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Plan B--Any Ex-Smokers out there??

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Well, the cold turkey thing was not the best of ideas! I was such an emotional mess! I just couldn't control my crying! I started looking on the internet about the cold turkey method and other strategies for quitting and found that there was a much higher success rate if I used some sort of nicotine replacement therapy, i.e. the patch, gum, etc. Only 5% of people who go cold turkey have success! I was like wow, okay maybe I need to rethink my strategy here. Maybe I used it as an excuse to go have a few drags, but I was a complete mess and I needed to be helping customers, not a blubbering mess!

So, it's on to plan B. I am not a quitter! Errr...I mean I will be! But I'm not going to give up that easily!!! NO WAY!!! This is my biggest demon and I will NOT let him defeat me! I'm joining an online support group b/c there is a much higher success rate when you have support from other quitters. I completely believe that one! Never before have I been able to lose this much weight and I know the number one reason has been b/c of the support here on SP. This is going to be a key part of the plan...SUPPORT!!

It generally takes smokers several attempts in quitting and this was just my first attempt. No, I'm not using this as an excuse! But I'm NOT going to beat myself up over it either! Just b/c I wasn't successful the first time does NOT mean I will be the next! I learned some things this go around which is going to just make this next attempt that much easier. I CAN and I WILL do this! In the last 48 hours I've had 1/5 of the amount of cigs I usually smoke in one day. That IS major progress!! I'm taking this seriously and I'm going to do absolutely everything I can to make sure I'm successful! I will NOT give up on this!! The only thing I'm giving up is this nasty habit!!!

p.s. If any of you reading this are ex-smokers, I'd love to hear how you kicked the habit. What were your keys to success?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVIN2LOVE1 4/28/2011 5:02PM

    I quit smoking 4 times. The last time was 9 years ago.

The first time I quit was when I found out I was prego with our first child 18 years ago and then started back up shortly after I was done breastfeeding.

I used the patch the second time. Successful but I started again a couple years later during a stressful move (out of the country).

I quit the third time just before we moved back to the US. I quit cold turkey successfully but I gained 15 pounds in 3 weeks. Worth it but... Yuck!

I stupidly bummed a smoke from a friend at the bar about 9 years ago and within 2 or 3 days was smoking 2 packs a day. I quit cold turkey the same week that I started and haven't picked up a cig since.

Good luck. There's a reason why they call it an addiction. It's not easy and your body will freak on you a bit during the first few weeks of quitting (cold sweats, weird dreams, funny cravings, coughing, headaches). All of that, and the weight gain, is completely worth it.

Hang in there! You can do this!!!!!!!

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LZY0108 4/27/2011 3:32PM

    ooh sorry about the book I wrote! didnt realize how long it was until it was sent! yikes!! xoxo

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LZY0108 4/27/2011 3:30PM

    I didn't read any of the comments on this blog. I also read ur more recent blogs and see youve chosen fake cigs as ur new method. Thats awesome my friend and mom quit with those. I just wanted to say how similar its seems ur withdrawal is to my little sisters. She smoked since she was about 12 years old. She was also up to about 2 packs a day when her and her husband miraculously decided to quit at the same time one random day when they werent even together. Weird story.. She called him when she just was "done" one moment and he said it was so weird cause he had just been thinking the same thing. They both had no intention before on quitting. Off of the subject I started sorry... she was an emotional wreck! She actually went to walmart to buy some nicotine gum to help and was crying thru out the store and at check out. She said she felt like a crazy person LOL.. She'll be happy to hear someone else cried like her from nicotine withdrawals cause her hubby didnt understand cause it didnt have that effect on him... well I hope you quit, recently about 8 people I know quit. I guess it must be in the air or something. I hope my hubby catches it soon. My sis and bro in law used the nicotine gum and then slowly switched to reg gum, and my mom swears by the lozenges and a fake cigarette she got online. My other friend got the fake cig and loves it too, shes on the lowest mg of nicotine now. Shes gonna just use the vapor for awhile when shes done. She said she tried a bunch of different kinds and the RIVA kind is the one she likes best... Good Luck in quitting! I hope you like the fake cig when it comes!! I know you can do it!!
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TOPCATSEALS 4/26/2011 7:01AM

    Hooray you want to quit! I quit one year ago and I am so happy I did! I used Chantex. I swear by that stuff! You will succeed! Don't focus on what you have or havent' done in the past, focus on what you want to change in the future! emoticon emoticon

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BOMBCHELL23 4/26/2011 6:45AM

You are such an inspiration way to go sweetie! I am proud of your decision and your cut back. It is a big step in the right direction! Yeah for you! I'll keep praying for you!

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    I am going into my 4th month of no smoking, with the help of medication. Is it hard? YES!! at times. I have gained 12lbs back since I stopped smoking. At first I was doing great, then I started smacking more to fill the time I would smoke. I was thinking should I wait until I get to my goal weight to stop? So many questions to myself, so many self talks. Also, another thing that makes it hard for me is that my husband still smokes. When I get frustrated, I want one so bad!!!! I have my cry time, and get my frustrations out and then I am okay until next time. Good luck to you

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HOLLIHOCK6 4/25/2011 5:56PM

    I'm not an ex smoker, but my father in law was. When he quit, he put all the money he was spending each month in a bank account. All these years later, he has a NICE account and he's more healthy! IMAGINE what you could do with that!!!!!! Best wishes! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

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WISLNDR 4/25/2011 4:55PM

    I'm 9 months quit; I did it Cold Turkey, hard but worth it! Check out QuitNet, it's the SP equivalent for quitting smoking. I'm an active member over there, email if you want to know more info.

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NIKKILOSES 4/25/2011 4:45PM

    Hi! I quit after many tries 18 months ago. I had tried everything, cold turkey, patches, gum, medication, ect. I tried the commit lozenges thinking I would be back to smoking after a few days, but they worked. I never used as many as the directions said. I only used them when I was absolutely going to give up, After the first 6 weeks I did not need them anymore. Good luck to you!!

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APMAC_D 4/25/2011 4:00PM

    I am an exsmoker. I think I tried and failed 4 or 5 different times. It has been over a year now, almost two I think. I gave myself a quit date and then slowly scaled back the amount I was smoking each day till my quit date came and that was it- cold turkey- no more smoking! I relapsed ONCE at a party, I had a drag off someone elses and I almost threw up- I was so dizzy and gross feeling. I will never pick one up again! You can do it. I also made sure to have gum to chew in the car while driving. I calculated how much money I would be saving and told EVERYONE I quit! Hope this helps.

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BELLALUCIA 4/25/2011 3:54PM

    I'm happy u're trying to get healthier, good luck!

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KAMAPERRY 4/24/2011 11:46PM

    I did use the patch for the first month, and I also had support from a good friend and an online support group. I know you can do this! emoticon emoticon

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IBSHAUN 4/24/2011 6:43PM

    You will do it, I just know you will! Cold turkey may not be the answer but you will find the way that works. I smoked when I was younger and when I quit it wasn't cold turkey or necessarily easy. I started by keeping count of what I smoked and making sure I smoked less each day following (as best I could..). It took me a few months to actually say, "I don't smoke anymore." I also stopped buying my own cigarettes (I still lived at home and mom & dad smoked). I had to bum them from someone if I wanted one. That get's old and you start to feel self concious asking (I did at least). My friends knew what I was doing so they didn't razz me too badly. I didn't like what my mom & dad smoked so I rarely asked for one of theirs... usually regretted it pretty quickly when I did. Was kind of my own method and the point is.. (yes, there is a point...) that you have to find what works for you. And you will - I know you will.

