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Kate18

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Everything posted by Kate18

  1. Anyone gone from being an omnivore to eating a plant-based diet? I have been reading The Engine 2 Diet. This started when I began researching the most frugal way of eating that is also healthy. That led to vegan websites and YouTubes, and then to Rip's YouTube. Apparently the way this guy and his fellow firefighters eat is a program embraced by some triathletes, as well as a host of other people. I'm 90% transitioned. Because I have to keep my diet low in sodium, anything processed or prepared is usually not available to me to make substitute cheese sandwiches, for example. The author writes about medical research that has shown an improvement or even reversal of heart disease and other ailments. He cites specific studies. It seems legit. Wondering whether this will help heal lungs to some extent. Eating around 4 different fruits each day, and 7+ different types of vegetables. Over the week, it's usually 7+ different varieties of fruit and more than 20 varieties of vegetables. Also black beans or lentils (or other legumes), brown rice, oatmeal, no-salt bread, and other grains. Small amounts of nuts and seeds, plus almond milk on cereal in the am. No dairy, no animal products. I take a vegan vitamin pill, Vit D3, B12, and DHA. Has anyone else embraced this way of eating? What has been your experience?
  2. Made it 12 hours. 7:30 am, smoked a cigarette. I want to sort out what's the trigger, nicotine withdrawal, or the psychological habit. Put on a nicotine patch. 7:45 am, car needed gas. As I walked toward the mini mart to prepay for gasoline, I tossed the remaining cigarettes I had into the trash receptacle that was just outside the entry door. 1:00 pm, lunch time. Fought the urge to go and buy cigarettes. That's habit speaking, I reminded myself, not nicotine withdrawal, because I wasn't in withdrawal. 5::30 pm. Off work. Normally would have headed to my car, lighting up on the way. Urge to light up; thought about stopping and getting cigarettes. Identified it as habit, not withdrawal. 6:00 pm. Passed the drug store I used to buy cigarettes at. Debated at the left turn lane red light: do I stop and buy cigarettes, or keep going? It was habit grating on my nerves, not withdrawal. 6:10 pm. Safely at home. Walked the dog, then fed her. Feeling at loose ends. While she eats her dinner, I used to go out on the patio and smoke a cigarette. Instead, I sat at my computer desk, doing nothing, missing smoking. 6:30 pm. Made a humongous salad. Filling, but not satisfying. Made pancakes. Craving something sweet. Poured maple syrup on them. 6:55 pm. Wanted the smoke I used to have after dinner. 7:00 pm. Watched three episodes of Criminal Minds, cravings creeping into my mind about every 30 minutes. Told myself that this is habit, the mind creating tension because of the change. 9:57 pm. I made it through 12 hours. Actually 14 1/2 hours. Tomorrow is another day. I'm taking this a few hours at a time. When I have the psychological urge to smoke replaced with stronger thoughts and healthier habits, then I'll address the nicotine addiction. I actually think that the psychological habit/urge may be more of a problem than the nicotine desire for me. Not sure, yet. Got up the courage to put up a ticker. And may I never have to replace it with a differently dated one. But trusting myself to keep the commitment....not 100%. I've been here too many times before. I'm better armed with everyone's advice, participation in a preparation to quit program with my health insurance company, and this forum. Thanks to everyone who posted the thread where I reported my father's death. I really appreciate your advice and thoughts for strength. One hour at a time. The next eight won't be difficult. I'll be asleep. Only time I don't have to talk myself out of acting on a craving.
  3. Today was a day off from working, so I have been reading the book by Baumeister and Tierney, "Willpower." They report the many studies of the effects of blood glucose on decision-making ability. I am about 95 % through transitioning to a plant-based diet, influenced by a book entitled "The Engine 2 Diet." My blood labs and blood pressure have me in early heart attack and stroke territory, so I'm make what seems to be the best change in diet. When I was hungry, I reached for a cigarette. From now on, when I'm wanting to smoke, I'll ask myself if I am just hungry. If I have a piece of fruit for quick glucose, followed by beans and rice or soup pre-made. If these guys are right, then my ability to resist a craving will be stronger. I've been afraid of weight gain and used smoking to curb my appetite. I just went on Amazon and ordered three size 12 jeans (I'm usually a 10). I'm preparing for the likely weight gain that can result with quitting smoking when food becomes a substitution. I hate doing this. I worked so hard to get from 220 down to 145. I've stayed in a normal weight range for 10 years. Quitting smoking is more important, and if it means temporary weight gain, then I'll accept that. According to this book, keeping a steady blood glucose level greatly enhances decision-making ability and makes a person more successful at beating addiction. Since all the gross pictures, sad stories, daily pledges to stay quit, and info on Joel's site (and other sites) didn't cause a strong enough desire to stay quit, then I'll try something else. I'll approach addiction from a biological/neurological standpoint. I don't feel like such a loser when I read the studies of what the authors call willpower depletion in their subjects.
