I had my first cigarette when I was 13 – out the back of my schoolyard with a bunch of older kids and my best friend’s brother (who I adored!), I didn’t cough or think it was disgusting I immediately loved it and while the other kids were buying packs of 10 and sharing them I was onto a pack of 10 A DAY by the time I was 15…
Actually when I was 15 my parents caught me and I got the old school obligatory ‘make her smoke a pack of 20 back to back, she’ll get sick and never smoke again’ treatment. It didn’t work but it did start my love affair with Marlboro’s rather than my previous John Player Blue…
So obviously when I got into CrossFit I stopped smoking right?
WRONG – smoking was what I called ‘my only vice’ and whilst I knew that it prob wasnt the best thing for my health there was nothing I enjoyed more than my morning cigarette, my after dinner cigarette or my post workout cigarette (yep!)
This is not a quit smoking blog piece – I prob should of said that from the start! You want to smoke then girl you have that cigarette !
Look the fact is I still love smoking, I still miss it, especially those sunny days when I’m sitting on my balcony with a glass of wine, it actually feels like something is missing..
But on Jan 01st of this year and for the good of my long term health (URGH – Im such an adult now!) I stopped and if that’s something you’re doing or you want to do then I’d like to let you know how I did because none of the self-help books worked, neither did brochures of people getting lung cancer and all those tv ads were nothing to me. I even did that course that everyone says works – it didnt. I also want to share some of the stuff you will go through that they dont tell you about…just so you know its normal!
So here goes..
I stopped smoking when I WANTED too.
This is the biggest thing. You will not – no matter what – it doesnt matter if you are on your death bed – you will NOT stop smoking unless you genuinely from the bottom of your heart want too. I noticed I had started throwing away my smokes after Id had maybe half a one and I knew the time was near. Cigarettes started getting a bit ‘yuck’ to Me, so then I set a date. New Year, new you and all so I went with Jan 01st – I decided this a good 3 months before Jan.
Quit.ie is AMAZING
Literally the only thing that helped me, you need to sign up to this site and you need to log in every day. They text you every day with actual useful information, they check in on you with phone calls (if you want them too) and what REALLY worked for Me is that they tell you how much money you saved and what you can spend it on!!! Amazeballs!
Don’t use patches or any other ‘crutch’
I used patches for the first 3 days and then I realised I would need to do a second ‘QUIT’ of the patches so then I went cold turkey – best decision ever. The patches/gum etc just take away your cravings – which means that when you stop using them you need to be able to cope with the cravings – better you just do that straight away and then you dont need to do it twice. If your not ready to cope with the cravings your not ready to quit – thats all good, try again some other time – if you want too.
The first week is HELL
But it does get better – and actually quicker than you think. However before I talk about the better its best you know what you’re in for. I had nightmares, hot sweats, a rash, I felt sick, dizzy and all my muscles ached as all the chemicals from over 20 years of smoking left my body. Meditation and CrossFit helped me alot during this! Remember – it is literally coming off drugs – only the government have made them legal.
Chewing gum is BAE
I had an endless supply of chewing gum to keep my brain and mouth occupied when I was craving a cigarette! Worked a charm!
You’re all of a sudden going to have alot of time on your hands – you will be suprised at how often you would get up a go out for a smoke. Use that time to do something active. I used to go for a walk on my lunch – this would also help with my ‘post-food’ cravings, which leads nicely to…
Identify your habits
We all have that time of the day we smoke – first thing in the morning with your coffee, after a long hard day, with a drink on the weekend. Identify these early and make sure you’re ready for the craving that will come and you are prepped with your chewing gum or activity – a craving will only last about 5 mins – its REAL good to remember that!
This one has good and bad consequences – on the one hand people will totally support you and help you and – for me – I needed to know that people had my back and knew why I might take they’re head off at any given moment. The flip side is they will absolutely hold you accountable so if you dont succeed on your first try then be prepped for the ego bash. ALTHOUGH – back to point 1 I wholeheartedly believe if you actually WANT to quit you will, I only tried once and I did quit coz I wanted too.
WELL FUCKING DONE for even trying to stop smoking, it will be one of the hardest things you ever do – people who don’t smoke don’t realise how hard it is to quit. You genuinely feel like something is missing from your life.
Im over 6 months quit now and I barely think about smokes and when I do get the odd craving its easy to keep active and not smoke. The health benefits are second to none and the sense of achievement is UNBELIEVABLE
If you have any questions just ask and if you have any stories or tips please do share