Altering Habits

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Looking Back
2006-11-01, 10:27 a.m.

Day 801 Looking Back

Was going to be done yesterday, but . . .

801 days of not smoking anymore. Well, it’ll be 800 full days as of 7:00 (or 7:30?) tonight. Probably be tossing out the last of the Halloween candy by then (I hope the little ghosts & goblins take ALL the candy we have. I really do.)

So what has it been like? First week was not fun. Constantly needed things to do to keep distracted. Went through grapes by the pound. Went through 2 5lb bags of S@ms Club trail mix in the first month. All by myself. Gradually the urges for a butt abated. They became less frequent and not as strong. Had to change a few things to help disrupt the habit.

Used to get up in the morning, put on some sweat pants & a t-shirt and head for the garage. Once there, immediately reached for my pack of cigs & a lighter, fired up a butt, then headed out to get the paper. Every morning, like clock work. Read the sports section while inhaling my first 2 cigs of the day. That morning routine was a huge trigger. To break it I just went out to get the paper via the front door, not the garage. Did that for a week.

Some other triggers were associated with driving. I knew exactly where to light up so as to allow myself enough time to finish a butt just as I was getting to the front door at work. To miss this landmark (the now closed Krispy Kreme 1 mile west of my building) I took a detour in to work for a couple of weeks. Also F3breezed the living shit out of my van. Every piece of fabric got soaked. I hated the flowery smell, but it beat snorting old smoke everytime I got in the stinkin’ van.

Drinking (mostly beer & whiskey cocktails) was another huge trigger. Sometimes it was hard to figure what was triggering what. In any event, in order to stop smoking, my drinking was greatly curbed. After a few months of no smoking, I had gotten so I could have a beer or three and not go jonesing for a smoke (Basic Light 100’s please – at least I smoked a lower cost, semi-generic brand). Then other stuff happened and pretty much eliminated drinking as a regular event – but that’s another story.

That was all back in 2004. By New Years Day 2005, I figured I had things pretty well in control – 120+ days of no smoking, urges pretty well gone. The one thought that I think really kept me in line was: “Even one drag on a cigarette will reset the nicotine addiction back to Day One. Do you want to lose all that progress?”

Not wanting to lose the progress was my mantra. Then the whole dieting thing began, followed by the working out all the time. Slowly got back into running – and made marvelous progress there. Now I have a whole season of running 5K races under my belt. I’m already looking to improve on every single time in next years races. Heck, just this year I did 2 minutes better in the last, VERY hilly race in September when compared to my first very flat race in May. So progress was had and nobody got hurt. Double bonus.

Now, I see people smoking and it triggers memories with exquisite clarity as to exactly how it felt, tasted & smelled – to the point of how much I enjoyed the whole process, even when forced to go outside in the winter. But I don’t want to give up what I’ve gained over the last 26+ months – so it will remain a memory. I have more running to do and times to beat. Who knows – maybe there will even be a brand new shiny bike under the Christmas tree for me too.

Just for grins, decided to try the NaBloPoMo – National Blogger Posting Month, where everyone signs on to post an entry every day for the month of November. Details can be found over at Fussy’s, but you need to hurry, cuz, well, it IS Nov. 1st already, isn’t it?

Very quiet Al Anon meeting last night. Only 4 of us made it. Might have had a lot to do with it being Halloween and all. The good thing about it being such a small meeting is that it forces me to open up and contribute more. When only 3 of 4 folks are chiming in, the quiet person really gets noticed. Not good.

Cindy seems resigned to the fact that I’m going to go. She is not resigned to the fact that she might have a wee little problem with the sauce. Last night was proof yet again as she was answering the door for the trick-or-treaters, having trouble getting the goodies into the kids bags, jack-o-lanterns, or even back packs (really optimistic kids, eh?)

‘Nuff for now. Ought to save some up for tomorrow. Wonder how that logo will post?

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight: 186 on 10/21/06 (Nice rut to be in)
Next weigh in: 10/28/06

New target – Aim is 180, by Christmas.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 10/24/06: 858.81 (on target so far)
Miles with cool down: 944.62
Target for 2006: 1000 miles

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old habits - new tricks