  4. Thank you, Linda. I appreciate your supportive words. I just took down the ticker. I haven't smoked, but I felt panicked when I looked at it. I marked on my calendar the date and time I stopped. When I feel more confident I'll put it back.
  5. I want no more lapses, Cristobal. From waking up until going to bed I experience a mental conflict between the rational knowing that, "I must quit now," and the addicted-emotionally driven impulse/desire to smoke. Sociological studies demonstrate that emotion will override rational thinking unless a person has good impulse control skills, whether it's about eating doughnuts, drinking to excess, texting while driving, gambling, anger outbursts, meth use, or smoking. I've been trying to force a turn-around moment where I feel (not just think, but feel) that smoking is terrible and I'll never want another one. I have watched most of Joel's videos and Allen Carr's, watched videos about diseases, documentaries about people dying from smoking, have poured through websites and read about harm smoking causes, and engaged socially at the quit smoking forum that dissolved. I've clocked hundreds of hours trying to force myself to desire to quit. There is a region of the brain that is supposed to be developed in humans by the time we're in our early twenties. I'm sure we've all heard about the prefrontal cortex. I've had problems with other impulses (maybe partly a problem of being bipolar) throughout my life. By working on the skill of impulse control in general, I am hopeful that I can quit smoking. I don't know what else to do.
  6. Thank you Christian, I have been weary and disheartened by so many lapses. I have a challenge with impulse control and procrastination that have impacted my life in general. I've been reading up and working on increasing my willpower. People influencing and helping me include Jordan Peterson (Professor of something in Toronto) through his lectures on Youtube and his books, and Roy Baaumeister & John Tierney with their book, "Willpower: Rediscovering the greatest human strength.
  7. Yesterday at 4:20 pm my father died of smoking-related emphysema. He had smoked for more than 50 years. How many years more would he have had with a wife and family he loved? I have not given up on myself. I have a new job as of several months ago, and it comes with excellent health insurance. I have joined the medical insurance company's preparation for smoking cessation coaching program to help with better plans for quitting and making it stick. The first session was an eye opener. I though I knew all of the strategies for quitting, but I was wrong. It's a Web-based conference call, supposed to be a small group of four of us, but the other three didn't show up. It was nice to have one-on-one conversation about my past efforts and how I can make this time the last time. Three more sessions to go. After that, they offer a staying-quit coaching group, which I also will join. When I am truly quit and have a month or two successfully lived as a nonsmoker, I'll be back to make daily pledges. Until then, may you all be happily living free of addiction and breathing only clean air.
  8. Today, it's breathing. Just breathing makes me feel like smoking. Whispers, I've tried really hard to avoid breathing, but I just can't do it. I'm in a day planned with basic errands to keep me occupied and this is supposed to focus on something other than smoking. This is my plan. I just got back from grocery shopping. Had a light snack to keep my blood sugar even. Now going to buy a cheap planter with a gift card someone gave me for mother's day. And all the while, I'm craving a cigarette.
  9. Interesting article. The list of reasons to quit smoking keeps getting longer . . . . . . .
  10. Cutting back never worked for me, either. It saved money for a while, but soon I was back to spending my money to help some tobacco company CEO buy his next yacht.
  11. Useful observation, giving me hope that when the brain fog lifts it won't take such effort to distract myself from thinking about smoking and cigarettes.
  12. Thanks for the feedback and the link. I'll check it out. Yeh, I had been looking forward to mood and energy lift. Quitting smoking is having some unexpected sequelae. Gotta hold steady. This is good to know. I feel better just knowing some other people here have had a similar experience.