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GOGOMAMA 4/24/2011 5:01PM

    Don't feel bad! I know it must be very difficult! Good job trying to find what works for you! I know you will do it when you have the right tools and support!

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ZOEYBLU 4/24/2011 3:33PM

    I quit cold turkey almost 5 years ago and I give complete credit to the same book that sheila1550 mentioned ....
"The easy way to quit smoking " by Alan Carr
It really was the sole reason I followed through and I think it was that his take was different and not the " conventional Wisdom / worthless baloney " that came from people who had never smoked a day in their life !
The other thing is it has to be your personal decision ..not because someone else wants you to ,as Unicorn said.

I just read the book through and then kept referring to it as needed .

Worked great for me and I enjoyed smoking , but what happens is there comes a time when you don't even think about smoking at all. Not even when you drink coffee or have a drink And I thought that was impossible ...So That part I LOVE ! Nice to be free
Hope this helps !

Comment edited on: 4/24/2011 3:54:32 PM

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BYEFATNANNY 4/24/2011 2:30PM

    Consider this my effort at support. I know you can do this. We hear at Sparkpeople "Baby steps" Give the patch and/or gum a try. Sounds like you have a bit of good stubborness and I'm sure you'll do this. (I only have bad stuborness, I think) Hang in there don't give up. Happy Easter.

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THETURTLEBEAR 4/24/2011 9:05AM

    I'm not an ex-smoker but I've learned a lot of kicking habits from family who have kicked various things...and I've applied it all to this program too. You are right - if you expect perfection and no "relapse" then you are setting yourself up for defeat. Sure we can all find somebody who quit cold turkey and never went back....it's like those magazine that show skinny people and say "Results not typical." The other BIG thing is to have a "relapse plan." What will you do when you smoke? If you just chalk it up to failure and pick up the pack again, then you're back to square one. Write down the plan. Also write down what you are going to do when you feel urges. Call key people? Divert with specific activities? Good luck to you!!!!!!!

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HICKOK-HALEY 4/24/2011 4:08AM

    My oldest Sis quit cold turkey, so did my Dad. The middle Sis went to a clinic because she couldn't quit on her own. It really helped her. I know you can do it!

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GRAMMACATHY 4/24/2011 3:48AM

    Keep trying. That is how the weight loss happened for me. If it is any consolation, my Dad quit cold turkey when I was ten. His brother who was just a year younger than him had a quadruple bypass and managed to survive. So, they were both highly motivated to quit. Dad was a terror for a few months, but after two years he started whining about how stinky cigarette smoke was. It did become repulsive to him at some point.

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SHEILA1505 4/24/2011 3:41AM

    I wonder who pays for those Surveys??? Hmmmm

I quit cold turkey almost 10years ago after 30 years of heavy smoking. The fact that my parents and two husbands died as a result of smoking did not make me quit; my brother's diagnosis with Emphysema did! If he could quit after 35 years, then so could I!

I read a book by Allan Carr about the subject and always told myself from Day One that I was a non-smoker. Yes, it was tough but it was worth it. Then after 3 months I knew that I would never ever put myself or anyone else through that misery again - I think I was certifiable!!

As far as the money is concerned - I am/was self-employed and I looked at quitting as enabling me to work less as I did not have to fund the habit! So it gave me back a lot of time, it gave me back clear skin, glossy hair, sweet breath and a clean house, as well as more stamina at the gym.

I agree with Onceuponatime about going for a run - I would walk around the block when I needed a drag; I would kick a punchbag at the gym; I would crash through the water in the pool.

Go for it - what do you have to lose??
Oh - and I most definitely did NOT eat to manage cravings - they really do only last for a minute or so - go clean out a drawer or suck up the dust bunnies under the bed

Good luck

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MADZOE 4/24/2011 2:18AM

    Hello, I smoked at least a pack a day from the time I was 15 until I was 38. I tried the patch and hypnosis. Neither worked for me, and the longest I ever quit with the patch was 1 month. I was able to quit for a year while pregnant with my first daughter, but disgustingly enough I never fully quit with my second. 2 years and 5 months ago I took Chantix. I'm usually the type of person who HATES any type of prescription drugs and will do anything not to take them, but for me this was the miracle drug. I know some people have horrible side effects, but for me it was only nightmares, and I only ended up taking it for about 2 months vs the recommended 3+ months and I only took 1/2 a dose daily. It worked for me and I only had one really horrible day that I was an emotional mess, but other than that it's been great. And it was actually quitting smoking that led me to my journey on SparkPeople, because I figured I didn't quit smoking just to get bigger than I already was.

Best of luck to you in whatever method you choose.

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SAMI199 4/24/2011 1:42AM

    Hi! Don't worry-it will happen. I attempted to quit a couple of times without it sticking. The last attempt before it happened for good was so bad I swore I wopld never QUIT again!
Then a friend was using one of those electronic cigs-she liked
it-so I gave it a whirl. I still am not sure why-but it worked.I used the no-nicotine type. (They sell both)I has patches on hand-but couldn't stand how they bothered my skin.
It worked in some ways because it allowed me to still go through the motions. I weaned off the fakes gradually & without really thinking about it. It was not easy & i still want to smoke once in a while-but if I did it -you sure can!!!
Let me know if you want the link. Good Luck!

emoticon emoticon

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UNICORN212 4/24/2011 1:08AM

    I smoked for 30+ years (1 to 1 1/2 packs a day for most of that time) and quit August 2008 using Chantix. My DH quit at the same time, also with Chantix. We only took it for two months, and even then, not the full dose. But some people have had side effects, and some had bad side effects. I don't know if our "side effects" were caused by Chantix or the nicotine, but they were bearable, and we quit. I know some other people that quit with patches, and some with e-cigs, but then you have to quit those too.

The main thing is that you have to want to quit. For you, not for someone else.

I have a list of resources from that time. I will see if I can dig them up and Spark mail them to you. I wish you success with whatever way you use!

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TEMPEST272002 4/24/2011 12:27AM

    Sorry to hear how you're struggling. Quitting was a b**ch. No kidding. Do you remember my whine-fest blogs?

I did it cold turkey, one day at a time. I knew 1 puff would do me in. There times I barely held on, but each day that passed got a bit easier. 3 months after quitting, I still thought about smoking daily but wasn't seriously tempted. Now, I don't think about smoking at all & would say I'm only a 1/10 on the tempted scale.

That's why quitting smoking is easier than losing weight. Quitting smoking gets easier & easier as the days pass. Losing weight - keeping that focus and attention long term - gets harder & then easier & then hard & then easy. lol

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TADTURC 4/24/2011 12:17AM

    I quit Nov 2, 2001. It was my 5th atttempt in a 2yr period. I tried patches and gum. On my 5th attempt I was just DONE! Didnt want my hair/breath/clothes/car or anything else to smell like smoke anymore. I hated the heavy feeling in my lungs. I didnt like being the only one at a dinner party standing outside on the deck in the middle of winter. I was just ready! It will happen, DONT QUIT QUITTIN! You can do this.


