It was one year ago today that I smoked my last cigarette! Wooo Hooo, can I get an Amen?
This is the thing, I’ve stopped smoking many times before January 4, 2016 but never had I quit. I now understand the difference. I can honestly say that I will never smoke another cigarette.
It wasn’t easy quitting, as a matter of fact it was very hard. See, those cigarettes had been my best friends for a long long long time. They were always there for me, for the good times and the bad.
It came down to one thing… I had to want to quit more than I wanted to smoke. I say that because even now I still sometimes get a craving but it passes quickly.
I had a mantra that I would say out loud when I got one of those cravings and it was “It’s NOT an option” and it truly wasn’t an option. I was quitting the cigarettes so smoking was not an option.
Savings: Each week I put the money I would’ve spent on cigarettes into a jar. I knew if I didn’t separate and put that money aside that it would get absorbed into other spending categories. I wanted to be able to see and physically touch the money for motivation.
Weight gain: Well honestly I didn’t worry about it, and yes in the past year I’ve gained three pounds. I don’t know if I can even blame that on the smokes.
Triggers: being in the car was a huge trigger for me. A good friend suggested audio books to keep my mind occupied rather than thinking about smoking. What a game changer that was! I was thinking about someone elses story instead of mine. This was a huge part in the success of quitting.
Cravings: I found that hard cinnamon candy worked well for my cravings. I suppose it was the little bit of burn from the candy that I liked. It also helped that it was right after Christmas and I had a big bag of it.
Anxiety: There was definitely some anxiety associated with quitting smoking and we just did the best we could to recognize what and why it was and moved past it. I had another dear friend tell me that she used to bake bread and give it away while she was quitting smoking. It was the kneading and punching the dough that gave her some relief from the anxiety of quitting. What a clever idea, and she had the wonderful smell of bread baking filling her kitchen.
Talk About It: Talk openly about your effort to quit. Seek motivation from others, and if those others don’t motivate you then find different people that do. Trust me, for all the cravings and desire you have to smoke a cigarette there is a smoker out there buying a pack of cigarettes wishing that they weren’t.
I thought I loved every cigarette I smoked. I really thought I enjoyed smoking. But honestly I only liked the first couple of draws and then it seemed like the cigarette smoked me.
Quitting smoking was one of the best things the Z Man and I did for ourselves and I’m very proud that we have kicked those nasty cigarettes to the curb.
Perhaps you are in the midst of quitting something right now. Just remember to take it easy on yourself, be kind to yourself and remind yourself why you truly want to quit. It won’t be easy, buy you are strong enough and you are worth the effort.
You can do it, I know you can and I am right here cheering you on, friend!
Or, perhaps you’ve already quit and have kicked it for even longer than we have, I’d love to hear your story too.
Ps. Here is what we did with my quit smoking money. Football Baby!