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Thursday, August 5, 2010

My 10,579th Attempt to Quit Smoking.

Everyone who knows me will most likely read this and say, "Oh - here she goes again trying to quit." Yep - here I go again! The greatest part? I'm one of those people that can try....fail....try again....fail....and keep doing it over and over until I get it right. I will never stop 'trying' to be a success at anything. At least I'm trying!

I have been psyching myself up for this for awhile now. I had quit for 4 months, then started again - then quit for a few weeks....then I realized that the 'cycle' of quitting is much like the cycle of dieting. Its all or nothing. Sure, I have had 1 and a half cigarettes in 5 days.....on a cold turkey quit. Hell YES! I call that success to this point! I have to look at the PLUSES not the NEGATIVES. One and a half smokes in 5 days is definitely better than the half a pack a day habit I had going!

I found this great website: Stop Smoking: http://www.stop-smoking-updates.com/quitsmoking/

OK - so let's run down the list of ways I have tried (in the past) to kick this disgusting habit. I've done the tapes (they suck) and the gum (it sucks) and Champix....the patch....the hypnotist dude......the self talk, fake cigarettes, herbal smokes....and then there was that week where all I did was rip my hair out. There was also the times that I did it because someone hounded me until I couldn't stand it anymore and I 'quit' just to make them happy. This time, I wanted to be ready. Really ready. I can only fail so long before I get determined!

Remember in a previous post when someone told me, "If what you're doing isn't working, try something else?" Well...I took that to heart! All the other times I tried to quit I never had my head wrapped around WHY I should uit. What exactly DOES smoking do to my body? I mean I knew it was BAD....but they say plutonium is bad too - yet I don't know why, really. What does it DO?? Don't just tell me its BAD - I learn the hard way. Gimme something to work with here.

I sat down and deciphered just what it was that I LIKED about smoking, why I thought I needed it and when my 'need a smoke' feelings came up. When did I smoke most frequently? When did I not need smokes as bad? Why not? What activities did I do where I could go for hours without nicotine?

After doing all of this, I started to see that although cigarettes are an addiciton (with 5000+ chemicals in them!) - there is much more to it than that. If you are a smoker - you understand. If you are an ex smoker - you remember it. If you've never smoked, just say 'good luck' and move along. :)

I'm starting to get that it is a mental thing. Sure, there are times I feel mental (ask hubby) and he HATES my attitude as it is impossible for him to win - but I am much beter at controlling the nic-fits as I call them.

I make myself do THREE things before I cheat.

1.> Have a glass of water with lemon (or cucumber - my girlfriend says it rocks!)
2.> Immediately do something different than what I am doing at that moment I start to think of smoking.
3.> Start talking to myself (in my head at least) - and remind myself that I WILL do this. I have QUIT. I am a NON-SMOKER.

I've also taken to reading things that are POSITIVE. There is too much negativity when it comes to quitting. People are watching you - waiting for the failure so they can say "See! She didn't quit! She couldn't do it!" We can ALL do it - its just a matter of wanting to bad enough and for the right reasons. We have to have the proper perspective for anything we do. Remember - everyone sees the world differently than I do. That's why I could smoke since I was 19 years old and not think twice. It didn't matter THEN. It matters to me NOW. The problem now is that my body has become addicted (I hate that label - I prefer to say USED TO) smoking. Its the same as when I got sicker and sicker - eating shitty fast food and junk every day didn't matter to me at the time. It matters now! It was hard to quit that stuff too and it  still is sometimes.

For example: If I told you that all you had to do was drive 500 miles to get a brand new (and free) car - would you go?? Of course you would! If I told you that you had to WALK 500 miles to get a brand new free car - would you then?? Probably not...but why not? Reward versus work. We want everything fast, easy and as free of pain as we can. Quitting smoking is the same way. If quitting merely involved putting the smokes down and all memory of every cigarette you ever puffed on vanished - we'd be FINE! They say 21 times of repeating something makes it a habit. Well - I was addicted to smoking after a couple of days then - surely it will take time for my 'pain' to go away. I also refuse to add chemical crap to my system while I detox from nicotine. I tried Champix once - it made me moody but worked well! I quit for 4 months, but the mind games I played had me cheating more than taking the quit seriously. I was moody, sad for most days and felt disconnected from people around me. I LOATHE medications.

So - back to the positives! We all have reasons to quit. Mine are simple: I have changed them from I WANTS to I WILLS for a reason. What are YOUR reasons?