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MOMFAN 4/23/2011 11:47PM

    Let us give thanks to the risen Lord
for His glorious gift of life.

Wishing You
A Blessed Easter Season

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CIVIAV 4/23/2011 11:40PM


It took me getting pneumonia to quit so I can't even begin to appreciate what this takes for you. I know you can do it, so keep on going for it and you will!


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BECOMESTRONGER 4/23/2011 11:29PM

    I was one of the cold turkey quitters. One day I just threw them away and never looked back.

My friend quit a few months back and she couldn't go cold turkey, so she got Chantix, the prescription from her doctor, and said it worked.

Never quit quitting. There's so many ways to help you quit, I'm sure you will find one of them that will help you.

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I am so sorry this is hard for you right now. It does get easier, I promise!

I've quit cold turkey several times. First two stretches were four years a piece (what can I say, major life change and dealing with divorce stunk!). This time as long as I keep running, it will stick forever.

My mom also quit cold turkey after 40 years (and lots of attempts before hand), same with my sister.

The major thing is, you have to have a good reason. I'll tell you right now, saving money? Is not that reason. When push comes to shove, that 7 dollars for a pack isn't going to hold back someone who wants to smoke. There has to be something that will carry you through the physical cravings (which only last 1-2 minutes at a time.. you can do 1-2 minutes of anything!), then the mental cravings. That goes with your normal time you have a smoke when your body tells you you should want it, and you have to re-train it again.

The more exercise and moving you do, the seriously better it is. This time around because I had ran before (and running plus smoking is so not helpful.. lol), I started to go for quick runs whenever I'd get a craving. Just around the block, or even back and forth in the house. Even jogging in place, or dancing works, until you get it out of your system.

Any way you choose to do it, you CAN DO IT!!! Find your motivation and hold tight. The physical cravings will be gone before you know it!

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    Ahh, Leslie, I quit smoking, and it WAS cold turkey. However, I'd only been smoking for a couple of years, so maybe that helped. I did smoke a couple of packs a day! I think everyone is different, so you'll find what works for you. Your heart and mind are in the right place, so just keep putting one foot in front of the other one, and you WILL get there! emoticon

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_LINDA 4/23/2011 9:05PM

    So sorry Leslie :( I have no experience with this horrible habit. I know you are going to kick this thing, you fought the weight battle and won, you can do this too!!
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SHEBA14721 4/23/2011 8:44PM

    Leslie, do it for yourself and your family. My husband who has smoked since he was 16 is finally quitting not because he wants to be because he was just diagonsed with tongue cancer. It's not going to be pretty. I know he is going to have a terrible time but he has to quit and so do you. He is currently taking Chantex...you smoke for the first week well taking it and then you stop smoking on the 7th day. We just through the last of his cigs and lighter in the trash. If you can lose weight and keep it off you are strong and can quit smoking too. You can do this. Just think how much HEALTHIER you will be and BEAUTIFUL smoking is no pretty. (((Hugs)) to you. Be strong find what works for you and kick the nasty habit. Good luck!

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SHERLYN-WILL 4/23/2011 8:02PM

    Leslie.. I am going to tell you about my husbands' experience with quitting dipping... I was right in the middle of it! LOL

He smoked from 16 to 20 and then dipped AND smoked from 20 to 22 YEAH BOTH~ LOL

THEN he quit smoking..and dipped only.. but he dipped ALL the time.. like 15 hrs a day...for most the time then the last 20 he dipped 18 hrs a day... YEAH TRUE!!!! EVERY minute but eating and sleeping and he only slept about 5 hrs a day.. for the most part!

So basically he dipped for over 25 yrs....
He got up on his BD in Sept 09.. and said I QUIT! I said "YEAH RIGHT!" LOL

He said "Watch and see!"

He tried cold turkey for 3 days and was miserable!!! BAD MISERABLE!!! MEAN too LOLL

THEN I got him the patches at Wal Mart the generic brand Equate.

17 a box for about a weeks worth.. I got the HIGHEST dose available.. He did those about 2 wks then I got a box of the next dosage down.. I think 14 mg??
He did those for only a week..
THEN I got the last 1 the lowest dosage.. I think 7 mg.. He did those for a week (maybe 2)
Then he said he was done...
The boxes recommended using them MUCH longer but he said no need for that..
He followed instructions as to how to wear them.. and that is it!

HE said they took the EDGE OFF!

He did suck Jolly Ranchers.. for about a week that first week of the patches then got sick of them!

NOW for 1 and 1/2 yrs.. he is tobacco free... 100 percent! and HAPPIER!

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Grumpy Pants

Friday, April 22, 2011

Today is my last day of work for 10 days!!!! YESSS!!! I scheduled a little vacation time and will try and get lots of things accomplished while I acually have the time! I usually do most of my sparking at work so if you see less of me next week, that'd be why. I'll change my email subscriptions back to my personal account and try my best to keep up!

You may also see less of me b/c I'm a complete GRUMP! I finished my smoking cessation book yesterday and have gone cold turkey. I don't know how much longer I can handle this but I'm giving it all I can!! I want to bust out in tears, pull my hair out, yell at anyone who even looks at me, or maybe just run up and down the block screaming. I am that emotionally STRUNG out right now! I think the crying part is the worst!! Right now I feel that lump in my throat and I have to keep blinking to stop the tears. Am I sad?! NO! It's just a part of this flippin nicotine withdrawal!! AAAHHHHH!!!!

Hopefully I'll survive this!!! I'm not feeling all that positive about it right now, though!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCOH051610 4/26/2011 7:59AM

    Everybody has offered such great advice so all I am going to say is that I'm thinking of you and wishing you well. Nicotine is a drug that and at least you are acknowledging your feelings as withdrawal! Sending you lots of encouragement and hugs!

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CULACCINA 4/23/2011 8:51AM

    You can totally pull this off, girl!!!!

I know it must be really hard, but you are a gladiator.

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MOMFAN 4/23/2011 1:02AM


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BUBBLEJ1 4/23/2011 12:00AM

    Good on you for quitting! Reminds me of my favourite saying

"I'm a stranger, but I'm so proud of you!"

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REDRUNNERMOM713 4/22/2011 10:51PM

    So proud of you! I need to quit too, but I'm just not mentally there right now. I've quit before and KNOW all the different emotions and feelings so I feel for you!!! I wish I had some words of wisdom...other then I know how strong you are and emoticon

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IUHRYTR 4/22/2011 9:30PM

    Was it Donna Summers or Gloria Gaynor who sang "I Will Survive"? Keep that tune in your head as you fight the successful battle to kick the smoking demon to the gutter! -- Lou

Comment edited on: 4/23/2011 8:45:55 PM

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CIVIAV 4/22/2011 3:36PM


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DUSTYGIRL25 4/22/2011 1:26PM

    Wow! I think Tempest Said it All! That's a lot to look forward to.
Have faith, you can do it!

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GRAMMACATHY 4/22/2011 12:56PM

emoticon emoticon emoticon
This too shall pass and you will feel so good about how strong you are. If you have a weak moment, light up the computer instead and reread all the wonderful responses below. That will help you kick the temptation.

