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SLAVE to Whom you OBEY (Quit SMokinG / Week ONE)

Breathless – by Tsugami
BREAKING THE CHAINS OF BONDAGE

May 8, Day 1 – It’s Mother’s Day, and strangely I am glad I had the day alone. I’ve been having cravings on and off all day. Some severe urges, some nagging. I’ve had to speak aloud to myself on occasion. I’ve had to start this record to get through one of them!  ;o) I am going to sleep soon to stop the insanity.

May 9, Day 2 – Another hard one. Bad enough that I didn’t get around to even writing about it until today,    … which is …

May 10, Day 3 –  One craving yesterday lasted over an hour straight – so that five minute rule can be *singing* BoGUs!  Today was a bit better, I think. I don’t know what to compare it to. I have a LOT of nervous energy – I can totally tell this part of the ‘withdrawals’ is definitely physiological. I’ve gotten online several times to just read, and re-read the benefits of quitting – looking at smoker’s lungs  etc. – and am trying to remember that the last time I quit (for several years) I always told people the “anticipation of quitting is WAY worse than the actual quitting itself” – so I’m taking my encouragement to heart.  If the cravings start to feel overwhelming – it’s time to go ‘sleep it off’.  This is my choice. I want to be around for my daughter and don’t want Mom to have to bury a child. I don’t want to suffer some nasty smoke-related illness or death. Smoking is just gross. But so lovely and seductive in its grossness.  It won’t have me tonight though. Nope.

May 11, Day 4 – Today was the worst so far. I chewed a straw to beyond it’s grave. Deep Breathing helped A LOT. I think the cravings might be getting fewer – although they seem to last longer than the “average” five minutes I’ve been reading so much about. I’ve needed to keep my hands busy as well. I’ve taken to using some self-prescribed herb when desperate, which admittedly has helped as well. Sometimes SLEEP is the best deterrent.

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May 12, Day 5 –  Today was better than yesterday. I cleaned house from top to bottom, trying to keep busy. Again, A LOT OF DEEP BREATHING. I inhale slowly and deeply through the nose, filling my lunge to capacity; then exhale slowly letting my head, neck and shoulders completely relax. When I think about it, I would often have a smoke to “relax”. I apparently have a ton of  “nervous energy” and the act of sitting down for a smoke chilled me out. I believe it was the act of taking that nice long “drag” –  the inhalation process – that relaxed me. I don’t know. I DO know that, for me, the slow deep breaths I take when hit with a craving work instantly & immensely.

My friend came home tonight from being out of town for over ten days – she brought her daughter (who’s very cool btw) with her. Though stoked to see both of them, it was a true test of my will as they both smoke. SO… shiny new full packs of the beasts, right in my face… taunting me. By the Grace of God there was no real desire to partake. I mean, sure, i envied in some sick way that they got to go out and enjoy a good smoke while i sat inside “deep breathing’, but i don’t WANT to smoke anymore. The end of it is death. It’s a courtship of falsehood – an abusive relationship – a big fat lie. Cigarettes ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND.

May 13, Day 6

Sometimes visuals speak louder than words…

With my friends home and smoking, it has been tremendously more difficult to abstain. I have, but with torturous effort. I really have to remember how ugly and gross the habit is – and remember that God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness…

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Malditos Cigarrillos!! Quit Smoking with me TODAY!!

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 11th, 2011        Last Update 9/30/11

If there exists no possibility of failure, then victory is meaningless.

Okay. It’s almost FOUR MONTHS LATER to the day, and I’m trying AGAIN. I did great, then not so great – then BAM!

It’s okay. Here we go again. Being SEPTEMBER 11th, 2011 – I feel good about choosing today to quit. Hopefully this is the LAST TIME I will ever have to go through this quit smoking BS ever again. And it has to be Cold Turkey for me – I’m just too much of an “all or nothin” kind of girl…

Photo: coloribus.com

In May, I waited a week to post. I wanted to get through the worst of it first. This time, however, I will update this post every day and share how I am doing. I will do this for 21 days. It may get a little ugly – but hopefully it will be mostly words of encouragement. I will think of all the families who lost loved ones on 9/11/01… from no fault of their own. I will think of how WRONG it is – what a slap in the Face of Life it is, to slowly poison yourself to death on purpose.

Wish me luck. If you’re reading this, and you too are trying to quit, my prayers and thoughts are with you. Good luck to you. Feel free to comment and share any tips or struggles you have… you don’t need to be on WordPress to comment. I’d love some feedback this time.

On your mark, get set……

GO.

