Smoke and Mirrors

In all my excitement to talk about my new foray into running and blogging, I forgot to mention something else I had quit doing… Smoking. Yup, I took the plunge. It wasn’t easy; and I must admit I had a bit of a panic attack the days leading up to my quit date. But, so far so good.

Seeing as this blog is all about getting better back, I thought this would be an appropriate subject to take on.

It has been well documented that nicotine, a naturally occurring stimulant, can suppress appetite.  So natural plus appetite curbing properties equals healthy. Right? That conclusion begs the question, however rhetorical – Is appetite suppression a healthy thing to partake in? I surmised that surely if cigarette companies could blatantly advertise that cigarettes could essentially improve body image by maintaining your weight, who was I to argue, and I needed all the help I could get.

Throughout my back story as a smoker, I had been often asked the question, why do you smoke? I have had numerous answers to this question including, but not limited to:

It relaxes me;

I enjoy smoking;

It’s a great stress reliever; and

If I stop now, I’ll gain weight and I really can’t afford to gain more.

That last one was as if smoking had a health benefit. No need to point out the obvious that I had gained weight while smoking. Of course I knew I had gained weight, but I did not think it was much until one day while in the mirror; I could not believe what I had seen. My weight had crept up on me so slowly that I hadn’t really noticed, until the day I couldn’t help but notice. I was at least 25 pounds overweight and thought, when the hell did that happen? Being only 5’1”, I knew I couldn’t really afford to gain too much before having to search for clothing in the big and short aisle. Not a pretty picture.

But, I still clung, albeit subconsciously, to the notion that cigarettes held a trace of a health benefit. In fact, coupled with a good dose of coffee in the morning, every smoker knows that they speed up the laxative properties of coffee. Surely they can’t be all that bad, I reasoned.

With all that, I still could not see that smoking was more detrimental to my health, and on a far greater scale, than gaining a few extra few pounds of weight ever would be. And I knew that I would be hard pressed to find a doctor that would back my skewed reasoning behind my not quitting.

I also knew that there were triggers to smoking. I think indulged in all of them. If I were to quit smoking, would I have quit coffee and alcohol as well? What the hell was I supposed to do after meals? I couldn’t be expected to quit eating too? No, quitting smoking was a way too difficult task, chock-full of wrenches adept at bringing any plan to a grinding halt and rendering me a full-on certifiable bitch.  So, I kept on inhaling those cigarettes.

Check back for part two to see how this journey is progressing…

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