If you have to have something in your mouth, you might try walking around with red/black licorice sticks hanging out of your mouth. At least you wouldn't have to withdraw from both the nicotine and mouth and hand habit at the same time. You could also buy yourself a cheap harmonica and keep it in your pocket to light up every time you need to put something in your mouth. Who knows, you might even get really good at it and discover a new and wonderful hobby. Hubby has a device to exercise his lungs. He calls it smoking his pickle because it looks like a green pickle. That also is good for his lungs and keeps his hands and mouth busy.


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_LINDA 4/22/2011 12:45PM

    Leslie, you can do this. At all times keep your eye on the prize: Feeling good, breathing clear, less infections, a clean smelling house and vehicle, but most important, not exposing your children to the poisonous toxins of cigarettes. You have gone through some of the worst life has to offer you and survived, compared to that this is a cakewalk. Like the others have said do all you can to keep your mind off them and food.
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GLASSYJEN 4/22/2011 12:11PM

  First of all that is quite a big deal quitting smoking!! Good for you!!! My husband is trying to quit also and my daughter bought an e-cigarette for him which starts out with 24mg of nicotine and then you can gradually go down to zero. It seems to be working for him and it was only $40 and you could get any flavor you wanted. Think about how you will feel and the money you will be saving!! Good for you and have a great vacation!!

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KAMAPERRY 4/22/2011 12:09PM

    Awwww!! You are strong and I know you can do it!! I have 442 days smoke free, so if I can, YOU can!!. Message me if you want my cell for more support, love you! emoticon

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HEALTHYME47 4/22/2011 12:04PM

    They say that nicotine is more addictive than heroin! But good for you for quitting. You can do ANYTHING. A few days of grumpiness is a worthwhile price to pay.

Enjoy your 10 days off!

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/22/2011 12:02:10 PM

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REJ7777 4/22/2011 11:56AM

    Congratulations on quitting smoking! It's really hard, but so very worth it in the long run!
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SHASHEE71 4/22/2011 11:51AM

    I have all the faith in the world that you can do it! You are so strong girl! I quit January 1st, cold turkey too....so I know what you are going through. Be strong and just take one day at a time. It's hard to hear right now...but it WILL get easier, I promise!

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TEMPEST272002 4/22/2011 11:39AM

    First, I want to tell you that I'm so proud of you for quitting smoking. I quit in October & I know how incredibly tough it is. I also know that it's way easier than losing weight. Tang tough those first days of cold turkey & it'll get easier and easier.

When I was quitting, IDOLOVESUSHI sent me this exerpt from www.whyquit.com that really helped motivate me to continue. I hope it helps you the same way:


20 minutes
Your blood pressure, pulse rate, and the temperature of your hands and feet will all return to normal.
8 hours
Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream will have fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.25% reduction.
12 hours
Your blood oxygen level will have increased to normal and carbon monoxide levels will have dropped to normal.
24 hours
Anxieties peak in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels.
48 hours
Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability peaks.
72 hours
Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free and over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals it breaks down into) will now have passed from your body via your urine. Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness. The number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day will peak for the "average" ex-user. Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. Breathing is becoming easier and the lungs functional abilities are starting to increase.
5 - 8 days
The "average" ex-smoker will encounter an "average" of three cue induced crave episodes per day. Although we may not be "average" and although serious cessation time distortion can make minutes feel like hours, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes. Keep a clock handy and time them.
10 days
10 days - The "average ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day, each less than 3 minutes.
10 days to 2 weeks
Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in our gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user.
2 to 4 weeks
Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician.
21 days
Brain acetylcholine receptor counts up-regulated in response to nicotine's presence have now down-regulated and receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers.
2 weeks to 3 months
Your heart attack risk has started to drop. Your lung function is beginning to improve.
3 weeks to 3 months
Your circulation has substantially improved. Walking has become easier. Your chronic cough, if any, has likely disappeared.
1 to 9 months
Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath have decreased. Cilia have regrown in your lungs thereby increasing their ability to handle mucus, keep your lungs clean, and reduce infections. Your body's overall energy has increased.
1 year
Your excess risk of coronary heart disease has dropped to less than half that of a smoker.
5 to 15 years
Your risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker.
10 years
Your risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half if you were an average smoker (one pack per day). Your risk of cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus has now decreased.
13 years
Your risk of smoking induced tooth loss has declined to that of a never-smoker (2006 study).
15 years
Your risk of coronary heart disease is now that of a person who has never smoked.
20 years
Female excess risk of death from all smoking related causes, including lung disease and cancer, has now reduced to that of a never-smoker (2008 study).

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BYEFATNANNY 4/22/2011 11:28AM

    I've know people that have quit and you are twice as strong as they are. You can do this, I know you can, so run up the block screaming....you'll get some exercise too ;-) emoticon
Enjoy your time off, keep busy so you don't think about smoking.
emoticon emoticon

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IBSHAUN 4/22/2011 10:36AM

    You can! You can! You can! Your kids need you to quit! You can! I smoked for a few years when I was younger and I understand how quitting is but I did it and you can too! Find anything to distract you, think of anything to keep you from doing it. Your kids hugs, your nature walk and how good that felt, you goals ahead of you, your life you want to live. Go for a walk, do jumping jacks, drink a glass of water, eat carrots... anything but push through because it DOES GET EASIER! Oh big hugs to you - blog about it or send a note if you need a push!!

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KOPSBABY 4/22/2011 10:27AM

    You can do this, I did, just the way you are going to, cold turkey! It was hard for a long time but eventually I got over it. It has been more than 21 years since I smoked and cannot stand to be in the same room with smokers now. Anyways, if it will help, go for a run when you want that cigarette. Go for a walk, clean the house, anything but give in and turning to food.

We're rootin' for ya!

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RUNJEWELRUN 4/22/2011 10:16AM

    You can do it :)

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SARAHJ19 4/22/2011 10:16AM

    Have a great vacation Leslie! emoticon

Way to go on giving up smoking! That is awesome! Just think about all the years you have added onto your life by just quitting and all the $$ you will be saving! I know it is hard right now but try to think about the positives! I am rooting for you girl! Hang in there! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOTTAMAMALOU 4/22/2011 10:09AM

    Congratulations on your smoking cessation. GOOD WORK!!
Have a wonderful 10 days off.

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AARONSGIRL420 4/22/2011 10:08AM

    You can do it, stay strong.

I am very proud of your decision to stop and wish you great success. All these annoyances will go away when your body gets over the withdrawal symptoms.


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GOGOMAMA 4/22/2011 10:04AM

    Big Hugs to you!!! Have fun on your vacation and enjoy not being at work!! I hope the withdrawals will stop soon. That would be really hard girl! Good for you for doing it though! You can do it! It will get better! emoticon

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HAPPYNSMILING 4/22/2011 10:03AM

    emoticon Hang in there...you will be so happy that you did. A lady I work with said that every time she wanted a cigarette, she would go for a walk. Not only did she quit smoking, she lost weight. Maybe this might help you, too.
Good luck...I hope you succeed!!!!!

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THETURTLEBEAR 4/22/2011 10:02AM

    You are a ROCK STAR! That is so hard!!! Remember..."Just for today, I won't smoke." Don't worry about tomorrow. Have a great vaca!!

