“I would rather be a little overweight and not smoking than underweight and dead

“I would rather be a little overweight and not smoking than underweight and dead

Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

February 11th, 2001, 7:45 pm #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library


"I would rather be a little overweight and not smoking than underweight and dead."


This thought provoking sentiment was one panelist's opinion of the 10 pounds she gained when giving up cigarettes. While it is not inevitable, many people do gain weight when quitting smoking. The reason is quite easy to explain - they eat more.

People eat more when quitting smoking for a variety of reasons. Food is often enjoyed more since the improved senses in ex-smokers make it smell and taste better. For some, cigarettes decrease the appetite. Others use cigarettes as their cue that the meal has ended. Take away the cigarette and they don't know it is time to stop eating. Social situations with food used to be easy as a smoker. When a smoker is done with their food, they can sit and smoke while conversing with others at the table. Without cigarettes, they feel awkward just sitting, so they often order extra coffee and dessert to last the duration of the conversation. All of these different behaviors add up to one result, extra calories eaten which result in gaining weight.

Weight gain can be extremely dangerous to an ex-smoker. But this is not because of the strain on the heart. An average ex-smoker would have to gain 75 to 100 pounds to put a strain on their heart equal to the extra risk associated with smoking a pack a day. And then, the extra weight would not cause the lung destruction, cancer risk and many other conditions caused by smoking. The real danger of the extra weight is that many ex-smokers use it as an excuse to go back to smoking. They think that if they smoke again they will automatically lose weight. To their unpleasant surprise, many return to smoking and keep on the added pounds.

One clinic participant told how after three months without smoking she gained 15 pounds. Her doctor told her that she must lose the weight. He said that if she had to, just smoke one or two cigarettes a day to help. If her doctor understood the addictive potential of cigarettes he would never have given her such advice. For, as soon as she took her first few cigarettes, she started smoking in excess of 3 packs per day. Her weight gain did not go away. When her doctor realized that she had returned to smoking, he warned her that it was imperative that she quit. In her condition smoking was extremely dangerous. So not only did she still have to lose 15 pounds, but once again she had to go through the withdrawal process of stopping smoking.

Smokers, ex-smokers or never-smokers can all lose weight the same way. The three ways to lose weight are to decrease the amount of calories one eats, increase ones activities to burn extra calories, or, a combination of both techniques. While dieting may be more difficult for some after smoking cessation, it is possible, and in many ways ex-smokers have major advantages over smokers for controlling their weight.

The most obvious advantage is that not smoking allows a person to do more physical activities, burning off fat in the process. When smoking, exercise is tiresome, painful and for some, impossible. But with the improvement in breathing and cardiovascular fitness accompanying smoking cessation, exercise can become a regular routine in the ex-smokers lifestyle. And while dieting may be difficult at first, ex-smokers should realize that if they had the capability of breaking free from cigarettes, they could also decrease the amount they eat. It is simply a matter of using the same determination initially used to quit smoking.

So, the next time you look in the mirror or step on a scale and feel that you are unhappy with your weight, start taking some sensible steps to deal with it. Become active, eat lower calorie, nutritious foods, and pat yourself on the back for once again taking control of your life. Not only will you lose weight, look and feel better, but you would have done it all without smoking. With that knowledge you should be extra proud. Diet, exercise and - NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

July 6th, 2001, 1:14 am #2

I see weight issues coming up so just thought it would be a good time to reinforce this message.
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Joined: January 7th, 2009, 6:59 pm

July 6th, 2001, 3:34 am #3

Yes, I gained a few pounds during my quit, but you would never know it now.
I am having so much fun with these lungs that work again, and having a heart that
actually circulates blood with oxygen in it, that I have become a teenager again.
I bought running shoes, and a bike. The pounds are still being added, except
now its muscles, not fat.
I have gone from hanging out in bars, drinking whiskey and beer, and smoking
like a chimney, to working out almost daily. I will be 40 next May, my goal is to be
in better shape than when I was 18.

It doesn't matter at this point that it is the healthy thing to do. ITS THE FUN
THING TO DO.

Don't worry about the weight. Quit and rediscover how much fun it is to walk, jog
or ride a bike withoug coughing and hacking.

SCOTT 7 weeks, 3 days - 1666 cigarettes not smoked.
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

July 6th, 2001, 6:25 am #4

WOW - GO, SCOTT GO!! I'M WITH YOU!!
Treasure, enjoy and protect our Quit.
Don't become too distracted by other isssues or we could lose it.
Focus on Quitting. Get strong.
Don't Fight it. Just accept it.
When I could accept I am a nicotine addict I stopped smoking.
When I accept I have an issue with food or exercise, slowly, as it is meant to be,
I can address it, I don't fight it (though I have in the past) I accept it and also
accept that it will change!
I'm Free!
AIN'T NO NICOTINE IN THIS BODY!
(just my two-bobs worth!-))
Have a great nicotine - free day everyone!
BE PROUD. BE STRONG. BE FREE.
yqs Maz
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!
Five months, two weeks, one day, 8 hours, 31 minutes and 46 seconds of FREEDOM!!4158 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,331.17. Life saved: 2 weeks, 10 hours, 30 minutes.
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

September 14th, 2001, 4:56 am #5

For Jayne:

I mentioned the story about the doctor suggesting limited smoking in the other post to you. This one has the more accurate number, she relapsed at a level of three packs per day.
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:14 am

October 3rd, 2001, 3:46 am #6

One of the things that I missed about smoking was the feeling at the back of the throat when I'd inhale. The reason I brought it up here is that I would go buy some salty snacks to replace that feeling. I no linger miss that feeling, and I'm not eating anymore of those snacks. I was wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences.

