How Peg Used the Japanese Principle of Kaizen to Cut Back on Drinking and Quit Bulimia

by | Feb 13, 2017

Peg had a regular habit of drinking a couple glasses of wine every night and felt like it was a problem, like something that she needed.

Not only did this habit impact her general wellbeing and ability to be at her best for herself and her work, she also knew this wasn’t the person she wanted to be.

At the same time, Peg knew that she couldn’t just stop drinking all at once. So she decided to try slowly, a method that worked for her in the past to overcome bulimia.

Kaizen is the Japanese principle of making continuous small, incremental improvement. For Peg, addressing her problems slowly removed the fear of the idea of stopping completely, which she knew she wasn’t ready for.

Starting with one small change––not drinking for one night, not purging for a few hours––gave her the courage and empowerment to continue.

Her deepest motivation was to ultimately become the person she knew she wanted to be, and kaizen was her method to get there.

Wish you had more time to listen to the podcast? I use an app called Overcast (no affiliation) to play back my favorite podcasts at faster speeds, dynamically shortening silences in talk shows so it doesn’t sound weird. It’s pretty rad.


Related links:

How to Cut Back on Alcohol Without Going Cold Turkey – Cate Stillman

How to Get Past “I Should” and Actually Become a Healthy Person (external vs internal motivation)



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3 Responses to “How Peg Used the Japanese Principle of Kaizen to Cut Back on Drinking and Quit Bulimia”

  1. Ruth Griffin says:

    Wow wow wow ! Thankyou Peg for your amazing and sooo inspirational podcast with Darya . I cannot begin to explain how immediately helpful it has been for me , thankyou thankyou. So many wonderful nuggets of “how to” make changes without overwhelming ones self . I’m listening again at this exact moment and taking note of any little bits I missed on the first listen. I’m taking my first Kaizen step tonight , making the decision to eat nothing else after my evening meal , starting with just one night . I’m reminded of the saying “a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step”. So once again , Thankyou Peg and Thankyou Darya . From Ruth in the UK xxx

  2. MP says:

    Hi Ms Rose – most of the time I enjoy your work, but this post has me a little wary because it seems to me you are implying bulimia can be quit through willpower.

    Children as young as five can develop an eating disorder like bulimia and it is not due to lack of willpower they feel compelled to engage in bulimic behaviors, it is because of their amygdala’s response to food, wherein food becomes misidentified as threat. Bulimia, like anorexia, is a neurobiological illness.

  3. MP says:

    With all due respect, bulimia needs intensive therapeutic and refeeding treatment. It is a serious neurobiological condition, seen in children as young as five, that should not be seen as something involving willpower.

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