Here we go again…
I have made huge strides in my life in the last few years, but I slip up. The more honest I am with everyone, the more I can teach others how to pick themselves back up. I started smoking again. It was stupid. I knew the moment I bought the cigarettes that it was stupid, but I did it anyway.
Former smokers know that the urge never completely goes away. It happens at unexpected times. I made a mistake, but that doesn’t mean that I have to continue to make it. I am highly annoyed when people give me advice about what to do and how to quit. I won’t give advice. I’ll just tell you what I did to kick the habit again.
- I bought a large coffee, sat in my car, and smoked to my heart’s content. When I smoked the last one, I repeated over and over that it was the last cigarette that I’ll smoke. I repeated it until I believed it.
- I cleaned out my car because it was the only place I smoked. I sprinkled carpet freshener, vacuumed it, filled the ashtray with baking soda, and used Febreeze until the seats were wet. I also have three air fresheners in there steeping like tea. I do not want to smell stale smoke again.
- I took a very long shower and washed my hair with baking soda mixed into the shampoo to get rid of the odor. (That also cuts out product residue, so it served two purposes.)
- I bought nicotine replacements. I have gum and lozenges. They are there if I need them.
- I’m signed up for a 5K next weekend, so I want to be able to breathe. That’s good motivation for me. I define myself as a runner; not a smoker.
- I wear this bracelet to remind myself that I will never give up. I’ll leave it on for a while until I’m out of the dark.
I have a million reasons not to quit. I am in finals week for school. I’m stressed out. The simple fact is that I love to smoke, but I’m not going to give in.
The trick for me to both losing weight and stopping smoking is to embrace being uncomfortable. My tummy will rumble. I’ll get bored and want to eat. I will want to go outside and have a cigarette. I’ve learned to enjoy being uncomfortable. I push myself to be uncomfortable because of the rewards it brings. Runners don’t run because it’s easy. I do it because it pushes my body to the point of complete exhaustion and then I keep going. I get so tired that my thoughts stop and it becomes a meditative practice for me. Of course, it wasn’t like that when I started working out, but once I achieved a certain level of fitness, it became addictive for the mental respite it brings.
All I’m doing is swapping one addiction for another. I eat clean, workout, and feel good instead of eating junk, laying around, and feeling horrible. Both lifestyles are uncomfortable for me. It’s up to me to decide which makes me feel better physically and mentally, then live accordingly.
It’s all in how I define myself.