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One month smoke-free!

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One month smoke-free!

Old 11-15-13, 01:18 AM
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One month smoke-free!

Although I've taken pains to keep my old vice a secret, a few C&V members have known for quite some time that I smoked. A pack a day man, I was - sometimes more. Marlboro Reds were my cancer-stick of choice; I've always heard them nicknamed "Cowboy Killers".

Well, shoot - I realized a couple months ago I've spent more than half my 49 years smoking. It was a revelation I found pathetic. I had had enough. I visited the Medical Clinic, opted to go the Chantix route and stopped one month ago today. I had one or two cigarettes a day - actually only a couple/three drags off them - for the first couple of weeks, but it's been almost 2 weeks now without a single cigarette, drag - whatever.

My body's already feeling the benefits, particularly in the swimming pool and running. I'll know more regarding the bike when I pull out the stopwatch this weekend.

Anyone else? Won the war or are currently fighting it? Love to get some feedback, particularly those of you who know how tough this nut is to crack

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Old 11-15-13, 01:28 AM
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never smoked(tobacco at least), but congrats, that is a big accomplishment! keep it up!
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Old 11-15-13, 01:31 AM
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I just quit cold turkey.

I wanted to be a burden to my children and have enough energy to chase my girlfriend (now my wife).
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Old 11-15-13, 01:33 AM
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As a on again off again smoker since my late teens never heavy. But have always found it tough to try and quit completly I have gone a couple months without one then someone offers and I'm back to square one. So much power and support to you.
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Old 11-15-13, 01:42 AM
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I was a heavy smoker for 30 years give or take. I quit 4 years ago, took a year to really feel the full benefit. The down side is I still want a smoke more days than not, but the urge is manageable now. Two thumbs up to ya, even with medical help is damn difficult to be a quitter.
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Old 11-15-13, 01:47 AM
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I could never stay quit. Sometimes I made it a month, sometimes more, usually less. Now I'm a sworn believer in my e-cig. I'm still a nicofiend, but I get it without the damage that comes with actual smoke, plus it's a heckofa lot cheaper. Hopefully you stay quit -- God knows it ain't easy. But if you ever wander back, check out the high-tech version. I'm still hooked, but I can run, bike, taste my food, smell stuff... the whole nine yards.

Good luck, and nice job!!
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Old 11-15-13, 02:06 AM
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Props, Jeff, on making that decision. As someone who's smoked more than half of my three decades, I'll try to take your initiative as a supplement to what my lungs already tell me with each steep hill (especially after a recent two week break from riding due to travel). Now that the cat's out of the bag, I don't mind saying that I was surprised to learn you were one to partake in this particular habit when we had the chance to hang out in Bellingham with the Mercian facilitation (though many a Canadian Forces fella I've known, from my own grandfather to my best friend's younger brother, do, or did, tend to light up). I'm frankly less surprised now to hear that you've given it up.

For my part, I've always been on-again-off-again. I can go a couple of days, even a week without one. But I smoke when I travel, on social occasions, or when I'm trying to write (and I'm a student, so that's not an infrequent occurrence). I quit for a while back in high school (took to smoking these little Dutch cigars once or twice a day, and then only when I'd have a few beers with the guys). Down to somewhere around a pack a week, but - as noted with the physical reminder when I get out on the bike - that's more than I ought to sustain, for sure. Never tried any quitting aids, but maybe a place for that in my future.
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Old 11-15-13, 02:54 AM
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I smoked sporadically in Jr High and began about a half pack a day from HS until I was 27 years old. I tried to stop a couple of times but backslid right away. Then I stopped cold turkey at 27 yrs old after having what they call a "sporadic pneumothorax" (busted lung) while playing a neighborhood football game. It seems I have what's known as "blebs" on my lungs that dry out and become weak from smoking. Well I was told by someone who had several busted lungs (he didn't stop smoking) that running is good for them because it strengthens them by stretching your lungs.

So guess what I started doing when I stopped smoking ? I started riding. A Schwinn Varsity at first and I was doing up to about 50 milers on that tank. Then I bought a used Italvega and started doing centuries. The first one I did we stopped at all the water stops so my friend and riding partner could smoke a cigarette, lol. We still came in ahead of lots of people. When my friend rode with our group we could drop him by keeping a very fast steady pace until his ears started ringing from all the crap being pulled up out of his lungs and into his sinuses.......Just like I did when I used to try to jog as a smoker. He finally stopped smoking tobacco too.