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Our Nature Walk

Monday, April 18, 2011

So I told you guys about the nature walk I was planning with the kids and let me tell ya, it was great!! I really enjoyed getting out in the sunshine and soaking up that fresh air. I was feeling a little lazy and didn't really feel like going but I couldn't break my promise to the kids. They really had a good time and I felt a lot better after being out in the sun. I guess that one therapist was right when she said I'm the type of person who needs the sunshine to brighten my mood.

It was a beautiful day and we found a path that led us down by a lake. I let my kids use disposable cameras and they were clicking pics left and right! It was soo cute! My favorite quotes I heard were, "This is just incredible." and "Wow, amazing!" lol It made my heart smile!

I tried to provoke their little imaginations a couple of times. Like when we came across this beautiful, odd shaped tree. I asked them to use their imagination and tell me what they saw when they looked up at it. They both agreed that they saw daddy sitting up there, looking down on us and enjoying nature as much as we were. I know, sweet, huh?! I totally agreed with them. :)

We ended up walking down by the lake and the kids even dipped their feet in. It was a perfect way to get some extra steps in and spend some precious time with the kids! I'm definitely going to be planning more nature walks in the future!!

That night though, my daughter got teary about daddy again. I think he's being brought up more lately because of my relationship to my new boyfriend. He's not really "new" but we have gotten more serious lately and the kids are realizing that he is going to stick around. I could tell my daughter was being torn because she was developing feelings for this new father figure in her life, and maybe felt somewhat guilty about it? It signifies moving on and letting herself love someone and allowing them play that role in her life. I think maybe she thought she was replacing him. I'm not sure, but all I know is I had to deal with a lot of issues about letting myself love again and it only makes sense that she would too.

Anyways, I talked to her in a way that I hadn't ever before. Instead of just cuddling her and saying, "I know, it's ok, there there..." I asked her what it is that is making her so upset. She said, "This stuff just isn't supposed to happen to kids my age." I know, it just breaks your heart. (but I have heard her say this before and who knows, she probably got that from me at some point.) But instead of just cuddling her I decided it was time for a pep talk. I said, "It's you that makes the decision to be happy. We can let the bad stuff that happens to us get us down and make us sad, or we can rise above and still be happy and use it as an experience to learn from, and be stronger from. I don't know about you, but I'm choosing to be happy. I'm moving on because daddy would want us to. Daddy wants me to be happy and find love again. Daddy would be happy that I've met Ray (bf) and that I'm happy. You should be happy to." I hugged her and said I loved her, and that moving on didn't mean that we loved daddy any less. It just means we love him enough to move on and be happy.

I got upset a little while later. It's hard to have to say that to your child and it sucks that I have to! I hope I did the right thing! Ever since though, I haven't seen any tears from her. I've been hearing questions like, "If you and Ray get married, can I be the flower girl?" And she asked what my new last name would be. These are GREAT signs to me that she is moving through this little hurdle she came across and is really thinking about things in a positive light. It makes me SO proud of her.

Oops, sorry, got a little off subject there. lol So here's the pics you've all been waiting on from our nature walk...I know you've been on the edge of your seats there...haha!

They thought this tree was pretty cool...

Here's a cute one I took of of my son taking a picture, lol. It was awesome how they were getting so into it!

My daughter and I... :)

And my son...(I know his haircut is awful and he kinda looks like a girl! He only let's my mom cut it and she's far from a hair stylist! She'll be the first to admit it, too! lol He actually hasn't let us take him to a hair dresser since daddy died. Coincidence or correlation? I still haven't figured that one out! I've tried everything from treats to new toys but no luck.)

Here's the tree we were visualizing Chris in...

And here's my fav...we met up with a friend too! He's our neighbor :)

He said, "I'm the kind of the world!!" I just love him!

Ok...computer is running slow and that's all the pictures I have time for!! I hope you enjoyed them and hey, THANKS for listening!! MUAH!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRANSFORMWE 4/26/2011 11:24PM

    You are such a great mom. Thanks for sharing so generously of yourself.

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LIBBYFITZ 4/20/2011 9:57PM

    emoticonAm pushed for time as am on a computer in a public library. Loved the whole blog. you are a wonderful mother! emoticon

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PCOH051610 4/20/2011 4:36PM

    Hi! Loved the pictures...it was sort of like taking us along with you. The weather looks gorgeous...please send some up to me as it is calling for snow again tomorrow. Oh well, life is what you make it and I guess that applies to the weather too!

I'm not a psychologist, but I think you did a fine job of reassuring your daughter. I know it is totally different, but my husband didn't want to replace Peaches until I said, it would be honouring her to open our hearts to love again. Love isn't about replacing somebody; it is about moving on and keeping memories alive while making new ones.

Take care sweetie!

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ELLFIN3 4/20/2011 11:23AM


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    Hey, thanks for taking ME on your walk with all of YOU! I sure wish we had some of YOUR countryside HERE! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMFAN 4/19/2011 3:52PM

    You've got to take the initiative and play your game. In a decisive set, confidence is the difference.
- Chris Evert

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REDRUNNERMOM713 4/19/2011 2:57PM

    Oh Leslie! I think that was GREAT advice you gave your daughter! She must have just needed that reassurance from you that just because she is letting Ray into her heart, doesn't mean that Chris is being pushed aside. You are a wonderful Mother and your kids are so blessed to have you! Looks like you had a great walk!!! emoticon

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JOYSONG50 4/19/2011 1:09PM

    Great pics. So glad you and the kids had a great time. You gave very sound advice to your daughter which helped her. I was tickled by her line of questions about your next wedding day. So adorable.

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SARAHJ19 4/19/2011 9:53AM

    I am so happy you guys had a great time! What a beautiful family you have. The nature walk looked amazing! You definitely made the right decision with the conversation with your daughter! You were still sensitive yet truthful. Way to go mama! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TRUE-NESS 4/19/2011 9:31AM

    Time with family is so precious. I'm glad you guys got to enjoy it!

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CULACCINA 4/19/2011 6:16AM

    Your kids are sooooo cute!!!! :3
Thanks for sharing :)

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IBSHAUN 4/19/2011 12:29AM

    Oh Leslie - HUGS! I am so very very very glad you went on that walk with your kids!! Sometimes it's just the quiet simple things that we really need to do the most. It gives us time to actually enjoy things and spend time using our imaginations. So sweet that they would both visualize daddy. Makes me smile. I know it must have been one of those bittersweet moments for you. I cannot imagine. I think you did a GREAT job with your daughter and her feelings that evening. Kids need both - they need the sweet cuddles and they need to know how to put it in perspective and to move on. It's real and and I think giving them some of those tools young will help them when they are older - especially working through emotions. Again... just big big big hugs to you!!