WEEK ONE – Sept. 11 – 17, 2011   

WEEK TWO – Sept. 18 – 24, 2011

* Days 15 & 16 * :  9/25 & 9/26/11

* Days 17 – 20 * :  9/27 – 9/30/11

Obviously things are going easier – otherwise I would be posting more frequently, yes? Although cravings come & go – they are usually quick to pass. Keep in mind that my “roomie” is still smoking at least a pack a day – so the smell still gets to me throughout the day & night.

I will share with you that I had one craving, yesterday (9/29), that brought me to literal tears. And once again, God came rushing to my rescue. My friend had to run into the bank – I decided to wait in the car and read my book (The Great Gatsby). Well – for whatever reason, she was in there for nearly an HOUR. I was fine for the most part, but after about 30 -40 minutes I began to get extremely restless. Her pack of cigarettes was so readily available it was almost unfair. I did my deep breathing, I talked out loud to myself (saying NO), I wiggled in my seat & kept reading. Eventually, however, it got unbearable. The devil on my shoulder kept tugging roughly at my ear…”No one will know!! You can have JUST ONE… you’ve gone long enough that ONE won’t put you back… c’mon… just have one already, you’ll be fine!”

I am not exaggerating when I say tears welled up in my eyes as I prayed to God; “Lord, PLEASE HAVE HER COME OUT OF THAT BANK RIGHT NOW!!!! Please! Have Mercy – I can’t handle this one more second….” 

And i am not exaggerating when i tell you that the moment I had gotten that prayer off my lips & turned to look over my shoulder toward the bank, that my eyes most joyfully & thankfully saw her white tank top, blue jeans and Sgt. Pepper the Service Labrador! She was kindly holding the door for someone coming IN as she was heading OUT. She strolled up to my window, with absolutely NO CLUE how long she’d been in there (socializing Sgt. Pepper), and as she began to start telling me all that had happened I just smiled and burst into tears. Good tears at this point. Grateful tears.

I took a deep breath, smiled in relief – quickly explained what had just happened & asked her if she could tell me her stories later – could we please get the ‘hell’ out of that parking lot???

I strangely had residual cravings for the rest of the night that were more noticeable than had been thus far – but I didn’t surrender to any of them. So – I’m now coming to the end of DAY EIGHT (9/30) … totally & completely SMOKE FREE!!!!

——-       ——-       ——–       ——-       ——–       ——-       ——-      ——-

9/30 : 9PM – Tonight I am to the point where I am seriously ready to give it ALL UP for ONE freakin’ puff of ONE smoke. How ridiculous is that? Am i?   It just goes to show you that quitting for a week does not equal quitting smoking –

if i go for it – if i have that ONE PUFF – I’m going to have completely wasted the last eight days – and I will start again – at HOUR ONE. I’ve been on YOUTUBE for over 30 minutes now – watching videos of smoker’s lungs and the lameness of smoking and everything i CAN to make the BRAIN & SPIRIT part of me win out over the FLESH part of me that wants terribly to say “f” it and smoke a dam cigarette.

For those that think once you get past the first week and you’re fine…….  LIARS.

Especially if you are stuck with someone in your home (or living area – like a dorm room or roommate) – who SMOKES languidly – enjoying it all the more b/c YOU quit in front of them…. like they’re shoving it in your smoke-free FACE…. mocking you … like HA HA… let’s just SEE if you stay quit.

just saying.

11pm – Going to bed – smoke free – painfully….. smoke…… free….. Did i say PAINFULLY? Tonight SUCKED.

 

 

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ORIGINAL POST – MOTHER’S DAY 2011 / PASSIONATE BUT UNSUCCESSFUL

MALDITOS CIGARRILLOS…!!

Ok – quick random post. I’ll tag you under “FITNESS” and maybe start a Mother’s Day revolution. I quit SMOKING!!!

Did anyone else quit smoking for Mother’s Day?  For SO MANY REASONS… Mother’s day is a magically powerful day to say adiós to the sticky-tar-flaming-comfort that is Ultimately & QuiTe LiTerAlly the demon Stogie.

I’ve begun referring to un cigarrillo as the “Condescending Thief”.

Every time the urge sweeps violently, or tenderly, I simply respond “Quand les poules auront des dents” … or Hell to tha No.

Deep Breathing – – –

I’ll post my first seven-day “log” on the Hell of Quitting tomorrow. Who’s gonna quit WITH ME??????  Misery may love company… but victory loves a crowd. ❤

Gratitude For Movement – Week Three

GRATITUDE FOR MOVEMENT – Final Week!

Getting back in shape automatically admits the horror that you’ve allowed yourself to get out of shape. No tears or whining allowed now, just aggressive determination to change that horror into an inspiration of success! Instead of focusing  on what you may not be able to do, focus on being grateful for what you CAN DO!

