Note: This is part two of Chris’ blog about his journey and experiences while quitting smoking. Part one can be found by clicking here.
Day one wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Instead of the 6 or 7 cigarettes I normally smoked I had managed to eliminate 3 of them from my daily routine. I was proud… and scared.
By the third day on the program I woke up and went about my day. I wasn’t thinking about smoking but more about the fact I didn’t want to smoke. Something I was quite proud of.
Those days eventually turned into weeks. I was now considering myself a non-smoker, at least to strangers, as my friends and family were hopeful I would continue the journey but figured I would lapse back into the habit. After all, I had before.
As long as I stayed positive, I would eventually prove them wrong. And I did. I am now able to proudly say that I am a non-smoker. It has been nearly 4 years now and I have to say I don’t miss it.
An obvious reason is that I do feel better. My car, my home, and my clothing all smell better. I feel included now, which may sound strange, but as a smoker you don’t realize how much you miss in life. One thing was sleep.
I had never been what you would call a great sleeper. As much as I enjoyed sleep, I rarely slept through the night. I was always restless. I never considered it was perhaps a withdrawal symptom of smoking. My body was telling me that it required nicotine and that it couldn’t handle 7 hours without it. It wasn’t until I was on my journey that I discovered I could sleep sound and through the night, something I don’t think I had done since I was a child.
Another noticeable change was I could breathe better. My after dinner walks eventually turned into short runs. Now another challenge was on. Could I do a 5km run? One way to find out was to register as a participant with a local cancer run. After all, I was never going to know unless I actually tried. And tried I did.
Let’s face it, smoking had weakened my lungs, so running did become a taxing endeavour. I persevered choosing not to give up. Yes, I made it the first 5km, but I had walked much of it. BUT I actually ran across the finish line. Something I had never done in my entire life. This was the motivation I needed.
Now jogging is a part of my life. I am no great runner, but it is something I do enjoy at the end of the day. It clears my head, makes me physically tired (as I sit at a desk most of the day) and makes me fell exhilarated! A 5km run or jog is no longer the challenge nor the exhausted feat it once was.
Now, I am not saying you need to quit smoking and become a jogger. I am saying quit smoking and enjoy the time you have doing what makes you feel alive. Focus on something other than smoking. Healthy cooking, physical activities, hobbies, or your family and friends. Whatever you choose, you will be better off.
As the old saying goes, and it may be a bit cliché, this is the first day of the rest of your life!
Good luck on your journey!
By Chris Haynes – cdhaynes design
With over 30 years of agency experience Christopher Haynes formed cdhaynes design to possess strengths in digital design, corporate identity and consistency, and developing keen marketing/advertising plans that are truly unique to each client. Heart Niagara has been a client since the spring of 2007, and now Chris feels more like part of the staff than ever. Due to Heart Niagara’s influence, Chris has a new found passion for healthy eating and living, has quit a 42 year smoking habit through the Smoking Cessation Program and has become an avid jogger. A new project in the works, Chris is currently developing a website for people over the age of 60, with the focus on living, eating and looking better at 60. “We are living and working longer, so why not do it the best possible way we can….. healthy, fit and competitive”.
Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in blog entries are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Heart Niagara.