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_LINDA 4/19/2011 12:26AM

    Awesome photos!! So glad you could share such sweet moments with us. It sure looks as if your heart to heart talk with your daughter was exactly what she needed. Great timing from a wise Mommy!! You are just so amazing to look on the bright side of things from such a heart breaking loss.
emoticon emoticon

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ABB698 4/18/2011 11:33PM

    Wow Leslie, learned about nature and your relationship all on a walk! =) I love that your being direct and encouraging with your daughter allowed her to let some feelings free and allow her to think of the future and I love that she is excited about it for all of you! You should be proud, you are an awesome Mom! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAMAPERRY 4/18/2011 10:28PM

    Wonderful day, and so awesome for your family time! I think you talked to your daughter perfect, and I just got tears when I read this "It's you that makes the decision to be happy. We can let the bad stuff that happens to us get us down and make us sad, or we can rise above and still be happy and use it as an experience to learn from, and be stronger from. I don't know about you, but I'm choosing to be happy. "


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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 4/18/2011 10:04PM

    Beautiful blog and photos. You are a wise mom. Good counsel on choosing to be happy. So many expect to find that through someone else or something. Glad you were able to have a heart-to-heart talk and move through a tender subject for both of you. Know you'll always cherish this day in your memory.

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TEACHDIANN78 4/18/2011 9:59PM

    That's awesome and that is SO sweet about their daddy!!!

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REJ7777 4/18/2011 9:59PM

    There's something about actually getting out there in nature that is so therapeutic! Sometimes we have to kick ourselves in the butt to get out there, but once we do, we never regret it!

Your photos are lovely. What wonderful souvenirs of a beautiful, irreplaceable day! It's impossible to put a price value on a day like that!

It was sensitive of you to pick up on how your daughter was grieving. Your talk seems to have helped her deal with difficult emotions. You're a wonderful and caring mom!

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ILOVEDOLPHINS73 4/18/2011 9:52PM

    It sounds like you all had a wonderful day and I'm happy that you did. The kids are adorable and I'm glad that you feel better too. Keep up the great work! Muah.

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TEMPEST272002 4/18/2011 9:33PM

    The nature walk looks like it was a lot of fun and a great way to spend time with the kids. I could see how spending that time together led your daughter to feel close enough to share her feelings about her dad. You were so wise in what you said to her.

I'm so jealous of all the green and the tshirt weather. We still have snow. sigh. I'm sooooo ready for a spring nature walk myself!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 4/18/2011 9:26PM

    Sounds like a healing day...and glad you enjoyed your walk! What a great way to spend the day and kick the blues out the window!

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THETURTLEBEAR 4/18/2011 9:26PM

    Wow - you are amazing. What an incredible experience - the nature walk was great, but your talk with your daughter was really moving and so "right." Thank you for sharing with us.

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Got My Mojo Back!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

As my dear friend Kamma describes it, I'VE GOT MY MOJO BACK!! What a great feeling! emoticon

I knew I had fallen off the wagon and I just couldn't get back up for awhile. I couldn't even bring myself to step on the scale or even blog about it. I was embarrassed and I didn't want to see the damage I had actually done. emoticon

Finally, enough was enough. Instead of talking about going back to the basics, I actually DID it. Funny how saying and doing are two different things, huh? emoticon

Soo...after a week of staying within range I got the balls to weigh myself. Not good. I was NOT a happy camper. I took down my ticker because I just couldn't bear to look at it! I felt angry and fat and BLAH! emoticon What the HECK have I done! Was I destined to gain the weight back, just like all the other times?? emoticon

Then...it happened. I confessed. I threw up a status about being overweight again and feeling fat and by God did all the sparkers come out of the wood work! I was even brought to tears by all of the awesome support I was shown! It really helped to know that others had been here, done that...and were STILL going and pushing through! I wasn't alone and this IS a journey! I'm learning (by doing) why I always gained the weight back before. And let me tell you...IT STOPS HERE! emoticon

I'm NOT going to gain all the weight back, no flippin way! But I AM going to gain a few pounds here and there and that's OKAY! I just can't beat myself up about it so much! It doesn't mean I'm going to gain it all back, it just means I'm still learning. emoticon

I'm turning things back around and am saying NO MORE!

Baby steps:

Drinking more water!
Eating more fruits and veggies!
Smaller portions
Be more active
Stay within calorie range

Simple, yes. But that's all I can handle right now. I CAN do this! Thank you ALL so much for your support! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AARONSGIRL420 4/20/2011 4:38PM

    I seem to have misplaced my mojo.

Can you please tell me where you found yours? Maybe whoever took mine hid it right beside yours? teehee :)

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PCOH051610 4/20/2011 4:19PM


I could have written the introduction to your blog as it seems like you and I have been in the same place.....although mine was due to another flare up of depression.

I love your baby steps but you know what, they are more than that...they are the very essence of Spark, the core of what we all should be doing everyday.

So glad that you acknowledge that you will probably gain a few pounds here and there over the years but that you will never allow yourself to go back to where you came from. That is the learning curve..those few pounds that sneak back on and let us know how very easy it would be to let ourselves "go".

Wish I could reach out to you with a real hug instead of a virtual one! emoticon

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EKEMPF 4/19/2011 8:15PM

    Congrats on locating your Mojo!!!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 4/18/2011 12:49PM

    That's the spirit! Way to be! Sorry to hear you were down... but it happens to the best of us... and you're the best... ;)

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ABB698 4/18/2011 12:32AM

    You just had a human moment, now you can be Superwoman again! emoticon emoticon

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BOMBCHELL23 4/16/2011 11:03PM

Please send some MOJO my way! I too need it badly right now. I was still exercising but at a minimum which slowed my progress big time. I am trying to find that mojo to kick it back into gear and it is a struggle. Leslie you seriously motivate me to keep going. Thank you.

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_LINDA 4/16/2011 1:23AM

    Leslie, you ARE going to do this. Because you can. And because you have tons of Spark buds wishing you well so all that positive energy will boost you to new heights..
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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YOUDONTOWNME 4/15/2011 6:00PM


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IUHRYTR 4/15/2011 2:59PM

    emoticon -- Lou

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/15/2011 2:57PM

    I'm glad you are feeling better about this. I am in that same boat right now. I keep telling myself, but I haven't actually done it. I haven't dared weigh in! UGH!

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BELLEFAITH42 4/15/2011 2:39PM

    Oh Leslie - you are always so encouraging to everyone else even when you are struggling. So glad you felt the SparkLOVE and have your MOJO back!! Happy Weekend!

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NOMOEXCUSES13 4/15/2011 12:58PM

    Babes....you totally got this!!!!! I have all the faith in the world that you are back on track and that mojo is here to stay!!!! I'll be checking on you so let's get it done!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO Love your attitude and love you!!!!

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APMAC_D 4/15/2011 9:46AM

    You can totally do this! I have been in a bit of a funk lately too but I HAVE to keep at this weight loss plan or I will just dig myself deeper. I am glad you feel very supported because you ARE! I totally believe in you and know you can turn this around :)

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MOMFAN 4/15/2011 2:20AM


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MESEATURTLE 4/14/2011 11:36PM

    U can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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GODZDESIGN95 4/14/2011 11:29PM

    Seems like mojo are contagious. Keep it up! emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 4/14/2011 11:24PM

    Sorry to see you were struggling and didn't realise! emoticonAnd you are right , be kind to yourself and it is an ongoing process! emoticon

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TYEASLEY 4/14/2011 11:23PM

    Way to go!! What a coincidence, indeed, the same title for our blogs. emoticon emoticon

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SARAHJ19 4/14/2011 11:13PM

    Way to go girl!!!! I am so happy you got it back! Just remember you are never alone in this journey! The spark community is simply...Amazing. Reaching out for me this past week is really what got me back. Everyone here is amazing and so supportive!

