Friday, October 29, 2010

So there I was in Paris, no money...and a pack a schmokes

We all have stories to share of overcoming some bad habit; whether it be taught or self-taught, either way, everyone can relate to some rate of success when they say they are going to do something and getting it done with great satisfaction. I think 3 of the top 'bad' physical habits that most seem to want to kick would be smoking, poor eating habits and drinking coffee everyday; of course everyone has their opinion, hence the blog.
I personally smoked for 15 years of my life. And as many smokers tend to learn, my mother smoked as well as siblings and such. Like my siblings, I eventually learned to quit and quite honestly knew I would someday even when I started, which is probably why I surrounded myself with many non-smokers and healthy minded people; I was the lucky one I guess. It's funny because I remember hiding up in my room when I was in high school and sitting by the window, blowing the smoke out and thinking that I wouldn't get caught by my parents. I also hid it from some of my friends! I didn't smoke a lot at first, just when I got home from the bars and later on in the bars. I stuck with smoking well into my 20's taking it out to BC; known as Canada's healthiest province and....continued to smoke there. I eventually developed a want to quit, every time someone said, "You smoke?" made me think, "I KNOW?!" So eventually I quit. I didn't quit right away however, I found something to replace my time and kept me busy and that I loved to do, and than I used that as a reason to focus and quit. At the time, I was totally into going to the gym and spending time outdoors. Whistler was a good distraction and so were all of the amazing and talented people you could meet in one small place. When they became the first city in Canada to ban smoking indoors; that was timely! Eventually I traveled around the world, where everyone seemed to smoke everywhere, literally! Torturous for someone just trying to give up. Luckily, I didn't enjoy the taste of cigarettes from other countries as much so that helped me even more grow less and less interested. One thing I did notice, was how much everyone smoked and in certain parts of the world. When I got back it was just a short few weeks before I permanently stopped and moved down to Vancouver. Within a few weeks, I did notice my urge to want to drink coffee more (that story later) and other habits, including walking and going out! I knew I had to figure some things out ahead of time and find my foods, I wasn't expecting to like everything healthy but I also knew that I was going to find my favourites, there is so much choice, you just have to 'do something different'. Glad I did and do. But eventually I found my groove and figured out the better habits both socially and nutritiously to fulfill whatever it was at the time that my body was looking for. Immediately I noticed my energy increased and I was more sensitive to taste so my favourite foods tasted even better. My breathing was better and I didn't get sick, hardly at all. I did have a breakdown about 6 months after quitting smoking with some friends on the patio on a holiday weekend. It only took a few puffs before I had to stop. I thought to myself, I have no idea how I started that habit, but man, was I happy I didn't like it anymore. I just never imagined I would be quitting after all those years, but I somehow knew I would. How's that hey?
*Here are some good things that happen to your body once you stop smoking:
Within 8 hours:
carbon monoxide level drops in your body
oxygen level in your blood increases to normal
Within 48 hours
your chances of having a heart attack start to go down
your sense of smell and taste begin to improve
Within 72 hours
your bronchial tubes relax and make breathing easier
your lung capacity increases
Within 2 weeks to 3 months
your blood circulation improves
your lung functioning increases up to 30 percent
Within 6 months
your coughing, stuffy nose, tiredness and shortness of breath improve
Within 1 year
your risk of smoking-related heart attack is cut in half
Within 10 years
your risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half
Within 15 years
your risk of dying from a heart attack is the same as a person who never smoked
There are many other good reasons to quit smoking:
  • You'll set a good example for your children
  • Your smoking will no longer affect the health of people around you
  • You'll save a lot of money - a pack of cigarettes a day adds up to more than $3000 a year!
  • You'll have more energy to do the things you love
  • You'll pay lower life insurance premiums *provided by Health Canada.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ria!!! About 1000 years or what? I wish I had known you were in BC...moved out here in 96'.

    You are a great writer, you are authentic and energetic, just the way I remember you...I am attempting to cultivate the 'writer within', and your words made me smile.

    Hoping your world has a joyous spin to it