Hi again everyone. Naomi, Health Strategy Manager here at LloydsPharmacy, back with you again for the second week of Lent. I’m finally starting to feel really, really healthy. The recent sunshine has of course helped me with that but it’s also down to being able to catch a breath while exerting myself in any way whatsoever!
Here is me with a bike. Yes, a bike. And I realise I’m merely standing beside it in this picture but I promise you I also cycle it nowadays. Last Sunday, my boyfriend and I cycled from Donnybrook to Sandycove and back. He’s really, really fit so I was nervous I would be a panting, sweaty mess before I made it up the first hill but I wasn’t; I kept up with him. What’s more, I actually enjoyed it! Anyone who knows me will tell you that me enjoying physical activity outdoors is quite the shocker. It’s such a change for me to be feeling healthy and fit and I actually WANT to get out there and be active. This would not have been how the smoker version of Naomi behaved, I assure you.
People have been constantly asking how I’m getting on throughout the course of this blog. And I’ve been saying since the beginning how it gets easier every week. And it truly does. But I’ll be honest; it’s only these last two weeks that I’m genuinely certain this is it for me. It was really hard not to revert to normal behaviour. My skin went through a huge change, with acne and dryness, and I have put on a good bit of weight – I am ALWAYS hungry! (I think that’s because I can finally taste properly though!) It seemed at times to be so unfair that something so good for my health was making me feel and look so much worse. But that just shows you what effect smoking has on your body. The changes I’ve been going through have made me realise that I was harming myself in so many different ways. Now, I’m more determined than ever to stay smoke-free and to get fit and healthy and to enjoy this coming summer.
It’s not going to be easy, be under no illusions. And you’ll feel like it’s not worth the enormous effort. But I promise you that coming out the other end IS worth it. I have more energy than ever, I’m sleeping better, and I’m in a much better mood! Don’t delay…
That’s enough from me. Let’s check in with one of our past bloggers…
David, Teacher, Aged 33
Quit Date: 13th January
Still Smoke-Free: YES!
January is long gone and most of those earnest New Year’s Resolutions are distant memories. The long weekend is on the way and for a lot of people – hopefully me included – a trip to the pub with friends and family is on the cards. Will I be with the crowds heading outside to smoke and chat?
No way! Not all resolutions have been kept, but getting off cigarettes is one that I’m delighted to have stuck with. My reasons for staying off them are still the same. It’s expensive, causes both short-term and long-term illnesses, affects fitness and has been a part of my life for too long. These are all reasons that continue to motivate me.
On top of this I am finding that smokers are rapidly gaining pariah status so it is the norm for people not to smoke. This means there’s less temptation. All of my friends and family have been totally supportive and have given loads of encouragement. This is a huge help and not one that I had considered when I decided to quit. My girlfriend has also quit (and done much better than I have!) and now is disgusted by the smell of them so would know if I had a sneaky smoke.
I haven’t had one since I slipped up in January and smoked a few cigarettes one night whilst having wine with friends. The Nicorette Inhaler is great when out in a pub as you’ve something to keep your hands busy. The taste is a little sour so it’s not something you want to be attacking all evening and pretty soon you forget about wanting a cigarette and stop fiddling with it. The patches are absolutely great for everyday situations.
Being open about it is a good idea as everyone knows that you’re supposed to be off them. They’ll be very quick to tell you off if you appear with a cigarette. I’m loving quitting smoking and can’t see myself ever taking up the habit again.
Thanks David! Great to hear you’re still doing so well. Congratulations 🙂
David referred to support in his update and that’s something that’s come up time and time again while we’ve been working on this blog. Your friends and family HAVE to be behind you in your efforts to quit. There’s no point codding yourself into thinking that living with a smoker will make this any easier, or keeping ashtrays around or going out with a gang of smoker friends. You can’t do this on your own. And remember, you are 4 times more likely to be successful with 1-2-1 coaching and support. Visit http://www.lloydspharmacy.ie/content/Smoking-Control/1453 or www.quit.ie for more information and advice.
We’ll be back next week with hopefully more good news about how amazing it is to be a non-smoker!