Saturday, October 15, 2011

Non-Makeup Related Post - Kickin' ASH for 1 Year!


This has nothing to do with makeup, so I won't get offended if you don't read this. I just want to share this huge accomplishment in my life.

One year ago today, I smoked my last cigarette...and it was one of the best decisions that I have made so far in my life.

I smoked for almost five years prior, and despite everyone begging me to quit, I didn't. I liked smoking, it made me feel good. There were times where I would smoke a pack a day, and other times where I would have a back-up pack hidden somewhere. I would smoke after waking up, after eating, while driving, when I was bored, when I was hanging out with friends/family, hell, I probably would've smoked in the shower if I could've! Basically, I thought anytime was a good time for a smoke.

I never thought that I could make it this far, and it is a lot easier than I anticipated. I've tried to quit countless times before. I tried to wean myself off of them, nope. Didn't work. I felt as if that made it even worse, like I was teasing myself. I tried to only smoke in social settings--dumb idea. I even had a family member pass away during that time from smoke-related lung cancer, and even that didn't get me to stop. It may seem selfish, but it took a personal health scare for me break the habit.

Those of you that know me personally know that I am a hypochondriac (Howie Mandel is my basically my dad). It may be funny at times, but one year ago, I was in the backyard with Jon (my husband) and Neeko (my dog), smoking a cig. At the time, I had a horrendous cough and some chest pains (see, even with such a bad cough, I still smoked...I just didn't care). So while I was smoking, I decided to do a google search on LUNG CANCER SYMPTOMS. I had two of them (I obviously don't have the disease, it was just a horrible cough. But in the heat of the moment, you don't think about these things). All it took was to envision myself with the disease, and how I could hurt my friends and family. It felt real. I felt like I had lung cancer, and that I was going to die, and lose everything and everyone over a rolled up piece of paper filled with toxic poison. I had never felt so terrified in my life. So with that, I took my brand new pack, decided to quit cold turkey, and I gladly threw it in the garbage.

I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined that I would be this strong. Yes, the first few weeks were hard, as expected. But honestly, it wasn't as difficult as I had imagined. Yes, I had massive cravings. Yes, I got anxious. But you know what? It was way better than feeling convinced that you're going to die. As the weeks and months went by, it got easier. Days and days go by without me even thinking about it. I can watch a movie or tv show with someone smoking and it doesn't bother me--I barely even notice it. I can watch anti-smoking commericals and not feel guilt, shame, or fear and even agree with them.

Here are the benefits and improvements I have noticed since I've quit:
  • My hair and clothes actually smell good.
  • My nails are no longer yellow.
  • My teeth are whiter, and my breathe doesn't smell like an ashtray.
  • My skin looks and feels better.
  • I have more money in my pocket!
  • I no longer have a constant, nagging cough.
  • I have more energy, eat better and weigh less than what I did prior to quitting.
  • I no longer hide in the corner to smoke.
  • My blood circulation and lung function has incrased by more than 50%.
Here are a few more:
Click to enlarge

And those are just a few! I read a study that if one quits smoking before the age of 30, that you live just as long as someone that's a non-smoker. 

To those of you have been smoke-free for years and years, kudos to you. I look forward to living a long life and being a non-smoker. To those of you who are right behind me, keep it up! You can and will do it. There are lots of ways to get support and resources thanks to the internet. Just know that everyday will get easier and always remember that a little stick is not worth risking your life and a potential slow and painful death. And to those of you that want to quit, do it. You will feel like a brand new, better version of yourself. 

A composition of a cigarette, GROSS.

Here is a link to a list of resources that can help you or someone you love quit: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco

Of course, there are still times that I randomly crave a cigarette. But I have learned to ignore the cravings. I see everything in brand new eyes now. That one cigarette could be your last. IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT ANYMORE. And remember, it is never too late to quit.

One year. 365 days. Over 5000 cigarettes not smoked, over $1400 saved, and most importantly, I've added years to my life.
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I know this was long and some of you may not care, but this is a huge accomplishment for me. I never in a million years thought that I could do this. But I did....and I'm still going :)

Thank you SO much to those of you who have been there for me. Thanks for the love, support and encouragement and thank you for reading. I LOVE YOU ALL!

 ,  

30 comments:

  1. This is amazing. I'm so happy for you! Well done!

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  2. WOO HOO! Congrats! Quitting smoking is a doozy if you really get into it (I quit after less than a year - and it wasn't diffcult because I never really enjoyed it.) Great job!

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  3. Congratulations!! Here's to another year!! (and longer)

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  4. *hugs* i am so so happy for you.

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  5. Way to go, I wish some of my friends had this type of resolve. Here's to many more years of healthy, happy living!!

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  6. Congrats! As a long time smoker myself, I know how hard it is to quit! I quit about 6 or 7 years ago!

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  7. Good job! That is an amazing accomplishment. :D

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  8. I quit August 5th of this year and haven't had a smoke since. I even have half a pack floating around my car somewhere that I'm not even tempted to go after! Congrats and thanks for sharing your story! It's great to hear success stories!

