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My Experiment to Quit Smoking

Updated on February 3, 2012
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Background

I started smoking in the third week of May, 2010. My parents and sister were on vacation and I was alone in the house and without a job. In short, I was bored. And when I'm bored, I eat.

I tried hard to keep myself occupied by cleaning the house and doing odd jobs that I had been putting off and putting off. I, like many other women, struggled with my weight and I had decided that 210 pounds was not a healthy weight. Then, I got an idea. A horrible, awful idea.

I started to smoke whenever I got hungry. I made sure to eat proper meals, but outside of those meals I was smoking. At the most, I only had six cigarettes a day, but even one is not good for you. But those six cigarettes never interfered with my life. When I was working, I did not take smoke breaks. When I was visiting friends, I did not abandon them for a smoke. I did not smoke around other people who did not smoke, since it was my choice and no one else. I was even so considerate that I paid attention to people walking around me and went to lengths to make sure they were upwind of my smoke. But still, it's not good for you.

A year and a half, and a lot of gum and attempts to quit later, and a weight loss of 30 pounds, I came to a conclusion: the smoking is affecting my health and it is really apparent. I have been finding it hard to breath, I am getting sick to my stomach, and I have been getting fainting spells. I kept on bringing up excuses--many other people smoke without fainting. I have digestive track problems already. My fainting spells and my starting my bad habit coincide coincidentally.

Because of my fainting spells (which I have never had until I started to smoke) and the pain in my stomach (which is a different pain and gets worse after I smoke) were starting to affect the "Master Plan", I have just decided to quit. But how do I go about quitting something I'm physically and mentally addicted to and started to stop an addiction to food?

I need to get myself on to something else.

My Impulsive Experiment

So, I started to smoke because I wanted to stop boredom eating. I traded one bad habit for another, and the effect on my health is still there. I gained weight by boredom eating and I started to suffer vasovagal syncope (fainting) by smoking. And the "Master Plan", which rules my life and demands I get into shape, is absolute.

I will replace smoking by getting addicted to working out.

This is easier said than done, when your mother compares your exertion to that of a cat rolling over in the sun. I like reading, writing, watching movies, and relaxing. I was never one for exercise, although I do show signs of athleticism. But going to the gym makes me smoke on the way. I smoke on the drive over and back.

So I took a cigarette pack and slipped pieces of paper in between the cardboard and the cellophane that said "No Smoking". Then I took little pieces of paper and wrote commands on them, such as "10 sit-ups", "5 push-ups", and "15 crunches", and put them in the pack. Please keep in mind, I am out of shape and get fainting spells, so I have to start off small.

The plan is, I will keep that pack in my purse. Every time I reach for the pack for a cigarette, I will pull out a little piece of paper and do whatever it tells me to. Yes, I know my plan. Yes, it will be hard for my to follow my own commands that I gave myself while content from nicotine. My reaction will be way different when I am going through a withdrawal. Yet, I love the feeling I get from sore muscles. It hurts, but it feels very interesting.

And there are hormones that you get when you exercise that makes you feel good. Yes, it hurts at first. But so did smoking!

So I will put my plan into action. I will call it the "Great Plan", just so it matches the "Master Plan" and the "Ultimate Plan". Although the "Master Plan" and the "Ultimate Plan" has wiggle room, the "Great Plan" does not. It is simply to stop smoking and there is no way to deviate from that. You either do or you don't.

That is my plan. If you have heard of someone doing something like this or you have another suggestion for quitting cold-turkey, let me know! It will be a fun (but irritating) adventure!

Edit: Progress Report

Day 5: My stomach and arms are really sore. I have made it over the hump and still haven't smoked. I have went through and found all my lighters (in coat pockets, my room, my car, panst pockets, my purse, et cetera) and put them all in one place away from me. I have also thrown away the can o' cigarette butts that I had on the porch (because I don't smoke in the house). Anything that reminds me of smoking has been taken care of.

My health seemed to improve the second day. I wasn't feeling as faint often, and that had continued to improve. I feel much better five days after the last cigarette. Mainly, it was the syncope that was making me very nervous, and that is stopping and getting better.

I reflect that I'm other allergic to something in cigarettes, or (like suggested in the comments) I was suffering from nicotine overdose. Either way, it just wasn't helping me and the Master Plan.

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    • nishlaverz profile image

      nishlaverz 5 years ago from N.E England

      The problem with replacing cigs with working out is that the endorphins your body release during physical activity will cause to to crave a smoke. However it has and can be done.

      Good luck

    • rabbit75 profile image

      rabbit75 5 years ago

      Wow, that is quite an interesting and intriguing plan. Thank you for writing this. It sounds like all you need to do is break the impulse, and you're not too far along the addiction of nicotine.

      I don't know of anyone who used a similar plan, but I am wishing you the best with this. Nicotine addiction is extremely hard to break, and the longer you let your body get use to the effects of nicotine the worse the with drawl and harder it is to break.

      I think you can do it!

    • Cammiebar profile image
      Author

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      nishlaverz, thanks for your comment! I hope it works out!

    • Cammiebar profile image
      Author

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Rabbit, thank you for your encouragement! I'm going to try hard. The Master Plan demands no less. I will probably update this with a result in about a week or so, whether or not I succeed or fail.

      All the best!

