Knocking the Fags on the Head
This title may or may not have caught your attention. This title will mean one of two things depending on your country of origin. As I am English, it means giving up smoking. The fun part is that this title may just overwhelm Drew’s bandwidth – sorry Drew 😆 I may even get Dugg and vilified. But hey, two countries separated by a common language, and all that. No homophobia here.
Incidentally, that title and first paragraph may well contain enough keywords to bring random people here, rather than you regulars. Feel free to be elitist pricks :biggrin:
I have been smoking since I was a teenager and there are a few reasons as to why I want to quit (in no particular order (like the Ten Commandments)):
- This year I turn 35. I would like to have some of that energy I hear about so much.
- I get chest infections which last longer and longer and have started to hurt.
- All my usual smoking partners have quit one by one and it’s lonely being outside on your own.
- My daughter has been nagging me for ages (though, as anyone who knows me will tell you, nagging does not work with me – quite the opposite).
- With all the government regulations in the UK (Blair again wanting to be like the Americans and do as they do), there are fewer and fewer places one can smoke.
- It’s costing me a fortune.
- My smoking rate has risen – I’m up to about 30 a day and when you smoke Marlboro (and not the Light variety) you feel it in the morning.
- To be able to keep up with the dog when I’m out walking him. And not to feel exhausted when I get back.
My reasons for not giving up are (again, no order):
- I like smoking.
- Non-smokers – not the people who simply don’t smoke but non-smokers: the people who, when you light up, get a face on them that’s like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle (thank you Frank Skinner :cool:) and cough ostentatiously and wave their hands around like they’re trying to get a plane to land. Those people. :angry:
- I’m gonna get fat.
Not a long list, but a persuasive one. At least, for me.
Now, I have tried before (“do or do not, there is no try” – Yoda) to stop, but my body has beaten me every time. The first time was around 11 years ago, I was doing really well until I stood at a bus stop and lit up. Thing is, I had no recollection of going into a shop and buying the cigarettes and matches. Very weird.
The next time was about 4 years ago, I was in the middle of The New Forest and should have been unable to get them – but the cravings grew so bad that I made the effort. In between times, I’ve tried the lozenges and gum, but the cure is far more disgusting than the disease, I’m afraid.
I had planned to do this as a New Year’s resolution. But the stats on people who break them are depressing. I stopped making them years and years ago because I never ever keep them. Or remember them until the following New Year. But I decided to do it.
My original plan was to load up on patches and follow the regime. I may still do this, it’s in reserve and could well turn up in an update. However, while chatting to a colleague (who gave up around 3 weeks ago and can see no signs of starting again), she mentioned that a book got her to quit. This piqued my interest – I am very sceptical of self-help books. Really sceptical. But she said that a friend told her about it and it worked for that friend, so she tried it and it worked. The book cost me Â£8.99 ($17.75/13.69euro according to XE) – though probably cheaper in your own country – so, why not? I drop more than that on other books very regularly. The book is Allen Carr’s Easy Way To Stop Smoking. “Easy Way” eh? Where do I sign up? :ninja:
The blurb on the back of the book says that:
If you follow my instructions you will be a happy non-smoker for the rest of your life.
Apparently, simply reading the book does it. No drugs, no meditation (I think), no meetings, no nothing. Just reading. Well, I can do that. It does sound too easy, but with my colleague’s recommendation I can see no real reason not to try it. Even better, the book says that you can smoke while reading the book and then at the end you won’t want another one. Sounds good to me. I think that an RFID chip in the book alerts the publisher when you finish it and then they send some goons round to beat you up and steal your smokes, but I’m willing to risk it for science. :angel:
Anyway, I am posting all this for a few reasons:
- The first is that by doing it publicly I am committing myself to making an honest go of it.
- Maybe someone will read it and be inspired to at least consider it. Though please don’t consider me an evangelist on this, if you want to continue smoking please do so. Quit when (or if) you want to.
- I get to post stuff here for a while and don’t have to come up with great ideas if I don’t want to – you can’t make me, you’re not the boss of me :tongue:
- You get to see what works and what doesn’t. Or, at least, what works for me.
Incidentally, if this book does do it, this will be the shortest blog series in the history of the web (2.0 or earlier, not compatible with later versions). Though there will be a few weeks of me saying “I tested myself, still don’t want one” I’d imagine.
Part of me is worried though. As a child, I used to chew pencils to destruction. Will I go back to that? Also, I do enjoy smoking – that first one after a big meal, the early morning smoke, knowing that I just have to finish [this job] and I can reward myself with a smoke. All that will go and I will miss it.
With the fatness bit, my aim is to get enough lung power back that I can start an exercise regime and not be a fatty. Having an office job (and working from home a lot) means that my once flat and muscled stomach is now pudgy and soft. But I will get it back.
So. Wish me luck.
Step One: read the damn book. Updates and book review next!