Quitting Smoking

I.Q. [S]! T.2 – Day #4

Ok. I’m bored with the quitting smoking coverage.

I guess I thought it would be more painful and therefore make for better inspiration and better blog material. It wasn’t very hard at all. I wore a patch for 2 full days. On the 3rd day I had one that wasn’t even my brand after a particularly horrid morning. That 1 cig did not send me into a downward nicotine fueled spiral. In fact, in situations like driving, after a meal, while others are smoking, I decidedly do not smoke. I chug water, work out, write, etc. Today, I did not wear a patch again and again, I was fine. In celebration of how awesome I am, I will have a smoke following the completion of this post. I’ve achieved what I wanted, control. If I want one, I can have one. I just will not allow myself to incorporate smoking cigarettes in my everyday routine. Now, I might be talking some crazy, Charlie Sheen sized B.S., but that’s yet to be determined. I really believe this is a mind over matter thing and my best friend Kacie told me so before I tried the patches. I swear she knows me better than myself sometimes.

My next mission is eating better. Yesterday I bought some fruit to snack on. I do not eat enough and when I eat it’s total crap food. I’ve inspired myself to take control over this area of my life next. I wanted to try and eat 5-6 times a day, 3 meals and snacks.
Morning: Large Orange
Mid-Morning: Banana
Lunch: 1/2 Publix Sub
Dinner: Totally Amazing Salad
Evening: Cheez-Its (I know this isn’t healthy, but just love Cheez-Its!)
Late Night: Pineapple (Come on, I have the day off tomorrow… I’m allowed to get a little crazy with a late night snack)

I promise I won’t post about every flippin’ thing I eat from here on out, I’m just really proud of myself and making all these positive changes. But seriously, check out the beautiful and delicious salad I made myself for dinner tonight: Iceberg Lettuce & Spinach with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Chicken and Raspberry Vinaigrette… it was amazing.

 (No, I wasn’t eating on a bathroom floor. The kitchen counters are tiled, and I hate it.)

I love when I have the time to cook. Even if it’s only a salad for myself, it just feels good. I also bought myself two pairs of workout shorts and a workout top!

For the rest of the evening I’ll be relaxing with three of my favorite mags. Tomorrow I’m buying that purple bathing suit I’ve been obsessing over. I hesitated buying it because I just bought the white with “yellow polka dot”s bikini (and I spent a little more than I usually like to spend on a bathing suit) but I can’t stop thinking about the adorable purple one I saw at target last week. I saw it again the other night and I have to have it. I’m waking up and going to get my purple bikini!

I wasn’t particularly excited about any of the covers…

I.Q. [S]! T.2 – Day #3

This morning I had my dentist appointment. That was a whole big-fat f*cking waste of time.The only good thing about it is that I now have an appointment with a specialist next week. One more step closer to having these 4 ungrateful, intrusive, party-crashing wisdom teeth pulled the F out.

I was so angry about the way the morning had gone, that I smoke a cigarette. I know. But I didn’t where a patch for the rest of the day, nor did I smoke any more cigarettes. I didn’t crave them either. In fact, I was down right comfortable… except for my teeth. So I feel really good about the quitting process. I’m thinking it really is mind over matter. I don’t want to be a smoker. I don’t want to smoke daily. So I won’t, because I don’t. I would like to partake in a smoke every now and again. I can, and I will. I’m actually feeling really good about myself.

To continue this season of change, empowerment and better myself, I bought a bunch of great fruit for snaking on over the next few days. I’m interested in charting my progress. My water intake is up. My exercising is up. My food choices are healthier. and I feel good.

My tanning is up too. Way up. I go everyday for short amounts of time to slowly build some sort of color other than china-white. So far I’ve been pretty successful.

Operation Tan Ginger
– Day 3 –
15 mins. Full-powered bed
I forget the name of the lotion I used today.
My belly is pretty red. 
My arms and legs have continued to get darker.
My flippin’ sides are barely any different than when I started!
I think I may need to start using the stand-up beds as soon as I have a good enough base.

I.Q. [S]! T.2 – Day #2

I feel a lot better today. No big cravings.

I bought myself some Teriyaki Beef Jerky to snack on. Probably not the healthiest protein choice, but I was craving it. I also bought a bag of Dum-Dums lollipops to help control cravings. Yesterday, I stayed away when my roommates went out on the back porch for a smoke but today I joined them outside and did hanging crunches from the captains chair that we have out there. I wasn’t tempted to smoke. I just sucked on my lollis and worked on my abs.

Me and my replacement lollipops
Top: Marshall’s
Jeans: Paris Blues Relaxed fit. 

I decided to give myself a little gift today too. I stopped by Marshalls and picked up two cami’s: one white, one gray. I also got a very flowy, very sheer black/black lace tank top and a flowy, sheer navy blue and white polka dot tank top. I figured I need to a pick-me-up since I’ve been so good with the smoking.

I continued with my tanning:

Operation Tan Ginger
– Phase One – 
– Day 2 –
Low Power, European Bed. 12 Minutes. No Lotion.
Today I got a little more red, but not a whole lot darker. Maybe because I didn’t use a lotion. (?)

