Monday 14th September 2010
I’ve been helping people stop smoking over the past week.
It’s been really rewarding helping my friends beat such a debilitating habit – and I don’t say that to be condescending, but rather because I recognise the significant improvements in my own live since I stopped in September 2006 – 4 years ago.
First of all my breathing has helped allow oxygen to circulate considerably better around my body enabling me to feel energised and physically powerful. Aged 32 (3 years prior to quitting cigarettes) my Doctor informed me that my breathing examination had shown conclusively that I had the lungs of a 64-year-old man. Now I agree that my lungs had inhaled plenty of toxic substances over the years, but it seemed fairly conclusive that this was largely due to tobacco inhalations.
Secondly, the new found oxygen hitting my blood stream and lungs has permitted me to exercise considerably more, thus halting too much unnecessary extra weight. Yes, there’s still work to do in that department, but it’s been substantial in assisting me to get healthy. My exercise regime has become a habit of personal joy, allowing myself the freedom to meditate and dance whilst exercising on a cross-trainer or whatever piece of exercise equipment I choose to use. So I feel noticeably better about both my body image and myself, particularly when running for a bus or through a shopping centre. Hey kids, it’s time to jump up and down ;-0)
Third, my senses appear to have become more vibrant. I smell things so much better that my laundry absolutely needs to be fresh – I hate the smell of dampness in clothes. A freshly moved lawn on a spring morning suddenly becomes delightful. I try to spot precisely which cologne or perfume you’re wearing (to limited success).
And then there’s my fresh sense of taste. I taste things like never before – perhaps leading to the concept that we put on weight when we stop smoking. My personal experience is that I haven’t put on any more substantial weight since I quit smoking, but that I have certainly grown to love outrageously tasteful foods both sweet and sour, considerably more (particularly sour gummy sweets). Perhaps , in some cases more exercise is required?
Anyhow, it’s no secret – I eat more. Memo to self – “I must channel more healthy choices into my diet” (written post ice cream).
Four would be my new found social habit of chewing gum – at least, significantly less anti-social than smoking. Chewing gum has kept my body busy when it thought about smoking, and my mind distracted when it obsessed about smoking. But probably most importantly, when I smell others’ smoking and the odour draws in my nostrils (particularly with cigars), I can often consider to myself that having one would be really nice. Chewing gum seems to be my personal anchor away from going through the process of testing myself to see if this time will be different and I can have just one. Chewing gum is my best solution to the physical cravings. It seems to distract my brain long enough to allow myself the gift of breaking the thought pattern. Mmmm, cigars….Mmmmm!
Fifth, is my H2O habit. I replaced smoking tobacco with drinking water. This works when other activities such as chewing gum may fail. It cools my throat and feeds my internal organs with a different, more satisfying sensation. It is great as a replacement therapy and is the elixir of life. It simply gives me life’s 2nd most (after oxygen) important life ingredient. Water – get into it!
Reading back the 5 thoughts I’ve outlined here, which I’ve found to be true in my smoking cessation, I’m filled with a sense of such gratitude. I simply know that my life is radically better as a result of not smoking.
It’s one of the more supreme gifts I’ve ever given myself.
But don’t let me tell you what to do.
Go figure it out for yourself.
But contact me if you want some help with it.