My suggestion is don't do the one day at a time thing and remind yourself of it all the time. I've had two riding partners quit cold turkey just like me.....Just fogetaboutit. Smoke a bowl now and then if you want but kick the nicotine for good.

One of my riding partners was an ex Special Forces guy (uniform hanging in closet) who stopped smoking and was running 6 miles a day right after, lol. So I got him into cycling. He showed me the newspaper clippings where he had run a 4:26 mile in HS and a 4:16 mile in college! He was just a d****d animal on the bike and did his centuries an hour faster than me up with the top dogs in the town.....in his 1st year riding. He came in 4th in his very 1st triathlon after coming out of the water last and throwing water up. In his 1st bike race (a crit) he was lapping everybody twice before pedaling through a corner and crashing (I told him not to, lol)......bent my rear wheel about 90 degrees over. He stopped smoking (nicotine) for good too.

Go ahead and try a drag after a year off and you won't even like the taste. You'll wonder why you ever did it for so long. You can do it and you will eventually ride even better for it.....Just fogetaboutit and look forward to a long and active retirement !!!

Last edited by Zinger; 11-15-13 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 11-15-13, 02:58 AM
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Excellent work dd! I was up to 3 packs a day, same ones as you Marb reds. Started when I was about 14 or 15, quit sometime in my mid 40's. Been smoke free for around 13 or 14 years now. I actually never had any health scares when I smoked, I just finally decided it was time to put them away. Quit cold turkey, I still can remember smoking my last cigarette. I was in the car driving to the hospital to have my gall bladder removed. I was in the hospital for 3 days and didn't smoke, so when I got out, I tried to see if i could do it. The first few months I had real strange dreams, but they went away after a bit. I probably gained close to 50 lbs, but my feeling was the extra weight was less of a problem than the smoking. I carried the extra weight for 10 years and finally lost it after I took up cycling. Keep up the good work and congratulations. I know I'm rambling here, but I just got home from work and it's 4 AM. From the time I was 15 or so until I was a grown man with a family there is not a single picture of me without a cigarette, kind of pathetic really.
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Old 11-15-13, 04:44 AM
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Ive won the war!

when ever you think about having one just know that it is going to make you dizzy and nauseous.

it will put that lump of nasal drip back in your throat.

a dry cough.

and you will need to overcome the withdrawal symptoms again.

plus you'll smell like ass.
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Old 11-15-13, 04:52 AM
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Congrats DD!

I never really was a smoker, but let me tell you, I was so happy the day my parents quit.

They quit cold turkey after smoking three packs of Marlboros a day.

So, six packs a day total at our house.

For as long as I can remember.

This was almost thirty years ago and I am happy to report they are still going strong down in the Texas hill country.
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Old 11-15-13, 06:22 AM
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After a 25 year hiatus, I started back riding in fall 2005. Almost immediately I entered C&V n+1 mode.

Eighteen months later I realized I wanted to be able to ride everyday until the day before I died. That was more than six years ago. It took a couple of years to stop reaching for a cigarette but even that passed. It was a great drug, however--all the delivery systems sucked.

Welcome to the club.
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Old 11-15-13, 06:24 AM
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Way to go DD - congratulations!

I picked up the habit in college when I thought I was young and indestructable. Figured I coud quit whenever I wanted. WRONG! People who have never smoked have no clue how hard it is to stop. Nicotine is the most addictive substance known to man, bar none.

I stopped almost 20 years ago using the gum, which at the time required a prescription. Hardest thing I ever did. Resist the temptation to have "just one more". Same as an achoholic having just one more drink - a really bad idea. For awhile, avoid at all costs situations where you used to smoke or where others are smoking. It's going to take about a year of being nicotine free before the cravings really go away - keep that in mind.

Use every tool in your arsenal to combat those urges. I used to fight the really strong ones by making up these elaborate fantasies in my head visualizing my wife and our (at the time) infant daughter in her arms at MY FUNERAL. Pretty brutal, but it did the trick for me. Visualize your body healing. Be proud of yourself every single day that you're nicotine free - you can do this!
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Old 11-15-13, 06:35 AM
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Nice job. Keep it up, DD!
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Old 11-15-13, 06:45 AM
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Good luck, man!