Also, today, a world icon. One of the original Hollywood bombshells passed away. Elizabeth Taylor, one of the greatest screen actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Academy Award winner. Converted jew. 8 times a wife. and let’s face it, she was just a big ol’ whore. But we loved Liz.

Love the beautiful porcelain skin and gorgeous, piercing blue eyes!
Sometimes I swear I’ll dye my hair dark brown just so I can try and look like Ms. Taylor!
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor
February 27, 1932 â€“ March 23, 2011

I.Q. [S]! T.2 – Day #1

Yesterday, I picked up a box of nicotine patches to help me quit smoking. I’m kind of sad to quit. I really do enjoy it so much! Today is the first day I am using a nicotine patch. I stuck it on my left upper arm and immediately regretted it, I don’t like how it looks there. 😦

I look like death. So tired.

I put it on as I was finishing up getting ready for work and by the time I was in my car my left arm felt really weird. Like it was just about to go “fuzzy”, or numb. It didn’t go numb… but it felt weird. I would try and shake it off, but my elbow was intermittently feeling uncomfortable all day. I just didn’t like the way it felt. Like my left arm was on crack. Overall, I feel fatigued and weak. My muscles feel tight though. I guess I mostly feel sluggish.

However, I’m not craving cigarettes. Every time I come to a point where I would smoke one, I feel like I’m forgetting something, then I remember I quit smoking and then I want one. But I don’t want one bad enough. The nicotine patch is keeping me strong. …whatever. I’ve also been chugging water if I have a particularly vicious craving. Usually as sudden as the craving pops up, it’ll go away.

I had to leave work early today because my sisters and I were taking our dresses for the wedding to David’s Bridal to be altered. This turned out to be a bunch of B.S. Long story short, Sarah and I figure, we will worry about ours later, they’re fine now. So we took Shannon’s gown to a local taylor, Karmucha Alterations, and the girls there were so incredibly nice and so creative and fun! Here’s what Shannon’s bustle will look something like.

I also started tanning again today. I had given up on tanning a long time ago, since it takes me too long to build and keep a tan… Without strictly monitoring a gradual build-up, I simply: burn.peel. repeat. I want to be a little radiant for Shannon’s upcoming wedding though, so I figured I need to start the build-up now and maintain. Plus, this summer I don’t want to reflect the sun back off of me at the beach…

I figure, this can be a learning experience for other Gingers who may want to build a tan.

It isn’t advised by ANYONE that “Gingers” and others with very sensitive, very fragile, melanin-lacking skin expose themselves to any UV light, at anytime, for any reason. At least not without a very good sunblock. But sometimes, as most of us tend to do from time to time, you get a tad curious of what it’s like to do something different. For Gingers, anything other than Vampire white is different. (Granted, most of the “tan” is really clusters of freckles.) Anyway, here’s what I did:

Operation Tan Ginger 
– Phase One
– Day 1 – 
Low Watt Bulb, European Bed.
Lotions Cream 
Supre Peachy Keen Tanning Lotion
Lenght 
12 Minutes
Results
Tanner, W/ Redness. 
My arms and legs definitely appeared tanner. 
My back and belly were pretty red because I didn’t have enough lotion and I got a little skimpy in the middle.
No discomfort.

I Quit [Smoking]! Take Two

I am a smoker. It is so ingrained in me as a person. I wish I could say I hate it too, but I don’t. I love smoking.

I’ve shared and experienced so much over a smoke or a whole pack of smokes. I’ve stayed up with kindred spirits and watched the sunrise after a night of personal stories and secrets where the only thing that got us through was the nicotine. There’s a bonding that happens over smoking. I’ve made an nourished some of my most cherished friendships in the haze of all the smoke. But it’s time to quit.

Today, I bought a 3 week supply of 21mg nicotine patches. I honestly don’t believe I need to used 21mg patches per day for 3 weeks, and then 3 more, and then reduce to 14mg for 2 weeks, and then whatever the next step down in for another 2 weeks. I’m also pretty certain the 21mg patches will make me sick. I’ll have to see how I do with the full 21mg patch, and then cut them in half if necessary, I’ll just cut it in half every week… It’s really more about breaking the habit for me without me being a complete bitch all day. When I’ve quit in the past, it wasn’t hard to stop. I was fine. But sooner or later I was like, “fine, then I’m just going to smoke anyway right now because I f*cking want to.” Honestly, I’m positive I will smoke again. At a bar, if a friend has one I might enjoy, I will indulge. I don’t believe having one every once in a while is bad. Its a matter or not having it as part of your regular routine and not buying any EVER. Never have them on you just because. Never bum one, just because; but to treat oneself is different. Never rely on it when emotional, it’s not an effective crutch, that leads back to habit. Who knows, maybe I’m just the big dumb, irrational smoker. Only time will tell.

I keep reminding myself of all the health, beauty and financial benefits to quitting. I thought it would be beneficial, not just to myself, but perhaps to others looking to rid themselves of this horrid habit. I’ve broken my reasons down into several groups and I will depend on these facts and anecdotes to help me get through the quitting process

Personal Reasons
I’m Embarrassed by my smoking.

