significant trauma and harm.
    In September 2021, after nine years of marriage to his best friend, he finally came out as a gay man. Zach and his former wife divorced in March 2022.
    Find Zach on IG @motionsustained, and at https://www.motionsustained.com/
    Support us:
    Quitted is listener-supported, made possible by us and by you; you can support this podcast by joining our Patreon community at patreon.com/quitted
    Music: Michael Blumenfeld, mikebloomstudio.com
    Sound engineering + edits: Adam Day, https://www.adamdayphotography.com/
    Producer: Cathleen Kisich
    Host: Holly Whitaker, https://hollywhitaker.substack.com/
    Host: Emily McDowell, https://emilyonlife.com

    Become a Quitted supporter on Patreon
    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
344 Ratings

344 Ratings

LiserMarie ,

Love this podcast

I’ve “quitted” several things in the last few months. Holly & Emily are brilliant & I've learned so much from them. The idea of this podcast is genius. It’s just fabulous!

christi1998 ,

Thank you.

For your bravery, vulnerability, and authenticity in this work. I have found this podcast (and Quit Like a Woman, thanks Holly) to be hugely helpful in my recovery and continued development. Many thanks, and all the gratitude 🙏❤️🏵

Lucielu18 ,

Love this!

Needing to quit some things myself, this podcast has been very helpful. AMAZING guests! Xo

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