I mentioned a while back that Ken and I quit smoking. It's been one year, three months, and nine days. Neither of us has picked up a cigarette since we quit, and I can honestly say that I have no urge whatsoever to actually pick up a cigarette ever again. We've been in casinos surrounded by smoke, and never had a craving to actually have one. Not only that, the financial savings, based on a pack a day for each of us for over a year, results in over two thousand dollars a year. That's right--two grand a year. That's one heck of a vacation right there.
One side effect that I really didn't care for was that I put on about 10 pounds. But I expected that, and based on how much better I felt, a ten pound weight gain was no big deal. When I had my yearly appointment this summer, my doctor was so happy that I'd quit smoking, She told me that she had read that weight gain after quitting smoking was temporary, and that it usually evens out. I didn't think too much more about it, but I weighed myself the other day--it had been quite a while since I'd done so--and I was very surprised to see that I'd lost five pounds, without doing anything! I haven't been exercising at all, other than my usual walk into work from the parking lot, or going up and down the basement stairs here at home. I was fully prepared to accept a slight weight gain with quitting smoking, so what a cool thing to see it reverse itself. Ken has also managed to keep the weight off, but he actually works out--I can't say I'm to that point yet, but I'll get there.
I know that smoking is an addiction, and I smoked for well over 20 years--Ken smoked even longer than that. But neither of us had to use patches or drugs or anything like that. Ken came up with a plan to cut down gradually and then quit--we both stuck to the plan, and we quit, and we have quit for good. I think the main thing is having real willpower and the balls to stick with it. If you don't make up your mind that you're done, you'll never be done. My Mom was after me for years to quit, and she always told me, "Beth Anne, I know you. You're a strong person, and I know that you're strong enough to stop this." She was right, but it had to be my decision and my resolve to stop. Hearing that I had the beginnings of emphysema was my wake-up call. Anyone who ignores an obvious sign such as that is an idiot.