Many moons ago I was studying for my higher school certificate (HSC for the Aussies, final school exams that give you your marks to get into University for everyone else 🙂 ), I had always had issues with exam anxiety. It wasn’t that I didn’t study or didn’t try, I just got in there and somehow convinced myself things were trick questions or they wanted more than what was on there or had blanks. It was a bad time. My grandmother was also very ill and going through cancer treatments.
One day I went to visit my grandmother with my Mum and the doctor chose that day to tell us that she would not be getting better. I blocked up all my reactions and when we left the hospital I kept striding towards the car until my Mum yelled for me to stop. I sat down on a short wall and started crying. My Mum had her cigarettes sitting next to her and I just took one and lit it. That was the day I first started smoking.
I was a pretty considerate smoker I believe. I stood away from people and crowds when smoking. I held the cigarette away from myself and blew the smoke away from myself to reduce the amount the smell stuck to me. I would also eat a mint, wash my hands and give a spritz of perfume after a smoke and like any decent person I binned my butts.
Because my hubby, siblings and mother smoke I have always found it very difficult to quit or cut down. I would also use smoking as an appetite suppressant and didn’t feel I could quit and lose weight at the same time and because I was always trying to lose weight I never really quit.
I always thought I would quit when I got pregnant. For many years of trying I didn’t think of quitting. Then when we found out how much IVF was going to cost us I decided I didn’t want anything risking it not working and I just completely quit on February 15 this year. One day I smoked the next day I just stopped, that evening I was sitting at a table whilst my Mum and Hubby enjoyed a smoke and a cuppa together and it was hard, but I didn’t smoke.
I have now not smoked for 155 days.
I am so very proud of myself. It was not easy. It was in fact very hard to break a habit I had for over a decade. I feel I am healthier for it. I used to always get bronchitis in winter, I have not (touch wood) had anything awful so far this winter (although I also had the flu vaccine for the first time this year). Whilst all my colleagues have been falling around me I have marched on with sometimes mild flu symptoms. I have been an asthma sufferer for years and since quitting I have not had one attack. Not one use of my inhaler. That is incredible to me.
Between quitting smoking and the IVF meds I did put on about 8kgs (my IVF doctor was not pleased) and my eating was just out of control because I was using food to fill the smoking hole. Last week I signed up with weight watchers to help get my eating back on track. In the first week I lost 2.4kgs so I feel like this was definitely a good move.
I knew going in that quitting smoking would be a long road. I was prepared to put on weight and wait for my body to get used to being without cigarettes before attempting to lose it and now I am ready to build a new lifestyle that does not include smoking.
It was a massive part of my life. My husband who generally succeeds at everything he does lasted half a day. I am not mad at him for this because I know how difficult it is. I believe in him and know he will get there.
I have had difficulty because I used to use a smoke as a time of stress relief. Suddenly removing that from my life I believe had a bigger impact than the cravings. To deal I replaced it with watching Netflix and eating chocolate basically everyday. As a chocoholic I must admit I loved this, but my fat jeans did not. They no longer fit 😦 It also did not solve the problem because I was avoiding de-stressing by submerging myself in another world. It was all still there when I turned the TV off at night.
After our fresh transfer for IVF failed I went into a dark hole. I knew I needed to make changes to help my mental health and help me heal from this devastating result. So we took a break from IVF to allow my body to balance out all the hormones and we vowed to stop having timed intercourse for a couple of months (anyone who has had to do this knows what it does to your relationship and we have been trying to conceive for 4.5 years now) and I decided to make some changes.
So what has this loss of habit brought me?:
I no longer have asthma symptoms, I can breathe easier, I don’t get sick as often and if I do I get over it pretty quickly.
My decision to change my lifestyle began 155 days ago when I quit smoking. I knew I was in for a long journey, but so far it has totally been worth it. I have been going to Pilates for 3 weeks and love it. Yesterday I added in some treadmill work before Pilates which my body was not used to, but was very good to me. Pilates has also helped my headspace. I plan to increase the number of times I do it a week because I feel that this could provide me with the de-stress I have been craving. Long soaks in the bath have also helped with this and finding ways to spoil myself a little that has nothing to do with food or smoking has helped with the de-stress too.
The combination of quitting smoking and having a break from IVF has hubby and I connecting like newlyweds, we are coming up on 9 years together and 5 years married and I can with confidence say that our relationship is everything have always hoped for in a marriage.
