Thursday, June 7, 2012


6 weeks ago, I quit smoking.  About 8 week ago, I started exercising on a regular basis.  I realized when I would smoke after exercising (not right away, but later on), the cigarette tasted nasty.  Okay, I know that cigarettes are nasty, but if you are or have ever been a smoker, they CAN taste "good".  I also realized that I was not smoking as much or craving a cigarette as much when I exercised.  I was also feeling better; I had more energy and I didn't ache as much.  I began thinking about really quitting smoking for good.  A week or so later, my father and I had a conversation.  After this conversation, I decided that I would finish smoking the cigarettes in the last 2 packs I had.  I knew I needed time to wean myself off of the smokes, so 2 packs was a good time frame for me. 

On April 26th, around 12:30pm Central Time, I had my last cigarette.  Oooohhhh, I miss it. I miss the rush, the release, the relief, the "high".  I know that if I took a drag, it would taste SO gross and I wouldn't even take a second puff.  THAT is a big reason I don't take that first drag.  Of course, all the health reasons are important, but anyone who has smoked knows what I mean.  We all know smoking is bad for us, yet we still do (did) it. 

I did not quit without help.  The day I quit, I began chewing nicotine gum.  I was chewing about 4 pieces a day, usually at work.  The funny thing I found is that I didn't really miss smoking when I was in the car.  I thought that would be the hardest habit to break, but it's really not even an issue.  I miss having a cigarette when I am at work.  But I have found that if I need a break, I can go downstairs with the smokers and it really doesn't make me want one - strangely, it doesn't affect me.  I can stand there, watch them smoke, and not crave it.  I know I am lucky!

I've noticed a change in my stress level as well.  I still have the same amount of stress, but when things get tough or I have to deal with the EX, I don't just get all worked up and need a smoke.  I get mildly pissed and move on. I don't have the smoking crutch to use and somehow, my attitude has gotten better. 

I think I was really ready this time.  I had noticed some issues with my health and I know that as I get older, these issues won't get better like good wine or cheese; smoking will only make health issues worse. 

On June 4th, I accidentally didn't have a piece of nicotine gum.  I guess I was just too busy or not stressed enough to chew a piece.  It was late afternoon when I realized this and thought, "Hey, let's try to go all day without a piece."   Now, I had done this before on the weekends - I would not have any nicotine gum on the weekends, then once I got to work, I felt I needed some "help".  So I actually went all day on the 4th without a piece of nicotine gum.  June 5th, I decided to see if I could do it again.  Around 4pm, I felt the urge, so I asked a co-worker for a piece of regular gum.  Not the same, but it took my mind off my craving.  June 6th I bought my own packs of gum and did really well until late afternoon.  I chewed 3 pieces of regular gum between 4pm and 6pm, but I did it!  Here I am on day 4 of being nicotine-free.  I know I can do this.  It's good for me and I know I'm saving money every week I don't smoke.   Just don't ask me to give up coffee or wine.