I was talking to a lady in the gym locker room yesterday. She said she already broke her resolution to lose weight by eating two slices of Oreo cheesecake. Resolutions. So many, so little time. If I had a dime for every time I swore of this or that, I would be rich. Giving up something that brings you comfort is not an easy feat.
I wonder which is the hardest resolution to keep?
a) Quit smoking
b) Quit drinking
c) Quit eating fast foods/empty calories/lose weight
d) Start an exercise regime and be consistent
e) It depends on what your vice is
My mom loves tea. She can drink copious amounts of tea, both day and night. She has a cup of hot tea to start her day, and one to end the day before bedtime. No fancy schmancy herbal for her. She likes plain old Tetley English Breakfast with carnation milk and two lumps of sugar. A lot of tea is her only vice, and I think she would go crazy without her tea fix.
I love wine, as well as decadent milk chocolate. I can see myself parting with chocolate because I have gone for months on end without my beloved Hersey’s with almonds. Wine is a little trickier. I can go for a good while without a glass of Merlot, but I begin to miss the bold, fruity flavours and pairing with a good steak. If I am at a restaurant on a Friday night, it is hard for me to pass up a 6 ounce glass (9 ounce if it’s been a stressful week.) I think I have depended on these golden grapes as a stress reliever and a Friday night ritual. However, when I really focus on replacing this vice with meditation or a long walk, it does get a little easier to beat this vice, or at least cut back to meet my health goals.
Mom chooses tea over booze every time. Dad and I prefer a beverage a little bolder in nature….
From my observations, with family, acquaintances and friends, smoking looks like a very hard addiction to tackle. I have witnessed so many people try to quit smoking and fail time and time again. I have seen people lose weight, quit drinking, quit toxic relationships, but I haven’t seen many succeed on beating this toxic, carcinogenic yuck they breathe into their lungs. My friend once told me that quitting smoking is harder than quitting some lethal drugs. I believe it based on what I have seen.
Smoking looks habitual. Many need to light up after a meal or with a cocktail. Many need to puff and take a deep breath to deal with stress. Some just like having something in their hands. It can be a part of their social circles. It is not often I see a solo smoker. Usually they travel in groups and come together over this common habit, exiting a restaurant in groups or the workplace for a smoke break. Quitting cold turkey can alter personalities for the worse. I once worked with a woman who tried to quit cold turkey. She was in such a nasty mood during this detox phase, often short and irritable toward co-workers and she knew it. On Friday she bought the whole staff donuts and coffee from Tim Hortons with a card. In the card she wrote, “sorry I was such a b#$%&% this week. Quitting is hard! Please accept my apology.”
Some people (like my sister) do succeed going the cold turkey road to beat their nicotine habit. When my sister found out she was pregnant with her first child, she just quit. That has been thirty plus years, and she’s never looked at a cigarette since then. When my brother-in-law (who has since passed away) found out he had lung cancer and his doctor told him to stop if he wants a fighting chance, he just stopped that very same day he was diagnosed.
I also knew a guy who went the patch route. By the end of two weeks, he was removing the patch, lighting up and then putting the patch back on. What is it about the pull of this vice? I really don’t believe that the photos on cigarette cartons with the black, rotting teeth and the lung that looks like a raisin truly gets the message across to addicted smokers. People are still buying cigarettes, looking directly at the disturbing images on the carton and puffing away regardless. The black teeth and desiccated lung have little affect until it is a do or die situation or so it seems. This was the case with my late brother-in-law.
If you are a smoker and want to quit, talk to your doctor for options and let others know of your struggles. Letting others know you are trying to quit is essential. You have got to be ready when Bernice Vanderlay from accounting shows up in the lobby waiting for you, with her carton and lighter in hand. She wants you to join her by the dumpster out back for your ritual of puffing away and talk all about her fantastic date on Saturday night. Let Bernice know that you are trying to quit and now will spend your break going to the coffee shop. Bernice might not have your back, and feel deserted you have abandoned the smoking club, but don’t let that stop you from trying to take care of your health. Tell Bernice you would love to talk about the weekend in the coffee shop, or another non-smoking area. Who knows? Bernice may be wanting to quit too. Now you can support each other.
I know that it is not an easy habit to let go. I feel for those who truly want to beat this habit but feel hopeless.
Did you quit smoking? Any tips to share on the method of your success.