Not One Puff Even - 1 Year of tobaccolessness
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
April 20th... Both my husband and I have now gone once around the sun without smoking tobacco. N.O.P.E. - Not One Puff Even.
I stopped smoking on April 20th 2009 and by December 29th I still hadn't smoked but had gained 21 pounds. When I first quit, I made the decision not to worry about my weight at all, to focus only on quitting smoking in 2009 and then spend 2010 getting my weight back to a healthy level. I was already overweight but decided that I needed to worry about one huge life change at a time and smoking was the nastier of the two.
When I quit I was already 50 pounds above my healthy weight and quitting smoking added another 21 to that. I realized that I could use the singularity of purpose, that experience in completely rearranging my life and my self-concept that I learned while quitting smoking to start eating and moving healthier. Redefining myself from "smoker" to "non-smoker" gave me a pretty good idea what it was going to be like redefining myself from "self-indulgent comfort puppy" to "food-weighing, step-counting, deep-breathing health nut". I really think the hardest part was redefining my own self-definition.
The thought of myself as a non-smoker let alone health seemed just silly. I wasn't "that person" but rather had to force myself to want to be that person. It was like putting on a tutu and tap shoes - they may seem stupid, bu just having them on makes you want to be a tutu wearing tap-dancer.
For almost four months I have been sternly (but kindly) making myself measure and log what goes into me. Not only that, I have replaced my smoke breaks at work with climbing the stairs to the green house on the top of our building (5 flights up) once, twice or three times a day. My husband and I now walk to grocery shop or bike along the river every day and my wii is both my daily friend and dreaded drill Sargent. (exercising is still out of character for me, but I pretend it isn't)
So, one year after my quit date - April 20th, 2010 - where is my weight? Exactly where I was one year ago today. Meaning I quit smoking, gained 21 pounds and then lost it - in 1 year. That's very cool. But much more importantly, I am in much better shape then I was the day I quit. I now have really good habits - I am exercising like never before and cooking really good healthy foods. Every once in a while I go easy on myself and splurge a bit, but they are little splurges and then only on the most delectable and amazing food. I try not to waste a splurge on crap.... not worth it.
I know I still have 50 pounds to go but I feel really energized and capable of making huge changes in my life. If I can quit smoking, I can definitely eat and exercise in a way that makes my body stronger and more energetic. In the back of my head, I have already accomplished the weight loss goal of 2010. I am starting to mentally play with what the next big change might be.