    • Matthew Ryczko profile image

      Matthew Ryczko 5 years ago from Ohio

      Congrats on taking the first step! I quit about two years ago. In my experience, when you're ready, you're just ready and you know it- follow the impulse! I think your plan of replacing it with a good habit is stellar. I went through a hundred excuses about it until one day it hit me that they were just excuses. It took all of the power out of them and I just quit. When I could breathe again, and therefore exercise harder, that's when my weight loss really kicked into gear too. (Of course, I gained a little bit in the first month or so)

      Let's see... I'm sure I have some words of wisdom for you around here somewhere... oh yes- it may or may not affect you as much, but I have bad asthma and every time I quit smoking I ended up getting sick. Your body is used to the smoke drying out your lungs so it produces more and more mucus. It takes a while for it to adapt to not having the smoke anymore. So you might feel like you're drowning in mucus for a while. It will pass before long, and some people don't even feel this, so you might not.

      After the first 3 days, all nicotine is cleared from your body. If you can make it through this- you're past the majority of the chemical addiction. The physical addiction (like the mucus... ways your body adapts, not the chemical dependence) is over after about 2 weeks. Then it's all about the behavioral/psychological "habit". For some people, that's the hardest part, for others its the easiest.

      Hmm... I'm practically writing you another hub lol Just know that you have my support! You can do this! Stay positive! Keep me and the rest of your followers informed on your progress (:

    • Cammiebar profile image
      Author

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Matthew, thanks for your encouragements and sharing your experiences! The mucus thing I never knew about, but I'm always fighting mucus this time of year anyway. I'm pretty sure that it's the habit that I need to break, though. I have gone three days without a smoke without being irritated or angry, but I started again because I was bored and didn't want to eat. Ce la vie, I guess.

      I'll keep this hub updated for sure. Thanks for your comments again!

      All the best!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Good luck to you. I know how hard it is to break a habit, so replacing it with a better one is an excellent strategy. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Faceless39 profile image

      Faceless39 5 years ago from The North Woods, USA

      Voted up, useful, and awesome. Your personality really shines through, and it was a fun read! I, too, quit smoking about 10 months ago now (wow!) so I have some advice for you.

      Your idea to replace the bad addiction with a good one is awesome. But seriously, push-ups and going to the gym are freaking BORING, which is partly why 1) you don't like to exercise, and 2) you started smoking in the first place.

      I used a nicotine patch, stayed away from Everyone who smokes for months, and made sure to do something fun and active a few times a week. I started rock wall climbing, hiking, jogging, and now I've picked up cross-country skiing. My point is that these activities are FUN and get your mind off the fact that you're exercising at all.

      PS: your symptoms sound like Nicotine Overdose.

      Good luck, and try out the nicotine patches.

    • Cammiebar profile image
      Author

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for your suggestions and your comment! So far, day three is starting out just fine without any cigarettes. But I don't have so much of a problem with boredom at the gym ever since I got an iShuffle. Also, my sister works at the gym too, so I have a blast messing with her. But I will keep your suggestion in mind if I fall off the bandwagon. All the best!

    • TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

      TIMETRAVELER2 5 years ago

      I hope your plan works, because smoking is a deadly habit. I smoked for years until one day at work I couldn't catch my breath. I realized then I needed to do something...and I did. I simply stopped. That was almost 35 years ago. It's a good thing I did stop because at age 56 I became really ill with something that affected my ability to breathe. The doctors told that if I hadn't stopped smoking, this illness would have killed me. Maybe THAT story will help you to stop. Good luck!

    • Cammiebar profile image
      Author

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      TimeTraveler,

      So far, I'm doing alright with my plan. My stomach is sore from the crunches, but that's a good thing. And this is my third day without cigarettes, and I'm feeling a lot better. It's a little difficult to breathe, but I know that will get better. Thanks for your comment and story! All the best!

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 5 years ago from West of England

      I hope this is still going well for you Cammiebar. Your hub reminded me about the health campaign we have here in the UK, and the slogan is "Don't Give Up Giving Up", which I think is a great way of encouraging people through the set-backs. I don't know if you can open this link, but it's the campaign pack from our wonderful (most of the time) NHS: http://thinknetwork.org.uk/admin/docs/giving_up_sm...

    • Cammiebar profile image
      Author

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      It's still going well and I am now trying to get into better shape. I have a big plan that requires me to get into great shape, so now I'm feeling a lot better. Thanks for sharing that link. I'll definitely check it out. All the best!

    • Vegas Elias profile image

      Vegas Elias 5 years ago from Mumbai

      I was a smoker till 2 years back. How I quit smoking I actually do not know. But I did it. Of course a few months before I actually quit smoking I developed a dislike for cigarettes and started thinking about the bad effects and dangers of smoking. I think I frightened my brain so much that my brain did the rest of the job.

    • Cammiebar profile image
      Author

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      I just needed something to replace my habit. I'm still smoke-free and feeling a lot better. But for every person that smokes, there is a different way to keep them from it when they finally decide they are done with it. All the best!

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 5 years ago from West of England

      Glad to hear you're still on course, Cammiebar. It sounds as if you're doing really well.

    • Cammiebar profile image
      Author

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for stopping by again and for your encouragement! That link that you sent me was very interesting, by the way. I wish you all the best!

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