I bet it feels great knowing you are going in the right direction. Your baby steps are perfect! One foot in front of the other! You got it!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERRY257 4/14/2011 11:09PM

    Way to go, Leslie! emoticon

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ERIKO1908 4/14/2011 10:13PM

    Heading off track is so simple...quite often much easier than doing all the RIGHT stuff!! I know that from experience!! Happy you re-found your MOJO!!! Isn't it wonderful that you don't have to go all the way back to the beginning before you realize you need to get back to it???? THAT IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT BEING SMARTER WITH SPARK!!!

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AZURELITE 4/14/2011 9:29PM

    So happy to hear you're still here and still keepin' on!

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THETURTLEBEAR 4/14/2011 8:16PM

    Woo hoo - it's amazing what happens when you put it in writing!!

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GRAMMACATHY 4/14/2011 8:04PM

    emoticon emoticon

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    emoticon emoticon

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IBSHAUN 4/14/2011 7:46PM

    emoticon emoticon

We're here for the long haul!

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IBSHAUN 4/14/2011 7:46PM

    emoticon emoticon

We're here for the long haul!

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TRUE-NESS 4/14/2011 6:16PM

    Wow! I didn't even know you had lost your mojo! I'm soooo GLAD you got it back! You are an awesome motivator. Thanks for being REAL!! YOU GOT THIS!!

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ASHLEYKAT 4/14/2011 5:45PM

    Way to get your groove back girl!

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CULACCINA 4/14/2011 5:40PM

    Way to go, girl!!!!
I miss your status update, but I know you can pull this off. Go get them, Tiger!!! emoticon

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LZY0108 4/14/2011 5:39PM

    I too had this problem a few weeks ago.. its so easy to do! And tomorrow always seems so close and then the next day comes and theres another tomorrow.. LOL thats how my thinking goes anyway.. But as long as we catch ourselves and have all this knowledge I think those "off the wagon" periods are alot shorter than theyve been in the past. I think they will get shorter and shorter over time as our healthy lifestyles become more of a habit... emoticon emoticon

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MOMOF2TONI 4/14/2011 5:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 4/14/2011 5:30PM

    When I gained 12lbs with quitting smoking, I felt awful about it. The same fears you have - am I destined to just gain it back & be fat? It took some doing, but I got back on track and lost those 12... and I gained a bit of confidence that I don't have to go back to my old ways. I'm glad you're back on track. I know you'll be more at peace now that you are.

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 4/14/2011 4:59PM

    You brave & gorgeous woman! So many of us just duck & cover letting that weight gain define you. You grabbed the pounds by the throat & raised the bar for the rest of us. We don't have to hide our setbacks, just own them so we can deal with them!

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IGUANA3 4/14/2011 4:16PM

  you = emoticon

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CIVIAV 4/14/2011 4:10PM

    Yes we are here to support cause we are also learning! I could have written your blog in January...

Mojo looks good on us!

Comment edited on: 4/14/2011 4:10:45 PM

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KAMAPERRY 4/14/2011 4:10PM

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!! We don't have to be fat, we are NOT doomed! We can choose our fate!!! We got this!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JSPIN74 4/14/2011 4:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SMARGED 4/14/2011 4:08PM


Fantastic blog! YES, you CAN do it, Leslie!

And you have definitely taken the right first steps!! emoticon

I totally agree with you that you should do whatever you can do.... trying to do too much only leads to discouragement. Do what you can, and when you feel ready, add a little more!!

And so true - - you took a few steps backward - - no big deal!! Now you're moving in the right direction again! And all of us, your Spark Friends, are here to love you and support you!!

So go for it, gal!! You CAN do it!

emoticon Marge

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I AM a Survivor!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The other day I posted a status on facebook and was so surprised at the number of likes on it. It even beat out the one I posted when I met my goal weight. I figured I'd get a few likes but good grief! I didn't realize how inspiring it was to other people, I guess. So, I figured if it's that inspiring to my facebook friends, I should share it with the Spark world too.

I haven't talked about the father of my children much before, mostly out of embarrassment. He was probably the biggest mistake of my life! BUT, he blessed me with two wonderful children. I know God crossed our paths for this reason and for that I'm very grateful.

Long story short, he was very emotionally controlling and I stayed with him as long as I did because he took advantage of my good heart. I wanted to try and "fix him" and I stayed with him for all the wrong reasons. He would tell me how much he loved his daughter and if I ever took her away from him he would just die. I tried leaving him several times, each time he would act like he was going to kill himself and eventually I'd stay with him out of fear. Fear that he would take his own life if I didn't. Finally, when I was 9 months pregnant with his second child, I knew I had to get away. I didn't want him to pull the same mental games with me once he was born. I saw the opportunity and I left. Cops were called when he tried to hang himself by a tree on a public road. While he was in jail I had time to pack my stuff and get the heck out of dodge. Since then, I've never looked back. I've made my contact information public so that he could get a hold of me if he tried. He has not. He hasn't ever seen his own son! How he can live with himself is beyond me. But as a mother, I'm doing what is in the best interest of my children. Until he can prove to me that he is mentally stable, he has no business in their life.

Soooo, back to the facebook status. This is what I posted...

"Never received a dime in child support and probably never will, but it's a great feeling knowing I've supported these children on my own for so long without needing anyone else but me, myself and I. Take that life!"

4 out of 5 women who are in abusive relationships will never get out. I am 1 out of 5! I AM a survivor!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

p.s. Just to clear up any confusion if there is any...Chris, the fiancÚ that passed, is who my children and I refer to as their daddy. He was not of blood relation, though. I met him when I was a single mom and they were very young. He was the only man that they've known as daddy. Anyone can be a father, it takes a special someone to be a daddy!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCOH051610 4/20/2011 4:25PM

    Just reading this now...April 2oth...and I wish I had read it sooner. Your story is so inspiring. Your quote about fatherhood is so true and I'm glad your children had Chris in their lives, albeit, for such a short time.

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BOMBCHELL23 4/16/2011 10:58PM

I had no idea but I can see the qualities of survivor in your personality. I am glad you have been able to escape and move on with your life to better and more important people. Caring for your children is so very important, know it is your most important job ever.

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LZY0108 4/14/2011 5:33PM

    emoticon emoticon Great Job!!

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IGNAZIA 4/14/2011 2:09PM

    You are a survivor! and your kids are blessed to have you as a mom.

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LIVIN2LOVE1 4/14/2011 2:07PM

    You are a strong woman. I could see that in you before but now... Wow. It takes a lot of courage to leave when someone is so good at trapping with fear.

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HEALTHYARTIST1 4/14/2011 12:15AM

    I also was in an abusive relationship and they are VERY hard to get out of, it took me years but I did it and eventually went on to met my soul mate and have been happily married to him for 13 years.

I ended up raising my kids by myself for 18 years before I met my husband, it was hard but like you I thank God for the two beautiful children that he sent me.

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KANSASROSE67 4/13/2011 11:45AM

    Just read this and want you to know how proud I am of you!

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EVRLNGFOO 4/12/2011 11:26PM

    that's a great story. so motivating and encouraging to other women who may be too scared to leave.

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MAMADWARF 4/12/2011 10:58PM

    Welcome to Team survivor! Me, too, doll. Hooray for us!