I used to get out of my car with a cig in hand and walk to where ever it was I’m going. I’ve walked numerous city streets just puffing away. Enjoying one on the beach or while out for a walk. But for a while now I hide it. I put my smoke out before getting out of my car, I will stop in quiet corners to keep my disgusting habit as far away from view of others as possible. I don’t want people to see me smoking, especially kids.They know better than me, an adult.

My Grandmothers. 

Both my Nana and Grandma were lifetime smokers. Both have passed. Subsequently, I want to quit for the rest of my family who have had to deal with their passings and hate seeing me disregarding the perfect examples set before me. Including:

My Father and Youngest Sister.

I want them both to quit. I could never ask being a smoker myself.

My Children.

I don’t have any. God only knows if I ever will. But I never want to be a Mommy who smokes.

Anxiety

I have a generalized anxiety disorder, which causes me to have debilitating panic attacks over minimal problems. The elevated heart rate and “jitters” caused by smoking only make my panic attacks worse and more frequent. Recently,I’ve been able to control my anxiety with meditation techniques and I hope my quitting will help me better control my anxiety.

Health Reasons

Cancer – Most Obvious – Lung Cancer, Mouth Cancer, Throat Cancer and Stomach Cancer… just to name the most common associated with smoking. Smoking really makes you more susceptible to all cancers. You’re just welcoming in carcinogens and they’ll attack anywhere.

Cardiovascular Diseases – Narrow, Rigid and Blocked Arteries. Increased cholesterol levels in blood. Coronary Thrombosis. Cerebral Thrombosis. Coronary Heart Disease. Stroke. Blood Clots (especially in legs). Increased heart rates from smoking weaken the heart’s muscles, setting it up to fail. Damaged Nerves that ultimately causes uncontrollable shaking. Damaged blood vessels.

Emphysema and other forms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), I hope, upon my death bed, I actually get “my last breath”.

Quitting smoking would also grant me more stamina for physical activity and feeling less sluggish overall.

Beauty Reasons

Where do I even begin? Bad Breath. Stained Yellow Teeth, Fingers and Nails. Weak, Dull Hair. and I knew smoking was bad for your skin, but I didn’t realize just how bad:

Broken and damaged blood vessels combined with thinning of facial skin causes dark circles under eyes.

Deep lines form around lips.

Overall saggy skin. Smoking decreases skin’s elasticity. -Gross.

Overall older looking skin, everywhere. Smoking contracts blood vessels which prevents oxygen from getting to the skin’s surface making it look dull, old and gross.

Because nicotine constricts tiny capillaries that nourish skin, wrinkles form everywhere.

Basically, if I keep smoking I will be some murky-grey colored, uber wrinkly, sticky-ass, stained-yellow, old bitch. AH!!!! I can not allow this! I love the social aspects of smoking… but who whats to hang out with the f*cking crypt-keeper anyway! F*ck this! I quit! I know I’m a stupid shallow bitch for having the beauty side effects of smoking encourage me to quit more than the health aspects, but at least I’m quitting!

Financial Reasons

A pack of cigarettes down her is more than $6.00, so let’s just round to $7.00 per pack. I spend:
(about) $50.00 Weekly.
(about) $ 200.00 Monthly.
and (about) $ 2,600.00 Yearly.

I would much rather spend that money on awesome sh*t, like: vacations, clothes and makeup. I’d rather redecorate my bedroom. I’d rather go back to school or pay off some debt. I can use this money for so much! and I love money so this is a huge source of encouragement.

In order to better help myself through the quitting process, I will be implementing new, healthy dietary, beauty and work-out regiments.

Instead of all the sporadic eating I do throughout the day, I will plan-out and pre-portion 5-6 daily meals/snacks to keep my metabolism going and keeping me energized throughout the day.

Since the theatre season is coming to an end, and I will now be home in the evenings for a proper dinner, instead of smoking after my meal, I will take a walk, jog or run.

I need to start repairing my skin hardcore so I will add a nightly cream and daily moisturizer with spf into my nightly and makeup routines.

Exfoliating and alternating between hot and cold water in the shower helps improve circulation which encourages cell growth for improved skin.

Eating lots of fruits and veggies will not only help me keep up with my new 5-6 meal diet plan, but all the vitamins will really help regenerate and revive my skin: Vitamin A will help decrease wrinkles, Vitamin C (and Zinc) promote the formation of collagen to help improve the skins elasticity. Vitamin E which are found in lettuce and carrots, helps improve the blood circulation for the skin giving a healthy, youthful look. Bromelain, which is found in pine-apples helps rid the body of toxins.

I will incorporate drinking WAY more water too. I’ve gotten so bad about my water drinking. I pretty much drink Coke all the time. I’d like give up soda and make it a once-in-a-while treat, but… one vice at a time. I need that caffeine, especially right now.

Well, as of tomorrow: no more smoking. Wish me luck!

shut up little cigarette man!