One Year Smoke Free!!!

Yay! Yippee! I made it. It’s official.

Tough decisions we make.

Tough decisions we make.

On January 1, 2009 it was one year without a cigarette. According to Quitnet.com that is equal to
Your Quit Date is: 1/1/2008 10:00:00 AM
Time Smoke-Free: 371 days, 7 hours, 10 minutes and 16 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 12995
Lifetime Saved: 3 months, 9 days, 6 hours

Now that is awesome! Thanks to Chantix, lots of prayers, and good old determination, I haven’t given in to any cravings to smoke for over a year! It is truly a miracle and I am soooo grateful.

I was scared that I couldn’t quit. It seemed I was doomed to a short life of smoking forever. Then a long came Chantix and I tried it a couple of times. The first time it made me sick and I thought. Forget it. I don’t want to throw up all the time. It’s not worth that!! Then I remembered that Chemotherapy makes you throw up. There are no easy choices here. So I tried it again and this time I resolved myself to the fact that indeed I was going to throw up and I would just have to change the way I walked into my building at work so there was bushes near by to vomit in so now one would see me. Yuk, I know but…I was determined to quit this time. I didn’t care if I threw up every day, I knew I had to quit. I wanted to quit.

Fortunately, the nausea doesn’t last that long and I never did vomit in the bushes. But, the fact that I was willing to do that, to go to any length to quit smoking was something I had never done before.

I gained weight pretty fast, like 20 pounds the first month. The second month I gained 7 pounds and that was it. I have not gained or lost any more weight. Losing weight, depriving myself of anything is not on my agenda today. Today, I don’t smoke cigarettes. Period. That’s it. I’ll diet, deprive myself of food or chocolate later. I suppose if I gain any more weight I might have to think about a ‘Diet’, but not now. As long as I am eating healthy and walking a couple of miles a day, then I’m not worried. I read once that a person who quits smoking would have to gain 70 lbs. to do the damage to their heart, etc. that smoking does. Wow! 27 lbs is a long way from 70!

I’ll write more later. I plan to include tips and “How to’s” the entire month of January. So check back often. And if you have started with Chantix, hang in there. It really does work.





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Coming Soon: One Year Without a Cigarette

On November 19, 2007 it was the ‘Great American Smokeout‘ and I had decided to try once again to quit smoking.  I didn’t think I would make it through the day but I was doing something different this time. I had decided to try Chantix.

Now you may be asking yourself, wait a minute, that was over a year ago. What happened?

Well, I was doing fantastic. Not smoking, cravings weren’t bad, so I decided to quit taking the Chantix. That’s typical of me. I find something that works and I quit doing it. Kind of like walking with my dog for 30 minutes every day. I felt great when I did that so I quit doing that! Why? Who knows.

Anyway, back to quitting smoking with Chantix. I quit taking it and 18 days later I was smoking again and it happened to be on January 1, 2008. I thought that was funny too. I started smoking on New Year’s Day. Most people quit on New Years. So, January 2, 2008 I smoked my last cigarette at 10:00 a.m. on my way to a Doctor appointment that had been scheduled a while back to discuss my Osteoporosis. As it turned out, we discussed that and my quitting smoking. He gave me a new Rx for Chantix and sent me on my way. I started on the Chantix again immediately and haven’t smoked a cigarette since. I have been off the Chantix since April, 2008 and I am happy to say, I am somewhat sane and still smoke free.

Yes indeed, I am a living miracle. It is almost as if I never smoked and it’s almost as if I never quit. Does that make sense? After smoking two packs a day for 27 years it’s hard for me to truly believe that I am a non-smoker. After this long without a cigarette, it’s hard for me to believe that I ever smoked at all. It’s very strange. I am looking forward to my one year anniversary without a cigarette. I am so thankful for all the support and encouragement from my children and family and friends.  I do have my moments when all I want to do is light up once again, but it does pass eventually. Don’t believe them when they tell you the cravings only last a few seconds and then pass. Some of mine have been days of crying and cursing, wanting some relief. It is God’s grace that has gotton me this far.

I have had many dreams where I smoke and I am always so relieved when I wake up and realize it was just a dream. That is how this last year has been for me, a dream, but a happy one!


Tips on dealing with a Smoking slip-up

You might be thinking, what do I do if I smoke? Here are some tips I have found, in case you smoke. and what worked for me when I smoked New Years Day after being quit since November 19, 2007. Now I have 13 smoke free days instead of 50 something days. The number one tip I have for you is even if you blow your quit by smoking, (I smoked 7) whether its 1 or 100 do not give up on yourself, just start over. That’s what I did see Smoking Again, Kind of…,
for more details.

The first thing you should do is to tell yourself that you can stop, after all haven’t you been proving that all along? The worst thing you can do is think that you have screwed up completely and everything is lost. That can lead to having a full blown relapse and to keep on smoking.

