I was recently contacted by a brave woman who has decided to quit smoking. She wrote:
I just found your blog and I have become addicted to reading your posts all the way back to when you started the blog. What a great inspiration for me in my search to start leading a healthier lifestyle! The one thing I really missed was a blog post about your experiences while quitting smoking. Any chance you’d be willing to share your story by post or email? As a 35 year old mom of a little one, January 1 is my quit date. I would love to hear how you did it!!
Quitting smoking is hard!! But it is by far the best decision I have ever made. I was at a point in my life where I was just generally unhappy and didn’t feel good much of the time. I could envision how I wanted my life to be. I remember thinking, I don’t know anybody who is successful that is sitting on their back porch every evening chain-smoking the night away. I wanted to be a nonsmoker, I wanted to be healthy and feel great, but I didn’t know how to do it.
I remember laying in bed one night, praying my heart out. I prayed to God to put the motivation in me to make the changes in my life that would make me into the person I envisioned. And it happened!
I started reading blogs and found inspiration to start running. The first blog I found was EatLiveRun and Jenna inspired me to start running and eat more healthfully. I started researching healthy lifestyle blogs and found an unending supply of inspiration.
I think when I got inspired to start running was what really got me to quit smoking and stick with it. The first time I went out for a run, I was still smoking and I could barely run 10 seconds without huffing and puffing. But God put that determination in me and I set a quit date and started the Couch to 5K running program. It was sooo hard, but I pushed myself and found that after I ran, the last thing I wanted to do was deter my progress by smoking a cigarette. I focused on how good it was feeling to get healthier instead of sicker.
I also set my mind to eating healthy. The first change I made was to start eating breakfast which made a huge difference in the way I felt, and gave me the energy to do my daily runs. I also found many healthy eating ideas on blogs. The green smoothie has become a staple in my diet as post run fuel.
In my quest to get healthy, I wanted to drop the 20 pounds I packed on after I turned 30. Although I don’t promote counting calories as a lifestyle choice, I did do it at the start of my health journey as a way to realize just how much everything adds up. It was a great tool to learn proper portion sizes. I used the website Fitday.com. It was fun to track my progress, and it’s amazing how a small amount of food can really add up in the calorie department.
As the weeks ticked by, my resolve to stay an ex smoker this time grew stronger. (I had tried several times in the past). After a few months, I got much less winded and celebrated being able to run a whole mile. At this point, I knew I would never even take a hit of a cigarette again, and it felt absolutely amazing.
Now here I am, 2 plus years later, 35 years old and I feel healthier than I did in my 20’s. I’m happy with my body and my strong legs. I have started lifting weights and have better muscle definition than I did in high school. I know I have greatly reduced my risk of lung cancer, heart disease, and a plethora of other health problems. I’m convinced I’m getting younger. I have taken on health as a lifetime goal. I still enjoy treats…Desserts, wine, and the occasional chicken wing and such;) I believe everything can be enjoyed in moderation. Everything except smoking that is.
Quitting smoking is the decision that made all the other healthy lifestyle choices possible and I will never go back there again. And now, I never miss it, never crave it.
If I can do it, truly anyone can 🙂
And if it’s your time to quit, I’ll gladly offer my support and encouragement.