i think one of my greatest challenges so far was to quit smoking. i was a smoker many years ago and quit for a very long time. working the midnight shift 40 to 60 hours a week while renovating a store became stressful, and cigarettes became my friends. the reno was over but the habit continued two years later. i promised myself that this would be the year that i quit.
i smoked anywhere from a half pack to almost an entire pack each day. more when i was at work, it was a part of the routine to meet up in the smoke hole. we would all suck back as many as we could before venturing back inside for a couple hours. at first i had no desire to quit, i was a happy smoker.
sometime in the beginning of winter, i got really sick. i couldn't have a cigarette if i wanted to, i couldn't inhale the smoke without choking. i was sick for weeks, and at that point i knew the cigarettes were doing far more damage than good, my calm nerves aren't worth the pain in my chest.
from that point on i had cut back drastically, but i still wanted to smoke. at work we have something called 'MSP' [my sustainability plan] on a board where you can sign up to 'sponsor' one sustainable lifestyle or another, and one of the categories is to quit smoking. so, i signed up. i like the program because it's out in the open, so your peers can challenge you to stick with your MSP. i had written that i would be smoke free by the first day of spring, which gave me a couple months to work my way down to none.
in the first couple weeks i stopped smoking after work completely. i knew already that it was affecting my running, and by going for a run almost every day it both kept me occupied, and gave me a chance to really feel how much easier it is to run if i don't have a smoke. but then i'd get to work and by first break, i was dieing for one. or two or three... i was still smoking heavy on my breaks.
once i announced my plan to quit by the first day of spring, my peers started to hold me up to it, constantly ask how i was doing with the quitting. eventually i was down to one or two smokes a day, usually at lunch time. i continued to venture out to the smoke hole with my friends at break to get some air and enjoy the social aspect, and make it feel as though my urge to smoke was satisfied even if i wasn't the one smoking.
then the big day came. i went out for lunch and my friend handed me his pack... and i handed it right back, no thanks! i did it... i finally don't want a cigarette. it's been ten days since i had my last smoke, and i'm starting to feel better already. i still go outside for breaks as being indoors for nine hours straight isn't my idea of a good time, but i don't feel the need to light one up.. besides maybe the first five seconds of someone else lighting one. it passes quickly, and i can enjoy the rest of my break with a bottle of water or iced tea.
well, i have noticed that my writing habits are about as sparse as other good habits, which is something that i'm still working on . i find setting a deadline helps me so that i have something to work towards, and this weekend was a big one for me. i will pig out this one last time on turkey dinner, then more or less cut out the meat. now that i have my finances in order, i can start my order for Mannatech's NutriVerus which helps me significantly to keep my energy levels up and support my thyroid function. it was helping before, but i ran out of money, and in the month i wasn't taking it, i noticed a huge decline in my 'feelgood'. while using the products i feel it's such a waste to consume anything that isn't 'real food' so it's huge encouragement to stay healthy and keep up with the program.
next i'll try to cover other healthy habits that i am encorporating into my lifestyle such as supplements and snacks, and different ways to stay fit and build muscle. stay tuned!