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AUNTIELES53 4/12/2011 10:44PM

    emoticon great job emoticon

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    your p.s. sent shivers down my spine - very very true about being a daddy. all it takes to be a father is sperm and a desire to "share" it.

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JESSIEJUICE 4/11/2011 5:31PM

    You are such a strong woman! I am very glad you got out of the situation, but I think it is fantastic and inspiring that your heart is open enough to make your contact info available to him, if he chose to use it. emoticon

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MACLEEEEE 4/11/2011 1:03PM

    wow this is really great. obviously i've never been in your boat before but I have had my share of friends who have been in abusive relationships and it is a tough tough thing to get out of. One of my friends had a bf who would also threaten to kill himself if they broke up and my heart broke for her until she was finally able to get to a safer place.

Also, isn't it great the feeling of getting all those fb likes?!?! sometimes posting a great worthwhile status can make my day!! Anyways, you have every right to be so proud of yourself :)
rock on emoticon

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CIVIAV 4/11/2011 11:44AM

    Surviving is inspiring since we are all working at it! You are a survivor and never lost your good heart along the way. That's also called thriving love!

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GRAMMACATHY 4/9/2011 3:25AM

    You are a survivor and your children will know self reliance. I am also a survivor. It is so easy to get sucked in to the games and the mentality brain wash that it is all our fault. But I wasn't raised that way. I just should have gotten out two years earlier than I did.

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REJ7777 4/8/2011 10:03PM


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HEALTHYME47 4/8/2011 1:52PM

    You ARE a survivor. I'm glad you got away from that controlling man. His mental disabilities are sad but you and your kids are probably better off without him, and if he started paying child support he would probably start trying to manipulate his way back into your lives.


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KAMAPERRY 4/8/2011 1:29PM

    Wow, sounds like you have been where I have been. I can relate, and yes you are a survivor, we both are, we need to remember how strong we are and nothing can take us down again unless we let it. emoticon

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MPALMER15 4/8/2011 12:00PM

    Wow! You really are a survivor and your kids are very lucky to have you as their mom.

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BYEFATNANNY 4/8/2011 11:35AM

    It is great getting to know you better - thank you for sharing. Since I work in law I am always amazed when I hear of women not collecting child support, but I totally understand in your case becasue that would only bring the kids dad back into the picture and that does not sound like a good idea at all! So you are doing the right thing! (like I need to tell you that) You are a survivor, you have lived a lot of life for your young age. I always live by the motto that we are our own best friends. As on an airplane you must take the oxygen first and only then can you help your children. You are a great mom and a great example for your children. Have a fantastic weekend! emoticon

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AZURELITE 4/8/2011 11:05AM

    Yes, you are a survivor Leslie. A beautiful, dedicated, gifted, wonderful mom too. Keep your visions positive - life holds so much in store for you!


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TEMPEST272002 4/8/2011 10:45AM

    My relationship with my son's bio-dad was emotionally abusive & I left him when I was 5 months pregnant. I ended up being homeless for 3 months, living in my car & couch surfing - but I knew it was worth it. My son had infrequent, but regular visits with his bio-dad (1-2 visits/yr). Unfortunately, bio-dad hasn't changed much over the years. When my son turned 18, he decided to cut off bio-dad... basically for the same reasons I did. Sad really.

Like you, I'm glad I did the hard thing (which was the best thing!) and left bio-dad. I've never regretted it & doing so opened me up to meet hubby, who has been a fantastic father to my son & an amazing partner to me.

The trials we go through in life can make us wiser if we let them. You, my dear, are a brilliant life student. You take the pain and transform it. Life is hard and full of joy.

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/8/2011 10:09AM

    I too am a surviivor!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 4/8/2011 9:57AM

    Hi Leslie. YES!!!!! you are a survivor.

Wow. I am constantly amazed by you. You have been through so much and you still see the glass as half full. The only way I can describe you is like an onion. There are so many layers to you and with with layer shed, you just get stronger. The real you is on display in each of your posts, but a different layer is revealed.

Keep blogging because I love to read them.

Daphne emoticon

Have a great weekend.

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LILLYPILLY24 4/8/2011 9:03AM

    Oh, thanks for sharing your story. You most definitely are a survivor. Congratulations, and what a wonderful gift you've given/are giving your children.

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IBSHAUN 4/8/2011 1:34AM

    Made my smile with a tear in my eye. I admire you and your strength. You are teaching your children such an important lesson about living and being in control of your own life -- their own lives. It makes my heart smile that you and your children had your fiance -- even for a little while -- because your children had a daddy. You are absolutely right by the way, being a daddy takes a special person.

Thank you for sharing - I hope your willingness to share and your proof that you can have a better life will encourage women in detrimental relationships to get out.

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    Oh My Beautiful friend! A Survivor you truly are! Ur amazing strength just completely moves me! I can relate to this story in some ways, and only wish that in my situation the absence was there. Unfortunately it's not, and it's a continued hell that has consumed my son. U are such a bright light around your children and others lives. It would be a honor to meet you in person one day! emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 4/8/2011 12:43AM

    Just beautiful! I had a gut feeling there was a bigger sadness in your life. I agree you are a survivor! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SWEETNEENI 4/7/2011 11:56PM


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TRANSFORMWE 4/7/2011 11:45PM

    Leslie, I felt a connection to you from the first time I read one of your blogs. You are amazing and inspiring in so many ways. I'm somehow not surprised to know we have this in common as well.
Thank you for sharing this. I think the more survivors speak up, the more there will be who will be inspired to realize that they are worth so much more than they have been told--Sparking a sisterhood of survivors!

emoticon emoticon

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SAMI199 4/7/2011 11:42PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ABB698 4/7/2011 11:01PM

    Wow Leslie, I knew you were amazing, but to know the story of how amazing you truly are is fantastic! You rock! Your kids are so lucky to have you for a Mom! You are raising 2 great kids, and you deserve all the credit in the world! You are a SURVIVOR, wear that title proudly! I am so proud of you for being you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CASILAYNE 4/7/2011 10:45PM

    You are such a strong woman! emoticon I am so honored to share this healthy journey with you.

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MOMOF2TONI 4/7/2011 10:45PM

    Leslie, you are truly an inspiration and I admire you so much. I can identify with you - my ex tried to hang himself in our garage while I was at work. A neighbor happened to come over to borrow a tool and heard the commotion. The neighbor saved him and from there the story gets more complicated and too much to get into. I'm just so glad to be out of that drama and glad you got out too. God bless you girl.

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TABALICIOUS 4/7/2011 10:33PM

  Wow girl, you rock! An inspiration in many ways!

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    Ah, Leslie, what a good blog! Yes, it is so admirable that you were able to do what you did with your children! I, too, at one time, had two little girls all alone and found a way to make things work. You have blessed your children (all of them) with the love that they need and want so much, and you will always be so glad you did! emoticon

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GOGOMAMA 4/7/2011 10:18PM

    I always knew you were amazing! Such strength! Your kids are so lucky to have you, you beautiful, sweet, big-hearted woman! I'm lucky to have you as my friend!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 4/7/2011 10:09PM

    I left an abusive relationship and I can't not even imagine doing it with children! You are really amazing lady! When I first read the story of Chris passing I cried and cried with you and thought "wow this girl is so strong!". Now even more so!

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