  13. I like your ideas, NSJ. My only neighbor who has a dog and isn't with it often is a working woman who has a dog walker. I'll keep that one in mind and check on the Humane Society volunteer idea when I'm there this morning. Thanks :)
  14. Thanks for the tip, Sazerac. I was about to post a question about increased energy that I read somewhere is a result of quitting smoking. I am dragging through my days. I haven't experienced any lift in mood, either. Did you get a lift in mood or increased energy (or anyone reading this)? Yes, I like your idea of going a little overboard on rewards. I had jotted notes about giving myself a reward here and there, but honestly, the ones I came up with leave me feeling flat; yawn. I appreciate the suggestion for, "make the rewards important and meaningful." This is an important distinction, I think. The only reward I'd thought of for today was to get blueberries at Costco. (It's not in my usual budget.) Thinking about blueberries wasn't giving me a boost of mood. The other reward on my shortlist is to buy zinnias to make a small flower garden at the one week mark. It's an ok reward, just ok. Maybe I'll go and look at the dogs at the Humane Society today. My dog died 12 weeks and 2 days ago, and I miss him very much. It's too soon for me to get another dog, but seeing canine faces and wagging tales brings me peace. And it won't cost me money except for the gas to drive there. And it's meaningful for me. Thanks again :)
  15. Staying close to the forum for a few minutes while this urge to smoke passes. Not panicky SOS-ish, but close. I need to focus on my commitment and think about how I want to be here tomorrow morning, pledging another day of quit. I don't want to be done in by a tv show. I expected on-awakening triggers, after-meal and before-I-drive (I never smoked in my car) triggers. I finished dinner and am watching an old episode of Medium (TV show about a psychic woman who aids the Phoenix district attorney and police to catch and convict killers) on Amazon Prime. I think it's the last episode of season 3. Our heroine is divulging what should be confidential information in response to questions asked by a woman our heroine doesn't actually know. I had to turn the show off because I was so tense, so I'm not to the part where we find out who the woman is, but I think the woman must be a tabloid reporter or something like that. Our heroine is no doubt going to be exposed, humiliated, and in big trouble. I couldn't stand the suspense. What I wanted to do (the dark part of me) was to go out and relieve the tension and stress with a cigarette. Now I remember doing this many times before I could come back in the house and resume watching whatever show it was. Smoking to release the tension used to work like a charm, according to the addicted mind I was filtering my experience through. Earlier today I had to rush to finish up a project at work. . . and my body expected a reward of smoke/hit of nicotine when it was done because that's what I'd always done since I started my present position. Until this afternoon, I hadn't noticed the habit loop of work tension, then finished but still some stress, and release the last bit of it with a cigarette. Now remembering the Allen Carr video where the moderator talked about stress level and how it is higher in smokers because there is the stress of nicotine withdrawal PLUS the stress of whatever the event is. I prepared ahead of time for the triggers I expected. Wasn't specifically prepared for some of these events that I didn't think of as smoking-related. Whew. Craving passed. I'll save thinking of other unexpected triggers for when I'm craving and looking for constructive distraction.
  16. The thing about going to sleep in early evening to avoid cravings, apparently, is that one wakes up early. As I start this post, it's 3:27 am. Around 3:00, I was having persistent, uninvited, nightmarish thoughts while in a half asleep-half awake state. I couldn't shake them to get back to sleep. My mind must have been on a sort of automatic, because the self-talk that percolated up to my conscious mind was that if I'd give up, get up, make a cup of strong French roast coffee, and take it with me and have a smoke in the fresh air in the small park across the path from my patio---then the bad thoughts would dissipate and I'd feel great again. With that auto-suggestion pleasantly floating in my thoughts for 10 or so seconds, I gradually became more awake. Then a tiny bell dinged and I had to chuckle while I got up to make the coffee. Hellooo-ooooh, I don't smoke! Auto-suggestion voice is silenced and not a happy camper. I have this image of Grumpy in the Disney version of the Snow White story, slouched down, his arms crossed, face in a dark frown. This is so odd, so amusing. It's as though there is another self or entity or personality -- something-- that is grumbling "you're no fun anymore." It feels as though there is a dark spirit I was unaware of, but had been possessing my thoughts totally for the past decade. I thought that was "me," all there was to me. The dark has shrunk a bit and there is a bit of room for someone I could be, a better self. The image that goes with this feeling is that there is a small, thin arc of light in my head where once there was only darkness. It a start. The dark part is very strong and persuasive, and the light could easily be covered again. I've read a number of your (everyone's) posts that reference the nico-demon. I just thought it was a figure of speech associated with a strong craving. I didn't think of it as a separate voice in the psyche (or wherever) that is a tricky sociopath, really, really wants to smoke and is in a fight with another voice or entity (etc) that is struggling to get the upper hand in a fight for life. Well, happy to say, that in this brief round between nicodemon and better self, it is nicodemon, 0; better self, 1. I'm sounding cavalier, but really, I'm sober, serious, vigilant and patient. This is just the start of what has to be a lifelong commitment, made one day at a time. I haven't been good at keeping commitments. Terrible, really. Terrible. So disappointing and frustrating. I don't want to live like that, don't want to be that person. I know that one doesn't overcome nicotine withdrawal in one fight. The posts I've read make clear that cravings are likely to get even stronger and interfere with thinking clearly. I have to stay present and mindful of the thoughts in my mind--"does this thought originate from addiction?" Given my history, I have to be very careful around anything that could be a trigger and make me upset. My constant companion in the past few days is Abraham Twerski's book, "Addictive Thinking." When I've felt a craving, I get out the book and read a few paragraphs until the craving passes. Gotta go to work. Have a great day y'all.
