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  •  Aw, don't be frightened of the weight thing (1+ / 0-)
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    That can be fixed once you quit and adjust to the different metabolism. Most people who quit feel better enough (breathing and energy-wise) in a relatively short time that they can start exercising almost immediately and that will help. You can also consciously choose better snacks when the oral fixation thing hits, too. We have at least one regular who took up cycling after quitting and he's logged thousands of miles since! But don't ever let yourself believe that sustaining an addiction that's doing real, measurable damage to your health is ever a good trade-off for temporarily going up a size or two.

    And won't you be glad to get rid of the crazy subterfuge involved in hiding your smoking? (Which, by the way, is almost never entirely hidden, no matter how good we are with the mints and Febreze. I thought I was being all sneaky and covert with it in some situations, but people were just being kind. When I actually quit I could smell it on everything. So much for that, LOL!)

    I couldn't do the patch (skin rash) or lozenge (mouth skin rash) so I ended up having to go Cold Turkey. It was Mr Toad's Wild Ride for a few days, weird/cranky for a few weeks, and eventually normal after a few months, but it worked. I've saved thousands and thousands of dollars since; enough to put a downpayment on a house (really!).

    Cutting down can help, in that it will lower your nicotine levels a bit ahead of the actual quit, but for me, cutting back always made me fixate on the next smoke and think of the few remaining ones as precious treats, which is actually the opposite of what you want to do.

    Instead, what I'd suggest is try to change the way you smoke now and really force yourself away from the "autopilot" thing or the "smokes as treat/reward" thing. Most of us have a few "good" or "favorite" smokes (with coffee, after a meal, after doing something stressful, at the end of a day, during a drive or with a beverage at night) and the rest of them are "autopilot" ones that we smoke to maintain our nicotine levels.  When we cut back, we save the "good" ones for last...ironically making them even more precious.

    You can switch off the "autopilot" nature of most smokes and stop making the "good" ones seem like treats by changing the way you approach smoking. Remove easy access to smokes (if you smoke when you drive, lock them in the trunk so you actually have to pull over and retrieve them if you "need" one). Change the times and locations you smoke, and don't do anything pleasurable when you DO smoke.

    For example, delay that first smoke or eliminate the one you have with your morning coffee in your regular spot at a regular time. Instead, stand in a corner of the garage or on the porch or in a random, uninteresting spot and don't do anything nice or fun or distracting  (read, check messages, text, talk to anyone, watch TV, listen to music...nothing) while you smoke. Force yourself to be mindful of the act each time, and consider why you're smoking  at that moment (nicotine craving, stress reaction, coping skill, attempt to "reward" yourself, self-comfort) and think of other ways you might respond.

    Basically you need to retrain your brain to respond to the impulse to smoke with other actions or responses...building a set of coping skills and responses to stress that most of us as smokers don't develop, because we have a "one size fits all" response in the form of cigarettes. It's totally doable; it just takes a bit of work, and time. You'll get there.

    Donald Rumsfeld is a blood gargling psychopath.

    by Vacationland on Mon Apr 01, 2013 at 11:36:27 AM PDT

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