- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
My Experiment to Quit Smoking
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.