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My 1-Year Smoke-Freedom!!

Posted Aug 11 2011 12:00am

One year ago today, I quit smoking!!  I am proud to stay that after 15 years of smoking, I have been a non-smoker for a year, and I couldn’t be happier.  There is no doubt that I’m a non-smoker now.

Most days I actually don’t even think about the fact that I used to smoke.  It’s like that all happened in a dream.  How weird is that?  I don’t miss it at all – the stench, the hiding, the desperation of needing a smoke, and especially the cost.  I haven’t done a total for how much I’ve saved, because I think cigarettes went up again around here, but I think it’s in the neighborhood of $1500.  Let me just say that I really didn’t have an extra $1500 to blow my health on.

There are so many benefits of not smoking:

  • I can breathe so much better.
  • I snore less (I think, I live alone, so feedback on that is minimal ;) ).
  • I am in control of myself.  I HATED the feeling of NEEDING a cig right now.
  • My car, clothes, and hair smell good all the time.
  • I don’t get any disapproving glances from strangers or friends.
  • I think I’m easier to be around because I never have that “jonezing” feeling.

Yes, I gained the requisite weight – it seems like no one can quit smoking and not gain something.  Quitting definitely slows down your metabolism, and increases your appetite, so the weight gain seems inevitable.  But those 20 pounds can come off.  And the years I’ve added to my life are well worth the price.

I’m definitely not one of those non-smokers who hates all smokers.  It’s a really difficult habit/addiction to break, and you have to be ready to do it.  I don’t love smelling cigarette smoke when I’m out, but I don’t find it overly offensive.  Nor does it make me want to have one.  It just reminds me that I’ve moved on and significantly improved my health.

Some tips for anyone who wants to quit:

  • Make sure you’re really ready to quit.  If you don’t want to, you won’t.
  • Understand that you will have cravings and that you have to be stronger than those.
  • The 3rd day is the hardest (for me at least).  If you can get past that, you’re golden.
  • Drink lots of water.  Preferably through a straw.  The “sucking” motion will mimic smoking and help.  Plus, water is great for you, so, bottom’s up.
  • Use a smoking-cessation aid.  I used the patch and it worked perfectly.  I also signed up for the Breathe program through Kaiser, which offered daily email/web support that really did help. There are support groups, podcasts, gums, medications – use whatever you feel you need to, because very few people are strong enough to go “cold turkey.”
  • Believe that you can do it!

So today to celebrate my 1-Year Smoke-Freedom, I’m going to move my body and use these clearer lungs.  Probably swimming, but maybe in another class, as well.  I am so proud of myself and this accomplishment.  If  I can do this, surely I can lose weight, too.

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