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  9. Congrats on not smoking for a year thats a great accomplishment! :)

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  10. That's a definite accomplishment...congrats!! :D

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  11. i just quit today.. so i really needed that. i'm so proud and now even more encouraged!

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  12. Congratulations!!!! That was amazing that you did it cold turkey, shows how strong we can be if we put our minds to it

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  13. Congratulations!!! I'm so proud of you and hope you keep it up (forever haha) because you deserve to healthy! I don't smoke but you sound EXACTLY like my boyfriend...I try to get him to quit but he's says he likes to and it makes him feel good :( Even people being sick and dying in his life doesn't faze him. I know there's nothing I can do personally to make him stop but I wish he would so we won't have to go through more complicated things later in life...

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  14. congrats!!! that is awesome news. I wish my husband would quit. I haven't smoked in 5 years :D

    keep up the good work!

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  15. Congratulations! That is amazing! I'm currently in the process of trying to quit smoking. I've tried to quit cold turkey before and it truly doesn't work for me. I would literally have dreams every night that I would have a cigarette, and wake up in the morning in a panic that I had broken my streak of not smoking. It was all I could think about. Now, I'm trying again, but this time I bought myself an electronic cigarette and it's been an absolutely amazing help! I've cut down way more than half, and I can already feel a different. I can only imagine how great I'm gonna feel when I quit for good! Stories like this help me see the light, so thank you so much for sharing. :)

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  16. Congrats on one year as a non-smoker! I'm going on month 8 and it is the best thing I've ever done for myself. I finally managed to quit in February when I was really sick-I used to be that awful person who couldn't quit smoking when they were pregnant (3 times, but at least my kids don't have to smell it on my clothes and in my hair now). Thank you for sharing with everyone-you're awesome for staying quit!

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  17. congratulations and keep it up!

    i am also hoping that my faither-in-law will quit smoking. he probably hasn't realized he'll die from it, he's hardheaded. thank you for the inspiration!

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  18. hey! i would like to say.,, congratulations to your success! that is a giant step for a person like you. you are truly an inspiration for smokers out there who want to stop but just can't. you are a strong and determined person, and I salute you for that!

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  19. I'm very proud of you Ronnie! I know how hard it is for smokers to quit (I'm allergic to cigarette smoke, but I grew up with a family member who was a smoker and even after stopping for 20 years, passed away from smoking related issues). It's very admirable and you be very very proud of yourself. Love ya girl! *hugs*

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  20. Congratulations! Making it a year is a huge accomplishment, so is quitting in itself, and you have every right to be proud of yourself.

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  21. Congratulations! That's a big accomplishment, keep up the awesome work!

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  22. kudos to you! i know several people who claim they are going to quit and they don't ... wish they could be as strong as you!

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  23. Congrats!!! My dad quit cold turkey back in the early 50's and he was a 3 pack a day smoker. Said he had smoked because he enjoyed it. A few years later he had a scare with tuberculosis.

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  24. Congratulations again! It really is a HUGE accomplishment!

    My grandparents had been together their whole lives.. they got married when my Grandma was 17. and they'd been smoking longer than that. My grandpa ended up passing from a multitude of health problems, but he had COPD and emphysema from smoking. The doctors told him to stop and put him on oxygen.. but he couldn't. My grandma tried to stop for his benefit, but it was hard for her to do so when he continued to smoke. He passed away in 2007 and she quit cold turkey the day he died.. and never had another one. Unfortunately, she also had COPD. She passed away this May.

    Have you ever been to the Bodies exhibit? They have a whole section on what smoking does to your lungs and they show you healthy lungs vs the lungs of a life long smoker. It's disturbing.. then they have a box where you can drop your cigarettes and make a pledge to not smoke.

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  25. Congrats Ronnie! Thats sooo great!

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  26. Congrats Ronnie! I couldn't imagine that you used to smoke! You DEFIANTLY don't look it! MY brother and my grandmother smoke, and its a horrible habit. They always smell disgusting and I hate being around them when they smoke. And whats really sad is my grandmother GIVES my brother cigs when he cant afford them. Its just sad, I don't understand smoking. Its such a disgusting habit and its so bad for you. I honestly don't understand why people start in the first place.

    I also have a 18 year old friend who SURVIVED cancer just over a year ago and he is smoking now. He says it just started as a social thing but then developed into an addiction. Now THAT really peeves me.

    But seriously, congratulations on quitting! Makes me have THAT much more respect for you! Quitting is no easy feat im sure.

    I look up to you Ronnie! <3

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  27. Huge congrats to you! What an accomplishment. You should be so proud! Heck, I'm proud of you and I don't even know you lol. I'm sure it took a lot of patience to hold out this long, and I hope you can go on forever without another smoke! Most of all, I hope this post will inspire many other smokers to do what you did! Nothing boosts confidence and motivation like a story of someone's own personal experience. Thanks so much for sharing<33

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! Each one is read and appreciated!