Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gained

Today is Smoke-free Day 107, and I've gained.

First, the good news about what I've gained.

I've gained the ability to laugh without coughing and the ability to wake up without feeling just kind of "yucky" like I'd felt for so long yet didn't really notice it until in comparison once I'd quit smoking. I've gained the joy of feeling like I smell "fresh" instead of smoky and feeling like I can do darn near anything I set my mind to doing if I've accomplished this not smoking thing. I've gained hopefully many more days or years tacked onto the end of my life and the feeling of being more at ease because quitting smoking no longer looms in front of me as this big, bad, terrible monster that I'll have to face in time before the Big C or something else Very Bad "gets" me. I've faced it (thankfully with the help of Chantix), it wasn't as terrible as past battles, and now it's done other than maintaining my quit, which is always easier than having to quit again from scratch. Yes, I've gained much. All that and more.

Now for the not as good news about what I've gained.

It's really kind of snuck up on me, but I have started to gain just a bit of weight since quitting smoking or since quitting the Chantix. Or both. Not sure.

I do know that back on Day 34 I was not yet gaining any weight, though I had gained just a little before quitting (which I forgot until I just read it, and now I feel a little better). Looking back at old posts, I was also developing the snack habit early in my quit, but was at least trying to go for the celery (had to giggle when I read it because that's the last celery I've seen since). Historically, I'd always been thin, and then I hit 30, was in the middle of the over a year not smoking stint, gained about 28 pounds (very noticeable on my 5'2" frame), started smoking again, lost about 18 pounds, went along my merry way and continued to use smoking, in part as one of a million reasons, to maintain a very reasonable weight (sadly, but truly, smoking itself does, indeed, burn calories <-- great article) for someone as small as I am. Great plan except for what smoking was costing me in exchange - not worth it, no matter what bullshit I tell myself (and I have been known tell myself plenty of goofy stuff).

So, I'll be continuing the twice a day 20 minute mile walking that I've been enjoying so very much and that I'm sure is helping to keep the situation (and my tushy) from really ballooning, and I'll also be paying a little more attention to the mindless snacking where smoking used to be. Yes, I do that, too. I've started adding little bits of jogging in small bursts during my walking sometimes, but I'm having some ankle issues from an old sprain, so I'll also be making a little visit to peek at the fitness center in our apartment complex as another option.

I hereby promise myself that whenever I think for a second about any pound I've gained as a non-smoker, I'll equal it with one of the many, many benefits I've gained and remind myself that I've made the right decision because much of the damage from smoking isn't as reversible as a pound or four is (within reason, of course). Then I'll put down the cookie and grab a carrot, put down the remote and maybe take a walk, perhaps even peek at the fitness center again (or go inside if I'm feeling bold), or at the very least remind myself to not *ever* again think of smoking as a solution to a problem because it just isn't one and only creates more problems, some of which just ain't fixable once the damage is done.

6 comments:

  1. Maggie,

    Just walk into the fitness center. Don't think about it and psyche yourself out.

    Say to yourself, "I'm not worried about what anybody thinks," and walk in there.

    Even if you're not "feeling bold" simply force yourself to walk in there!!!!!!!!!

    John

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  2. Maggie:
    First, let me say how much you, and others you link to, have helped motivate me and keep me motivated (and entertain me,you are such wonderful writers). I am 81 days smoke free. Except, that is, for a 2 cig night when I woke up the next day and felt like I had smoked a pack! The way I figure that is, I sure scratched that itch. And,it had been an itch.I had been thinking about it for days and finally gave in to it. I have gained about 8 lbs. I read on one of the blogs that a non-smoker (all things being equal) will weigh about 5 lbs less than a smoker. So, any lbs over that is because we are changing our snacking/eating habits. I know I have. The other thing I want to say is how the "habit" element of this terrible addiction works. As I said, I am 81 days smoke free BUT I find that I still want that "reward" after a particular accomplishment.I clean the bathroom and I want a cig. I call voters for a particular candidate(as I did tonight) and I want a cig. After all, that's what I have done for 40 years, do a task and then have a cig.."great job, me". I don't now how long that will last. After all, it's been going on for MANY years, but I am so tired of having to fight it.
    Becky in TN

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  3. Thanks, John. I have no clue how to use any of the equipment, so I will probably venture in but won't go too crazy.

    Thanks, Becky! I'm am thrilled to hear that you are still on track, even with a little bump. The reward thing is a strong one and part of the habit side of smoking. I do believe that it really will leave eventually. For me, it's gone, but we all have different experiences. So glad you stopped by and said hello!

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  4. Maggie, my good woman, it's not rocket science. : )

    You do want to be careful, of course, to benefit physically and to avoid injury, but, the machines are usually pretty much of a no-brainer, and, there is AN ABSOLUTE TON of weight-lifting instruction, video etc. online and available free....

    Do a little reading. Start off with low weights to get the form right.

    Best wishes,
    John

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  5. Heya, girl, good to see you posting smokefree. Who cares what you post about as long as you still aren't smoking. JK! :) Just wanted to stop by.

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  6. I'm getting there, John. The idea that I'm willing to walk in is a good thing full of progress ;) I will be finding out plenty more and developing a plan of sorts because that's the anal way I approach new stuff and because I do want to avoid any further hurting of myself. I do keep hearing that the machines are hard to screw up, even for klutzes like me, so I bet you are right.

    Thanks, Stan, I think ;) Good to see you!

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