I'm already part way there. If you can conquer the challenge in your mind before you attempt it - then you have already succeeded! I'm not alone thank goodness - there are others who have joined the quit and we are all supporting each other. I love it because when I feel weak, I have friends who can say "You can do it!" If all I heard was, "Oh jeez - have ONE....it's ok" - well, I agree....one would be OK. But one leads back to another one....and then you might as well have another one - and another....then you need a pack because the weekend is here. I always get caught in that cycle and I hate it. I'm trying - and I do slip, but I still slip occasionally with food too. We KNOW in our minds that what we are doing is detrimental, yet we do it anyway. Why? Because it is amazingly wonderful - that's why. It's horribly BAD for us - but it is wonderful at the time. Reward versus work. There's no work for me to flick a bic and inhale the sweet aromatic scent of nicotine, tar and lord knows what else. The work will come later - when I'll be hooked up to an iron lung and my kid will have to take me to radiation therapy twice a month.

I can choose now - or later - but the consequences will be the same. If I don't quit - I don't quit. I don't get healthy, fresh air in my lungs - I won't be able to do things I want to - I could get a terminal illness and then it is too late. I just don't want to wait until its too late - and when do we really know that? Is it because I FEEL good today? What if I started feeling horrible tomorrow? What if I was given a week to live tomorrow? What would I do then? I could only blame myself I suppose - so I'm doing it NOW.

My other biggest issue? When I'm alone, I feel like I gotta have a smoke or I'll die. What is THAT!?! I certainly won't die, but that little nicodemon (haha - love that) is dying in my brain. As the nicotine leaves my body, and I go through withdrawl, he starts to panic and tries to get me to smoke - to satiate his needs. It would calm me down and make me a happy girl, but it wouldn't get me to my goal.


So - if I don't do this - I will NEVER stop smoking. It's up to me!! Wish me luck!


How quitting smoking can give you gorgeous skin (that's what I want!!)

There's one more reason to quit smoking: it wrecks your looks. Find out how quitting can reverse the damage and improve your skin
By Anne Mullens

In the battle against evil tobacco, there’s good news: Smoking rates across Canada continue to fall to their lowest in more than four decades, even among teens, many of whom now view it as uncool. (The percentage of Canadians aged 15 to 19 who smoke dropped from 44 percent in 1981 to 18 percent in 2005.) For the rest of us, thanks to smoking bans in public places across Canada, a night out no longer entails coming home reeking of smoke. In fact, quitting is contagious: A recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that when one person quits, people around them—friends, family, social contacts—tend to quit, too.

But despite falling rates, almost 20 percent of Canadians over age 15—about five million people—still smoke, and that’s exacting a heavy toll: 37,000 Canadians die each year from tobacco use, amounting to $17 billion annually in social costs, including $4.4 billion in direct healthcare costs.

If you or anyone you know needs a reason to quit besides the toll it takes on personal health, here it is: Tobacco wrecks your looks. It adds wrinkles, sagging, discoloration and years of age to your appearance. The damage can be permanent to essential skin structures such as collagen.

“With 4,000 harmful chemicals in every cigarette, each time you breathe the smoke in and out of your lungs, you are aging your body, your face, your teeth and your skin,” says Dr. Peter Selby, clinical director of addiction programs at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

Smoking’s impact on wrinkling, skin health and skin resiliency was first observed more than 30 years ago. But science now has a better understanding of just what it is about the impact of tobacco’s toxic chemicals, on multiple levels, that produces what has been dubbed “the smoker’s face.”

"How I quit smoking."

Best Health: Forum -- Quit Smoking -- Wendy Fox
Dr. Anatoli Freiman, of the division of dermatology at the University of Toronto, authored a 2006 review of all the research evidence of tobacco’s effects on skin, which are largely due to the impact of harmful chemicals in smoke such as nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, mercury, lead and cadmium. Together, these chemicals reduce blood flow to the skin, reduce circulating oxygen, attack the skin’s architecture and cause the breakdown of supportive structures such as collagen and elastin (the fibres that give skin its stretch). That leads to extensive wrinkling, particularly around the eyes and lips, and is permanent, Freiman notes. Cigarette smoking also reduces the water content in the skin’s outermost layer, giving the appearance of drier, more fragile skin.

Furthermore, Freiman’s research has found that cigarette smoke is linked to increased risks of squamous and basal carcinoma, psoriasis and hair loss. It is also linked to worsened skin conditions that are associated with diabetes, lupus and AIDS.

The takeaway is pretty clear: For a longer, more beautiful life, go smoke-free.

Face facts
Many cosmetic surgery procedures are a no-no for smokers.

Smoking is the biggest risk factor behind wound-healing problems. The potential for complications is so high that many plastic surgeons refuse to do certain surgeries on smokers.

Says Dr. Nick Carr, head of the plastic surgery division at the University of British Columbia: “Any procedure in which a surgeon has to raise a flap of skin and stretch it—facelifts, breast lifts, tummy tucks—is risky because the blood supply may be compromised.” The results can include wounds that won’t heal, skin flaps that die, extensive scarring and the need for skin grafts.

Well - I'm determined to get the skin I deserve! I'm in - who's with me!?


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