  • Get rid of any cigarettes
  • Think of it as just a slip.
  • Do not feel bad and give up.
  • Use behavioral and mental coping skills. (Leave the situation, call a friend, list your reasons for quitting.)
  • Commit to quitting again right away.
  • Learn from your slip. Be better prepared next time.
  • Give your self some positive credit for catching it and stopping early.
  • It’s a choice – Living life on life’s terms.
  • Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional
  • Happiness is an inside job
  • You have no control over other people, places or things.
  • Your brain is not your friend-don’t go there alone
  • You have enough-You do enough-You are enough!
  • Learn to set boundaries – If you don’t put yourself and your health first who will?
  • Tears- They are important to cleanse your body and to share your true self with others.
  • Find support, Blog, Journal, Write Daily Goals, Learn to Laugh, Learn to connect with your feelings, Connect with others who understand.
  • Practice makes permanence There is no such thing as true perfection because we ALL make mistakes. That is what makes us human.
  • Listen ,Love and Learn about this powerful addiction to Nicotine.
  • Recovery from nicotine is Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual.
  • Trust the Process


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Quitting Smoking and Weight Gain

Smoke Free 8 days!

Today I would like to talk about weight gain since I quit smoking November 19, 2007 and relapsed, (had 7 cigs) New Years Day. My total weight gain in seven weeks has been a ton! When I quit smoking I weighed 142 lbs. I am 5’8″ so that wasn’t too bad. I still wore a size 8 or 10, mostly because of my belly. Menopause changes a body. I have been very lucky, up until I was 48 years old, I have been a size 8, never had to diet or exercise. So I have been very spoiled all my life. Now the bad news…I weigh 158 lbs. Ugggh! I can hardly look at that number. I have gained 16 lbs, a little over 2 lbs. a week. I have joined a gym but, with the holidays, have not been able to go regularly. I love walking Sonny but, the cold weather has slowed that down. At work I do nothing but sit at my desk all day. It’s not like I am chained to it, I could get up and run up and down five flights of stairs if I wanted to but, who would really WANT to do that? Okay, enough of the BUTS! Enough of the I CAN”T MAKE TIME! Enough of the EXCUSES! It’s time to get off my arse and get moving!

My eating habits have always been pretty good:

a.) Never eat after 7:00 p.m.
b.) Always leave the last bite on the plate, (or give it to Sonny).
c.) Control my portions by thinking of the size of the palm of hand and not put more than that.

The down side of my eating has been getting enough fruits and vegetables. I have changed that since I quit smoking, now I have at least two fruits a day. I have also added Lifesaver Mints, Pretzels, Werthers, and Peppermints to my diet also. The food, (if you want to call it that), that I have added, has helped me with the “habit” of reaching for something to put in my mouth. So far it has been working and highly recommend all of them.

Bottom line on weight gain. I read once that a person that quits smoking would have to gain 100 lbs. to do the same damage to their body that smoking does. Well, 16 lbs is nothing and I can lose that, but right now I am not going to “diet”, or freak out about it. I am going to the Goodwill and buying size 12 pants/jeans for $3.00 and will wear those until this passes. Then I will “re-gift” them to Goodwill for the next lady that needs a larger size, (not that a 12 is all that large by any means), while she is quitting smoking. Another bonus about weight gain, you should return to your pre-quitting weight by 6 months to 1 year after quitting.

So, I am going to hang in there and keep plugging along one day at a time, and ask my Higher Power to keep me smoke free today, and thank Him tonight for the Grace He gave me so I would not smoke. For that I am truly grateful.



TTFN


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Weaning off Chantix

Today is smoke free day 17.

Of All the times I’ve tried to start a blog and keep it up, I never dreamed that the one thing that would get me writing again would be quitting smoking. I’ve missed writing. Being a free lance reporter for a few years was wonderful. At the time I was working three jobs and taking classes at the junior college. My children were in 4th and 5th grade and “busy” was an understatement. Then life got crazy and so did I and lost the little bit of progress I had made at that time toward becoming a more spiritual person. Well, better late than never. Like that song by Brooks & Dunn, “God blessed the broken road….” Isn’t that the truth. Anyway, I think I am addicted to blogging. Last night when I went to sleep I was thinking about what I wanted to write about. Of course this morning it was completely gone and my mind was a blank.

Any way, not smoking with Chantix is unbelievable! I have been on it 4 weeks and I can’t afford to get more so I am weaning myself off of it. I was forgetting my evening pill anyway, so I just decided to make it last and take only one in the morning. This is the 3rd day of that and so far so good. Actually, I’m not having the wierd “smoking” dreams at night anymore. Did anyone else have that? Wow! They were so real that when I woke up I was so relieved that it was a dream and I didn’t really smoke! It was kind of scarey. I hope it’s not too early to go off of it. I know you are supposed to stay on it 12 weeks but a guy I work with was only on it 2 weeks and quit taking it and is still smoke free after 3 months. I really don’t have any choice anyway because Christmas is coming and my money will have to go for that.

Now, my mantras for today are, “I’m happier as a non-smoker”, and “I know I can stay quit.”

Ta Ta For Now…