I did some looking around, and the tobacco companies actually have a name for the feeling at the back of your throat when you inhale: Impact. This is one of the things that tobacco companies "engineer" into their brands. Some brands have lower "impact" (camel, winston), and others have a higher impact (like my old brand: Basic).

When I quit smoking, that was one of the things that I wanted most. I got so used to it that I expected that feeling 20 times a day. This was (is) another part of my addiction that I had to get used to not having. When I wanted a cigarette, I wanted that feeling, too.

Magus
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:14 am

October 3rd, 2001, 4:50 am #7

I actually have gained about 10 pounds but not at first. I had such a wonderful time the first two months using my new found lung power that I actually sustained a SPORTS INJURY! Yes folks, you heard it here, I hurt my foot walking and running. I had not even attempted a run but felt so good one day I decided to try it and injured a tendon.

It has taken over a month to heal and in that month I have gained 10 pounds. But guess what: I don't care. As soon as my foot heals completely, I will be back out there, the ten pounds will drop off and I will still be a NON SMOKER!

At this point all I can say is that I am so very, very thankful that I am no longer craving the awful things. I actually went to diner with a group of friends. There were twelve of us and only two of us were non smokers. I even had a drink. Let me tell you, when I got home I smelled sooooo bad I had to take a shower. Even my purse smelled!

I would much rather be fat as a house then ever smoke another one!

Threecrows
1 day shy of bronze! (I just can't believe it! I am so proud of all of us!)
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

November 9th, 2001, 10:13 pm #8

Weight gain is not a given end result of quitting but will likely happen if food is used as a substitute for cigarettes. While there is a slight metabolism change, a little extra activity can offset this effect. But for those individuals who do gain weight, always keep in mind that the health benefits of quitting far outweigh the weight gain that "may" occur. With a concerted effort people can eventually lose gained weight, but sometimes no effort can undo the damages or end results caused by smoking. It's like a person just making up their mind to get better--after smoking has taken its toll. This is an impossible task considering the toll for one out of two smokers is death. No amount of dieting, exercise or any other extraordinary efforts can undo this. To keep your health as long as possible and to keep your ability to make other postive changes throughout your life always remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

November 28th, 2001, 9:06 am #9

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

December 6th, 2001, 2:55 am #10

For Wcsdancer
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

December 17th, 2001, 11:34 pm #11

For Jenarc
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

February 14th, 2002, 12:26 pm #12

Burn or skip just one calorie at a time!
Don't go overboard!
Just get things headed in the right direction!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:59 pm

February 21st, 2002, 10:54 am #13

Just realized today that I was the second last person at my work place to quit! Very proud of us all. We have been working together for 6 years now & more then half of us were smokers at the start. A co-worker & I were talking today & she said she gained 15 pounds (has been quit for 2 months) & I said I have gained 2 or 3 pounds in the 10 days I have been quit. Ironically enough we both then complimented each other on holding onto our quit. I told her I have taken up sewing to give me something productive to occupy my hands with & she said she would bring me her old pants to "let out" the seams for her. We had a good laugh! Being the last smoker has inspired me more to stay strong.
Susan
ps. Funny thing is we work in a prison & about 98% of the inmates smoke so I always thought I had an excuse because I was around smokers. No excuse! I now feel for the non smokers who have to be around smoke constantly - they are being punished two fold!! The stink reinforces my quit!!
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

March 6th, 2002, 11:20 pm #14

For Jill Anne
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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

March 7th, 2002, 3:03 am #15

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

April 14th, 2002, 10:12 pm #16

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

April 19th, 2002, 9:48 am #17

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

May 22nd, 2002, 10:59 am #18

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

June 17th, 2002, 1:33 am #19

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Joined: December 19th, 2008, 12:00 am

June 17th, 2002, 1:53 am #20

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

August 31st, 2002, 11:51 am #21

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

October 19th, 2002, 10:55 am #22

Just to keep things in their proper perspective.

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

October 19th, 2002, 10:56 am #23

A link to Bryan's story:

Bryan Lee Curtis (1965 - 1999)
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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:58 pm

November 11th, 2002, 1:55 am #24

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Joined: December 18th, 2008, 11:57 pm

January 17th, 2003, 12:46 pm #25

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