Hey, everyone. I hope all is well. I quit smoking two weeks ago. It was one of a series of actions I've recently taken to lose weight. I always thought quitting smoking would be one of the last things I would do in my quest to shed some pounds - but this time around, it seemed like the sensible to thing to do.
I quit smoking because I bought a bike and realized I couldn't bike very far without gasping and wheezing like my grandmother in the morning before her first Marlboro. If I wanted to lose weight, I thought, I need to be able to bike to more places than 7-11. And if I want to get around, I'll need my lungs to be of capacity to facilitate such trips.
So I quit - I apologize for the long-winded story, but I figure the more background information I provide, the more sense everything makes, and the better advice I can receive. After a few days, I noticed my sinuses were clear. I mean clear like they haven't been in years. Please keep in mind that I'll be 29 this weekend and I've smoked for about 18 years. So anyway, my sinuses are clear as a bell and every few days I'm hacking up a lung. An MD friend of mine said the hacking up a lung thing would happen for a few weeks.
After a week and a half of being on the wagon, I fell off; I relapsed. I bought a pack of cigarettes on Mother's Day and smoked the whole pack over the next three days. I'm back on the wagon - but during those days I went back to smoking, my sinuses were all clogged up again. I'm blown away by how night and day my breathing is because of smoking/not smoking.
So now that I know how blech I'll feel if I regress back to smoking, what do you suggest for getting past these cravings? I understand that the chemical addiction is gone after the first three days - but I smoked for so long because I WANTED to. I loved it - and I still miss it - but I had to quit so I could get healthy. And so, the cravings still come, even after the first three days.
I'm doing the gum/candy thing, but my goal here is to lose weight, not gain it, so I'm trying to limit that stuff.
My MD friend also told me that, during the first three weeks of quitting, I could be susceptible to lung infection? My question here is twofold: First, why am I susceptible to lung infection for the first few weeks after quitting smoking, and; two, how can I prevent getting a lung infection during these first few weeks.
What other changes can I expect from my newfound quest for health? Will the bags under my eyes go away because I've quit smoking? Will I sleep better? What will quitting smoking do besides the obvious breathing benefits?
First off, congratulations on making the decision to quit!! As far as your relapse, I'm right there with you, but you did the right thing by making a new resolve. Lol, I've made a COUPLE of new resolves. This is very hard!
I never got a lung infection when I quit so I'm not qualified to comment on that part of your post, however, I noticed within days of quitting that my skin is smoother, my hair doesn't feel so grimy, I SLEEP better for sure and of course, my sinuses aren't so clogged anymore and I no longer need an inhaler throughout the day to breathe. I have an overall sense of feeling "lighter" and of course, my chest doesn't feel so tight.
I also started walking the day I quit and I'm still walking to this day. It really keep the weight under control. I'm not a big eater in the first place, but might I suggest some sugar-free candy. Sugarfree cinnamon candy tastes pretty good. Also, not only will the walking help with your weight, the exercise will help raise the seratonin levels in your brain which, will in turn, help you relax and sleep better.
To deal with the cravings, I try to keep moving. The cravings only last a few minutes so if you can force your mind to think of something else during that time, the craving will be gone before you know it.
Let me also suggest you check out whyquit.com. It's a good website to help remind you that you're killing yourself slowly with the cigs.
Very best of luck to you and please keep us posted...
Forgot to mention I had been smoking for 33yrs when I quit and if I can do it, so can you. You just have to be completely ready to stop smoking and then never smoke again.
Be strong! You can do this!
38 years smoking here and after my quit I had a bad 4 months : ) Bronchitis, sinus infections and pleurisy. Saying that, I haven't smoked in 7 months and 1 week : )
The benefits for me are so many that I will only list a few: not stinking, being able to smell, healthy looking skin, endurance in walking, treadmill and eliptical, more money, more time, no more circulation problems, toes & finger don't get numb anymore, only using my inhaler about once a week, cuts heal faster and my cats love me more, even kiss me on the mouth now : ) Do you want me to tell you more because I can & and I will : )
As FMXSMKR said, ditto on the congrats and don't beat yourself up on the relapse, just stay focused and keep reminding yourself what it is that you want to achieve.
There are NO positives in smoking and when we talk about how much we like it, it's only because we are to cowardly to quit and to admit we are addicted to those nasty things!
Hang in there and ask for support, it helps a lot.
Oh yeh, Kathyjo, I forgot that due to better circulation, my legs don't ache anymore and I've also noticed that I heal much quicker now. Also, my husband stopped saying "ew, you've been smoking!"
All Alone.....see? The advantages to not smoking are many, whereas there are no advantages whatsoever to keep it up.
Again, good luck!
Hey, everyone - thank you so much! I really appreciate the support, advice, and information!
I wasn't aware of the circulation improvement - I hope to see that soon. After I started this thread, I fell off of the wagon again - but I'm back on again, and I think I'm good to go.
So since I quit, there are some pros and cons. First, I'm absolutely amazed at the night-and-day difference between the effects smoking - and not smoking - have on my sinuses. After a day or two of not smoking, I can breathe all day, every day, without any congestion. It's incredible. Definitely a plus.
I have about a 50% hearing loss in my left ear; it's from a culmination of loud music and myriad head traumas. Anyway, since some of my hearing is gone, I've had a very keen sense of smell for years now. Like, I can smell an orange if someone is peeling it in another room. I can smell the difference between Coke and Pepsi - or between Coke and Diet Coke. Now, with clear sinuses, that's been enhanced. Almost to the point where it's annoying. I was in a store this morning and the various scents were overwhelming. Kind of a con here.
To cut the edge off of the cravings, I've stock-piled Trident gum; different flavors to break up the monotony. Unfortunately, gum-chewing makes me hungry, so I think I'm eating more. I still find myself craving constant flavor from food. So even though I should be drinking water so that I can lose weight, I find myself going for soda and iced tea. But I try to ride my bike as often as possible. The eight mile ride on Saturday - not including about two miles for errands earlier in the day - was a nice ride, and helps the bigger picture. But despite these efforts, I don't seem to be losing weight. I really don't think I'm gaining, but I'm definitely not losing anything either.
Oddly enough, my bike comes in handy when I have cigarette cravings. After a quick ride - even just a mile or so - I'm completely uninterested in having a smoke.
I guess I don't have any questions - it's more like I'm reporting my progress. I appreciate everyone's help; thank you. I'll keep you folks posted on how things go.
Biking is great exercise and a wonderful way to enjoy your surroundings as well. I always feel one with the enviroment when I am cycling : ) I'd say you are on the right track.....replacing exercise when you get a craving, that's good stuff : )
After 7 1/2 months of not smoking, I have finally lost all my "quit" weight. If I were younger and not menopausal I would have lost it a lot sooner (way to much info).
As for breathing, isn't it great!
Thank you, Kathy Jo. Yes, breathing is marvelous. I still wake up sometimes with a stuffy nose, or find that I'm congested in the middle of the day, but I assume that's my body clearing things out.
As for quit weight - my goal is to keep from gaining any, if I can. : )