How I quit smoking
March 23 2020.
The 4th month of quitting smoking.
It's been something I've never publicized or let anyone on Instagram know. I used to be a heavy smoker. 6-8 Belmont Lights a day.
You may be wondering: Did you smoke when you were a personal trainer? Heck no. I quit cold turkey when I decided to become a certified and was cigarette free for two years. Shortly after two years, I went through a breakup and picked up the nasty habit again.
It's a disgusting habit and I was deeply ashamed of it but I kept puffing away anyway until December of 2019.
Sometime from September to November of last year, I toyed with the idea of quitting for good but another thought kept passing through my head, "How can I? It's a part of me. I love smoking"
This was basically my "smoking schedule":
Wake up and smoke.
Morning coffee and smoke.
After breakfast or before lunch smoke.
After lunch and smoke.
Afternoon smoke break.
After work smoke.
After dinner smoke.
Night time smoke.
Smoking is a habit of the mind and body and it's a nasty addiction that becomes "the way of life" in your head.
So how did I do it?
A little push from my boyfriend last year helped immensely. He mentioned how much he wanted me to be healthier and that it'll negate all of the other healthy habits I had (working out, eating well) in the long run. Of course, I knew this, but heck, I was addicted so I kept reassuring myself, "I'll do it when I am 'ready'".
Here are the steps I took to finally kick this disgusting habit for good.
Really assess how ready you are
I think this applies to any commitment. Figure out your "why". No matter what anyone says, if you want to keep doing something or you want to continue, you'll just end up doing it. So really figure out why you want to start quitting. What helped me was writing a list of reasons why I needed to quit.
Also... looking at the finances helped so much.
Let's also do the math. I was smoking about a pack every 2-3 days and a pack is about $15 bucks each.
Let's say 4 packs a week: that's $60 you're literally burning away.
$240 a month.
$2,880 a year, give or take.
Figure out a plan
Are you going to quit cold turkey (You may be a touch irritated for a couple of weeks...on that note, maybe this is the perfect time to quit since we're all social distancing?) Are you going to use smoking cessation aids? The gum? Patches?
I know vaping is a popular thing to do amongst people who quit cigarettes. I'll admit I bought many vapes after I quit smoking cigarettes. Like...a lot. I highly DO NOT recommend you do this because it'll keep you hooked on nicotine and vaping and as everyone knows, it is still damaging to your lungs (please refer to popcorn lungs on Google and read about vaping effects). It's a temporary relief but it will 100% keep you addicted to nicotine.
Set a date
I set a date in my bullet journal / google calendar and stuck to it. I also set up reminders for about 4 weeks in my Google Calendar to notify me "YOU BETTER NOT BE SMOKING THINK OF THE MONEY YOU'RE SAVING" which surprisingly helped.
Figure out your triggers
Everyone has a trigger. Mine was coffee in the morning and alcohol. If you know what your triggers are, I'd avoid those for a 3-4 weeks and replace it with something else.
Remember how I mentioned that I spent about $240 a month on cigarettes? For the first 3 months, I rewarded myself with something I really wanted by end of the month using that $240. It was something to look forward to. If you want, you can also set up reward system bi-weekly and treat yourself that way too.
After cutting back on drinking heavily, I asked for help from my friends, "If I have a drink and ask for a cigarette, don't let me." And that was immensely helpful.
I have re-read Allen Carr's book: Easy Way to Stop Smoking. It was incredibly helpful and I also recommend anyone who's thinking about quitting to read this. Link to book is here.
Hope this helped you in some way.
I never thought I could quit. I was smoking since I was in high school and it was the way "it was" for me for a LONG time. But just know that you can and you are able to do anything you set your mind to.
*Please note that this post isn't a substitute for medical care. Please refer to your physician before making changes to your health.