  17. Thanks, jillar. I haven't gotten used to being a grandmother yet. Or getting older. I look in the mirror and ask myself, "who is that old woman there?"
  18. Dinner is over and as I carried my dishes to the kitchen, I was aware of a vague feeling that I'd forgotten something...then I realized that this was the time when I'd head straight outside to the back of a small park on the other side of the walking path in front of my patio for a smoke. Eleven years of habit, piping up to be rewarded with a nicotine hit. I can feel all of those nicotine and dopamine receptors anticipating the usual hit of nicotine. Well...now they are disappointed. I suppose the nicotine receptors are already scaling back, and I'll have to get a dopamine hit from something else. Yesterday after dinner, it was cherry vanilla ice cream. Can't make a habit of that one. Chocolate, I think, for the next one. Just kidding. Ice cream maybe once every week or two. Hagen Das has the handy single-serving size. Container says two servings. Not in my world. OK, didn't want to post SOS because I wasn't going to go get cigarettes. Just passed through this craving--longest and strongest of today--by rambling. Then my son called in the middle of typing. He and is wife are having their first child--a girl--in mid September. She is so very worth keeping the quit so that I can be a part of her life, not as a diseased smoker, but as a healthy, fit grandmother. My quit date is the birthday of my other granddaughter, she is now 5 and we are very close. Craving gone. Going to bed early again in order to prevent any more cravings tonight. Whatever it takes. Going slowly, one day at a time. If you're in a night-now time zone, sweet dreams. For others, wishing you all a joyous, clean, smoke-free day!
  19. It's evening. Quiet. I live alone (my dog died 12 weeks ago). Fighting an urge to just get a pack of cigarettes and relieve the tension I'm feeling. Usually I'd have come home from work and had a smoke right away. Then dinner and smoke. Then take vitamins, supplements, and meds. And then smoke. Watch a tv show on the computer (Amazon Prime) and take a break and smoke a cigarette in the middle. About every half hour. Today was manageable. Work breaks are a trigger. Took one of them away from the smokers by staying indoors. It's lovely outside, though, so on lunch I went outside but stayed away from the smokers. Reading Abraham Twerski's book on Addictive Thinking. Yes, made it through the day by pressing on, not allowing my mind to become open to distraction. Felt the anger and panic feeling that used to drive me straight to the local drug store for my prefered brand of poison. Deep breathing. Thinking of making nachos. Wow, if this gets to be a trend--eating when I want to be smoking---I could be in trouble for weight gain. In the past when I substituted eating for stopping smoking, fear of weight gain sent me speedily back to smoking. Not today. Maybe tomorrow, but not today, not on May 21. I ordered resistance bands on Amazon so that I can work out when I have a craving. They arrive tomorrow afternoon. I'll feel better when they arrive. Feel a crave....immediately pick up a band, put on the dvd, and do a mini workout. Taking this a few minutes at a time, making it up as I go. So scared I'll flip into the old altered state of emotions where I hated that I was stopping smoking and angry that I'd even thought I could do it. Feeling my way carefully, slowly, and by examining my thoughts--are they sane thoughts or utterly illogical--only logical to a nicotine addict. Going to bed soon, by 6:30 pm (Pacific Daylight Time). Otherwise, afraid I'll let the anger and panic override good intentions. I took a sleeping aid and made it impossible to drive to the store now. Can't do that every night, but just for tonight I've made it impossible to go and buy cigarettes. I'll leave tomorrow's problems until tomorrow. I think I just talked myself out of an SOS. I saw Johnny's thread about posting what one would say to oneself in event of an SOS. I am mulling over that one. Great idea, really great. Falling asleep from the prescription med. Making nachos, keeping reading on the forum, then lights out.
  20. NOPE. Marshalling every resource from the past and new ones, putting them all together for greatest impact, including an app I just downloaded yesterday from a government site. I set today as the quit date. Tomorrow, actually, but I just drowned the last of the pack of cigarettes I have, so I'm quitting a day early. Now carefully, minute by minute, and with frequent check ins with the app to record mood and feeling of the moment. I have a terrible, eerie feeling that if I don't make it stick this time, I may never be able to quit. "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now." Chinese proverb. NOPE

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