I was a smoker for a few years. I didn't smoke for a long time, and I didn't start when I was young like some people do, but from the moment I started smoking to the day I quit, I smoked a lot. I think it has to do with my personality. I'm a Taurus, and I tend to do things to the extreme. Things I like- I like a lot! And things I don't like, I hate. I struggle with finding the in between.
I started smoking socially like most people in Istanbul. In fact, I remember it very clearly. I was probably 19 or 20 and I was dating this guy and he smoked and I hated how it smelled, so I would smoke a clove at night while we were out, back when you could smoke inside clubs.
Also, my best friend smoked; actually, all of my friends smoked, so it was never a big deal. No one was there to judge me. Then I slowly transitioned to regular cigarettes and then before I knew it, I was smoking a pack a day (I know, mom and dad, awful).
The reason I'm writing this blog post is because I want people to know it's not as hard as you think to quit. Everyone always used to say to me, 'there's no way you can quit!' and I did. And you can do it too.
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And life is so much more amazing now that I don't smoke. I really can't believe I ever did. Some of the benefits of quitting include:
1. Clearer skin (nicotine clogs your pores and causes you to break out)
2. Whiter teeth (seriously. the change is noticeable)
3. More energy
4. Better stamina re: working out. I can run twice as long as I used to be able to.
5. Obvious health benefits
6. Waking up feeling clean without a gross, phlegmy throat.
7. Clothes that don't smell (of course, going out in Istanbul ruins this one)
8. Weight loss (would you believe I was so nervous about gaining weight after quitting that I actually lost weight!? Mostly because I upped my workouts as well) but also because...
Doing one good thing for your body motivates you to do more. Quitting smoking is such an incredible thing for yourself and makes you feel so great that it inspires you to do more good things for yourself. At least, this is what happened with me. Quitting smoking made me feel like I could climb a mountain and I found myself becoming increasingly motivated to get healthy thanks to one big change.
Everyone asks if I miss it. I don't. Occasionally when you're out at night, tipsy, and everyone around you is smoking, the thought might cross your mind. But then you remember all the reasons why you quit smoking. One thing that helps me is my 'Reasons Why I Don't Smoke Anymore' list. Whenever I'm feeling weak, since it's saved on my phone, I can glance at it, and renew my commitment.
Here is my list. I know it is incredibly nerdy and some of the points are just ridiculous, but it's what helps me. These are MY reasons. What are yours?
1. Unhealthy- heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, emphysema.
2. Makes me smell gross, fingers smell.
3. Makes my skin splotchy, zits.
4. Hated lying to my parents.
5. Causes blood clots if you're on birth control.
6. Doesn't fit with my nutrition aspirations.
7. Money down the drain.
8. If not now, when? Life's too short.
9. No longer imprisoned; rules my life.
10. Inhibits my running.
11. Life without will be just as great- better even.
12. Disgusting habit that's totally unnecessary.
13. Showing everyone that says you can't, that you can!
14. There's nothing I can't do.
15. No fear.
16. Remember the terrible nausea, headaches and cold sweats you suffered during withdrawal.
And remember: There's no such thing as just one cigarette.