Health isn’t only about eating the right things that your body needs or exercising. It’s also about breaking bad habits such as smoking. Our writer Julie Rosseel will tell you about her experiences with smoking and how she’s determined to quit.
If quitting smoking was that easy, I probably wouldn’t even have to write this article. But unfortunately, as a person who has been smoking for 7 years, I know that this process is not simple at all. Although the media and the outside world sometimes make it feel like it is. I felt it was necessary to pen down the process of quitting to support and inspire people. I find it extremely important, to be honest with you, and therefore not only to tell my ups but also all my downs during this process.
Why do you want to stop?
First of all, it’s important to find out why you want to stop. For people who don’t smoke this may seem silly. But, if you have a certain reason in mind then the goal is easier to reach. For me the reason is health, as time passed by, I noticed how much smoking took its toll on my body. In the beginning you don’t think about it that much. Then after years of smoking you start to feel it. Since my health isn’t good at all I decided that I shouldn’t burden my body anymore.
A tip I would like to give you is that you have to do this for yourself in the first place, and not for others. That’s why it’s so important to find a goal for yourself. Even if it is for saving money as you could make your dream trip after a while or for finally getting back a radiant skin. Just name what works for you and what you can cling to when you stop. One more thing that you have to keep in mind is to reflect when you have the greatest urge. With me, for example, it is right after dinner and if I go out drinking. It’s important to know your pitfalls. That way you can prepare yourself for difficult moments.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. – Confucius
Nowadays there is a whole market with products that helps you to stop but I’ve chosen to do it the good old-fashioned way. To be honest, this is not the easiest. I already had a few conversations before with people who had quit and how they had done it. I ended up with two possibilities: planning a date and then stopping or quietly phasing out. With a lot of good courage I immediately opted for the short pain. I chose a date and planned it in my calendar.
As the day approached I got stressed out and I needed more cigarettes. Every time I made up excuses to move the date over and over again. Although I was so angry and disappointed in myself, I really couldn’t stop right away.
Deal with myself
At that moment I made a deal with myself as not being able to stop right away is no excuse not to try. From that moment on I allowed myself seven cigarettes a day, no more, preferably less. In the beginning it was difficult, not because of the urge to have cigarettes but because of the urge to act. I have this under control by filling a bottle with water and every time the urge comes up, I drink from the bottle. These are two birds with one stone, you smoke less and you stay hydrated.
Today I only smoke four cigarettes a day. So yes I still smoke but I am proud of myself that I am reducing anyway. That’s why you must choose a method that works for you and that gives yourself motivation and time. If you lose courage immediately when you have to stop, the motivation to bite through and achieve your goal is also much smaller. Within a month I hope to be completely smoke-free and show you what kind of changes have happened both inside and outside. I keep you posted!