A friend of mine quit by replacing each cigarette in his last pack with a cinnamon stick. You know, the rolled up piece of cinnamon bark that they getting up to make the powder. So for a while, he could choose whether to smoke a cigarette or to chew on a cinnamon stick. After a few days he was rationing the cigarettes pretty carefully. By the end of a month he smelled so strongly of cinnamon you almost couldn't smell the tobacco on him any more. For months of see him idly reach for the pack now and then, as if he wasn't thinking about it at all, shake out one, and then he'd remember, no, it's only cinnamon. And he'd put them away again. I don't think he ever smoked the last cigarette in the pack.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:00 AM
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Way to go. That's without a doubt the best thing you could have done for yourself.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:12 AM
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You can definitely do this.

It will be 20 years in 2014. Fight the urges, they will pass.

The only thing that stll gets me is watching old black & white movies where everyone is really enjoying their smokes.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:17 AM
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Luckys, filterless, were my choice. Stopped cold turkey 24 years ago. Started again 3 years after. Stopped again cold turkey 14 years ago. I'd still like one today.

I will start again when I hit 80. I consider that bonus time and I'll do what I want.

Good luck. It isn't an easy road.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:21 AM
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BIIIIG CONGRATS...i smoked from the time i was about 12, yes 12... until i was about 36 then one day i put them down cold turkey...You know the biggest revelation to me was, i didn't know any better... i was so young when i started that i didn't know what being a Non-smoker was like and it's great... No ashtray smells, can walk up a few flight of stairs etc....Don't have to sneak one hear n there etc again....AND THE MONEY... The first year i quit i saved enough money to buy me a use Suzuki 4wd ATV ...Now with the arthritis and diabetes i could never start again...The next time i smoke something is when i retire and don't have to worry about being drug tested.....I will find me a big ole DOOBIE and spark that SOB up...LOL....Don't think about it too much, just don't pick them up, it's all about will power....
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Old 11-15-13, 07:39 AM
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Congratulations! I know how tough it can be. I quit two years ago for a month. In one of the dumbest moves of my adult life, I tried to have 'one' just to see how it felt. Well, it was an incredible rush; almost floored me. And that set the wheels of addiction rolling again so now I get to experience the joys of kicking the nasty habit all over. From what I have read, my experience is fairly common, just 'one' and then a couple of years before another attempt. You just have to admit to being an addict and firmly understand that nicotine has re-wired your brain to allow it to take control. You cannot let it have control again even for a moment because it will not relinquish the control.

Real soon, I'll be joining you (again). Good luck and massive strength to all of us fighting this battle.
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Old 11-15-13, 07:41 AM
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Good luck Jeff! I'm rooting for ya. BTW….is that Chantix working? Helping?
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Old 11-15-13, 07:48 AM
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Congrats on your accomplishment. Not easy.

I've never smoked other than occasionally (cigar guy), but have a good quitting story...

I went wilderness camping with a friend who smoked since high school. It was a week in Isle Royale National Park. It's very remote out in Lake Superior with no way on and off other than some reservation only ferries. One store on the other side of the island, no gas stations, several moose and wolves, inland lake trout to die for, basically nothing but unspoiled wilderness surrounded by 38 degree water. On the way out there we're pulling into the bay and he tosses his only pack of cigarettes off the stern of the boat. We hiked about 170 miles that week, and he was frankly a little edgy at times. Very cold turkey, but well thought out. To his credit, he kept it up even when back on mainland, and hasn't smoked since to my knowledge.
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Old 11-15-13, 08:06 AM
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Good! I'm still a dumb idiot that lights up after a few beers. Just put the $ you'd spend everyday on cigs in a special jar, and buy a nice Marlboro red Colnago for the money saved after a year. That way, you have a nice way of rewarding yourself
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Old 11-15-13, 08:24 AM
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Good job DD.

I finally quit two years ago at age 58. I now feel a sense of freedom not realized in years. I don't have to spend my time planning the next cigarette. As much as I tried not to, I did gain a few pounds, but it will come off evenually. I read a book on quitting "The Easy Way To Quit Smoking" by Alan Carr. I guess I identified with his process, because it worked while all other attempts had failed.

One of the points that hit me was that smokers only feel normal while smoking and a few minutes after, then we are edgy for another. I don't think about it much anymore and I sure don't want to start and quit ever again!
We are what we reflect. We are the changes that we bring to this world. Ride often. -Geo.-
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Old 11-15-13, 08:42 AM
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Congrats Jeff, you've done the easy part and as an experienced quitter, you have my encouragement to stay strong on this in the face of future temptations and the slip into rationalization that leads you back into your old ways. Good luck and happy breathing.
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