“Smoking is bad for you”. How many times have we all heard this phrase? I stopped counting the 10780723487408327 i heard it 😛
Well, we all know that it is true and as an ex-smoker i know (and have used) all the excuses for it. From “you think all the stuff we breath from the polluted air is better?” to “i am rolling my own and this makes it healthier”… Well it’s not and it ‘ll never be. I know first hand how hard it is to stop smoking. But I can promise you that it is worth it 100%. I have to admit i was never in favor of any kind of patches or the e-cigarette. All these “helpful” substitutes can only delay the inevitable (cause your ultimate goal is to stop right??), mess with your mindset, cost a ton of money and finally aren’t that much healthier than smoking it’s self. Alas, I am not saying that it will be easy but trust me it will be in a way easier without any of those “aids”. The way it will be easier it is that the whole process will not last as long. The nicotine will leave your system and even thought the first couple of days will be hard, about a week into a smoke free life you’ll start forgetting about it more and more every day. The physical aspect of addiction to smoking wanes down in about 7 days, and then the hardest part comes along. The mental aspect of it. How you ‘ve connect smoking to other actions during your day.
I am in no way an expert on how to quit smoking but i am someone who walked in those shoes a few years back and i truly believe my story might help a few people as well. I was always ALWAYS active and really into sports and running. Still am of course 😛 What i am not still into is smoking. Looking back i can’t even explain to myself the reason why… How can you be as active and love running as much i do and also consciously do something that harms you and your favourite activity a great deal?
Well, that didn’t last long. When i got inspired and decided to take my running to the next level i knew that smoking had no place in my life (it shouldn’t have in anybody’s life really…). These are a few things i did and it really helped me to go through (and STAY through) with quitting.
1. Cold Turkey
It sounds heartless and difficult but it works wonders. The first few day will be so very hard but then it ‘ll gradually become much easier. One important thing, don’t “start” to stop smoking in a weekend. It’s much easier during the workweek when you have other things to keep you busy.
2. Sub sub sub…
Substitutes (and i dont mean the smoking-related once) like food, coffee, tea aren’t a bad idea. I ‘ve heard people using the excuse of “I am not quitting because i will gain weight!”. Well chances are you will, but apart from the fact that gaining 10lbs is definetely healthier than smoking 10 months, personal experience has taught me that once you stop smoking you ‘ll become better on any activities/sports you might doing (or start doing) and that would make you want to do it more and guess what will happen to the few extra pounds?? They will melt off. It is so much easier to make the decision of walking to the grocery store or home from work and not taking the bus/car/subway if you know that you will not huffing and puffing all the way!
I did let myself eat a little more, or have one more treat during the first few months of my journey to quit smoking. I did gain about 12lbs but i don’t regret it AT ALL! About 9 of those pounds are gone and i feel healthier than ever!
3. Support Network
You need your close family and friends to know of your decision and its importance to you! They can’t support you if they don’t know about it. Ask for their support. Ask the smokers amongst them to respect your decision and not “advertise” in front of you that they are going to smoke. It does work wonders…
What was your habit? Smoking with your morning coffee? With drinking? After dinner? Which ever one it was try to dissociate it and associate that moment/action with something else. For me it was my morning coffee which i replaced with a workout and a healthy smoothie. As for the weekends, every time i felt the need (mentally) to smoke i ‘d drop down and do abs/push ups/squats you name it… Just to quickly remind myslef how awesome it feels to be healthy and smoke free. My after dinner smoking got replaced with a nice cup of lemon green tea, to which now i m really looking forward to every night.
Let technology be your friend in this journey. The same way yo u’ll use a GPS for a trip somewhere use (free) apps for your phone to help you quit smoking. It is great brain conditioning to see how far you ‘ve gotten every time you feel like your effort is not worth it.
Don’t say “i am trying to quit smoking” just because it is only one smoke free day. Be positive and remind yourself that you quit it! It’s a done deal.
You’ll fall of the wagon once or twice. It is a fact and it ‘s OK. If you slip and have a smoke don’t throw all your hard work of quitting away, or beat yourself up about it. It happened (chances are if you are smoke free for about 2 – 3 weeks you wont even enjoy it that much) and now you have to move on and not let it happen again 🙂
I hope these points help some of you to quit smoking and march to a healthier lifestyle! 😀