Stop Smoking - Another Health Hero's Success
Hi, Dennie, here is my story. Fern...
Quit smoking and take a wonderful, nostalgic trip in a time machine. The smells of youth come flooding back and take you for an enchanted stroll down memory lane. You can do it and the result is fantastic.
Four years ago I was smoking over two packs of cigarettes a day. I thought that the only people who were able to quit smoking were people who hardly smoked at all, who weren't really "hooked." Then I read some articles on quitting smoking by a columnist who was an admitted heavy smoker. He had smoked a lot and through his columns I understood it was a struggle for him but he quit. I decided if he could do it, I could too.
I began by a self-hypnotizing program. Each night before I went to sleep I told myself over and over, "I want to quit smoking!" I would see in my mind all the positives about not smoking. There are no positives for smoking, just delusion.
After several months of self-motivation, and still smoking as usual, I set a target date. Two months away. That would give me plenty of time. The two months zipped by and the target day was upon me.
Okay, I thought, I can do it, I want to do it. I cut my cigarettes back to three a day. The third I smoked right before I went to bed at night so the thought of a "last" cigarette in the day wasn't so stressful. I did that for a week and then went cold turkey! I tried not to think about never smoking again, I just took one day at a time.
And, prepared, I had a lot of sunflower seeds, carrot sticks, celery sticks and fruit at the ready. I know the experts tell you not to worry about your weight, but you should worry some. If you're like me, and I think most people, you won't be happy quitting smoking if you blimp out. I set myself a 10 pound weight limit. If I went over that limit I told myself I would start smoking again. I watched my diet, drank a lot of ice water, and did a lot of walking, especially when I wanted a cigarette.
Also, a trick that worked well to fool my addicted brain was to drag hard on an UNLIT cigarette. I kept that one cigarette in my ashtray for months. It was ragged by the time I could give it up but it helped when I really wanted the hand to mouth exercise. I should have had that worn, ragged cigarette bronzed as a symbol of my accomplishment but it's better to leave all memories of smoking by the wayside.
Just when I thought I had the habit licked, I was overwhelmed with the desire to have a cigarette. I found that those times seemed to come in cycles: six weeks, six months, a year, year and a half etc.. You have to watch for those times and be prepared because you can get by those times too. They don't last long but the urge to have a cigarette is very strong so be prepared to battle the urge anew.
Understand that I began smoking when I was 16 years old, standing in front of the mirror, practicing looking cool. Yuk!
When I quit smoking it was like going back to that summer I was 16. I smelled aromas and scents that I hadn't smelled since that long ago summer. It was wonderful. Honeysuckle, plum blossoms, newly cut grass, rain on the warm dirt, smells that transported me across time. My neighbors must have thought I was crazy. Standing out in the yard taking in deep breaths and laughing at the memories that flooded my brain. It was and is wonderful. The smells that come through are instant trips down memory lane.
Also, women especially, an added bonus; your skin will change over night and become more clear and youthful looking because of better circulation and increased oxygen. I look younger now than I did years ago. People I have known for years comment on my new appearance and zest!
It has been over four years since I gave up smoking. I had told myself if I gained over ten pounds I would go back to smoking. I never went over the limit and when I felt confident that I had licked smoking, I began working on my weight gain in earnest. I walked and did low-impact aerobics. They work. The cellulite goes, the legs and inner thighs firm up. I now weigh within two pounds of my pre-nonsmoking weight and my body is in pretty good shape for a 1940's model.
I feel so much pride and accomplishment at my ability to quit smoking. I want to holler out at complete strangers, "I did it! I quit smoking!"
My message - - you can do it too, even if you smoke a lot and think there is no way. Psych yourself into it. Believe me, it's worth the effort.
Just one trip back to the summer of your youth will make it worth while. All those memories are so wonderful. And, food will taste better, but you don't have to pig out. Single servings will suffice, then go outside and smell the spring, summer, fall and winter smells; sweet lilacs, hot days, pungent leaves, wood smoke. It's a nostalgic trip worth taking, available everyday, every season, after you quit smoking.
Fern works for FEMA, a high stress position in the Rocky Mountain Region, and now practices Yoga and Racewalking and you wouldn't know by looking at her that she is a 1940's model. I am very proud to know her and inspired by her letter of encouragement and grateful that she has allowed me to print it here for others to read, thanks Fern.
Dr. Dennie Dorall
M.D.N.D. D.W.H.H., D.H.M., E-R.Y.T., I.A.Y.T. & Ayurvedic Practitioner