Two weeks ago I decided that I wanted to quit smoking. It was something I had talked about and debated a lot in the past six or so months due to the cost, inability to run long distances, ex-smokers bragging about their good health and my bad skin. As vain as it sounds, bad skin played a pretty big factor in this decision for me as I refuse to cleanse, tone and moisturise every day to still have big breakouts with little to no warning. At the age of 23, I can only put that down to smoking heavily and it doesn’t make sense to sacrifice my health for something so pointless. I don’t gain anything from smoking, I just lose.
I have been a smoker for over eight years now. I began when I was 15 (and stupid) and I never had any reason to quit. My family is probably 50% full of smokers and as my European friends will tell you, smoking is a totally acceptable thing here. In England, it’s pretty common for people to smoke as teenagers and a lot of them will carry the habit into their twenties. Some never stop.
I thought I’d never quit. It seemed impossible to consider the idea that I would go without a cigarette for more than four or five hours, let alone for the rest of my life, but here I am 36 hours later and I haven’t touched a cigarette. I’d also like to point out that although Dan is quitting with me, we also have a friend living with us right now who is still smoking. So we are surrounded by temptations several times a day.
The process of quitting is actually a lot different to what I imagined it to be. From what I had read and heard from ex-smokers, the first three days are the hardest and so I was fully prepared to be a raging bitch. Now, I won’t lie and make out like I haven’t said and done some terrible things in the last 36 hours, but how I have felt on the inside hasn’t been much different. The odd craving for a cigarette has come and gone, but as I am denying myself cigarettes through choice, it’s not completely unbearable. The cravings pass within 15-20 seconds of me noticing them and they are definitely not non-stop.
I’m also happy to report that an increased appetite from quitting smoking is most definitely definitely a rumour based on people’s choices when they quit. I had read online that the reason people gain weight is due to substituting cigarettes with food, so I decided to make a conscious effort not to do this. I have been eating less (if anything) since quitting smoking because I am consciously trying to be healthier. Every time I get a craving for a cigarette, I drink some water, do a little cleaning or start working on a new project and the craving has disappeared within a few seconds.
Speaking of eating, I have already started noticing how much better things taste and smell in such a short space of time! I could smell a chocolate bar that Dan was eating from across the room yesterday evening, which was both shocking and impressive. Maybe I have a hidden talent here?!
The reason why I am sharing about my journey to quit smoking on my (travel) blog is because I want to be held accountable for the decisions I am making with my life. I fell off the bandwagon a little bit with my running, so I decided to start training for a marathon and since that point, I’ve generally just wanted to improve on my health. More water, no cigarettes, less alcohol (well… I will try on this one!) and more home cooked meals are on the agenda for this girl!
Are you a smoker? Have you quit smoking? How did you find it?