This is our final week of focusing solely on that Gratitude for Movement. Being able to walk or jog or hike or bike. Being grateful for our limbs and breath and shoes…

Rather than get into what the next phase will be, I really, really want to enjoy being immersed in this gratitude for movement. It’s a good place. Instead of focusing on how fast or far or intense each workout is, we are to be focused on “thank you” that I can make it this far, at this pace – “thank you” that I’m moving forward and not backward.

THE HEALTH & FITNESS SCALE IS IN CONSTANT MOTION

There is no stagnation with our health & fitness. Not really. There may be what some call “maintainance”, but in order to maintain any level of fitness, we must constantly be changing what we are doing in some way – causing muscle confusion – to keep from what is referred to is a plateau. We are, in a very real sense, either moving forward (toward our goals) or backward (further away from our goals). During this phase, just moving for at 30 minutes, at least 3 days each week, is our goal. So every minute you walk or ride the elliptical or dance, is a minute spent moving forward to your goal of a healthier and happier you. Every glass of clean water you drink (I see pure water as God’s Sweet Nectar), is a glass taking you forward to healthier, hydrated skin, increased cellular productivity, moisturized joints, and increased metabolism & energy!

"Celebration" by Keith Mallet

 

So, I plan on enjoying this final week of celebrating and being grateful for my ability to move! Forward or backward is up to me.

Isaiah 40:31
“but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.” (NIV)

Please leave your comments on the Gratitude For Movement: Beginning Workouts PAGE. Thanks!!

Getting Back In Shape

**I will be posting about the roadtrip to Redlands and Palm Springs in the next day or so – until then, I thought I’d share a little about my Fitness Adventure… Authenchically…. 😉

I used to be able to run a 7 to 8 minute mile pace.  Well, “used to be” doesn’t count. But it can frustrate you when you find you’ve lost so much stamina that you’re down to a 15 min mile pace. That’s right. I am jogging slower than most people walk. Grumble, grumble, moan, complain. As I was “jogging” today, I started whining about how out of shape I am, and heard that ‘still, small Voice…’ say “Be grateful that you can jog at all!”  Too true, and shame on me. I may be out of shape, but I’m healthy enough to do something about it. I don’t have any physical limitations (other than lugging around this extra weight) to stop me from getting back to that 8min mile. Hallelujah! So instead of bitching, I focused on Gratitude.  Getting back into good physical shape starts by moving. “Put one foot in front of the other” may seem like such a basic suggestion, a ‘baby step’ … but sometimes that is exactly where we need to begin. If you haven’t worked out in a long time ( for whatever reason), or you have never been very physically active but find yourself in a place where that is exactly what you want or need to do, then we’re in the same boat… so let’s set sail, shall we?

Stage One of  ‘getting back in shape’ will last three weeks and will be referred to as the Gratitude Stage, hooyah.

for more 411 on getting back in shape, see my Gratitude for Movement under PROGRESSIVE PAGES on the side bar.

Pushin’ thru the “OW!” to “WoW!”

Okay. so it should go without saying that when you take a sabbatical from working out (or running specifically in this case), you are to expect above normal muscle soreness. Knowing this lovely fact however doesn’t make getting up the stairs (or walking in general) easier in the least bit. Ow!! My calves feel like balls of pain. My ass is mocking me. Stretching, which I normally look forward to, is agony. And it’s all worth it.

The Ow I am experiencing results from inactivity, and so is deserved;  the awesome WoW feeling that accompanies pushing through the pain and running anyway, is likewise deserved. It helps a lot to have a running partner, I must add. When one of you feels like bailing, the other person often acts as a catalyst to follow through. Setting up a meeting place and time works as equally effective accountability. Especially when you’re new to an activity (or getting back into it). One of the things specific to running is that you (should) see progress every run. Whether its increase in distance or decrease in time, or simply just feeling stronger than the run before, running is a sport which gives instant gratification.

Follow the Asphalt Running Trail...

My friend and I hit another 5 mile walk/run this afternoon. We only walked about two miles (to a friend’s house and back) yesterday, but I’m certain that the soreness would have been much worse today had we not done even that. The first mile sucked, after that however, it felt GREAT. We made better time, and stopped half way through for a good stretch, while our muscles were warm. No yoga when we got home (way to beat), but we did indulge in another one of G’s smoothies. She found the recipe on Oh She Glows… and it is so yummy!! A wonderful & healthy post-workout  treat. If you try it, let me know what you think!

spinach & almond butter protein smoothie

Goodnight my fellow vagabonds… Don’t forget to add *FITNESS into your travels. 😉

Peace, L

*common sense note: always check with your personal physician before embarking on any new Fitness Adventure.