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How to Quit Smoking in 5 [Not So] Easy Steps
How to stop smoking? If you asked for this, you are doing yourself a great service. You can definitely do it like I did! And I did it cold turkey. You can do it too, if you follow this article.
First, let me give you a little background. I started smoking when I was 20 years old. It was, without a doubt, the dumbest thing I’ve ever done in my life. As with many people, it started with “Let me bum a cigarette.” But that cigarette a day with a drink among friends became 10 a day, then a pack a day. Soon, I was smoking about 2 packs a day. And driving for a living – being alone in the car most of the time – there’s nothing to do but smoke. Especially on those long drives like Alligator Alley on Florida’s I-75.
My smoking took a toll on me and my health. I continued to lose weight since I wasn’t eating much. I would smoke whenever I felt the need to do something. This cut into my appetite. Look, I’m not the tallest person in the world! At 5’11”, at one point I weighed as much as 123 lbs. My lung capacity was really bad and I couldn’t even walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath. Every morning I would wake up with a nasty cough that I felt like a piece of my lung was expelled with the nasty green stuff coming out. alive, I had to do something. I he had to quit smoking!
As if you need to tell you this, but knowing that you have to do something, and actually doing it are two completely different things. According to Helpguide.org:
“Smoking is not only a physical addiction to nicotine, but also a psychological habit.”
Smoke when you have nothing to do, not just when your body needs nicotine. So just denying yourself nicotine won’t work. You may actually make the problem worse.
I’ve organized this guide into a few steps that I think will benefit you based on what I’ve been through. Every step is very important.
Step 1: Realize that you have to leave
The first step is very simple. You have to realize that you need to quit. As simple as this may sound, most people may think that they should quit smoking. But the reality is that unless something happens that forces you to quit, you really don’t have to carried out did you need to stop smoking. Yes, you know that it is not good for you, and you have to quit, but knowing that smoking is not good for you. it is not the realization that you need to leave! What I mean here is that you have to understand that smoking is causing you harm and see that harm. For me, chain smoking has caused my lung capacity to decrease and I cough every morning as if I’m coughing up a piece of my lung. Sorry, I know it’s kind of an ugly display, but you need to really understand that it’s in your best interest to forget it. People don’t change themselves, or their habits, until they absolutely have to. If you need a little push to accomplish this step, this commercial could help.
Step 2: Surround yourself with people who support your decision
Leaving without support from friends and family is impossible. Surround yourself with people who mean well and have your best interest at heart. Don’t do that much with smokers. If you drink coffee, like me, there is nothing better than sitting on the outdoor patio of a local Starbucks, smoking a cigarette with your morning espresso. That has to stop. Maybe even brew your coffee at home instead of going to Starbucks. For some, drinking is also a problem. When they have a beer or two, they like a cigarette with it. For me it wasn’t really a problem. But if you think you need a smoke with your beer, it’s better to avoid local bars, beer, and friends who do both for a few weeks.
Step 3: Quit Smoking – Cold Turkey!
Here comes the hardest part! Deny yourself nicotine! If you have done steps one and two, this should not be impossible. It will always be hard as the body goes through physical withdrawals. You’ll be in a bit of a mood: grin: – at least I was, or so I was told, even though I don’t remember doing the things my friends and family said I did. If you understand that really need to quit smoking so that should be at the forefront of your thought process. Don’t let that image or vision escape your mind. Every time you feel like smoking a cigarette, remember reasons why you need to quit. And if you surround yourself with people who support you and your decision and mean well, they will put you through everything you can throw at them while the body goes through the detox process. This should subside in about 4-5 weeks.
Step 4: Set Up a Reward System
As cheesy as this step sounds, it is very important. Set goals for yourself. For every day or week you go without smoking a cigarette, you should treat yourself to something nice. Whether it’s dinner, a new electronic toy, or something for the house – reward yourself. Take the money you spent on cigarettes and buy something nice for yourself. I prefer weekly prizes for two reasons.
1. More money to play – you can buy something nicer than if you reward me with $6/day and
2. A week without smoking is a real achievement. Many people can do a day without a cigarette. Very few can do seven days. So reward yourself. It is important.
Step 5: Take another habit – at least for another time
Because smoking is a psychological habit like a physical addiction, it is important to replace the habit of smoking with something else. For me, it was important to feel that I had something in hand. So, for me, I ended up eating pretzel sticks – the bigger ones that looked like cigars. I don’t need to tell you how ridiculous I looked with that between my fingers and bringing it to my mouth, but I’ll tell you something, I don’t care. I was committed to quitting and nothing was going to stand in my way of accomplishing this seemingly impossible task. This “new habit” helped me overcome the psychological habit.
Now that you have seen the 5 steps, you will understand that you and only you can make that determination that you need to quit smoking. I’ve heard many excuses like people “can’t” or “it’s hard” or “I’m not ready!” While the latter are also very true, the former is false. It takes a lot of determination and courage to quit, but you can do it. It’s really hard – especially during the first few weeks when your body goes through the “detox” from nicotine. But it can be done. I am living proof. It’s been almost 2 years since I quit, and I’ve never felt better. I gained about 45 lbs (and 80% of it is muscle) and I exercise regularly. I also finished the Insanity workout recently. For those of you who don’t know what insanity is, just Google it. It’s so intense in cardio that I could never have imagined completing it before I quit smoking. I can taste my food. I can smell the air – although depending on the area of the country I’m in, I’m not sure that’s a big deal. But you get my point!
You need to quit. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to quit smoking, and I wish you all the best. It’s hard, but the rewards are worth it.
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