Thursday, October 04, 2012
I'm not saying it's hard, but it's not easy either. Thankfully I, with a little help, have done my homework and I think I have kicked the habit this time.
I have been unsuccessful at quitting smoking for the last year. I have tried and tried. I tried weaning myself off and I tried quitting cold turkey. Neither method worked. I did not try the gum or the patch, but from the experience of my family and friends, those things don't really work anyway. I tried changing my mindset and deciding that I hated it and didn't want it anymore. Even that didn't work. Here is what I've learned.
Dopamine is a chemical that your brain naturally produces. When you start smoking, your brain stops producing dopamine on its own because the cigarette forces your brain to produce it unnaturally. When I was trying to quit, it wasn't because I was addicted to the habit itself or the nicotine. I was addicted to the dopamine rush that I couldn't seem to get any other way.
Your brain doesn't produce dopamine without a trigger. The triggers that I found worked for me best were exercise, loud music (where I could feel it thump in my chest), and keeping busy. Whenever I would start craving for a cigarette, I would go turn on some thumping music and dance around the living room for 5 minutes. If I wasn't at home, I would walk a little faster at the store while I grocery shopped to get my blood moving.
While I am at home, it's a little more difficult, but if I keep myself busy, I'm too distracted to want to smoke (or eat emotionally, for that matter).
Some people might say that I'm wrong, and that's ok. I am just sharing what worked for me. I have not had a cigarette in 16 days and I'm feeling great. It's become second nature to start my day with thumping music and "drop and give me 20" whenever I want to smoke.
Thanks to my dad for the research and thanks to my husband and family for the tremendous support.
To all those smokers out there who want to quit, you can do it! It's all in your head. :-) Thanks for reading.
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
Working out seems to be working out! So far I have only missed 1 workout last week and that was a super duper busy day out and away from the house. Though the scale hasn't moved all that much, I can tell that my pants are a little looser and I have more energy.
Here is my workout chart:
As you can see, I am getting closer to my new pair of running shoes! I know, I know, it is a little juvenile, but I just love seeing those stickers go up! Instead of just knowing that I am accomplishing something, I can see it, too. Every single time I walk into the kitchen it's a reminder that I am moving toward my goal... and a reminder to complete my workout for that day.
Here's to moving forward!
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
So who says eating healthy is supposed to taste good? ME! That's who!
I was under the impression that eating healthy was going to stink. I have acid reflux disease and it is difficult for me to eat fresh fruits and vegetables because I then get out-of-this-world heart burn that lasts the entire day. I started looking around for healthy recipes while I waited for my SparkPeople Cookbook to arrive in the mail so that I could eat something other than just fresh fruits and veggies. I found some, and here is what they look like:
This one is roasted harvest vegetables. My husband said it tasted better than Olive Garden's...
This is green pork chili. It doesn't look very appetizing, but this is the best-tasting meal I have had in a long time. The pork literally melts in your mouth.
These are peanut butter brownies with walnuts and cherries. Don't let the name deceive you! You cannot taste the peanut butter (if you're like my mom who hates peanut butter). These are by far the richest and most chocolaty brownies I have ever had. I couldn't even finish a whole serving! The kicker: each serving contains only 318 calories... and by serving, I mean a regular size brownie, not a dinky little 1x1 square.
These muffins I actually baked this morning. It served as a really good breakfast and I actually felt full when I finished. They are carrot-apricot muffins. I didn't think they would taste all that good, but at 234 calories per muffin, who cares, right? Me, apparently. Good thing these tasted great!
I have eaten better this last week than I ever have before and I have enjoyed every bit. I haven't had heart burn since I have been able to eat other meals containing my freggies along with some fresh ones. I am full faster and stay full longer. And this food tastes better than my all time favorite, chicken bacon broccoli alfredo.
I think I am going to enjoy eating "healthy."
I finally received my cookbook and I already have dinner cooking in the crockpot. I'll have to let you know how it turns out! Thanks for reading!
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I know that challenges are supposed to be a good thing, but I am seriously doubting that right now. I am on day 7 of no more smoking. I am proud to say that I've been doing really great. I have used the distraction method... whenever I have wanted a cigarette, I put it out of my mind and immediately go find something engaging to do. I hear that works really well with food cravings, too.
I'm still a little testy since I don't have what used to be my stress reliever (Smoking) and everything has decided to hit the fan. My step-son, 11, has adopted an attitude that makes me want to hurl him out the front door; my husband's next paycheck is only going to be half (literally) of what we were expecting; a Walmart employee decided to tick me off by telling me he fixed my bike when he didn't do anything to it whatsoever; and I am wrestling with whether or not to go back to work v. having my daycare. Not to mention, since I don't have my past stress reliever, I now want to eat everything in sight. It has been very difficult to restrain myself from eating constantly.
At least I haven't let any of this get in the way of my goals for my Back to Basics Team. Thankfully I'm still working towards my health goals, but that will be much more difficult when dinner all next week is going to be canned goods and raman noodles. :-( I know things are going to get better. It's just frustrating in the moment. Thanks for reading.
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