Perhaps the only thing worse than an addiction to food is an addiction to nicotine (edit: okay, so there are a ton more addictions that are worse but, hey, work with me here). I’ve touched upon the topic in previous entries but haven’t felt comfortable expanding on it because I feel like an incredible hypocrite. Eating healthy, literally working my ass off, trying to make the most of my years on this planet, and basically undoing it all with every drag of a cigarette.
I would say I’m about an average smoker, maybe above average. When I wake up at 5am every morning, the only thing I can think of is having my morning cigarette. If it’s a work day, I’ll have one on the way to work. Then another after breakfast. And another before lunch. And then of course the necessary one after lunch. Post-meal smokes were the absolute best. When I’m done with an intense workout, I’ll light up. And of course the last one before bed. By the end of the day I’ve had at least 10-12, even more if I’ve had drinks or go out to dinner with a friend.
The spotlight on my smoking seemingly started to shine even brighter on me after I began my weight loss journey. When I was heavy, maybe friends and family thought I was totally okay with what I was doing to my body. I never complained about my body image out loud, and never expressed the desire to quit smoking.
The other day my boss (a worse smoker than me) asked me, “so, are you doing the weight loss thing for looks or health?” Mostly health, I answered, a tad dishonestly. “So then what the fuck are you doing still smoking? Idiot!” That may sound harsh, but my boss and I have worked together for over 11 years; we have that kind of relationship. He knows I do well with tough love and brutal honesty. And most of all, he was right.
Quitting had been dancing around in the back of my head for some time, but I made my final decision when I started taking Couch 2 5K seriously. My endurance has been getting better, but what about when it’s time to start jogging for 20 or 30 minutes at a time? The thought seems like a pipe dream with the current state of my lungs. I don’t expect to be magically cured after a few days, but it is the first step.
So what’s my plan? Well, I don’t really have one. There’s the patch, the gum, the pills, the hypnotism, you name it. So far my plan is to “smoke” an electronic cigarette (pictured above) whenever the urge strikes. The white part is the battery and the red things are nicotine cartridges. They’re sold in all kinds of strengths and flavors. I got “light” which contains 6mg nicotine. When I inhale, the tip lights up just like a regular cigarette and I feel a warm vapor enter my lungs.
I’ve been smoking the thing all day at work. Sitting in the conference room with all my coworkers, in my office while working. I also walked out to where I usually smoked and puffed on it like an idiot. After a few minutes I was like, this is stupid. It’s definitely going to take some getting used to because it does not satisfy my cravings like I thought it would. But that’s sort of the whole point, right? Kicking the habit in the least painful way possible, eventually not needing any sort of alternative.
It’s been exactly 12 hours since my last cigarette (I smoked my last one on the way to work this morning) and I’ll be honest. I don’t know if I’m gonna last another day. But I’ll try it for at least a week, and by then maybe I’ll be okay. I tell ya, I think quitting smoking will be so much harder than it was to change my eating and exercise habits. Eating healthy and working out is actually, dare I say, FUN?!
Well, compared to quitting smoking I’m sure it’s a walk in the park.