Monday, June 25, 2007

Walking Works

Shortly before I left for my walk today, Tom walked up behind me to give me a kiss and said I smell good, and it made my week. It's so wonderful not to stink like smoke anymore. Truly.

I went for another power walk, and it was a solid 30 minute work out. I had no idea I could walk so far so quickly. I came back hot and sweaty (I'm not an exercise person - well, until now). Not only did I not want to smoke while walking, I felt so good about it that I've had almost no urges in the past few hours since. Even after dinner. Even as I type this. Right now a cigarette is the last thing I want. It feels so good I could cry (not sure if it's the Chantix or the process or just being a girl, but I've been getting a little emotional the past couple days). Freedom is around the corner - I can smell it and taste it, and if I just keep walking toward it, I bet I'll get there.


  1. That's wonderful news Maggie.

    It's taken me so long to figure out such incredibly simple things. For example, imo, a person can help to resolve quite a few of his or her problems simply by exercising, maintaining a good diet, and getting proper rest.

    And, what blows my mind is that this should really just be a matter of common sense. Yet, it took me so long to understand it, and, by looking around, I can see that quite a few may not see things this way.

    For instance, when I went to see my doctor concerning anxiety, his first reaction was simply to prescribe an antidepressant (which I quickly decided I didn't like.)

    So, stay with the exercise. I've been hitting the gym up good and proper. Sometimes it can be a bit challenging getting there, but, once I'm working out, I'm always happy.

    Continued success to you... : )

  2. Thank you, John! Such good stuff over at your blog. It is kind of funny how so many people are just out there running around with plenty of common sense eating right, exercising and not smoking - I do it for a week and think I'm pretty damn special :)

  3. a) Exercise could be the key to success. When I quit for 2.5 months last October, on the very first day smoke free I ran 3 miles. I ran those 3 miles every week for 1.5 months. Was doing very well on my quit. Stopped running. A month later I am back smoking because of
    b) depression: I found that my hormone levels were so off that I started feeling very empty, started crying for hours in a row (me, crying? never). I wonder if running was really helping me to restore the hormonal balance, or at least keep it in check till my body restored its function completely.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is - if you feel blue, that's normal, and it will eventually pass. And that exercise will help very much.

  4. I think you are right, Stan, about the exercise thing. Walking every day with the work ladies means I'll stay on track whether I get motivated enough to do it after work or not, and so far no depression.

  5. Stan,

    You start running again and try again and don't give up!

    The running did absolutely help you to keep the depression away. Exercise affects the chemical balance of your brain. It causes endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, etc. to be released.

    I am not a biologist, but, I have read a good bit about this.

    There absolutely is a connection between smoking and depression. Depressed people love the drug nicotine because it's a spectacular way to self-regulate emotion.

    Nicotine causes the brain to release dopamine which provides pleasant feelings... but, there is a price to be paid for that! And, I'm not talking about the cost of a pack...

    I'm talking about the stuff you already know: the health problems, coughing, cancer, etc.

    Hang in there...


  6. Wow, great links, John. I just knew that hauling my butt around was making me feel good, but now I have more of an idea of just why that is. Cool!

  7. Ok, for some reason it doesn't let me post comments on John's website, which is a third attempt over the past 3 days or so. So I post it here for John (sorry, Maggie):

    IN REGARDS TO YOUR DEPRESSION POST - EXACTLY! Straight to the point. That's the discovery I made last December when I got slammed down hard with the utter depression. It was bad. Like you read in one of my comments, I stopped running, which was my life line, it turned out.

    So far I feel Chantix is keeping me balanced, but hey I'm on Day 2 of my quit. If I feel very empty and crying again, I am starting running again. It was a miracle cure. Not only it helped me with dopamine/endorphins, etc, it was improving my lung function, it was great cardio, and a great socializing tool (was running with other folks).

    Why won't I start running now, without waiting for depression to kick in? Good question. Maybe I should motivate myself to asap.

    Anyway, I have never in my life realized I can be THAT empty and sad and tearful. The sad thing is that eventually your body does figure a way out of that terrible depression, but that takes time. And at the time, it felt like it was the end of the world. Sigh. But it's not.

  8. Hi Stan, no prob. I had to register on John's blog in order to leave comments, if that helps. Whichever place they are, I'm sure to read them somewhere - good stuff :) Until then, I'm still walking with the work ladies every day (the one who seems to set the pace is pretty hard core - I come back to my desk sweaty and happy).

  9. Hi Stan,

    I just noticed your comment. Don't wait: start your exercise routine + stick to it + you will be able to beat this thing.

    In order to leave comments on my blog you do have to register and they don't post immedeately. I have to approve them.

    I check the blog a few times a day, so, no comments have to wait too long.

    It's set-up this way to avoid getting a ton of spam messages.

    Take care and hang in there!


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