Whilst I put on weight initially I am now losing it slowly in a healthy way and filling my body with awesome nutrition to support the beautiful embryo we have frozen just waiting for transfer.
Making the decision to lose this habit has had many positive impacts in my life. It was one of the bigger challenges I have faced in life and I am proud of myself for overcoming it.
Response to the discover topic The Things We Leave Behind
July 20th, 2016 at 1:30 pm
Pardon my French, but I am so FUCKING proud of you Cat!! Well done you!!!! xoxoxoxox
July 21st, 2016 at 11:39 am
Thank you! Very hard, but totally worth it 🙂 xx
July 20th, 2016 at 1:49 pm
This is nothing short of amazing! Good for you!!!
July 21st, 2016 at 11:39 am
Thank you 🙂
July 20th, 2016 at 4:21 pm
Ummmmm can I just tell you that you are freaking AMAZING. I used to be a smoker so I can truly appreciate how difficult that transition must have been – especially with two of your dearest and closest everyday peeps fagging away around you. I am so pleased you have felt there have been wonderful rewards to go with the change too. That’s awesome. And you have been so clever on your approach. You are really in it for the long game and I think you will get even great rewards for your efforts as you progress. Go you!!!!
July 21st, 2016 at 11:46 am
Thanks so much. It has certainly been difficult, but I think once I put aside the fear of putting weight on and realised that this was what I needed to do to overcome smoking things became a bit easier 🙂
July 20th, 2016 at 5:39 pm
July 21st, 2016 at 11:47 am
July 21st, 2016 at 12:08 am
This is absolutely fabulous!!! So proud of you for quitting smoking (especially cold turkey!!) and now on your weight loss!!! You’re amazing! You know I’m here for you to chat with if you have some days where you need a little extra support. So proud!!! *hugs*
July 21st, 2016 at 11:48 am
Thank you! It wasn’t going to be cold turkey to be honest. I had bought the gum and the patches. I tried the gum once and it was the foulest of the foul. Then I tried patches for a week and they gave me terrible pain in the joints where I had them and when I put it on my stomache I ended up with stomache issues for 2 days so I stopped and went cold turkey hahaha.
Thanks heaps and back at you, always here if you need me 🙂 xx
July 21st, 2016 at 12:34 pm
Wow that all sounds like it sucked!! No matter how you ended up doing it, I’d be proud of you anyway!
July 21st, 2016 at 1:57 pm
Yeah it wasn’t great. I was tempted to give up, but pushed through instead. I knew if I gave up then that it would be so long before I tried again 🙂
Thanks. I am proud of me 🙂
July 21st, 2016 at 12:38 am
Congratulations and well done! I watched a friend quit smoking and it took her several tries over several years. Best to you!
July 21st, 2016 at 11:49 am
Thank you. How great that she kept trying. I am hoping this was my first and last need to attempt to quit 🙂
July 21st, 2016 at 1:14 am
Great job leading yourself to a healthier lifestyle all around! Don’t underestimate how strong you are, you’ve climbed mountains already. Best of luck!
July 21st, 2016 at 11:51 am
Thanks so much. That is a great way to think about it. I’ll have to remind myself of that whenever I start feeling weak on this journey to a healthier me 🙂
July 22nd, 2016 at 3:28 am
I just love, love, LOVE this post! 155 days of nonsmoking is so kick ass! You are my kindred spirit in so many ways, this being just one of them. I quit again back in March for our FET, but continued to have one a day for a month or so and still considered that being a “nonsmoker.” Haha, right?! Now it’s been about 8 weeks of total abstinence and it’s easier, but at times the struggle is still real. It sounds like you’ve for real quit and I’m so proud of you! Congrats 🙂
July 22nd, 2016 at 5:56 pm
Thanks. Haha I told you so back when I first found your blog and put that ENORMOUS comment up LOL.
To be fair at the time going down to 1 a day would have felt like being a non-smoker. Go you. I had tried to cut down before and as soon as I hit a stressful period my per day numbers were way back up there. I knew I had to do all or nothing.
Congrats on your 8 weeks of abstinence. I feel like we should get tokens for quitting smoking.
I am getting a lot better with the struggle. That’s why I totally let myself indulge in all things food, Kit-Kats (and other stick like foods) saved me from reaching for a smoke 🙂 I LOVE KIT-KATS 🙂
I certainly hope I have for realsies quit. I really don’t want to go back. I have learned that I am much stronger than I gave myself credit for which is always a nice thing to learn.
We can do it!
January 18th, 2017 at 4:55 pm
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